The Warrior Diet: The Ultimate Guide for beginners
- December 13, 2020
The Warrior Diet: The Ultimate Guide for beginners
Fasting, reducing or abstaining from food consumption is a practice which has been used for various religious and health purposes since ancient times.
While fasting has a rich history, it has now become popular as a tool for weight loss.
The warrior diet is a method to eat that cycles extended periods of little food intake with small overeating windows. It has been promoted as an effective method to lose weight, improve energy levels, and mental clarity.
However, some health experts argue that this fasting approach is extreme and unnecessary.
This article addresses everything you need to know about the Warrior Diet to help you decide if it is a healthy and successful way to improve your health.
Table Of Contents.
What Is the Warrior Diet?
The Warrior Diet was established in 2001 by Ori Hofmekler, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces, who passed on to fitness and nutrition.
The Warrior Diet is considered a form of intermittent fasting, a general term for eating habits that involve periods of decreased calorie intake over a given period.
The Warrior diet was based on the eating habits of ancient warriors who eat little during the day and only enjoyed at night.
According to its inventor, it is intended to “improve the way we eat, feel, perform and look” by stressing the body through decreased food intake, thus activating “survival instincts.”
It should be remembered that Ori Hofmekler himself recognizes that the Warrior Diet is based on his convictions and experiences — not strictly on science.
People who follow this diet undereat for 20 hours a day, then eat as much food as desired at night.
During the 20-hour fasting period, dieters are advised to eat small quantities of dairy products, hard-boiled eggs, raw fruits, and vegetables, including plenty of non-calorie fluids.
After 20 hours, people can basically binge on any food they want in a four-hour over-eating window.
However, Unprocessed, safe, and organic food options are encouraged.
Warrior Diet adherents say this eating method burns fat improves concentration, raises energy levels, and promotes cellular repair.
The Warrior Diet is a form of intermittent fasting which revolves around 20-hour undereating periods, followed by four-hour overeating periods.
Here is a list of foods to be consumed and avoid when following the Warrior Diet to get the best results.
What Foods to Eat During Intermittent Fasting 20:4?
A lot of research has been done over the years on fasting, but much of the work has been done on animals, and especially — mice.
Unfortunately, the scientific results that refer to mice do not always correlate with humans. Much of the knowledge available about what to eat and drink for an effective fasting regime is somewhat subjective.
The standard rules for fasting 20:4 are not to eat or drink anything that contains calories during the fasting hours.
Some dieters follow this rule strictly while others do not.
Out of all the intermittent fasting choices, the 20:4 method is one of the strictest plans to go with, so not everyone can adhere to the 4-hour window, especially those who enjoy a little double cream and sugar alternative in their coffee in the morning.
Most dieters drink Bulletproof Coffee in the morning and then eat in the evening during their 4-hour window.
Others are more hungry during the day and find it easier to organize their meals for breakfast or lunch, and then forego their meals at night.
No matter what window frame you choose to use, or how much meals you decide to consume over those 4 hours, the food consensus is to stick to a very low-carb diet.
Some people even choose to go to zero carbs.
A very low-carb diet is defined as less than 30 carbs a day, with most diets tailoring one or two meals to a maximum of 20 carbs or less.
If you consume fewer carbs, appetite goes down significantly, making it easier to get through those 20 hours of fasting.
Dieters are allowed to consume anything organic, fresh, and grown seasonally. If you’re on this diet, Processed and fried foods and sugary drinks are discouraged.
Foods To Eat During The Fasting Window
- Vegetables and Fruits: You can eat any fruits and vegetables that are fresh and seasonally-grown.
- Protein: Hard-boiled egg
- Clear Broth: Chicken or beef
- Dairy: Yogurt, milk, cottage cheese, etc.
- Beverages: Water, green tea, coffee, any fruit, or vegetable juice (unstrained).
Foods To Eat During The Feeding Window
- Grains: whole-wheat pasta, whole grain bread, quinoa, brown rice, oats, broken wheat, barley.
- Vegetables: Any seasonal cooked vegetables.
- Fats: Nuts and olive oil.
- Protein: Chicken, beef, seafood, pork.
- Dairy: cheese, milk, yogurt.
Foods To Avoid While Doing 20/4 Intermittent Fasting
- Candy – Do you think that candy on any intermittent fasting schedule is a good idea?
- Cookies, ice cream, pastries, donuts – You have to calm your inner Homer Simpson on this one. Faith me you will be glad you did.
- Doritos, Chips, Pretzels, etc. – Opt for healthier choices during your intermittent fasting eating window, like celery or other non-starchy vegetables.
- Fast food – Do I need to clarify that fast food doesn’t mean this is food fasting folks? Such fast food places are the death of all my health efforts. Another that I need to avoid include McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC, Wendy’s.
- Fried foods – You’ll save lots of calories by avoiding fried food and all that oil are never healthy for you.
- Processed meats (bacon, lunch meats) – Keto folks be damned, but is a plate of bacon healthy? Too much meat leads to Keto Crotch also—some funk around the junk.
- Refined carbohydrates-This are things such as pasta, white bread, pancakes, bagels.
- Artificial sweeteners – You think you are healthy drinking Diet Cokes all day? Think again. Artificial sweeteners are coming under the gun lately as being hazardous factors in any diet.
- Sweetened drinks such as fruit juice and soda – Pepsi, Mt. Dew, Lemonade, Orange Juice (though it does have some advantages)
When following the Warrior Diet, nutritious foods such as vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins are recommended. Processed foods and added sweeteners should be avoided.
Does It Have Benefits?
The Warrior Diet does not have any studies to back up its exact methods, but intermittent fasting does.
Although the Warrior Diet is a little more severe than some other, more popular methods of intermittent fasting, like the 16:8 method (to fast for 16 hours, and then to eat for the remaining 8 hours), it is simply a stricter version of this method.
For this cause, one could argue that the advantages linked to intermittent fasting also apply to the Warrior Diet.
It May Aid Weight Loss
Various forms of intermittent fasting, including 20-hour fasting cycles, have been associated with weight loss.
One research that closely mimics the Warrior Diet (twenty-hour fasting) shows that people who eat meals over four hours in the evening had more weight loss than those who ate the same number of calories in meals throughout the day.
What’s more, those who consumed one meal per day reported significantly reduced fat mass and greater muscle mass (1).
A recent review of 6 studies concluded that various forms of intermittent fasting, varying from 3 to 12 months, were more successful at promoting weight loss than no dietary intervention.
However, the study found that there were no substantial variations in weight loss between dieters using intermittent fasting or continuous calorie restriction (normal dieting), meaning that calorie restriction without fasting was equally successful (2).
In addition, while reducing calorie intake is the most common outcome of the Warrior Diet, some people adopting this eating pattern may potentially eat too many calories during the four-hour over-eating period and experience gaining weight.
Fasting May Improve Brain Health
The Warrior Diet is being promoted as a way to boost brain health.
There may be some truth to this based on scientific research of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to advantage the regulation of inflammatory pathways that impact your brain function.
For example, animal researches have shown that intermittent fasting reduces inflammatory markers such as interleukin 6 ( IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-5-007), which may negatively affect memory and learning (3).
However, a study in this area is continuous, and more human studies are necessary to assess the advantages of intermittent fasting on brain health.
It May Decrease Inflammation
Inflammation caused by oxidative stress is believed to cause many diseases, like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers (6).
Researches have shown that intermittent fasting can be an efficient method to reduce inflammation in the body.
Another research in 50 people showed that fasting for Muslim holidays in Ramadan had substantially lower levels of inflammatory markers IL-6, C-reactive protein (CRP) and homocysteine, similar to non-fast individuals (8).
Fasting May Improve Blood Sugar Control
Some research has found that intermittent fasting can enhance blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
Research in 10 people with type 2 diabetes discovered that a fasting goal of 18–20 hours per day leads to a considerable decrease in body weight and significantly improved fasting and post-meal blood sugar control (9).
Nevertheless, another recent study found that intermittent fasting increased the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), even while taking reduced doses of blood-sugar-reducing medications (10).
While healthily lowering blood sugar levels is advantageous, hypoglycemia can be dangerous and can lead to severe complications (11).
For this reason, patients with diabetes who are engaged in intermittent fasting should first talk to their doctor.
Intermittent fasting methods such as Warrior Diet can help lose weight, improve brain health, reduce blood sugar, and reduce inflammation.
It Could Lead to Negative Side Effects
The Warrior Diet can cause side effects, some of which may be severe.
Potential side-effects involve (12):
- Extreme hunger
- Low energy
- Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
- Weight gain
- Hormonal imbalance
Additionally, many health professionals argue that dieters do not get enough nutrients if they adopt an intermittent fasting method, such as the Warrior Diet.
Nevertheless, as long as healthy, nutrient-dense foods are selected, and calorie requirements are met, you will meet nutrient needs by carefully preparing your food choices following the Warrior Diet.
The Warrior Diet is not suitable for all people, can be challenging to stick to, and may contribute to adverse side effects like fatigue, insomnia, and hormonal imbalance.
Insights After 2-Months Of 20/4 Intermittent Fasting
The great advice that I give to someone wanting to start their weight loss journey is that if you feel like your diet is out of control and you’re just hungry all the time, and you’re dieting fast food and other junk to no end; then intermittent fasting may reset your body to a healthier state.
Intermittent fasting allows your body a way to alleviate the cravings. I feel this was the most significant advantage of intermittent fasting for me. It allowed me to handle my eating habits, which has set me up for calorie counting and portion control.
Initially, I used intermittent fasting to limit the number of hours I will be unhealthy during the day—4 hours a day.
For the first month, I wouldn’t care about what or how much I was eating. I just ate a meal during my window. That worked for a month, but then I realized I had to start looking at the calories, too, because I seemed to be level off.
Now that I started watching my calories during the intermittent fasting eating window, things took off — or dropped off pounds-wise.
I will tell you this…
If you’re like me and hand a hundred pounds to lose, and you’ve lost all hope, give a chance to intermittent fasting. I firmly believe that you can use intermittent fasting to regulate your appetite. At first, it may not be easy, but it’s getting easier — trust me, friend.
It really doesn’t matter how you do it.
Society has told us that we need to eat regularly during the day to be safe, which’s not true. If you’re overweight or obese, you ‘re overeating for your body and lifestyle, no matter how much or how little it is.
Corrections should not be as harsh as the intermittent fasting. Sometimes, it’s enough to get up from your desk and move more all day.
But if you’ve stopped partway to your weight-loss target, you need to choose an alternative to what you’re already doing. Many people are doing great on lower-fat keto diets, especially those with sit-down jobs.
While high fat is perfect, it is definitely not mandatory for health.
The most straightforward approach to weight loss is to make a small adjustment at a time and then analyze the results.
Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions
Q: How much weight can you lose on the Warrior Diet?
A: Weight loss can vary based on the type of body. But, in one week, you will lose about 10-15 pounds.
Q: Is the warrior diet healthy?
A: As long as you adopt the Warrior Diet with a balanced approach, it can be safe. Still, do not under-eat in your feeding window because it can lead to deficiencies in nutrients.
Q: Does the Warrior Diet slow down your metabolism?
A: No form of intermittent fasting slows down metabolism. On the contrary, it helps revamp the metabolic system and clear toxins to keep you healthy and active.