Krzysztof is a 10+ year YouTube researcher who spends hours researching, analyzing, and uncovering YouTube trends, challenges, and media.
What's the Warrior Diet?
The Warrior Diet, popularized by author Ori Hofmekler in 2001, is an intermittent fasting diet that reduces your average daily eating period to 4 hours.
Intermittent fasting just means reduced eating times, and over the past few years it has become a very popular way to lose weight. The method states that by limiting your eating periods, you'll consume less calories and feel more energized throughout the day.
Today's most well known fasting technique is called the Leangain's Protocol, which splits the day with a 16 hour fast and an 8 hour eating window.
How Intermittent Fasting Became Popular
The Warrior Diet was the first to popularize this new fasting craze due to its rapid results and health benefits. Hofmekler fully believed in the ancient warrior lifestyle where hunter-gatherers would often eat little during the day and have a huge meal at night.
He theorized that the stress on the body from not eating would give way to a healthier mental and physical state over time although few of his claims were ever scientifically proven.
However more recent studies about fasting did show evidence that it may help with Type 2 diabetics, obese people struggling to lose weight, and people who deal with insomnia.
But if fasting itself has shown to be beneficial and not specifically the warrior diet, then why do people like myself love it so much...
Why the Warrior Diet Is the Best Intermittent Fasting Method
The Warrior Diet is one of the fastest ways to lose weight and gain muscle because it strongly encourages exercise in addition to calorie cutting.
It's also one of the least restrictive forms of fasting because it allows you to splurge during your eating cycles. However if rapid weight loss is your goal, then I would save the junk food for later.
On the other hand it's a lot harder to fast for 20 hours than 16, so it'll take some time getting used to. As with any diet and especially fasting diets, you should gradually ease into it. And if you're worried about potential health risks or have an eating disorder, then definitely talk with your doctor before beginning this weight loss program.
I must emphasize that this type of fast won't work for everyone, and for Type I diabetics or pregnant/nursing women, it's strongly advised against. The Warrior Diet may offer a pathway towards better living, but it's not always a healthy one.
6 Methods of Intermittent Fasting
|Type of Fast||Average Length of Fast||Effects|
14-16 hours daily
Best for athletes and women; often requires skipping breakfast; easiest to follow
20 hours daily
Works best with daily exercise; 1-2 large meals a day; small portion of fruits/veggies allowed during fast
5:2 Fast Diet
1-2 non-consecutive days
500-600 calories allowed on fasting days; eat normal calories 5 days a week
Eat Stop Eat
24-36 hours 1-2 times a week
Can be difficult to follow; eat normally during non-fast periods
Alternate Day Fasting (4:3)
Fast every other day
Up to 500 calories allowed on fasting days; best for rapid weight loss; very difficult to follow
OMAD (One Meal a Day)
23 hours daily
Hardest to follow consistently; can cause nutrient deficiencies; not recommended for women or those with medical problems
How to Lose 10 Pounds in 2 Weeks on the Extreme Warrior Diet
The extreme warrior diet is a combination of multiple intermittent fasting styles including the normal warrior diet, alternate day fast, and OMAD.
It means never eating more than 4 hrs a day, trying not to eat at all for two non-consecutive 24 hour periods, and only eating one meal a day twice a week.
Here's what else you need to know about losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks.
Extreme Warrior Diet Guidelines
- The total caloric deficit for 2 weeks must equal 35,000 calories
- No extra calories can be taken in during fasting period
- You'll need to exercise at least 45 minutes a day to burn an additional 500+ calories (strength training & cardio combo)
- During eating periods, eat only single ingredient foods (non-processed, low carb, healthy fruits & veggies)
- You can maximize your weight loss by pairing it with a ketogenic or paleo diet (foods consumed during Paleolithic era)
- The larger you are, the more likely you'll lose weight faster
Losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks can be extremely challenging, but it's not impossible if you follow the right steps.
However there are a few dangers to be aware of when trying this acute approach.
The Dangers of Extreme Dieting
- May cause lethargy, fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting
- Not applicable for pregnant or nursing women and people with severe eating disorders
- Not recommended for people who aren't obese (BMI of 30+)
- Don't try if you've never fasted before
- Don't attempt if you're diabetic or ill
The majority of doctors don't recommend losing more than 2 pounds a week, however; they usually follow too broad of an approach and don't consider the individual.
It's true if you're 10-20 pounds overweight that it wouldn't make sense to lose more than two pounds a week, but if you're 50-100 (or more) pounds overweight then 1-2 lbs weekly is almost nothing.
That's why as long as you're healthy enough, there's nothing wrong with trying to lose additional weight. In fact, losing more initially will often encourage people to stick to the program and continue losing weight.
Fasting is one of the quickest ways to drop the lbs, and if you're morbidly obese, you can do that even more rapidly with the extreme warrior diet.
Extreme Warrior Diet Schedule (Example)
|Day||Time of Eating|
Break Fast 4 PM; 4-5 PM Eat; Start Fast 5 PM
Break Fast 5 PM; 5-8 PM Eat; Start Fast 8 PM
Break Fast 4 PM; Eat 4-8 PM; Start Fast 8 PM
Break Fast 4 PM; Eat 4-5 PM; Start Fast 5 PM
Break Fast 5 PM; Eat 5-8 PM; Start Fast 8 PM
Break Fast 4 PM; Eat 4-8 PM; Start Fast 8 PM
Break Fast 4 PM; Eat 4-8 PM; Start Fast 8 PM
How to Eat Healthy for 4 Hours a Day
If you're only allowed to eat 4 hours a day, then does that mean you can eat anything?
Technically yes but you're not going to see rapid results by doing that.
Instead it's recommended that you follow a paleo-like diet, which essentially includes whole, non-processed foods akin to common fare consumed during the Paleolithic era
Paleo Diet Foods
- Meats (poultry, beef, lamb, turkey, pork)
- Nuts/Seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds)
- Eggs (pastured or free-range)
- Fruits (avocados, bananas, berries, apples, pears, oranges)
- Vegetables (onions, carrots, leafy greens, peppers)
- Healthy Fats/Oils (coconut, avocado, extra virgin olive oil)
- Fish/Seafood (trout, salmon, shrimp, shellfish)
The paleo diet focuses on organic, non-factory made foods though you don't have to follow it exactly.
My advice would be (post-fast) to eat the healthy foods first before snacking on additional treats. Still, there are some things you should always try to stay away from.
Food/Drinks to Avoid
- Trans-fats (margarine, labeled as hydrogenated)
- High Fructose Corn Syrup (soda, fruit juices, candy, ice-cream)
- Highly Processed Foods (meal replacements)
- Vegetable Oils (corn, soybean, sunflower)
This means you should probably stay away from candy, Mountain Dew, cake, and regular ice-cream. Instead try to look for alternatives like La Croix water, Halo Top ice cream, and yes if there's nothing else, diet drinks (in limited consumption).
So those are the general guidelines for what you should/shouldn't be eating. My recommendation would be to try to eat healthy and eat as much as you want until you're full; you'll be amazed by how quickly this happens.
You can eat one huge meal or split it into two medium sized ones at the beginning and end of your 4 hour eating period.
I prefer the split because then I'll avoid eating too much at once. It also makes the long fasting times easier to bare, and I can steer clear of digestion problems, bloating, and stomach aches.
It'll take time to figure out what works best for you, so don't stress about it too much.
How to Exercise Safely While Fasting
Although dieting comprises 80 percent of a weight loss program, it's critical not to forego the other 20 percent.
Alas one of the drawbacks to intermittent fasting is lethargy and increased fatigue during exercise, but there are ways around it.
How to Exercise on the Warrior Diet
- Schedule your workouts about an hour before your eating period starts
- Perform strength/weight training first (10-20 minutes)
- Do a cardio session for 30 minutes (treadmill, elliptical, jog/run)
- Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise weekly
- Perform HIIT (high intensity interval training) routines to maximize workouts
Because exercising increases your hunger hormone (Ghrelin), I advise you to schedule your workouts about an hour before the fast breaks. If you do it any earlier, then it'll be harder to not eat.
The downside to waiting is that you might be out of energy or struggle during the workout. If that's an issue, then it's okay to have a small portion of fruits/veggies while fasting as long as you don't exceed 300-500 calories.
Furthermore it helps to do strength training prior to cardio. Strength training will deplete glycogen levels faster thus leading your body to turn to your fat stores for energy.
Finally the American Heart Association recommends that all adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, and I fully endorse that assessment.
Initially it may be difficult to perform moderate/heavy exercise during your fast, but over time your body will get used to it and perform as well if not better than before.
5 Benefits of the Warrior Diet
The Warrior Diet has a lot of benefits, and some may even surprise you.
These are the best parts of eating like a warrior.
Top 5 Pros
- Immediate Weight Loss
- You Don't Have to Count Calories
- Potential Anti-aging Benefits & Increase in Lean Mass
- Will Decrease Hunger in the Long Run
- Freedom to Indulge
Immediate Weight Loss
If you follow the fast times exactly and combine it with a paleo diet, then you should experience rapid weight loss, particularly in the first 2-4 weeks.
You may lose even more weight if you stick to a low carb diet, which could put your body into ketosis, the metabolic process that breaks down fatty acids. However be aware that the initial weight plummet is due to water displacement within the body, and it can easily be regained if you stop dieting.