The Warrior Diet is probably quite different from any other diet you've experienced. This meal plan can be used for losing fat as well as gaining muscle, and does not entail counting calories or using highly restrictive lists of food. In addition, the Warrior Diet doesn't require small, frequent meals—it actually discourages that practice. The Warrior Diet suggests engaging in an "undereating phase" for most of the day, followed by an "overeating phase" during the evening. According to the official website for the Warrior Diet, such a schedule encourages an optimal hormonal environment and improves energy production and fat burning.
Improved Protein Absorption
When you're dieting, protein intake is often emphasized, as carbohydrate and fat intake are often discouraged. However, many protein sources, such as meat, can be expensive, and the Mayo Clinic suggests that high protein diets may cause liver and kidney problems or worsen existing issues. Ori Hofmekler, founder of the Warrior Diet, explains that the protein absorption rate dramatically increases on this nutrition plan. This means that you can consume less protein and still maintain or increase lean mass. However, Hofmekler does state that some protein is necessary for maintaining good health.
Improved Muscular Growth
When used in conjunction with exercise, the Warrior Diet may help improve your rate of muscular growth. This is because training during the undereating phase may have increased the anabolic, or muscle-building, response to resistance exercise. According to research from the November 2009 issue of the "European Journal of Applied Physiology," training in a fasting state promotes an increased response from genes that help build muscle. Based upon this research, performing resistance training during the undereating phase and then consuming carbohydrates and protein within 4 hours may improve the anabolic response to the nutrients.
Increased Daily Energy Expenditure
Part of what makes the Warrior Diet effective is that the overeating phase triggers a large thermic effect, which is the amount of calories your body burns during the digestion and absorption of food. Because the overeating phase involves consuming a large quantity of food in a short period of time, your body burns a lot of calories digesting this food. But, according to research from the November 2009 issue of the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism," the effect of the increased thermic effect doesn't just affect one meal, but translates into a higher rate of daily energy expenditure in the form of calories burned over a 24-hour period. Increasing energy expenditure can help you lose weight by creating a caloric deficit.
- Mayo Clinic: High-Protein Diets: Are They Safe?
- Mike Mahler: Conversation With A Modern-Day Warrior
- "European Journal of Applied Physiology"; Increased p70s6k phosphorylation during intake of a protein–carbohydrate drink following resistance exercise in the fasted state; L Deldicque et al; November 2009