By: Dr. Keith Kantor
The Warrior Diet entails spending the majority of your day fasting or under eating and then indulging in a large meal at night. Exercise is also integrated into the plan, and workouts usually are scheduled during the times you are not eating.
This diet is a version of intermittent fasting. I believe that this way of eating has many health benefits. Eating all throughout the day causes fluctuations in insulin levels and it does not give the body a chance to learn how to use its own stored fat for fuel and energy. People who graze on mini meals may suffer from headaches, feelings of low blood sugar and intense hunger cravings, these symptoms are a result of training the body to use the food as a fuel source as opposed to it’s own fat stores.
Intermittent fasting similar to the Warrior Diet protocol has gained popularity due to its clinical success rates of long term weight reduction and its ability to improve and control the symptoms of chronic diseases like hypothyroid and type 2 diabetes. Those who train their body to use its own fat for fuel through intermittent fasting are also regulating hormone levels including insulin, and thyroid hormones. Most people think they would be starving only eating within a small time window per day or one meal on the Warrior Diet but the opposite happens. They are able to think more clearly, the highs and lows of energy became more even and portion control is easier to follow.
Benefits of intermittent fasting/ Warrior Diet include
Increased longevity, improved brain function, increased insulin regulation, stronger resistance to stress, improved satiety, benefits of endogenous hormone production and increased mental clarity. In addition to these benefits, The NeuroChem Journal released a study that linked intermittent fasting to improving the success rate of those in substance abuse rehabilitation programs, due to its ability to suppress the opiate receptors.
Concerns associated with Intermittent Fasting and Fitness
A popular yet dated statement that you may hear often is that you should never exercise on an empty stomach. They will go on to say that training on an empty stomach will cause muscle wasting, defeating the purpose of working out and performance will decline. None of these statements are necessarily true and they are even less so if you are well adapted to a healthy eating strategy, that includes high quality all natural proteins, healthy fats and fibrous carbohydrates.
There are no snacks on the Warrior Diet, it is one meal preferably consisting of healthy fats from avocado, oils, nuts, seeds, etc. and large amount of vegetables and protein. A high carbohydrate meal will undo some of the health benefits of the Warrior Diet.