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Your Warrior Diet Questions Answered - Part 1

June 30, 2003 03:46 PM

Maximum performance is the ultimate goal of individuals who wish to excel. Being the strongest, fastest and toughest you can be is a virtue that goes far beyond athletic performance. The quest to be your best forces you to push your limits and rise to your potential. Most important, you gain the courage to change things that need to be changed and thereby increase your chances of improving the way you look, feel and perform. However, the way to becoming better you isn't always easy. As they often say, "the devil is in the details", and those who are in the process of changing and improving diet and workout routines often face problems that need to be addressed.

Readers and followers of the Warrior Diet continually ask for practical advice and sometimes for clarification. Many of the e-mails I receive address important issues that deserve more than a simple "do this or do that" response. As many inquiries reoccur, this newsletter includes a selection of relevant and frequently asked questions with answers that include practical applications, in addition to general and detailed information beyond what is in the Warrior Diet book.
Nevertheless, certain topics such as how to deal with insulin resistance, how to maintain a state of alertness or the amount of protein one should consume to effectively build muscle, are of special interest due to their often unresolved and controversial appeal.

TOPIC: Length of Undereating Cycle

How long should the undereating 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.

TOPIC: 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.

The WD is not about water fasting. However, many people on The Warrior Diet fast on water only during the undereating phase. There are times when I do a water fast simply because I am too busy. For those who water fast (there are quite a few), I recommend they break the fast at least once. Have a vegetable juice or fruit to help your liver detoxify. Also, you will prevent your body from becoming nutrient deficient (in particular, minerals). Note: if you water fast for the whole undereating phase, it's still o.k. The Warrior Diet is about personal choices.

My primary goal is to gain as much muscle mass as possible. Is it possible to gain noticeable muscle mass on the Warrior Diet?

The Warrior Diet is about muscular development. Muscular development is a term that means much more than just muscle mass gain. It involves a process that improves muscle strength, speed, agility and endurance. In fact, muscular development does not always involve muscle mass gain. You are as good as your performance, not as good as your size. Nevertheless, for those interested in muscle gain, the WD can present you with the hard facts that can help you reach maximum anabolic state. In order not to be too vague, the WD clearly addresses critical topics such as how to increase natural anabolic hormone impact on the body via special dietary and exercise cycles. It also offers practical advice as to best nutritional food and supplements that can help you with the cast to build muscle and gain strength.

The Warrior Diet specifically addresses this question (refer to Chapter 5, "The Overeating Phase" and Chapter 10, "The Warrior Diet Idea"). I believe the Warrior Diet is the only diet on which you can lose fat and build muscle simultaneously without going through the typical bodybuilding routines of gaining and dieting. Many bodybuilders, while dieting on very low carb diets lose weight together with muscle mass and sex drive. Then, close to a competition, they depend on drugs to maintain their energy. The Warrior Diet puts you in the best shape without the typical side effects. You'll feel more energetic and focused.

Dear Ori, Your book has made a major difference in my life! My energy is better now than when I was a teenager! At 44 years old that's really saying something! I read Mike Mahler's interview with you. I was struck by your ability to gain 12 lbs in a year. Ori, that is my goal! I am a lean 188lb but have for many years desired to hit the 200 lb mark. How did you do it? I'm assuming you did some minor tweaking of the Warrior Diet to reach this result.
There are ways to accelerate muscle growth. Principally you should cycle between 3 - 4 days of extreme overeating and 2 - 3 days of moderate to extreme undereating (whole days). After a few weeks of rotating between the above daily cycles, you'll probably notice significant muscle gain. Nevertheless, it isn't an easy routine. Sometimes I had to force myself to eat. As absurd as it sounds, the real gain usually happens a week or two after finishing a cycle. This is likely due to the time the body needs to adapt to the extreme calorie and protein fluctuations. Exercise is important. I found that cycling between controlled fatigue and low followed by high rep resistance training is the best method for giving your body the stimuli to be tougher, stronger, and leaner.

Finally, cycling between days of high protein and days of low protein consumption is another most efficient dietary method to increase protein utilization and inhibit muscle breakdown, thereby supporting muscle gain. Low protein days activate a biological mechanism that inhibits muscle protein breakdown. The following high protein days would likely help take advantage of the initial increase in protein utilization to accelerate muscle growth.

For more information on Ori Hofmekler's Warrior Diet, also visit For personal consultations with Ori Hofmekler Email: or call: 1-866-WARDIET