In his book, The Warrior Diet, Hofmekler outlines his diet regime. His plan is based on skipping breakfast and lunch but eating a large evening meal. According to Hofmekler, this is healthier and more natural for the body. Hofmekler also suggests eating natural foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts for the one night meal. Exercise is also a part of Hofmekler’s diet plan. He recommends eating less while exercising strenuously to increase energy and burn calories.
The Warrior Diet makes its claims based on fasting studies done on mice and rats. These studies tested the benefits of intermittent fasting and showed that regular fasting had some health benefits for the mice. The Warrior Diet is also based on evolutionary principles. According to Hofmekler, one of these principles is the fact that humans have historically been nocturnal eaters, which is why he claims that consuming calories during the day is harmful. In his book, Hofmekler goes into more detail about why humans should only eat at night.
Length of Undereating Cycle
How long should the under-eating 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 undereat 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.
Gaining 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.
- One advantage of this diet is that it does emphasize eating natural foods. Hofmekler mentions fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, marine animals, eggs, and dairy products.
- Another positive of this diet is that it emphasizes exercise, which is crucial to healthy weight loss.
This diet regime is based on supposed scientific evidence; however, the studies Hofmekler cites are not truly related to his diet plan. Also, research has shown that people who eat breakfast actually lose more weight than those who do not. But Hofmekler claims the exact opposite in his book. Also, as mentioned above, no official studies have been done that prove the premise the Warrior Diet is based on. Studies have been done showing that intermittent fasting has health benefits, but no studies have been done showing that fasting during the day and eating one large meal at night is good for you.