Are We Still Dieting the Wrong Way?

The dieting craze, like any craze, goes in cycles. In the 1980’s, fat was the culprit. Fat was stripped from every food imaginable and the results were disastrous. By the 1990’s people realized that fat wasn’t the problem, it was those pesky carbs. This carb-phobic approach was ideal for the protein powder manufacturers that convinced you to load up on their carb-depleted product. And man did those protein pushers make a ton of dough.

Along with the low-carb boom came the frequent-eating craze. Everyone, including myself, recommended that people should eat every three hours. Calories should be spread evenly throughout the day to ensure a steady supply of nutrients for energy, repair, and hormonal control. This approach works well if the dieter is diligent and the food choices are fresh.

Then in 2002, Ori Hofmekler came along and told us that we had it all wrong. His Warrior Diet focused on extended periods of undereating, or “controlled fasting” as he calls it. This was followed by a big meal at night where the majority of your daily calories are consumed.

The Warrior Diet, a system of 18 or more hours of fasting followed by one huge meal (at night!), shocked the world. When the book came out, small frequent meals every few hours was considered the holy grail of dieting. And the evening hours were considered such a hazardous period to your waistline that most trainers recommended that dinner be nothing but a small portion of protein and some vegetables. Any carbs at this time would surely lead to a morning scare where woke up to find the Michelin man, with your head attached, staring back at you in the bathroom mirror.

I didn’t think much of the Warrior Diet when it first came out. I didn’t read the book, but I heard enough talk and read enough interviews from Hofmekler to have a firm grasp on the approach. His system was definitely at odds with what I was doing, and the results my clients were getting didn’t mandate any significant change on my part. That was 2002.

Since then, I’ve learned one essential truth. Whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, or boost your energy, gut health is key. I firmly believe that the reason why you could eat virtually anything when you were 17 and not gain fat was because your gastrointestinal (GI) health was at its peak.

Being a nervous system guy, I usually talk about the power of your motor system to build size, speed, and strength. This central nervous system is made up of the brain and spinal cord, while the associated neurons that control your muscles are part of the peripheral nervous system. However, the simple term “nervous system” is an umbrella that covers many areas.

Your gut also has its own neural power source, the enteric nervous system. It controls the function of your gastrointestinal tract, pancreas, and gallbladder. The human enteric nervous system contains 80-100 million neurons. That’s virtually as many neurons as are found in the spinal cord! And if that’s not surprising enough, the enteric nervous system functions almost independently of the central nervous system. In grad school my professors referred to the enteric nervous system as the body’s “second brain.”

Yes, that’s how important your gut is.

So what does this have to do with the Warrior Diet? Well, this month marks the year anniversary when I actually read the book cover-to-cover and put Ori’s principles into play in my own life. Since I was already ears-deep in gut research, I had been using many supplements for support such as probiotics and HCl. I was satisfied with the results those supplements gave me, but I felt I could do more. I kept reading about the benefits of fasting, so that’s when I decided to give the Warrior Diet a try.

There are many ways to follow the undereating (controlled fasting) phase of the Warrior Diet as Ori explains in his book, but here’s a quick overview of what I did.

From the time I woke up until 7pm I had three glasses of juiced vegetables spread evenly throughout the day. Each glass contained the following:

1 medium/large carrot
1 beet
1/2 of a large cucumber
2 large celery stalks
A pinch of sea salt (to keep electrolytes in balance)

I drank this concoction at 8am, noon, and 4pm. From 6-7pm I trained and then I had a big dinner that started with a salad, followed by a large protein source, followed by a starch such as a yam or wild rice. For dessert I’d have berries and maybe a small serving of a chocolate dessert. This is the basic formula Ori recommends for the evening meal (minus the chocolate dessert).

Here’s what I experienced while on this diet for one week.

The controlled fasting phase for the first day was tough. I felt pretty lethargic overall. This was no surprise given that I’d eaten every three hours for the last, oh, 17 years. But I powered through it. I was hungry as hell when dinner came around and I ate a larger dinner than I’d had in years.

The first thing I noticed after dinner was that my stomach was almost as flat as when I started, even though I was completely full. This reminded me of my teenage years when I could eat a horrendous McDonald’s super size meal and have no gas, bloating, or indigestion because my gut was so healthy. Without a doubt, my controlled fast with vegetable juice upregulated digestive enzymes higher than the probiotic/HCl supplement combo I had been taking.

The second day was much easier. I actually felt pretty good during the day and by 5pm, the time of day when I usually have an energy crash, my overall energy and alertness was high. Hofmekler says that fasting will boost growth hormone throughout the day and activate the sympathetic nervous system (your energy system). Given the way I felt, this could certainly be true.

By the end of the week I had lost an inch off my waist, my gut health was higher than it had been in a decade, and my energy was at its peak. My venture in the world of the Warrior Diet paid off.

There were other reasons why I chose to give the Warrior Diet a run. First, I’m so busy during the day meeting with clients that I prefer to not eat. Second – and this is the honest truth – I go out to dinner every single night. Why? First, I’m the world’s biggest foodie. I live for great, rich, satisfying food. The boiled chicken breast and steamed vegetables lifestyle has never been a part of my life. Sure, it’s been a part of my client’s plans when fast fat loss was the goal, but these were people who didn’t really care about food. I, on the other hand, think about what I’m going to have for dinner the second I wake up.

So for me, the Warrior Diet fit my lifestyle perfectly. I have no problems with willpower so I could easily skip food during the day, especially when I knew I could eat a lot of satisfying food at dinner that night.

But many people want to eat during the day. Maybe breakfast is the only time when they can sit down with their kids, or maybe power lunches make up the bulk of a business person’s lifestyle. Or maybe the idea of not eating until 7pm every night sounds like torture. These social reasons are valid, and for them, I wouldn’t recommend the diet because you really have to get the undereating phase right for the diet to work.

Out of all my clients, half of them eat Warrior style. The other half eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. Both methods will work. The trick with eating frequent meals is that your food choices have to be fresh and you have to keep the calories relatively low in each meal. A huge meal like the Ori recommends thrown into a frequent feeding diet plan will quickly expand your waistline.

One of the best elements of the Warrior Diet is that you end the day feeling completely satisfied with food. This is where the small, frequent meal dieters typically fall short since they usually eat bland foods. The reason why this approach doesn’t work is simple: if you’re going to eat, the food must be satisfying to your body and senses or else you’ll fall off the wagon.

So here are the points I want to make in this post. First, I give the Warrior Diet my thumbs up. If fat loss, improved gut health, and longevity are what you primarily desire, and if that style of eating fits your lifestyle, give the diet a trial run. Second, I’m seeing more and more people in the fitness industry recommend a style of eating that Ori brought to the forefront almost a decade ago. In fact, I was at dinner last week with a colleague that I highly respect and we had a good laugh about the Warrior Diet. He started experimenting with it at exactly the same time that I did last year. His clients have all reaped big benefits from that style of eating, and he has made it a part of his routine, too.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the next diet “revolution” is going to revolve around periods of fasting.

Finally, you don’t have to eat Warrior style to change your body for the better. However, if that style of eating fits your lifestyle you should definitely try it. I think the key point that Ori taught us is that we probably don’t need to eat six times per day to get results. Our guts aren’t designed to be crammed with food every few hours.

It’s the quality of food that matters. Three or four meals with fresh food sources are better than six or seven meals made up of protein powder and a handful of supplements. Fresh food sources contain all the enzymes your overworked gut is craving. So you can fast, or you can eat fresh produce and wild fish, etc to restore your gut. You shouldn’t be afraid of food, you should be afraid of poor-quality food that doesn’t satisfy your body.

As Wolfgang Puck likes to say, “Live, love, and eat great food.”

However, there is a time and a place for a high-quality protein powder, and the best one can be found at this link.

Stay focused,


83 thoughts on “Are We Still Dieting the Wrong Way?

  1. The warrior diet sounds great considering I’m not much of a food guy.but should this diet be cycled? Doesn’t seem like it would provided enough protein. Would hate to lose my hard earned muscle.

    CW: Yes, it can be cycled every few weeks with more frequent feedings to get more protein. Or you could add some BCAAs to the three veggie juice drinks. Muscle loss, however, hasn’t been much of a problem for my clients. This type of eating increases your amino acid assimilation rate.

  2. Great article! Do you still recommend trying to get in for instance 1g protein per pound bodyweight or whatever when doing this, or just eat a big hearty meal in the style you described? Also, I’m guessing that consuming whey only shakes or whole raw veggies during the day would negate the benefits of the fast?
    I would be grateful if you could answer these couple questions.

    CW: If you’re trying to gain a lot of muscle, the Warrior Diet won’t do it. So if your goal is fast muscle growth I still recommend 1g/pound of lean body mass (not body weight). A 300-pound guy with 30% body fat shouldn’t eat 300 grams of protein, he should eat around 210 grams per day.

    Yes, consuming whey during the fasting period isn’t ideal. I think Ori says it’s ok to have whey after a workout during the fasting period, however, I’ve found that working out early in the day on this plan isn’t ideal. It should be right before your big meal for optimal results.

    A handful of raw veggies is actually recommended during the day when hunger takes over.

  3. Very cool Chad, I’ve been considering this type of diet for a while. Let me ask you, my work schedule is not very consistent but I would usually be able to eat around 6-7, either at the end of a workday, or as the “lunch break” on an afternoon shift. If I was working say 3-midnight, could I workout around 10 have a shake, and then continue the fast until 7? Second question is if I’m following Body of Fire should I combine most of the day’s food into the final meal? So the three portions of protein, fruits, starch etc?

    CW: You’ll need to fast around 20 hours to make this work. Throwing a protein shake in the middle isn’t ideal. The problem with the WD is that you get the best results when you can train right before your big meal. But you’ll be training on an empty stomach and some people don’t like that.

    Don’t change the BOF diet because then it’s no longer the BOF diet. If you want to try the WD with BOF you’ll need to train right before your big meal.

  4. Chad,do you think one reason the warrior diet works is that it cuts the amount of calories you eat each day?
    i know i tried to you the “small meal “thing but some of my small meals didn’t stay small

    CW: Yes, the fact that it’s typically lower in calories is a plus. Low calorie eating and longevity go hand-in-hand. Eating a lot of food puts a lot of stress on your organs and that ages you.

  5. Interesting post, Chad. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Does this protocol work well for people seeking to gain strength and muscle or primarily for fat loss clients?

    CW: Hey Andrew, thanks for stopping by. The WD is not ideal for strength or muscle gains. First, it’s recommended that you train on an empty stomach and then have your big meal after. Most guys are pretty weak when they train in a fasted state. I see the WD as being primarily a fat loss diet with the added benefit of improved gut health.

    Don’t get me wrong, you can gain muscle on the WD, but adding a lot of maximal strength with it will be tough because of the fasted-state training. However, your body does adapt over time. Put it this way, if a guy came to me and wanted to gain 20 pounds of muscle as fast as possible I wouldn’t use the WD, I’d use what I outline in HIAH.

  6. So how would you structure the Warrior Diet if you train in the morning? With my job and family an early morning workout is my only realistic option. Wouldn’t a glass of veggie juice contradict the protein and carbs my body would need for a weight training workout?

    CW: That’s one of the downfalls of the diet: training in the morning or early in the day screws up the fast. If you train in the morning you can have a scoop of protein after and a handful of raisins but the fat loss won’t come as fast.

  7. Hi Chad,

    What was the purpose of the juices?
    To cleanse, (as well as phenomenal nutrients/enzymes phytos – Similar to Don Tolman’s Cabala juice theory) or to get some carbs in and/or to create an insulin spike (which reduces over time)/anabolic response. The intermittent fasting (8hr window) is also a great system. I don’t think theres anything better (IM or Warrior) for optimizing hormones from a diet/timing perspective.

    CW: The purpose of the juices was to give my gut some enzymes and phytonutrients to keep my immune system and mental acuity in check. Ori recommends small amounts of “live” foods during the fast (hence, controlled fast instead of “fast”) and those juices fit the bill perfectly. It worked great.

  8. I like the warrior diet, as the evening meal is when I sit down with my family and I like the fact that we share real food.
    I have no problem not eating during the day, however the only time I have to train is first thing in the morning.

    What would you recommend for someone in my position?


    CW: See my answer to Augie.

  9. In the past you recommended adding whey with fast carbs after workout. What is your recommendation about postworkout nutrition now?

    CW: I still recommend that, especially when muscle/strength is the goal. The WD is all about fat loss and gut health, from my perspective. You can have that post-workout on the WD, but it needs to be right before your big meal. Earlier in the day will screw up the fast.

  10. Thanks for sharing, Chad. I’ve basically had the same thoughts about this diet as you, “sounds like another guy is trying to make some $$$ by referring to how great fighters the Greek warriors were, although we know nothing about what shape they were in (and they probably even were starved)”.

    I’ll definitely check out Ori’s book. Beforehand though:
    a) What if clients are going for maintenance or weight/muscle gain – won’t calories be a limiting factor if you need to cram it all into one meal? As you describe above, veggies+protein+starch for the main meal. Eventually that makes a BIG main meal!!
    b) Are morning workouts followed by continued fasting until evening, or is there a post-workout protocol for this situation? Martial artists might train several times a day, are they able to keep up with a diet such as this, or do they take a refill during the day?

    I too love foods, which is why I am currently experimenting with cheat meals – as part of your 10-10 transformation program. Given what you know today, do you have any word of advice regarding how to go about cheat meals for cutting and for bulking? Go dirty? Go clean? Lower limit on carbs? Upper limit on carbs+fats combined? Upper limit on cals? Different prescriptions for bulking vs for cutting?

    Thanks as always, Chad!

    Chris Hawk

    CW: I don’t think the WD is ideal for muscle gain. I like frequent small meals better. You can gain muscle, though. You’d be surprised how many more nutrients your body assimilates once you limit your calories to one meal.

    The WD would be very tough for fighters that train multiple times a day. I don’t have any of my fighters on the WD, but none of them are trying to lose fat right now. You could get away with a scoop of whey and a handful of raisins after the morning workout for fighters, and then have the big meal after their night session. This isn’t ideal for the fast, but fighters need recovery support.

  11. +1 on the Warrior Diet and fasting diet systems! I think Ori has written some excellent books, not only WD.

    If you are interested in fasting diets I can also recommend Eat Stop Eat. Found that one two weeks ago!

  12. Great post Chad.

    My own experience with the Warrior Diet mirrors yours. When I first got the book I put it down and thought ‘that can’t work!’. However, curiosity got the better of me a few months ago when people like Mike Mahler and Jason Ferruggia extolled the virtues and the results have been an eye opener to say the least.

    I follow a modified version where I skip breakfast but some of the benefits of such a simple change have been:
    – a feeling of increased alertness and energy during the day
    -a slight decrease in body fat
    – Increased schedule flexibility
    -a healthier relationship with food (I enjoy meals more, no more worrying about the next meal and no preparing tupperware boxes with unappealing food)
    -no decrease in strength performance (in fact the opposite)

    It’s been life changing and I can’t see me ever going back to 5-6 feeds a day.

    Ori was certainly ahead of the curve but I definitely think The Warrior Diet and IF in general is about to explode.

    Keep up the great work.

    CW: Thanks Carl!

  13. Hey, Chad. I had the same story. I was obsessed with food and protein. I was pretty mad if I skipped a meal, etc. But after discovering intermittent fasting I found dieting freedom. The Warrior Diet is great but I found that it doesn’t quite fit my lifestyle. I like a more strict approach. 16-18 hours of strict fasting (only water) and 6-8 hours of feeding (with calorie counting and stuff). This works awesome for me. I think I’ll never quit intermittent fasting (:

    CW: Yep, that approach works very well. Thanks for sharing.

  14. I love all your work and books… the one disagreement i had, was your recommending six meals a day no matter what. I remember buying huge in a hurry, and definitely remember your recommendation on six meals and then later being convinced for me a big meal at the end of the day was best. Thing is i remember in the back of my head saying if chad doesn’t recommend it maybe its not a good idea, but i couldn’t fight with the results i was feeling and getting. BUT now i respect you even more knowing you learn and have the courage to change your own opinions and recommendations. Any way thanks for all the free info and knowledge you share with us. It is very much appreciated.

    CW: It’s not so much that I’ve changed my opinion as much as I’ve expanded it. Frequent feedings are still good for hardgainers, but this gives fitness buffs another option, especially when fat loss is the goal.

  15. Chad – would you eat that way every single day? ie just the juices and big evening meal or only when wanting specific results? If used as a fat loss aproach for speedy results what would happen when you reverted back to a “normal” pattern of eating?
    Could you use this approach severla times per week interspersed with a more regular pattern or is that not so effective?
    Thanks 🙂

    CW: Honestly, I can’t answer what will happen if a person goes back to eating “normally.” The reason is because I don’t have the data. The people I’ve put on it either quit the second day because it wasn’t for them, while the others have remained on it without reverting back.

    However, I think intermittent fasting is beneficial for anyone, even if they’re not following the WD per se. A day of fasting once each week can be good for overall health.

  16. Could you take the easy route and use V8 juice? Or would this not be enough for nutrients.

    CW: I don’t know since I haven’t done that. Low-sodium V8 might be ok. Try it and see.

  17. Chad, as I read your article I couldn’t help but think of the Paleo Diet books I’ve read (I have paleo books by Loren Cordain, Robb Wolf, Arthur De Vany, etc). Though they dont promote one big meal at the end of the day, well I don’t think they do, they do support the concept of (intermittent) fasting.

    Perhaps the Warrior diet and the Paleo diet have a lot in common, and are a way of eating for those wishing to build muscle and/or lose fat.


    CW: They’re all on the right track. I think you’re going to see more and more experts promoting intermittent fasting.

  18. Chad – With this kind of eating, how would you eat during the big meal if the goal is fatloss versus muscle gain vs body recomp? And when you say a large portion of protein, is it really just based on what it takes to get you feeling stuffed?

    CW: For fat loss I’d limit carbs, for muscle gain I’d eat plenty of them in the form of yams, sweet potatoes, wild rice, etc. Yes, eat the protein until you feel satisfied. Some nights I’ll have 10 ounces.

  19. *Also, for those of us without a vegetable juicer – what’s your opinion on using a V-8 juice option?

    CW: Try the low-sodium version and see how it works. I haven’t used V8.

  20. Is the unique element here the fasting or the vege juice? The ‘Pulse Feast’ on T Nation has the fasting element in common, but is a dose of aminos and protein instead of vegetables.

    What about peri-workout nutrition? For hard training I’ve found having carbs and protein before and during the workout has helped me (especially when training in the morning), do you just train lighter for the week you do this?

    And similar to the above question, do you try to get ‘all’ your day’s protein in the big end of day meal, or does the dieting week become a ‘lower protein’ cycle?


    CW: I used the veggie juice because Ori recommends “live” foods during the controlled fast, and I wanted to do it as he recommends. Plus, we could all use more veggies.

    I use the WD primarily for fat loss and gut health. For muscle growth I use a more traditional approach with more frequent feedings. It’s tough to train in a fasted state when you’re looking to gain strength. Muscle growth can be decent on the WD but it’s not as great as 3-4 healthy meals each day.

  21. I’ve used the Warrior Diet and it worked well but what I’m doing now and like even better is Martin Berkhan’s “Leangains” approach to intermittent fasting.

  22. CW..Im a 38 yr old thai fighter,teacher,S&C…I just did a modified Warrior fast yesterday.Worked awesome.Im overeating today though and am going to do 2 mod. fasts next week.This article was/is exactly me.One of fighters came in with The Warrior Diet.I bought my own copy after reading it For years i been following JBs principles & ive used it super effectively with all my clients,pals,fighters,& girlfriends.It has worked awesome.But i felt i could use a detox & clense.Im going do this with a carb cycling for a few weeks.So what i did was wake up had a shake with 2 fresh squeezed oranges,sm handful. of mixed berries,more blueberries, a little pre-soaked oats(whic ori says is cool for fighters),& and a little h2omellon(told ya it was alittle modified) scoop of whey, & a big glass of h20,went in and conditioned a client(did most of the energy work),pounded some aminos,came home made some Cham. tea& green tea drank it, continued to pound h20,about 4 long hungry laters ate 2 hard boiled eggs,a about 4 bigass handfuls of lettuce&carrots,made more tea,drank it really helped with my hunger&chilled me out,another shake around 3.30(about 4 hours) this time with no H20mellon and less berries,made more tea,continued to pound H2O,@ start of Bs game(huge win BTW) @ 7 had 2 hard boilded eggs some supps,i skipped the big meal & went for a 24 hour mod fast day,then around 10 had fish oil,zinc,mag and went to bed…Woke up an hour early& feeling good ,i slept kinda crappy though,kind of expected from this radical change to nutritrion..My large meals today have tated so good & felt awesome going down.I like this rotational approach,so far

  23. Can we eat bread in the last meal of the day? Gluten is always controversy, so I was just curious.

    CW: Can you? Yes. Should you? Probably not. Bread is never a good thing, but if you don’t have gluten problems and if fast fat loss isn’t important, it’s not the worst thing (especially if it’s Ezekial bread).

  24. Great article, i now very interested in getting ‘The Warrior Diet’ but i noticed Ori Hofmekler has a more recent book out, called ‘Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat’. Do you know if this is a revised version ‘The Warrior Diet’ or a different nutrition plan altogether?

    CW: Haven’t read it yet, but I will soon.

  25. Hey Chad, so this sounds pretty interesting, but I’m the type of person that doesn’t go well without food for a long period of time so I don’t think the Warrior Diet could be very sustainable for me personally. Are you going to adopt this type of eating everyday or are you going to be sticking with the 2-3 hour rule?

    I’m going to be starting the Get Lean part of your program next week so I was wondering if this Warrior Diet could jump start my fat loss program? If not, what would be a good way to start off the Get Lean program?

    Thanks a lot.

    CW: Trust me, I was terrified of not eating but my body adapted to the plan. I felt better after getting over the initial torture. Yes, you can use this to jumpstart your fat loss but keep in mind that your workouts the first week will suffer. I suggest you test it for one week and see if it’s right for you. If it is, stick to it. If it isn’t, do what I outline for fat loss nutrition in the book.

  26. Chad, what do you think about V8 juice or other supposedly 100% vegetable juice from the grocery store? I know they aren’t fresh, but I was wondering if they would work for the vegetables during the day.

  27. Hey Chad, I’ve been following something similar to this for awhile now. I’ll eat/drink vegetables during the day, and I’ll even add some whey protein in there (yes, I’m always freaked out about muscle loss), and then I’ll have a big, “normal” meal once a day (usually in the evening). I feel fantastic doing this! It fits my lifestyle so much better, and I have the motivation to eat the vegetables throughout the day. I first started out fasting during high school, but I was doing it wrong. I was eating crap for the actual little meals I had. I was terribly skinny fat. Then when I got into bodybuilding, I would try to eat small 6 meals a day, it become too much. I developed several eating disorders, and it hurt me a lot. Then came what I consider to be the smart idea in between the two. Eating similar to the warrior diet. I was initially scared that this would intensify my binge-eating problem, but luckily it hasn’t. Like I said earlier, I feel great! AND I no longer suffer from lethargy.

  28. hi again,

    what kind of juicer do you use? the jungle of juicers out there seems impossible to clear from here…

    what are you looking for in a good juicer?

    happy easter


    CW: I use the Breville Juice Fountain Elite. However, many of my clients like Jack LaLanne’s juicer (it’s much cheaper).

  29. Hi CW happy easter weekend , I have two questions for you.
    First can the Warrior Diet be used successfully for someone who is trying to bulk up , I’m wondering how one would be able to consume around 3500kcal for dinner , unless dinner was about 3 hours long 🙂 ?

    Second I currently am following your HIAH Get Big Phase 1 and I workout in the AM and have been doing the banana + whey pre-workout and raisins + whey + creatine post-workout would this still be allowable in the Warrior Diet or would I have to cut out a serving of whey and just have the fruit and leave my protein for dinner?

    CW: The WD would be tough for bulking. Keep it as a fat loss/health diet. Second, I think typical calorie recommendations can be thrown out the window while on the WD for reasons I discuss next week.

    Keep the HIAH diet as is if you’re trying to gain muscle fast.

  30. Hi Chad,
    I am glad that you have written about your personal experience with this diet. Have you read Ori’s “Anti-Estrogenic Diet” ? It has the same method but seems to be more specific/ oriented towards health, and diminishing risks of estrogen related disorders and common cancers. As an athletic, ectomorphic type man in his 40’s, and re-starting weight training to gain some mass, I am also researching ways to make the process as healthy as I can.

    CW: I’ve added it to my list.

  31. I may begin experimenting with this during the week. mon-fri warrior diet style because I train at night. Sat-sun Frequent eating because i am busy all day. -Mark

    CW: That should work. Keep us posted.

  32. Chad,
    You should read Why We Get Fat and Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes. Excellent book.

  33. Chad how does this work if someone trains 3 hours a day of MMA? I usually workout an hour from 11:30 to 12:30 (strength & conditioning) and then again from 6 to 830 (Skill Training). Can one follow this plan on that intense of a workout schedule?

    CW: Guys who train for hours each day need more nutritional support. For them I recommend 3-4 healthy meals to provide nutritional support and recovery. In other words, I wouldn’t recommend a straight up WD for them.

  34. Hi Chad,

    As a Muslim I will be fasting during daylight hours in August (Ramadhan). I do this every year and during that month I almost give up training as you do have lower energy. However, this does seem to be a similar way of eat to the warrior diet with the vast majority calories coming from one meal and a period of 16-17 hours of fasting (however, this would be complete fasting, no food, no water).

    Since I will be fasting anyway, what would you recommend my nutrition to be during the non fasting hours to be in light of what you have read in the Warrior Diet?


    CW: When you’re not fasting, I recommend you eat the way I mentioned in the post. That’s what Ori recommends.

  35. What is the advantage of taking raisins after a workout? Do they have alot of glucose?

    CW: I like raisins for three reasons. First, the sugars in them are fast acting – exactly what your muscles want after a workout. Second, they’re one of the most alkaline fruits – important to offset acidity from training. Third, they have a healthy dose of minerals such as potassium and magnesium.

  36. chad, are you still eating this way consistently, or is it just “a trick up your sleeve” when you feel a little too fat for your liking?

    CW: Every 6 weeks I alternate between the WD style of eating and eating 3-4 meals per day.

  37. Hi Chad,

    Do you think using the Warrior Diet for a long period of time is good/healthy? What do you think about using the WD during the deload phase of your workouts and then eating more frequently during the strength/muscle building phase of a workout routine? Thanks!


    CW: Yes, I think it’s healthy for a long period of time. However, eating 3-4 healthy meals also has its advantages, especially for hard training athletes and for those who want to build a lot of muscle. Doing the WD during a deload is a great method.

  38. Do you rcomend eating this way for bodybuilding (contest)??

    CW: Yes, it’s great for fat loss and overall health. If you’re trying to pack on a ton of muscle it’s probably not the best diet, though. It depends on your goals.

  39. I have just recieved my copy of The Warrior Diet, and am quickly reading through it. I did however, have a question, during the undereating phase did you always have the same vegtable drink you mention above, or did you have alternate between different recipes?

    Secondly, do you know of a good source for vegetable juice recipies (e.g. books, websites, etc)?

    CW: I usually have the drink I mentioned in the article, but feel free to mix it up to get a broader range of nutrients. Any veggies will work, provided they have a decent amount of water in them. There are many juicer books on the market, but I honestly haven’t read any so I can’t give a recommendation.

  40. Chad,

    Is it essential to juice the veggies, or could I throw them in a kick-ass blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec?

    CW: The problem with using a Vitamix is that all the fiber can cause abdominal stress in some people. It’s better to just juice the veggies. However, your option is a viable one provided your gut likes it.

  41. And as a follow-up, how much protein would you recommend someone take in at their ‘feast’ meal in the evenings?


    CW: As much as you want. Eat until you’re full. I usually have around 60-70 grams.

  42. So are you not eating your 5-6 times a day anymore? I’m on a fat lass cycle right now and I think eating 3-4 times would be more practical than the fast.

    My question is how do you spread out your meals for the day?

    Also, what are your thoughts on “starvation mode”? Myth? Some truth to it?

    CW: I’m not trying to gain muscle, and gut health is key for me, so I’m not eating 5-6 times per day. But that approach can work. It’s just not as fun because your meal choices have to be perfect. Go with 3-4 meals if it better suits your schedule.

    Starvation mode is definitely a myth if you’re having a big meal at night.

  43. I have been on the warrior diet (tweaked) for a few weeks i train old school (draper/arnold etc) 6 day split each muscle trained 3 days per week , i have a whey/casien drink in the morning no carbs a bcaa drink (no shotgun) before training at lunch and another protein drink at 3pm then eat from 6pm till 11pm mainly protein and veggies good fats, i have gained 10lb muscle and lost fat ,energy and feeling of wellbeing is great ! so i dissagree with no muscle gain, i love the diet.

    CW: You’re right, you can gain muscle but keep in mind that there are many ways to follow the original WD. The approach I mentioned was for fat loss/gut health. For muscle growth you need to make changes similar to what you mentioned (along with a few other changes) that I’ll mention in the future. For now, I wanted to focus on fat loss/gut health.

  44. Thanks for the article Chad. I’m male 32 yrs, 170lbs at 12%BF. The frequent feedings method seemed to make me gain fat with muscle. Plus, I was sluggish during the day. Since I train first thing in the morning, I came up with a modified WD approach:

    Train fasted in AM (just coffee)
    PWO: Sun Warrior brown rice protein 20g (to keep whey out since rice protein is hypo allergenic) + a bit of coconut milk+Phyto Px (from Poliquin)+2g fish oil

    Lunch: A bit of organic mixed nuts+organic dried cranberries+10g BCAA

    Dinner: Eat a big meal WD style.

    This modified program seems to yield me good results. I would like to loose a bit of body fat and add more muscle (who doesn’t!). Any feedback would be appreciated.

    CW: Focus on losing the fat first with the approach I mentioned. Once you’re as lean as you want to be, revert back to your approach.

  45. Would this style of eating reduce the size of your waist not just because of calories but also because frequent meals tend to bloat you?

    CW: Yep. You’ll notice that within 2 days.

  46. Also, would this be a good diet for someone who is relatively lean (15%-12% bf) and trying to get down to 10% or sub 10% bodyfat?

    CW: Absolutely.

  47. Chad,

    Great article, I am currently on day three of this approach, and whilst the first two days were tough ,I think I am over the hump now. I plan to incorporate this approach for 7 days out of each month to increase digestive function and then for 1 day per week on the other weeks. Not sure I could switch full time, I love my meat and nut breakfast too much. Hopefully this approach will alow me to get from 11% BF to Sub 9%, I will let you know how it goes.

    CW: Yes, focus on getting lean with the diet first. Then revert back to your other way of eating and you’ll be less likely to gain fat.

  48. I like the sound of this way of eating. Do you still shoot for 1g/lb of protein on this diet? Im 225lbs about 14% bf. Do you think I would be able to maintain my muscle mass on this diet?

    CW: Don’t worry about counting protein grams, just follow it as listed and eat the protein until you’re full. I weigh 218 pounds, I eat about 60g of protein during the big meal, and I haven’t lost an ounce of muscle.

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