3

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Anyone have experience with the Warrior Diet?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 31, 2011 at 1:10 AM

First, the disclaimer - much more so than the Paleo Diet, the Warrior Diet is heavily steeped in romanticism and is easy to criticize on that level. This post provides a fairly balanced (and well-researched) critique; good reading. On the other hand, there's a ton of anecdotal evidence/personal results supporting it (just Google the diet).

The WD makes a point of eliminating processed foods, grains, etc. all that stuff we already know. I just eat Paleo with a little dairy/fermented food. The big idea with the WD is the eating schedule - not quite IF, but feels a bit like it. Here it is:

  • A very light breakfast
  • Small amount of food during the day if you're hungry (protein/fat)
  • A big supper, which should provide the vast majority of your daily calories

I bring this up because I'm giving it a try, and I love it so far. Some people make it out to be a "starve yourself then pig out at night" deal, but that can be an exaggeration; I do it pretty moderately. I eat a light breakfast (tea, miso soup, fruit when in season) and then have a big meal around 4pm. I don't stuff myself, just make a lot of food and eat it slowly (compared to what I'd scarf down in my teens, it's nothing).

Here's my take:

I'm tracking all my food on FitDay/Cron-O-Meter and I'm noticing it's very easy to generate a caloric deficit on the WD (I burn 2300-2600 calories a day, and on the WD I only eat around 2000). That's a good thing for a diet designed to help people lose weight. I'm thinking I'll eat like this until I hit my BF% goal, then try to up my calories to maintain my weight, which will probably involve eating more meals.

At the same time I'm hardly every hungry. I notice that when I eat a large meal for breakfast I'll often feel hungry a few hours later. Eating a light breakfast and a bigger supper works better for me (the last two words being key). I'd say my overall energy during the day is higher than when I eat a large breakfast, but I can't be 100% sure. Not insignificantly, it's easier and more enjoyable for me to cook and eat 1 big meal than 3-4 small ones.

Still, I want to make sure I'm not doing anything bad to my body in the long term so I'm eating on the WD schedule 2-4 days a week and making the rest "free days." I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else in the community has tried this idea or looked into its claims. Dangerous? Optimal? Weigh in.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 28, 2012
at 04:56 PM

agreed. I hated as a kid being told I was going to "spoil my meal" because I was eating when hungry, not when we were going to sit down and eat.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 28, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Our modern food culture is incredibly new and not even universal. But it's typically a very personal thing that most people don't like to see challenged.

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3 Answers

2
Bfa1c9eacfc94a1b62f3a39b574480c6

(3700)

on January 28, 2012
at 09:12 AM

After reading about the warrior diet, it seems like just another beginning IF protocol. I'm not too keen about light snacks before the large meal at the end of the day (that's an n=1, as I don't prefer to snack) I'm not sure about the whole dealio with eating lightly/raw things for their beneficial enzymes.

You were right in that I believe when following any kind of IF protocol, there is a bit of calorie restriction going on. It's simply harder to fit the same amount of calories in an eight hour window, versus a 4 hour window, for example. Our bodies may be hungrier, but we simply just can't cram that much food into ourselves...so we (could) end up a few hundred calories less. If you think about it, even if you did eat above your normal, it wouldn't be much, as you would be stuffed anyway.

I don't think it's dangerous at all. Optimal? It may or may not be, depending on how you feel. If you feel like you have tons of energy and are not bound by mealtimes and food, then by all means go for it. I personally find IF, and eating less meals per day a huge relief. I don't have to prepare lunch for work or plan ahead. No, when I'm ready to eat, I cook a big ass plate of lardy veggies, add some seared off meat, a starch or so depending on mood and exercise, and go.

Another take would be to just listen to your hunger signals. If you want to eat a fat breakfast, then go for it. If you're not hungry until the next day; that's fine. It doesn't have to be the "Warrior diet," it just has to be the "Dan" diet.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on October 31, 2011
at 07:06 AM

I am considering going to two meals a day instead of 2-3 meals a day...

0
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 28, 2012
at 02:59 PM

First off, can I just say, great post.

I'm in grad school, and I have found paleo has been great to boosting my energy. But I am also trying to get leaner, and I need the most energy during class. Something like this makes me think my remaining issues may not be what I'm eating, but when. So I'll try it.

That said, I've done other eating schedules before, including one similar pre-paleo, as my family's largest meal was supper. It would sometimes throw me off. It's crucial, imo, that you listen to your body. Mild hunger for a little while is probably okay, but if you seriously get hungry then do it.

I also think that from an evolutionary standpoint, scheduled meals are a new thing. Humans ate when there was food available. When less was available, fat stores were burnt up to compensate. When more was available, we ate. But that doesn't imply that every day at four the tribe all sat down, said grace, and ate their fill. So, farce aside, do whatever you need to stay attuned to your body.

EDIT: From what I read about the diet online, they seem to steer away from meat, so I'm going to assume you are following their schedule, not their foods. But either way, if you want to get leaner, watch your protein intake.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 28, 2012
at 03:30 PM

Our modern food culture is incredibly new and not even universal. But it's typically a very personal thing that most people don't like to see challenged.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 28, 2012
at 04:56 PM

agreed. I hated as a kid being told I was going to "spoil my meal" because I was eating when hungry, not when we were going to sit down and eat.

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