Written and Medically Reviewed by Dr Babar Shahzad, BSc and MBBS on January 19, 2020.
Maintaining a healthy weight is now harder than it ever used to be before. We all live our lives in a rush. When you're always in a hurry and never seem to find the time to get enough sleep or exercise, it's difficult to stay in shape. We know the struggles that you are dealing with. Losing weight is no easy feat even when all the stars align, but when you're busy, it gets even harder. Fortunately, there are ways to make weight loss work for you - ways to effectively lose weight without compromising your health or your free time.
One of the types of intermittent fasting is referred to as the Warrior Diet. It has a lot of benefits, and it is loved both by those that tried it. One of the best things about the Warrior Diet is that it will work with you and your schedule. Even if you're busy, you will find yourself saving time on the warrior diet meal plan.
The Warrior Diet is a natural way to lose weight. It's a call-back to the ways of our ancestors, who didn't lead a life where they'd eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They had no specialists telling them that 3 to 5 meals a day are the only way to lose weight. Instead, they followed their own instinct - and they were right.
In reality, the Warrior Diet is a 20-hour fast, and it is one of the oldest methods of fasting. Its name derives from the fact that it is based on the diet of ancient warriors, who used to eat very little during the day but feasted at night which is, however, is not the healthiest time for a meal.
It's definitely not the easiest variation of intermittent fasting, easier than the OMAD though, but it is reported to be very efficient once your body gets used to the change in your meal patterns. What does a typical day look like when you follow the Warrior Diet?
During the day, you are encouraged to eat as little as possible. You may be allowed to consume small amounts of dairy, eggs, raw vegetables and fruits. You are also welcome to drink black coffee, tea, and copious amounts of water.
After 20 hours, you have a four-hour eating window during which you can eat most things that you want. However, if you want to achieve the best results, you should focus on healthy, unprocessed, organic food.
Of course, everything has to be done in moderation. If you eat unhealthily during the eating window, your results will be less significant than those of a person who does stick to a more strict diet. However, if you make healthy eating choices, you can eat as much as you like.
The upside of that is that you won't feel hungry - at least not after the initial period of adjustment. Your body will get used to the way you're eating now, as well as to the Warrior Diet foods you will be swapping to. This diet is one of the few that allow for really big portions during the four-hour window.
This isn't a diet that you are meant to start from day today. Instead, you will be easing into it to allow your body the time to prepare for your new, healthier lifestyle. What benefits can you expect from this diet?
Warrior Diet Benefits
This isn't just a diet - it's a lifestyle change. The people that successfully switch over to the Warrior Diet sometimes lose all of their excess weight - some even over a hundred pounds.
Others choose to use it temporarily without much preparation, as a quick way to lose weight before an important event, like a wedding or a photoshoot. Whichever you choose, you can expect great results as long as you follow the diet and do not binge on unhealthy foods every day during your eating window.
The Warrior Diet foods you will be swapping over to may have a really positive effect on your health, as will the fasting itself. Many people have found major benefits when trying this diet, although it is not for everyone - we cover that in the "Side Effects" section.
If you want to try your knack at the Warrior Diet, you surely want to know the benefits that await you. Here are just a few.
It's an effective method of weight loss
This is definitely the biggest benefit, for obvious reasons. Not a lot of people choose to change their lifestyle if they don't need to, and excess weight is the biggest motivator.
Intermittent fasting, in general, is a fantastic way to lose weight. The reason for that, among others, is that it limits your snacking. Snacking is often the biggest enemy of weight loss, and it goes unnoticed a lot of the time. Who keeps track of each and every snack they absently grab while working? Sadly, snacks are detrimental to maintaining a healthy weight.
When you only have a four-hour eating window, your body spends the other twenty hours getting rid of excess fat. Studies have confirmed that fasting for 20 hours results in more weight loss than eating the same amount of calories throughout the entire day because your body does not keep on storing energy but starts using the reserves during the fasting hours which results in loss of extra pounds.
If you are strict with your diet and watch what you eat, you too will learn to love intermittent fasting. The Warrior Diet is not the easiest example of it, but it has its fair share of fans who swear by it - and the scale agrees with them.
It may improve blood sugar control
Some studies confirmed that fasting can improve blood sugar control in patients that suffer from type 2 diabetes. Fasting for 18-20 hours a day not only leads to a considerable decrease in post-meal blood sugar and body weight but it can also play a preventive role in developing diabetes in otherwise healthy people.
Weight loss alone, as well as changing your dietary habits, has a tendency of lowering blood sugar.
However, if you suffer from diabetes, make sure you consult your physician prior to attempting any form of intermittent fasting, especially one as extreme as the Warrior Diet, so that the therapy you’ve been taking for it can be adjusted accordingly which is necessary to avoid complications. Fasting has a whole lot of benefits, but it may not be for everyone.
Lower blood pressure
People who lose weight often report a drop in their blood pressure, which is often higher in those that are overweight due to an increased amount of unhealthy cholesterol and fats in the bloodstream. Those that follow the Warrior Diet may experience an even better outcome. This is due to the fact that they eat organic, natural products more often than processed foods, fast foods and so on. Moreover, a moderate amount of salt intake would be extra beneficial in this regard.
That is not to say you can never eat those things when following the Warrior Diet meal plan. It only means that you should restrict yourself, but the occasional cheat day will not ruin your whole weight loss adventure.
This diet, in particular, is promoted as a way to improve brain health. Fasting for longer periods of time is known to reduce inflammation, which in turn improves your brain function given that its calorie requirements are fulfilled.
Like before, the benefits are caused by two things: fasting alone, and the fact that you will be eating healthier foods.
Intermittent fasting, in general, is known to bring great results after the initial period of adjustment. You won't have to reduce your calorie intake as much, and you will still be able to occasionally treat yourself.
The problem many people have with successful dieting is that they have to suddenly give up all the food they've grown to love. That is not the case with the Warrior Diet. While you're encouraged to make healthy choices, as long as you stick to your eating window, you will still see some form of weight loss. Keep in mind that it will be considerably lower than if you were to change your lifestyle entirely.
In a way It has another advantage over losing weight by frequently eating small portions in which you have to closely follow the strict calorie intake plan while here you can have much more calories in just one meal.
The Warrior Diet results are entirely up to the person that tries it. You can aim for a little and go a bit easy on yourself, or you can gradually shift to not just a fasting period, but also a healthier lifestyle.
The Warrior Diet meal plan is said to not only decrease fat but also aid in building muscle. This is especially prominent in those that only eat one meal per day provided that the meal contains sufficient proteins for your muscle buildup.
While with this diet you will be allowed to eat more than once per day, it is very close to a very popular variation of intermittent fasting called the OMAD (One Meal A Day). For this reason, you can expect similar results.
While exercise is said to only make up about 20% of weight loss, it's still important. There is no better way to build muscle and reduce loose skin than going to the gym. With the Warrior Diet, you are expected to workout during your eating window.
As you can see, there are many benefits to following this diet. That's why the Warrior Diet reviews are so positive all across the board. However, like many diets, this one has a few things to keep in mind before you start.
Read on to check out what side effects are associated with this method of fasting.
The Warrior Diet is widely considered one of the more extreme types of intermittent fasting. It does yield fantastic results when done right, and moderate results when done partially (such as not sticking to the meal plan, but still fasting), but it's difficult to get into - and to maintain.
Over the years, we have been conditioned to follow a three-to-five meal plan in our daily lives. What's more, experts for many years have claimed that the only way to lose weight is to frequently eat small portions. This is not necessarily true.
While that method, combined with simple calorie counting, has worked for many, it doesn't work for everyone. More and more people find their rescue in intermittent fasting.
Before you jump in head first, there are a few things you need to know about the Warrior Diet.
We're not going to lie to you. This diet is no walk in the park, especially when you first start it. It takes some time for your body to adjust to the changes.
The caloric intake will likely be lower compared to what you're eating now, depending on what choices you're making. This alone can be tough, but a lowered caloric intake is to be expected from any diet.
The biggest issue you will run into is fasting and eating windows. This really depends on the type of person you are, and whether you're familiar with skipping meals or not.
Some people hate eating breakfast - those people are one step closer to some form of intermittent fasting. But if you're hungry first thing in the morning, and your eating window is not until the evening, you may struggle with this diet. You should adjust your eating window in that period of the daily routine during which you usually get hungry.
The upside is that during the four-hour window, you will be eating substantial meals that will fill you up for many hours. As such, you may not feel the same kind of hunger as what you would feel now, should you stop eating breakfast out of nowhere.
Intermittent fasting alone is not for everyone - let's get that out of the door right away. However, milder forms such as 16:8 are much easier to follow, and less taxing on the body.
Especially at the beginning, you may expect increased fatigue, dizziness, low energy, extreme hunger, and more. If you find that your dieting is having a strong negative impact on how you feel, please consult a doctor before you continue with your Warrior Diet meal plan.
How to Follow the Warrior Diet?
The Warrior Diet is not one you should jump into headfirst. Before you begin, you will need to prepare more than just a meal plan and a brand new scale. This diet is prefaced by an initial three-phase plan that will help your body adjust to the changes you are making.
This phase will focus on alternating your meals for increased weight loss. You will have 1-2 days high in carbs, followed by 1-2 days high in protein but low in carbs, and then rinse and repeat.
On the days when you're meant to eat a lot of carbs, follow the regular undereating schedule. During your eating window, in addition to the food you were consuming during week two, eat one main carbohydrate. This can be potatoes, pasta, oats, or anything else you like.
On high-protein days, undereat as normal. When your eating window begins, eat a salad with oil and vinegar, and then up to 450 grams of animal protein and non-starchy vegetables.
During this phase, do not eat grains or starches.
The recommended approach will have you either repeating the phases all over again or sticking to the third phase.
You should prioritize eating as little as possible during the 20-hour window, and overeating during the four-hour window. As you get used to the diet, incorporate exercise into your eating window too.
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Here are some questions you may still have in mind:
To achieve the best Warrior Diet results, we recommend eating the following:
Try to avoid fast foods, fried and processed foods, cookies and other sweets. Limit your carb intake, as well as your sugar intake. On the upside, from the above list, you can eat pretty much without limits. You should know that from your mouth into your blood, carbohydrates take the shortest while fats take the longest time for digestion and absorption, proteins being in between them.
You definitely can. Both the Warrior Diet and OMAD (One Meal A Day) net great results to those that stick to them diligently. Remember that for the best results, you should also change your eating habits to the ones we listed above.
It's a variation of intermittent fasting that is based on how our ancestors used to live. It differs from some other types in that you're allowed to eat some small amounts of food during your fasting window. Some, but not all, types of intermittent fasting don't allow for eating during the fasting period.
You can drink as much black coffee as you wish. You can add a little low-fat milk, but try not to use artificial sweeteners, and definitely do not use sugar.
OMAD is an extreme version of IF which might bring your desired results faster. It is hassle-free and lets you save time on eating meals. However, it might be harder to begin with than other types of intermittent fasting and requires more willpower to stick to. It also requires to be smart about your meal choices and requires additional attention if combined with other dietary regimes, such as keto.