The Warrior Diet is a popular diet that many people are using to lose weight and to meet their dieting goals. It’s a simple plan, but some would call it an extreme diet. The diet program relies on restrictive fasting along with a careful eating plan to help to detox the body, maintain a steady intake of healthy nutrients and to encourage weight loss over time. Below is our Warrior diet review and an objective look at the possible benefits and downfalls of the diet, along with some tips to help you stick with the diet over time.
What is the Warrior Diet?
The Warrior diet is a program that relies on fasting and calculated overeating to lose weight and to maintain a good level of health. The creator of the diet recommends a three-week introductory period to get into the diet, but after going through that period many people switch over to a more normal diet plan that focuses on consuming proteins and vegetables.
The Basics of the Diet
The basic idea of the Warrior Diet is to fast for 20 hours a day and then to have one large meal within the 4-hour window that isn’t used for fasting. The fasted period isn’t extremely strict like it is with some intermittent fasting programs, but followers are encouraged to consume very little and to try and keep their intake to broth, water, coffee, tea and minimal snacks if possible.
During the four hours each day that the users are allowed to eat, they are encouraged to eat until they feel very satisfied and full, and to try and pack in a good mix of proteins, vegetables, carbs and the essential nutrients that they need to live a healthy lifestyle. A good multi-vitamin, some probiotics and other beneficial supplements are also encouraged to help keep healthy over time.
How to Follow the Warrior Diet
There are several different phases to follow when going through the Warrior Diet, but not everyone goes about it the same way. Below is the general outline for the diet and what to do in order to stick with the diet and to get the most from it.
The following steps or phases are what new dieters are encouraged to go through when getting used to this new way of eating.
The Detox Phase (Week 1)
The first phase is designed to help prepare the body to follow the Warrior Diet over the long term. This phase has you begin with undereating or fasting for a 20 hour period, and then focus on consuming a salad with oil and vinegar dressing, and one large, or several smaller meals that are made up primarily of plant protein. Cheese and cooked vegetables are also encouraged, as well as wheat-free whole grains. Users are asked to avoid animal proteins during this period and this detox phase is meant to last a full week to help cleanse the body.
The High Fat Phase (Week 2)
After the detox phase, there’s the high-fat phase. During this phase, the same salad with an oil and vinegar dressing is part of the four-hour eating window, but animal protein, a handful of nuts and cooked vegetables are what’s to be eaten during the rest of the eating window. Instead of plant proteins, animal proteins make up the bulk of the calories during this phase to help balance out the diet. It’s also important to avoid starches and grains during this phase and to maintain higher levels of fat to help adapt the body for the Warrior Diet.
The Final Phase (Week 3)
The final phase follows an eating cycle that focuses on high carbs, then high proteins and then carbs once again. Dieters are expected to eat one or two days with high protein intake and then one or two days with high carb intake. During high-carb days the meal starts with a salad with an oil and vinegar dressing along with cooked vegetables, a small serving of animal protein and then one main source of carbohydrates, including pasta, barley, oats, corn or potatoes.
During the high-protein days start off with the same salad with an oil and vinegar dressing and then move on to taking in between 8 to 16 ounces of animal protein. The protein should be coupled with vegetables that aren’t starchy. Starches shouldn’t be part of this period of the diet, but tropical fruits can be taken in in small amounts as a desert during this period.
After the Introduction Period
After going through the introductory phases there is a decision to be made, you must decide whether to continuously go through the different phases while on the Warrior diet, or to go with a modified version that is simpler and more static. Some users report more success by following the different phases, but others prefer the modified version. We recommend testing out both of the different options over three week periods to see which works best for you and which should be avoided.
The Modified Diet
Instead of going back through the different phases, the other option is to follow the 20-hour fasting window and 4-hour eating window but to focus on eating protein-rich meals comprised of healthy ingredients. The salad at the beginning of the eating phase is still encouraged, but other than that dieters are allowed to pick their source of proteins and the different vegetables and starches that they consume.
The Potential Benefits
There are many possible benefits to the Warrior Diet, which is why so many people are testing it out currently, and why so many more are sticking with the diet over a long-term period. Users often lose weight, but they also experience reduced inflammation and an improved ability to think clearly and to remember things.
Could Improve Brain Health
Studies show that some forms of fasting can help regulate the inflammatory pathways that affect brain function. What that means is that you might be able to improve your memory and your ability to learn by taking up some form of intermittent fasting in your life. Studies show that fasting helps reduce inflammatory markers such as interleukin 6 as well as TNF-alpha or tumor necrosis factor-alpha, both of which can negatively affect learning and memory in general.
Could Lead to Weight Loss
For many people that begin intermittent fasting on a regular basis, especially those on an extreme plan like the Warrior Diet, it’s common for their daily calorie intake to go down dramatically. This as in all diets will be the key factor to any weight loss occurring. Many people that follow the Warrior Diet plan closely are able to lose a large amount of weight successfully.
May Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to a variety of medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, as well as serving as a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Recent studies suggest that intermittent fasting can be beneficial for reducing inflammation in the body. That means that following the Warrior Diet could help prevent or reduce the risk for developing some of the above medical issues, as well as other problems that develop from inflammation.
Just as there are many benefits to the Warrior Diet, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered before going on the diet. Below are the most common and the most likely of them.
You May Eat Less Healthy Foods
Studies show people that eat when very hungry, and those that eat most of their calories at night are more likely to choose unhealthy foods to meet their caloric needs than people that eat throughout the day. Anyone on the Warrior Diet needs to consider their meal choices carefully to make sure they are maintaining a healthy diet and not overindulging in rich and unhealthy foods, or it could lead to weight gain and other negative side-effects.
You are Less Likely to Achieve Proper Nutrition
Maintaining the proper level of all your needed nutrients can be difficult during a standard diet, but it becomes even more challenging during the Warrior Diet because of the small eating window. During this diet, you only have four hours to eat meals that meet your body’s daily nutrient requirements. This can be difficult to do, and many people rely on vitamins and other supplements to help meet their body’s needs during this period.
Intense Hunger, Irritability and Mild Headaches
Most people who switch to intermittent fasting will experience hunger and irritability, especially during the first few days. Some will also go through headaches during this period as their bodies adjust to the new way of eating and going throughout the day.
Low Blood Sugar Levels
Longer fasts such as the one in the Warrior Diet can lower blood sugar levels to unhealthy or uncomfortable levels in some users. If you’re susceptible to issues with hypoglycemia you could worsen the issue with 20-hour fast. Low blood sugar levels are uncomfortable and can also be unhealthy.
The Potential Side Effects
There are many benefits and downsides to the Warrior Diet, but what most people will be interested in is the added side-effects that they may experience while on the diet. There are quite a few unexpected side-effects that could occur while on this diet program and a few of the most prominent ones are displayed down below.
One of the most common side-effects of going on a fasting diet like the Warrior Diet is hunger cravings. These cravings can become intense at times. Those who snack and eat many small meals throughout the day are more likely to experience intense hunger cravings that will likely be very unpleasant during the first few days of this program.
Potential Low Blood Sugar Levels
For some, extended fasting like what’s called for in the Warrior Diet can result in low blood sugar levels. This can cause light-headedness, lack of energy, irritability, an increased heart rate, hunger and even confusion or anxiety.
Some people will develop headaches over the first days of the diet. This is especially true if you’re cutting out a lot of sugar from your diet.
Along with the negative side-effects above, you’re also likely to enjoy enhanced mental clarity while fasted. Your body isn’t working as hard breaking down food during the day, which could help boost your energy levels and help you to think more clearly as well.
Who it’s Suited For
The Warrior Diet is an excellent tool for those who are comfortable with fasting and who don’t suffer major side-effects from extended intermittent fasting. It should not be performed by pregnant women or children, and anyone else with reservations about the diet should try it out over a short period or speak with their doctor about the safety of the diet. The Warrior Diet is a simple system of dieting and eating during a short window of time, but many would also call it extreme compared to other dieting options. That’s why for many it should be considered an advanced tool to test out after already trying a more standard 16 / 8 fasting window first.
Who it’s Not Suited For
Intermittent fasting is an excellent tool for losing weight and for improving overall health as well. It’s not a tool that’s right for everyone though and there are some people that should avoid the Warrior Diet. Pregnant women can follow the diet safely if everything is done perfectly, but doing so increases their risk of pregnancy complications if mistakes are made, which is why they are recommended to avoid fasting until after pregnancy.
- Pregnant Women
- The Elderly
- Those with a Chronic Disease
The elderly should avoid more extreme fasting options like the Warrior Diet because of increased risks and potential complications. Instead, they should look at less extreme forms of fasting or other healthy dietary and lifestyle changes that they can make instead. Children should steer clear from fasting because it can affect their growth and development if done improperly, and anyone with a chronic disease should always consult their doctor before making lifestyle or dietary changes.
Exercise while on the Warrior Diet
Many people are concerned about rigorous exercise while on the Warrior Diet because it seems like it would be difficult or dangerous to exercise while on a 20-hour fast each day. Many people have no issue with regular exercise while on the diet, and exercising during the fasted period is encouraged to help with weight loss.
You are able to run and to do other forms of cardiovascular exercise while on the diet. It’s also possible to lift and to do strength training with good results while on the diet as long as enough protein is taken in during the eating phase.
Warrior Diet Key Takeaways
The Warrior Diet won’t work for everyone, and it can actually have some negative side-effects for some people, but for others, it’s a solid option worth considering.
Our final Warrior Diet review is that the diet works to help limit caloric intake and can result in substantial weight-loss for some, but that it isn’t for everyone. There’s a history of the diet type working better for men than for women, but it’s something that most adults can try safely.
If you have medical conditions like diabetes, hypoglycemia or other chronic conditions make sure to consult your doctor before trying out the Warrior Diet. As long as you don’t have any serious health risks, you aren’t a child or a pregnant or nursing woman, we say go for it and give the diet a try, it’s very effective for many people that try it out.
If the side-effects of the more extreme fasting window are too much, you could always move to a less extreme form of intermittent fasting and still experience many of the benefits that the Warrior Diet has to offer you.
Thanks for taking to the time to read our review article. I hope you found it helpful. If you have any questions, or would just like to leave a comment, then please do so below.
Hi, I’m David and I believe absolutely anyone can achieve the body of their dreams. I’m a qualified health and fitness coach and have been helping clients achieve their dream bodies for 15 years. Whether you are looking to get beach body ready, compete in a bodybuilding show or simply to improve your confidence and wellbeing, I can help.