The Warrior Diet was created with the mission to help people better survive in today's world by providing the knowledge and guidance of how to eat and exercise in a way that fits their true biological needs and thus help people restore their ability to manage weight, improve strength and achieve a prime state of health.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Special Topics
- Length of Undereating Cycle
- Gaining Muscle Mass While on the Warrior Diet
- Protein Consumption
1Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How can you overeat at night and lose weight?
A: By following a daily cycle of undereating during the day and overeating at night. You can trigger a biological mechanism that forces the body to redesign itself, burn fat and lose extra weight.
Q: What is this biological mechanism that forces your body to burn fat and lose weight?
A: The biological mechanism that forces your body to burn fat is a primal survival mechanism that evolved over many years of evolution. This survival mechanism is triggered in times of danger, physical stress and lack of food. When triggered it helps the body cope with stress, burn stored fat as fuel for increased energy demand and improve endurance to better survive.
Q: How exactly can you trigger this survival mechanism that will force your body to burn fat?
A: You can trigger this survival mechanism by mimicking situations of danger, physical stress or lack of food. In practical terms, you can trigger it through undereating or exercise. Preferable, you should combine both undereating and exercising to maximize this survival mode's impact on the body and increase the fat burning effect. On the cellular level a most powerful factor is activated during exercise and fasting. This cellular factor, called cyclic AMP, forces the body to burn fat for energy while inhibiting any fat gain.
Q: How does this survival mechanism help you survive by losing fat?
A: When triggered, this survival mechanism improves the body's survival capabilities and it does so by forcing the body to burn fat stores as fuel for increased energy production. Increased energy production helps the body survive in times of increased energy demand such as during danger, starvation or extreme stress. Additionally, cAMP stimulates steroid hormone and growth hormone production and thereby further enhances recuperation and overall rejuvenation.
Q: What is the role of overeating at night?
A: Eating one meal a day at night puts the body in a most beneficial biological cycle in which it is destined to be. The big meals at night helped humans recuperate from the loss of nutrients during the day. It replenishes energy reserves. Eating at night supports all critical hormonal actions that are necessary for building tissue, healing and maintenance. Most importantly, overeating at night can help increase the body's overall metabolic rate and therefore enhances its ability to burn fat. On the top of all this, overeating at night helps you relax. Night is the time to relax and get sleepy.
Q: However, we do know that many people binge late at night and as a result they gain weight and get depressed. How can you explain that?
A: People gain weight because they binge compulsively in an uncontrolled manner. On the other hand, overeating at night such as when following the Warrior Diet is conducted in a controlled manner. Overeating at night should always complete a daily cycle which means it should always follow a period of undereating. This way of eating is completely different from compulsive, late night uncontrolled bingeing.
Controlled overeating can help one increase metabolism, relax, reach full satisfaction and lose weight in the long run. On the other hand, the typical uncontrolled late night bingeing may adversely cause fat gain followed by nervousness, guilt and a sense of failure.
Q: Why do so many people binge late at night?
A: Many people binge late at night because of an unconscious need to satisfy a deep primal instinct to overeat at night. It is very possible that during many years of evolution, humans developed a primal biological need to overeat at night in order to replenish energy reserves and lost nutrients and also in order to relax and reach a sense of full satisfaction.
Overeating is likely a part of this survival mechanism that helped humans cope with daily stress, lack of food and hardship. Modern over-restrictive diets leave many people feel nutritionally and emotionally deprived. It is usually late at night when artificial boundaries are broken and this primal urge to overeat erupts like a volcano forcing one to compulsively binge as a way of compensating for the lack of satisfaction and nutrients.
Every time that you force your body to go against its destiny, it will find a way to come back with a vengeance. Compulsive bingeing is a brutal and desperate way of the body to reinforce its own rules.
Q: What then should people do to follow their biological destiny, reach full satisfaction and lose weight?
A: Follow a daily cycle of undereating and overeating. Exercise three to four times per week.
Q: What is undereating?
A: Minimize eating during the day to mostly raw fruits and veggies. Coffee, tea, soups and light protein such as poached eggs or yogurt are ok too.
Q: What is overeating?
A: Eat as much as you want from all food groups. Start with veggies, protein and fat. If still hungry, finish your meal with carbohydrates.
Q: How do you know when to stop eating?
A: Stop eating when you're fully satisfied or when you're much more thirsty than hungry. A sense of thirst should guide you as to when to stop eating.
Q: What makes the Warrior Diet different from other diets?
A: What makes the WD unique is the fact that it is based upon human instincts. No other diet gives you the unrestricted pleasure of eating as much as you want from all the food groups (including carbs) and still lose weight. The Warrior Diet is based on profound biological principles with serious research and anecdotal evidence and as such, it makes more sense than any other diet.
Most importantly, the Warrior Diet isn't just a diet, it's a way of life. It can be modified according to special personal needs and can accommodate individuals who suffer from different kinds of metabolic problems including high cholesterol or blood sugar and all that while giving individuals a full sense of freedom and satisfaction. Finally, most current diets fail in the long run. The Warrior Diet isn't a fad diet. Both men and women could find it easy to follow. In fact, many who try this diet testify as to its long lasting effectiveness especially as far as getting lean and staying lean. I believe people can follow it for a lifetime -- hopefully a long one.
2FAQ - Special Topics
Maximum performance is the ultimate goal of individuals who wish to excel. Being the strongest, fastest and toughest you can be is a virtue that goes far beyond athletic performance. The quest to be your best forces you to push your limits and rise to your potential. Most important, you gain the courage to change things that need to be changed and thereby increase your chances of improving the way you look, feel and perform. However, the way to becoming better you isn't always easy. As they often say, 'the devil is in the details', and those who are in the process of changing and improving diet and workout routines often face problems that need to be addressed.
Readers and followers of the Warrior Diet continually ask for practical advice and sometimes for clarification. Many of the e-mails I receive address important issues that deserve more than a simple 'do this or do that' response. As many inquiries reoccur, this newsletter includes a selection of relevant and frequently asked questions with answers that include practical applications, in addition to general and detailed information beyond what is in the Warrior Diet book.
Nevertheless, certain topics such as how to deal with insulin resistance, how to maintain a state of alertness or the amount of protein one should consume to effectively build muscle, are of special interest due to their often unresolved and controversial appeal.
3Length of Undereating Cycle
How long should the undereating phase last from the time of finishing the previous evening's meal?
Regarding the undereating stage, there has been some confusion about timing. The Warrior principles are very simple: one meal a day at night. The Warrior diet is based on instinctual principles in which one does not have to check exact times, or for that matter, count calories or restrict macronutrients.
Simply put, undereating should begin after the last big meal (or overeating stage) has been digested (about 8-12 hours depending on the quality of the food). The 16-18 hours of undereating is a 'maximum'. Fasting for longer than 18 hours may compromise the metabolic advantages of undereating (i.e., after digestion, you should not under eat for more than 18 hours or controlled fasting can have adverse effects on hormones and muscles. The confusion arose from the intended meaning of the statement 'It lasts for 16-18 hours after your last meal, including time you are asleep.' The intended meaning is 16-18 hours PLUS sleep time. Sleep time is usually when one digests the big meal. However, we have come to learn that WD followers have all kinds of bizarre schedules. So, 'undereating' really 'begins' when the big meal's food has been digested (not necessarily eliminated).
While people should not fast for longer than 18 hours, they should use their instinct to determine when to eat the one daily meal, whether it's 10 hours, 12 hours or 15 hours after undereating. Use your common sense. Don't do anything that doesn't make sense.
4Gaining Muscle Mass While on the Warrior Diet
For the purpose of gaining muscle, can you eat during the day, what and how much?
Athletes and bodybuilders who train during the day are highly advised to have recovery meals right after exercising. Recovery meals should consist of mostly proteins (about 15 - 30 grams) and little carbs, about 5 - 10g from either starchy sources or glucose-mostly containing natural sweetener such as rice syrup, or maple syrup.
Ingesting raw fruits and vegetables is highly recommended for the purpose of constant nourishment and overall detox. Nonetheless, active people who are interested in gaining muscle should increase protein consumption via small recovery-like meals during the day. Protein and carb ingestion, especially after exercise, will help one take advantage of exercise-related growth stimulation to facilitate actual anabolic actions that can lead to muscle gain. It's important to note that dietary proteins ingestion and insulin activity are critically important to finalize the actions of growth hormone and IGF1 on the muscles, notwithstanding, the anabolic actions of insulin by itself.
The WD is not about water fasting. However, many people on The Warrior Diet fast on water only during the undereating phase. There are times when I do a water fast simply because I am too busy. For those who water fast (there are quite a few), I recommend they break the fast at least once. Have a vegetable juice or fruit to help your liver detoxify. Also, you will prevent your body from becoming nutrient deficient (in particular, minerals). Note: if you water fast for the whole undereating phase, it's still o.k. The Warrior Diet is about personal choices.
My primary goal is to gain as much muscle mass as possible. Is it possible to gain noticeable muscle mass on the Warrior Diet?
The Warrior Diet is about muscular development. Muscular development is a term that means much more than just muscle mass gain. It involves a process that improves muscle strength, speed, agility and endurance. In fact, muscular development does not always involve muscle mass gain. You are as good as your performance, not as good as your size. Nevertheless, for those interested in muscle gain, the WD can present you with the hard facts that can help you reach maximum anabolic state. In order not to be too vague, the WD clearly addresses critical topics such as how to increase natural anabolic hormone impact on the body via special dietary and exercise cycles. It also offers practical advice as to best nutritional food and supplements that can help you with the cast to build muscle and gain strength.
The Warrior Diet specifically addresses this question (refer to Chapter 5, 'The Overeating Phase' and Chapter 10, 'The Warrior Diet Idea'). I believe the Warrior Diet is the only diet on which you can lose fat and build muscle simultaneously without going through the typical bodybuilding routines of gaining and dieting. Many bodybuilders, while dieting on very low carb diets lose weight together with muscle mass and sex drive. Then, close to a competition, they depend on drugs to maintain their energy. The Warrior Diet puts you in the best shape without the typical side effects. You'll feel more energetic and focused.
Dear Ori, Your book has made a major difference in my life! My energy is better now than when I was a teenager! At 44 years old that's really saying something! I read Mike Mahler's interview with you. I was struck by your ability to gain 12 lbs in a year. Ori, that is my goal! I am a lean 188lb but have for many years desired to hit the 200 lb mark. How did you do it? I'm assuming you did some minor tweaking of the Warrior Diet to reach this result.
There are ways to accelerate muscle growth. Principally you should cycle between 3 - 4 days of extreme overeating and 2 - 3 days of moderate to extreme undereating (whole days). After a few weeks of rotating between the above daily cycles, you'll probably notice significant muscle gain. Nevertheless, it isn't an easy routine. Sometimes I had to force myself to eat. As absurd as it sounds, the real gain usually happens a week or two after finishing a cycle. This is likely due to the time the body needs to adapt to the extreme calorie and protein fluctuations. Exercise is important. I found that cycling between controlled fatigue and low followed by high rep resistance training is the best method for giving your body the stimuli to be tougher, stronger, and leaner.
Finally, cycling between days of high protein and days of low protein consumption is another most efficient dietary method to increase protein utilization and inhibit muscle breakdown, thereby supporting muscle gain. Low protein days activate a biological mechanism that inhibits muscle protein breakdown. The following high protein days would likely help take advantage of the initial increase in protein utilization to accelerate muscle growth.
5Protein Consumption - How much protein per day (grams) should you eat on the Warrior Diet?
Muscle gain is a process that involves a complex of factors that include the actions of all anabolic agents such as steroid hormones, growth hormone, IGF1, prostaglandins, and cellular factor cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP. The amount of dietary protein required for the purpose of muscle gain clearly depends on an individual's metabolic state. In general, people who follow a typical routine of eating 6 meals per day may likely benefit from ingesting more protein than those who follow a daily cycle of undereating and overeating (i.e., WD). While it is commonly believed that typical bodybuilders may need between 1.5 - 2g per pound of bodyweight, on the WD, individuals may be able to help establish an anabolic state with much less than that (likely about 50% less).
Nevertheless, to practically maximize protein utilization, I would highly recommend cycling between days of high protein and days of moderate to low protein. By doing so, one may be able to trigger the body's natural tendency to increase protein utilization (when under a temporary low protein diet, the body's protein utilization increases). Use your common sense and by trial and error, you should be able to find the exact amount of protein that will do the job. Note that the undereating phase activates a process that stimulates the release of anabolic hormones via the actions of cellular factor cyclic AMP. Having post-exercise recovery meals as well as overeating at night may help take advantage of the initial undereating and exercise related growth stimulation to finally establish maximum anabolic state.