About 7 months ago, I got my hands on a copy of Ori Hofmeklers „Warrior Diet“. Fascinated by the idea, I took it up. Before I go any further, I’ll outline the main points in case you’re not familiar with the concept:
- Eat one meal at night
- During the day, eat only raw, unprocessed food if you must eat
- In your main meal, start with raw veggies, continue with cooked veggies, protein and fat and finish the meal with carbos.
- Go low in the food chain.
Now, basically that means you’re fasting all day in a controlled manner – you’re allowed to eat raw fruit, veggies, tiny portions of protein, just don’t overdo it – and then, before going to bed, you feast.
I’m certainly not going to elaborate on the scientific aspect behind the warrior diet, there’s enough fuss about that already. No need for me to contribute. Quite frankly, the „warrior diet“ goes against most of the stuff I’ve learned about nutrition in the past. To this time I’ve tried to follow John Berardis „Precision Nutrition“ System as good as possible.
The problem is that Berardi – as most nutritionists and even doctors – propagates eating every two to three hours to keep insuline in check, fight cortisol, keep the body nourished etc. Now, nice as that sounds, in the last half year it just wasn’t doable for me due to various reasons.
So, when I read about the idea of eating one meal a day, I was kind of caught into it. This type of nutritional system was just what I needed to match my lifestyle. Of course I was skeptical, but then on the other hand I’ve already tried the Atkins diet and the raw food diet amongst others, so compared to them the „warrior diet“ seems pretty sensible.
Hofmekler suggests a gradual approach to the „warrior diet“ – but I wasn’t into that. For me it was all or nothing and for the first two months I strictly followed the diet. As crazy as the diet sounds, I actually lost three Kg, most of it water and fat as far as I can tell. Now, three Kg don’t seem overly much, however, if you’re at ~8% body fat every Kg counts.
The problem with the „warrior diet“ is the same as with every diet: It works as long as you’re doing it. When I didn’t have the time to cook every day for a period of approximately 3 months, I quickly regained those three Kg, plus an additional one.
However, since two months I’m doing it properly again and I’m down to 73Kg (~161lbs) again. Due to my lifestyle and training, however, I’ve made some adaptations to the system.
First of all, I’m sick of authors trying to sell some strange stuff through their books.
Coach Christopher Sommer tries to do so in „Building the gymnastic body“, Pavel Tsatsouline is trying to do so in „Bulletproof Abs“ and Ori Hofmekler is trying to do so in „The Warrior Diet“.
Personally, I don’t find the thought of drinking a „Serum“, made from „… the first milk of a lactating cow“ very appealing, so I’m just plainly ignoring Hofmeklers supplement recommendations.
Also, since I’m considering myself to belong to a group that Hofmekler refers to as „extremely active people“, I’m consuming some carbos and proteins after my workouts to refill glycogen stores and allow for another training on the same day. After a run in the morning for example I’d eat some yoghurt with honey and nuts.
After my main meal at night I’ll supplement with 6 grams of fish oil and some glucosamine to support my joints.
Now, I can’t say I’d recommend this diet to anybody. Neither can I advise against it.
I just like the idea of keeping the blood away from the digestive tract during the day and have energy available to do other things. The clarity of mind and detoxification that come along with fasting appeal to me. Most of all, the discipline to forsake food during the day and endure hunger is a very important point for me. Self-discipline is, in my opinion, a very strong difference between a mugger and a warrior.
For me, a „Mugger“ is a folk with decent fighting skills but no sense for ethics and honor to match it, a person that lives exclusively for his own benefit. I’m sure you’ve met people like that, most likely so amongst self-proclaimed „martial artists“.
A warrior on the other hand is someone who confronts himself, the world and the universe but always strives to build his own luck upon the luck of others, someone who gains stability by lifting people around him up, not by pushing them down.
Since the pursuit of personal enrichment is enrooted so deep in human nature, I believe that self-discipline is what allows for ethics and honor.
Personally, I’ll continue to follow the „warrior diet“ until I start to feel bad about it or my performance begins to suffer.