Everything You Need To Know About The Warrior Diet

0
man pointing the sword to the book

Photo credit by: consumerhealthdigest.com

The Warrior Diet was created in 2001 by a former member of the Israeli Special Forces. At its core, the diet focuses on a 20-hour period of fasting and minimal eating, followed by 4 hours where you're allowed to consume as much food as you want.

Despite the severe nature of this diet, you don't have to starve yourself throughout the day. The creator encourages eating small amounts of specific products (typically raw fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and certain dairy products), as well as plenty of no-calorie fluids. Water is a popular choice, but no-calorie nutrition drinks are also an option.

Are There Any Health Benefits To The Warrior Diet?

chart of benefits doing warrior diet

Photo credit by: pinterest.co.uk

The Warrior Diet was created in 2001 by a former member of the Israeli Special Forces. At its core, the diet focuses on a 20-hour period of fasting and minimal eating, followed by 4 hours where you're allowed to consume as much food as you want.

FREE Sneaker Balls!

We want to send you 3 Pairs of Sneaker balls for FREE! Keep your shoes, gym bag, or locker free of odor!

In Partnership with KeeponFitness.com

Despite the severe nature of this diet, you don't have to starve yourself throughout the day. The creator encourages eating small amounts of specific products (typically raw fruits and vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, and certain dairy products), as well as plenty of no-calorie fluids. Water is a popular choice, but no-calorie nutrition drinks are also an option.

Are There Any Health Benefits To The Warrior Diet?

It's believed that the benefits of intermittent fasting apply to the Warrior Diet. Intermittent fasting usually consists of a 16:8 hour period, with benefits including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and improved heart health.

The Warrior Diet is a more extreme version of this, but the basic concept still applies. Unfortunately, this diet isn't as good for weight loss as many people would like. Typically, there are no real weight loss differences between intermittent fasting and reasonable limitations on your calories. To put it another way, you don't have to feel hungry throughout the day to lose weight – you can just eat less.

Some people have also reported weight gain through this diet. Since there are no restrictions in the 4-hour period where you are allowed to eat, it's possible you could consume more calories than usual. To put it mildly, that's bad.

Are There Any Known Drawbacks?

drawback

Photo credit by: emergencydentistsusa.com

Yes. The Warrior Diet has a significant number of potential problems, and these are what make it hard to recommend over a standard ‘mainstream' dieting plan.

Challenge #1: Sticking To The Diet

Sticking To The Diet

Photo credit by: keepcalmandposters.com

It's hard to stick to a diet that's as restrictive as this one. Only eating for four hours a day – usually at night – makes it extremely difficult to participate in a wide variety of social activities. You're allowed small amounts of food, so it's not like you're going to be feeling hungry all day, but it's hard to keep to the diet when you know you could do something more comfortable and get similar results.

Challenge #2: The Warrior Diet Is Not Appropriate For Many People

two women eating

Photo credit by: mybodytutor.com

This is another major sticking point. While no diet is appropriate for everyone, the best diets can be used by as many people as possible. The Warrior Diet is not suitable for children, pregnant or nursing women, people with certain diseases, people with eating disorders, or athletes.

It's also a poor choice for people leading active lives – including those with good exercise plans. Your body can't run off its internal reserves forever, and the Warrior Diet doesn't allow you to eat before you start exercising. Without protein and carbohydrates available at the right times, any exercise you do won't be nearly as effective.

In that regard, the Warrior Diet is most effective when you're only trying to lose weight (rather than building muscle at the same time). In some cases, this is a positive aspect rather than a negative one. If you need to lose weight before you begin exercising in earnest – as many severely overweight people do – the Warrior Diet is worth considering.

Challenge #3: The Warrior Diet Can Lead To Eating Disorders

two slices of bread

Photo credit by: wearyourvoicemag.com

Make no mistake – fasting for 20 hours and bingeing for 4 hours is not a healthy state for our bodies. This is compounded by the way the Warrior Diet actively encourages overeating each day. This often leads to negative feelings, including shame and regret. In turn, those feelings can promote purging and other unhealthy methods of weight loss.

Diets are not useful when they lead to eating disorders – and those disorders may persist even after you stop the diet. For example, if you're in the habit of overeating, you may start to worry after you finish the diet – and compulsively purge your food to try and avoid regaining your weight.

This won't happen to everyone, but there is a realistic chance of it happening to you.

Challenge #4: It Can Be Hard To Exercise Properly

woman doing exercise

Photo credit by: independent.co.uk

While some people can exercise well on an empty stomach, doctors do not recommend it. Other people may grow dizzy or even faint from hunger when they're pushing themselves. At best, chances are you'll only be able to get a moderate amount of exercise in.

If you exercise at all, try to have nutrient-rich, no-calorie drinks. These can mitigate the worst effects of hunger.

Starting The Warrior Diet

Most experts recommend starting the Warrior Diet with a 3-week plan that prepares your body for the rigors of the diet. We still don't recommend this diet over some of the other, safer choices available, but if you want to do it, it's best to do it right.

Week One: Detoxification

detoxification vegetables

Photo credit by: kingstoncdc.ca

This week focuses on detoxifying your body. Throughout this week, you should undereat for 20 hours of the day. However, it's okay to have products like clear broths, vegetable juice, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, raw fruit, and raw vegetables. Don't make a full meal out of them, but try to avoid pangs of hunger. You can also have water (in any amount), tea, coffee, and a bit of milk.

When you get to the overeating period, you should have a large salad with a vinegar and oil dressing, as well as beans, wheat-free whole grains, cooked vegetables, and a small amount of cheese.

This week has a surprisingly high amount of fat in it, and it focuses on teaching your body to focus on using fat for energy.

Week Two: Higher Fat

fish,leaves, avocado and some beans

Photo credit by: lifestylemedicalcenters.com

This week is similar to the first. Follow the same dietary guidelines for the undereating period in Week One, emphasizing small meals and limiting the sense of hunger rather than eating until you're full.

When it's time to overeat, have more salads, but follow them up with lean animal protein and nuts.

During this week, avoid starches and grains in their entirety. Your body may want some bread, but we want to move away from the carbohydrates they contain.

Week Three: Finishing Fat Loss

before and after man lose fat

Photo credit by: myfitnesscloset.net

When you get to week three, your diet will undergo a significant change. During this period you should alternate daily between high-carb foods and high-protein foods while you're in the overeating hours. Plan your daily exercises appropriately. Be sure to consume some carbohydrates on high-protein days.

Once you finish with Week Three, you can either start again from the beginning or switch to entirely an high-protein diet (with minimal carbs, not no carbs) during your overeating hours.

Should I Take Any Supplements?

Food Supplements on a spoon

Photo credit by: youtube.com

Yes. You should take supplements containing amino acids, probiotics, and various vitamins while you're on the Warrior Diet. It's best to focus on supplements you can take without food. The idea here is to provide your body with a constant stream of vitamins (and other necessary things), rather than packing all of them into your overeating time.

Remember, your body can only process food so quickly. If you don't space out your supplements, you are at risk of developing serious nutritional deficiencies.

Is There Anything Else I Can Do To Support This Diet?

vegetables and tape measure

Photo credit by: independent.co.uk

Yes. Take unhealthy foods out of your house – it's a lot harder to feast on junk food when you don't have any in the house. The only food available for you to binge on should be rich in nutrients and low in processed sugar.

This is, of course, a lot harder if you live with other people. In that case, you'll have to decide for yourself how you want to manage your food stores.

Is There Any Science Backing Up This Diet?

apple and heart shape bowl with nuts and veges inside

Healthy food in heart and cholesterol diet concept on vintage boards

Aside from the scientific studies on intermittent fasting, there's no compelling evidence about the effectiveness of this diet.

The creator of the Warrior Diet based it on his personal observations – not rigorous testing and proper experimentation. That's why you should take any claim about the diet cautiously. We may believe it has certain effects, but until those are proven, you shouldn't rely on them.

Also, there's no guarantee that the Warrior Diet will affect everyone the same way. Quirks of your biology could have a significant impact on the effectiveness of this diet, and in that case, there's really nothing to do except switch to something else.

How Expensive Is The Warrior Diet?

green leaves

Photo credit by: dietspotlight.com

Unlike some specialty diets, the Warrior Diet is not particularly expensive. It focuses on when you eat more than what you eat, and one of the primary suggested foods – salad – is among the most affordable meals you can get.

In this regard, at least, we favor the Warrior Diet over plans that ask you to buy expensive specialty foods from the people advertising the diet. Just remember: Nutrient-rich is better than junk food. There are no actual restrictions on the Warrior Diet, but if you eat the wrong kinds of foods, you'll only end up hurting yourself.

Haley Conklin is currently attending college to earn her Bachelor's degree in Biology. She is an adventure seeker who is passionate about healthcare, traveling the world, spending time outdoors, volunteering and being active. She is a writer with extensive experience in content marketing.

Leave A Reply

Visit Us On FacebookCheck Our Feed