With each new study on health and nutrition, there follows a seemingly endless amount of advice on how to apply new information to meet health goals. Recently, intermittent fasting has gained popularity for its hormonal benefits, convenience and proven results. In The Warrior Diet, Ori Hofmekler introduces the general public to a very unique and primitive concept.
Hofmekler argues that, before modern conveniences and the agricultural revolution, humans were faced with one primary challenge day in and day out--finding food. Spending the majority of the day foraging and tracking a big kill meant that, at day's end, the hunters were famished and ready to feast on the day's kill.
Fast forward to modern times, and a large amount of individuals eat three, four, five meals a day or more. Those with sedentary jobs are not getting much physical activity during the day, and spending an hour at the gym is often insufficient to counteract this. By replicating the "warrior" lifestyle of the past, Hofmekler suggests that we can tap into our primal instincts to lead more focused, energetic, productive and successful lives.
The Eating Cycle
As part of the warrior diet, the majority of calories are taken in during the "main meal". Followers of the plan are encouraged to eat the main meal later in the evening, within a few hours of going to sleep. Hofmekler advises that the main meal start with the most "subtle" tasting foods, such as vegetables, and end with the heavier foods (protein then carbohydrates). Eating until thirst is greater than hunger is how the author suggests to realize satiety, and if you remain hungry after stopping at that point he suggests to eat more.
Throughout the day, it is acceptable to eat if hunger persists, with raw vegetables and fruit being the best choice for snacking. Coffee and tea are acceptable, and it is important to drink plenty of water. For athletes or those who do perform strenuous activities during the day, eating protein sources such as greek yogurt, whey protein shakes or boiled eggs and small amounts of carbohydrates are needed for fuel.
The basic purposes of the eating cycle are to boost metabolism, regulate hormonal activity, increase the presence of beneficial bacteria in the stomach lining and to increase energy and alertness. The advantages of the eatng cycle are numerous. First, adherents to the diet learn to control hunger and use it to their advantage. The Warrior Diet also takes away the task of finding, planning and cooking "typical" meals during the day. Also, among many other positivie takeaways, the satisfaction of eating until you are fully content is a freeing advantage of the main meal.
What To Eat
As in other healthy diets, whole, unprocessed foods should make up the great majority of the diet. There are no exclusions, such as in the Paleo Diet or in carbohydrate-free diets. Obviously, processed, fried and sugary foods should be avoided.
For daytime snacking, raw fruits and vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, apples, pears, celery, lettuces, and ginger should be eaten raw or juiced, but this list is not limiting.
I started a little skeptical of The Warrior Diet because I enjoy eating and snacking (and spoonfuls of peanut butter) throughout the day. However, by the third day on the plan, I had already improved control of my appetite. In the initial phase I did not experience any headaches, fatigue, or negative side effects that fasting might cause. This is probably due to my morning tea/coffee, whey protein shake and a small, basic salad to hold me over until the main meal. And, take my word for it, eating to my heart's content during the main meal is enormously satisfying.
I have yet to be on the Warrior Diet long enough to see much change in physique, but I do feel more energetic and leaner. The greatest benefit of the Warrior Diet for me is the accountability factor. In order to stay true to the plan, I have forgone much unnecessary eating during the day and therefore have become more productive and less laden with food.
Get This Book!
Not only is The Warrior Diet an interesting and new take on dieting and weight loss, the book itself is chock-full of health and nutrition advice. Hofmekler includes a review of numerous foods and supplements, describing in detail the various types of protein powders, fats, supplements and more. The text is motivational, and is basically a glossary of great nutrition advice and information. Try the Warrior Diet yourself and see if it works for you.
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(price as of May 24, 2016)