Warrior Diet

the-warrior-dietThe Warrior Diet exercise and nutrition program, created by Ori Hofmekler, hinges on a somewhat controversial diet based on a daily cycle of “undereating” during the day and “overeating” at night.

The rationale is that the historic “warrior”, in order to succeed in the environment of the time, had a primal need to cycle between undereating during the day (when physical activity and danger were always present), and overeating at night (when able to rest and eat a good daily meal).

Modern humans in a changed environment can therefore restore health and fitness, by returning to that cycle with the Warrior Diet.

Warrior Diet grounding

The nervous system is the primary focus here, specifically that part called the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

Body organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines (viscera), and muscles within these organs and other areas like blood vessels, skin, and eyes, as well as the glands of the body, are regulated by the ANS. We are mostly unaware of its workings; for example, when blood vessels change size or when our heart beats faster, these functions are involuntary and reflexive in nature.

The ANS has 3 parts –

  • The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) which kicks in when emergencies occur, causing stress and requiring us to “fight” or take “flight” (flee)
  • The parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS) which operates in normal or nonemergency times, allowing us to “rest” and “digest”
  • The enteric nervous system (ENS), present in all vertebrates, which regulates the normal digestive activity of the digestive system and prepares it for whatever is coming, whether a meal or a frantic energy-sapping physical activity

The undereating phase of the Warrior Diet is supposed to prepare and alert the SNS to potential stress, resulting in the generation of energy and ultimately the burning of fat. While undereating, the body is forced to use fat storage as a source of fuel for maximum metabolic efficiency – thus promoting weight-loss.

The overeating phase of the Warrior Diet recognizes the role of the PSNS in regulating digestion, elimination and other metabolic activities that slow you down. Eating during the day stops this process and blocks the body’s ability to remove toxins and waste from the body. Since detoxification is imperative for health and to delay aging, eating occurs mainly at night.

Warrior Diet program

The program involves a Fat Loss Program and exercise and nutrition regimes. And is well outlined in the book.

Available from Amazon →

Here is a summary of each component.

Fat Loss Program

The Fat Loss program is specifically designed to

  1. Force the body to detoxify
  2. Improve utilization of fat as fuel
  3. Improve utilization of carb as fuel

This process helps to boost overall metabolic rate, thereby enhancing the body’s capacity to maximize fat loss.

Exercise and Nutrition Programs

Exercise and nutrition programs provide short, intense strength and aerobic exercises, along with pre-workout and post-workout meals. This approach intends to reduce fat while maintaining or improving muscle tone.

The emphasis of the Warrior Diet program is on having large evening meals on the one hand, and shedding the “calorie counting” common to most diets on the other.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Morton, G. J., Cummings, D. E., Baskin, D. G., Barsh, G. S., & Schwartz, M. W. (2006). Central nervous system control of food intake and body weight. Nature, 443(7109), 289-295. link
  • Liu, M. T., Seino, S., & Kirchgessner, A. L. (1999). Identification and characterization of glucoresponsive neurons in the enteric nervous system. The Journal of neuroscience, 19(23), 10305-10317. link

48 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. Fernando

    For the record, I’ve not read the book, I discovered this plan through personal research, trial and error on my own and just so happens that there’s a label for it. Let’s clarify things, this is not a “diet”, it is a lifestyle plan.
    It’s been close to a year since I started this type Intermittent Fasting (IF) habit and has worked wonders for me, I’m on my late 30s and I’m leaner now than in my early 20s when I was in the Army. I’m a 5’11” guy who went from a hefty 210 lbs. to shredded 160 lbs. in about 10 months. This plan is not for the faint of heart or the weak mind, it requires a level of effort and discipline if you really want to make a positive change in your life. The whole point of this plan is to condition your body to use stored fat as energy throughout the day by eating little or nothing for at least 18 hours (water, tea and coffee allowed) and have a solid meal at dinner (dessert included), this helps regulate your insulin levels and keeps you steadily energized during the day due to your body is going into Ketosis after your glycogen (sugar) is depleted from your muscles and liver. Now, for your meal it is recommended to eat whole foods and clean, but I don’t usually do, I eat whatever I want, anything is fair game and I mean ANYTHING, there’s no calorie counting, carb counting, fat counting, points counting, none of that non-sense, that’s why I love it because it is a simple and straight forward plan. Funny fact, I had my yearly physical last month and my doctor was so impressed with my results that he asked me for exercise and eating habits tips, so there you go. But let me be honest here for you, the reader of my comment, if you’re thinking about considering this lifestyle change let me say this: Is this plan simple? Yes. Is it easy? No! (at the beginning it’s hard but you’ll get used to it, I guarantee you). Is it worth it? Absolutely YES!. but first get to know your body and talk to your doctor if you have any medical conditions or illnesses that may prevent you to follow this lifestyle.

  2. Matt

    Eat some yogurt and fruit, oatmeal, eggs with vegatables

  3. Delaine Walker

    What do you eat during the day? nothing or can you eat healthy snacks, like nuts and fruit?

  4. Jenn

    This is week two for me and I feel great!! More energy and so far I lost about 5 pounds. It is definetly not just a diet, it is a life style change. I get plenty of raw vegetables and water during the day. Night time I still get my vegetables and protein. I make sure not to eat after 7 pm. I love being a warrior and I woul recomend this to anyone who wants real results

  5. Dan

    I been on the Warrior diet for about 2 months on intense weightlifting(compound movements)and ZERO cardio. I have gained 12 pounds, i am leaner and getting stronger(solid 150lbs). On this way of life(not diet) it is crucial to eat BIG at night, cause after a longs day training you really need it. Eggs,oatmeal,tuna,potatoes, and steak. good luck

  6. Dg

    @Ron Griffin

    you’re supposed to eat before you go to sleep, just cus the diet says “eat at night” – don’t take it literally. They just assume that nights means “before sleep” for most ppl

  7. Matt

    I just started this diet and so far I like it, usually after eating lunch I would experience an energy crash and would want to take a nap.

    The great thing that I have noticed is that this diet can be adapted to your lifestyle.

  8. Nikki

    Well this is day three for me and I have to say I am pretty excited to see how I feel a few weeks later. So far it’s been hard but rewarding. I was always taught to eat small and frequently so my body still needs to completely adjust. One thing that surprised me was that I normally struggle with blood sugar swings and I certianly thought that by not eating it would be intensified. What I found is completely the opposite and feel quite balanced…. Good luck to whoever tries this diet! It is freeing which is almost worth more than any kind of weight loss.

  9. Limana Grace

    This is not a diet, it’s a pure and natural way of life. I would recommend it a hundred times over; I’ve maintained a lean and sinewy figure for a year based on this program. Don’t be dissuaded by those who gained weight. The “overeating” phases encourages the consumption of great food, not copious amounts of processed, trans fatty rubbish. My dinners include home-made chicken and vegetable pie, fresh fries cooked in olive oil, salad and strawberry and yogurt dessert. Yummy right? But if you chuck back a three burgers, fatty fries and a litre of icecream, of course you’re going to pack on the pounds! Short, intense exercise is important too.

    • George

      You should never use olive oil to cook, it breaks down at high temps and produces carcinogenic particles. Use virgin coconut oil, or avocado oil is even better for cooking.

  10. Ron Griffin

    I work permanent night shift! Should I have my big meal when I get up at 4p.m. or wait until 2a.m. my equivalant of teatime? I don’t think I could manage to eat a big meal as soon as I get up, so maybe this diet can’t work for me.

  11. jn

    What about people that work night shifts? or 12/24 hour shifts. shift work??? I dont get how this could work for me.

    • George

      Eat one meal a day, a couple hours before sleep – it works for every shift, just not quite as well for you.

  12. mohan

    dear all,

    I am very interested to try this Warrior diet.I have big belly and hope to vaporise it..LOL…I really hope this diet works….

  13. Lane

    Bienda, good luck! Keep us posted.

    This diet REALLY works, and no diet has ever worked for me before. I didn’t actually read about diet until today, but for the last 3 months I have been eating only 1 big meal a day, however much I want. So i’ve been following the diet for about 3 months

    I’ve lost 46 lbs already! And I haven’t even been working out at all.

    After the first couple weeks, it is very easy.. and my stomach doesn’t growl much, because it has learned that it’s OK for it to be EMPTY for a while.

    Think about it, your body won’t ever burn fat if it has calories in your stomach that are easier to burn.

    If your stomach is empty, it must burn fat.

    The best part about this diet plan is after a while, it really does feel more natural. You have more energy during the day because your not wasting it on digesting, and then at night you can eat as much as you want, and feel content, but not guilty.

    For me, a big meal also helps me fall asleep no problem.

    So far this diet has worked wonders for me, I feel so much lighter, and its easier to move and walk. I am going to start working out and continue this diet for as long as I can foresee.

  14. Bienda

    I’am desperate to lose weight but really enjoy my food. I’d rather eat a tasty balanced meal of an evening than eat tastless diet food during the course of the day. It also gives me the oppertunity to enjoy an evening meal with my family. So tomorrow is the day. I’am ready for a change, once the first 3-5 days have past I hope my boby will ajust to this new regime. I’ll keep you all posted, wihs me luck!

  15. Andy P

    Excellent program! Has enhanced my workout capacity and I sleep better too. I suggest anyone try this as it will change your life. Thanks Ori!!

  16. Chris

    I been on warrior diet for almost two months, and will never go back to eating like I did before. So liberating not to have to eat cereals in the morning and processed meats during lunch and all that crap, and then walking around in the supermarket trying to figure out what to eat at dinner .. Hahaha, crappy lifestyle, Warrior diet is teh way to, very liberating and gets you focused towards what you really desire,once you let go off all the crap-food.

  17. Cameron

    I lost over 25 pounds 7 years ago, and have kept the weight off. I’ve recently heard of this diet, and I suppose my routine is comaparable with it, although I’ve not researched it.

    I don’t eat breakfast or lunch (although on some days I’ll have a little something to tide me over in the day, but not a full-scale meal). I do NOT consider my routine to be a “diet” – that implies a regimen you impose over what you’d otherwise want. Something that “hangs by a thread,” and at some point comes crashing down to earth (like so many people’s diet plans invariably do).

    I consider that I’ve gravitated into a genuinely beneficial eating pattern, one where I don’t feel deprived. When I used to eat breakfast, that simply “got my juices flowing” so I was in an eating mode throughout the day. When I see people spread their dietary intake over multiple small meals, I have the image of dieters munching carrots and celery from baggies and grumbling that they crave”real food.” Hanging by a thread, indeed.

    Carrots and celery ARE real food, the type of which I include in my one large meal of the day. Beyond that, I’d have to do more research, because I have only a passing familiarity with the Warrior Diet. But my practice seems to be very similar.

  18. T

    Done it for years, trained many clients on it, The term undereating is what leads to failure. Ive found NO Intake but No or low calorie drink tea diet etc it what works,during STARVATION phase. And it is STARVATION. Then eat what and as much as you want, IN the eating window.

  19. john

    i just bought the book and soon I’ll be testing this diet. It’s a bit confusing though that some people are saying that it doesn’ t work and others say it does. By the way this diet makes me think about the RAMADA, muslims fast for like a month in the year for religious perpouces. So unconciously they’re on this diet plan.

  20. The jacker

    I gained too much weight on it. Followed it to a T and gained over 22 lbs in the course of a month – I stuck it out but it just didn’t deliver – stay away

    • George

      You’re an outlier for sure. You must have been eating some really crappy food during your meal

  21. elvis

    I tried this & for a week & I gained weight. I have the book, overate at 7pm & under-eat during the day. By day 7, I gained 2 pounds. I have a fast metabolism & the type that does not gain weight easy. I was looking for a detox I could do & someone suggested this diet. Maybe its best for those who have a lot of fat to burn. For us who just want to get healthy, it didn’t the opposite. Good book though..

    • George

      Try NOT eating during the day instead, it works much better.

  22. Sally

    I have been eating one large meal a day for 2 weeks now, and i can honestly say it is so easy. I can’t do it at night though due to circumstance, however instead i eat a really big breakfast at 6am and then the rest of the day i eat berries and finish the day with a malt drink made with soy milk.

    I am one of those strange people who can eat ANYTHING at breakfast though. So i eat fish, meat or eggs, with a big bowl of vegetables and carbs – either wholemeal bread or cornflakes with soya or rice milk.

    I must be coming in at around 1100 cals a day, some days less, and my stomach is disappearing as each day passes.

    Like i said i just don’t get hungry whereas before i was constantly famished and never satiated by a small ‘diet’ meal.

  23. hoss

    how about people with gout problems the warrior diet

  24. Kim

    This diet did not work for me. The first two days I did it, I gained 3 pounds!

    • George

      Eat healthier foods and dont eat anything during the day – and dont worry about what you weigh in 2 days, it takes your body longer than that to adjust

  25. Brady

    I love this it works so good and its so easy

  26. Jo Anne

    I was told to eat this way many years ago and didn.t, now I’m going to try it

  27. nicole

    awesome diet. it really works!

  28. steph

    this diet is so easy and it realy works, no counting, just don’t eat, and the eat a good dinner. your stomach like shrinks up and you actually eat less of a dinner than you normally would have, or could have, and the best sauce is hunger. you feel better durring the day too, nice and light and slim ready for fight or flight!! haha the will power is easy too because all you have to do is remind yourself that you will get dinner eventually, and the best thing about that is there is no like counting and rules just freakin eat, it’s rewarding and you feel stuffed on such a small amount of food. I’m sure there are some great health benefits too from eating in this ‘wild’ sort of way, i also like how in the book he says something about it increases your sexual power or something like that!! haha

  29. Flint Stone

    The calories that goes into the body – has to leave the body, can only be done by spending it somehow – stay away from white bread, soft drinks, chips, cakes & too much sugar in general. It is really easy – what comes in has to go out, otherwise it will hang around like a safety ring!

    • George

      Exactly, better yet, quit wheat and sugar all together and watch your results!

  30. Adam

    I’ve been unknowingly on this diet for most of my life, and it has worked wonders. I’ve always been muscular and very toned. I did eat differently for about 3 months, and began to gain weight. Switched back to this, and lost all that I gained and more.

  31. andrew

    i love this diet. I remember when i was training boxing and struggled to maintain my weight. So I found this diet, and guess what, i did maintain my weight and even lost some pounds. Very cool, lots of energy during the day and eating like a king at night. I really recommend to read the book.

  32. Mia

    i got a friend on it, and she lost like 20 lbs in two months, she looks great. its nice to see something different then eating all the time, to just once a day. so time saving!

  33. Tom

    buy the book and read it, it gives you all the details and it is amazing!

  34. BLAH

    Sounds stupid.
    Whats the point in under eating to then over eat?

    • George

      The ONLY time your body will burn ANY fat is if your tummy has been empty for at least 12-16 hours.The best results come from a strict one meal a day in the evening. Water the rest of the time.

  35. aal

    i’ll give it chance. it makes sense.

  36. nik

    Sounds like a cool diet

  37. Michael

    If I could give the warrior diet a 6 out of 5, I would. Surprisingly, I’ve unconsciously been on a form of this diet before I read the book, and everyone had always been jealous of how I never gained weight, but could eat basically whatever I wanted. I’m 28, and still am very lean and have a lot of energy; I also still look like I’m in my early 20’s. For most of my life (even as a kid), I ate big at night, and only had snacks through the day, if even that. I almost never get sick either, and when I do, I don’t take medications and sickness gets knocked out of my system quickly. I highly recommend this diet.

  38. Jeff

    I’ve been doing a form of the one main meal per day for about three years, but not so much by choice. I suffer from the effects of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) so eating five or six small meals a day is completely out of the question. Finding the book has been great, and being able to refine what I do and how I do it during the 20 hour undereating phase will help tremendously.

    • George

      Once you can do one meal a day with no problems you are ready for a 3-5 day water fast. The 5 day mark is when your body realy starts to heal. You can easily beat IBS if you have the willpower for a 5 day fast once a month until you no longer have symptoms. Then go back to warrior diet (One meal a day) for the other 3 weeks

  39. mican

    i think i might try this but i need to do this for a class project for class , need some advice

  40. Emily

    This sounds good. Will defiently give it a go.