The Warrior Diet exercise and nutrition program, created by Ori Hofmekler, hinges on a somewhat controversial diet based on a daily cycle of “undereating” during the day and “overeating” at night.
The rationale is that the historic “warrior”, in order to succeed in the environment of the time, had a primal need to cycle between undereating during the day (when physical activity and danger were always present), and overeating at night (when able to rest and eat a good daily meal).
Modern humans in a changed environment can therefore restore health and fitness, by returning to that cycle with the Warrior Diet.
Warrior Diet grounding
The nervous system is the primary focus here, specifically that part called the autonomic nervous system (ANS).
Body organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines (viscera), and muscles within these organs and other areas like blood vessels, skin, and eyes, as well as the glands of the body, are regulated by the ANS. We are mostly unaware of its workings; for example, when blood vessels change size or when our heart beats faster, these functions are involuntary and reflexive in nature.
The ANS has 3 parts –
- The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which kicks in when emergencies occur, causing stress and requiring us to “fight” or take “flight” (flee)
- The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) which operates in normal or nonemergency times, allowing us to “rest” and “digest”
- The enteric nervous system (ENS), present in all vertebrates, which regulates the normal digestive activity of the digestive system and prepares it for whatever is coming, whether a meal or a frantic energy-sapping physical activity
The undereating phase of the Warrior Diet is supposed to prepare and alert the SNS to potential stress, resulting in the generation of energy and ultimately the burning of fat. While undereating, the body is forced to use fat storage as a source of fuel for maximum metabolic efficiency – thus promoting weight-loss.
The overeating phase of the Warrior Diet recognizes the role of the PSNS in regulating digestion, elimination and other metabolic activities that slow you down. Eating during the day stops this process and blocks the body’s ability to remove toxins and waste from the body. Since detoxification is imperative for health and to delay aging, eating occurs mainly at night.
Warrior Diet program
The program involves a Fat Loss Program and exercise and nutrition regimes. And is well outlined in the book.
Here is a summary of each component.
Fat Loss Program
The Fat Loss program is specifically designed to
- Force the body to detoxify
- Improve utilization of fat as fuel
- Improve utilization of carb as fuel
This process helps to boost overall metabolic rate, thereby enhancing the body’s capacity to maximize fat loss.
Exercise and Nutrition Programs
Exercise and nutrition programs provide short, intense strength and aerobic exercises, along with pre-workout and post-workout meals. This approach intends to reduce fat while maintaining or improving muscle tone.
The emphasis of the Warrior Diet program is on having large evening meals on the one hand, and shedding the “calorie counting” common to most diets on the other.
- Morton, G. J., Cummings, D. E., Baskin, D. G., Barsh, G. S., & Schwartz, M. W. (2006). Central nervous system control of food intake and body weight. Nature, 443(7109), 289-295. link
- Liu, M. T., Seino, S., & Kirchgessner, A. L. (1999). Identification and characterization of glucoresponsive neurons in the enteric nervous system. The Journal of neuroscience, 19(23), 10305-10317. link