Warrior Diet: 20/4 Intermittent Fasting

While Intermittent Fasting on its own wasn’t hard enough, the warrior diet or the 20/4 intermittent fasting meal plan takes things to a different level. 

Intermittent fasting is among the most popular dietary practices that facilitate weight loss after being openly practiced by A-List Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Heidi Klum. 

Intermittent fasting works by meticulously mapping out your eating and fasting practices into different intervals, promoting you to gradually abstain from excess calorie consumption by indulging in a calorie-deficit diet. 

There are myriad Intermittent Fasting plans one can choose from, encompassing different stages of fasting to effectively promote weight loss through a controlled eating pattern. 

While common intermittent fasting schedules like the 16/8 or the 14/10 intermittent fasting plans provide you with a longer eating window, the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule often falls under the “extreme fasting” category. 

Since the fasting window in the warrior diet or the 20/4 intermittent fasting is considerably longer than the short 4-hour eating window, this intermittent fasting plan can be a bit more challenging for most beginners. 

If you are someone who is interested in trying the “Warrior Diet Method” of intermittent fasting or you are just curious to learn about the effects of the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule, look no further. 

Here is all you need to know about the Warrior diet or the 20/4 Intermittent fasting plan to help you determine if it’s meant for you.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Fasting is a dietary practice that involves abstinence from food for a given period of time to facilitate the weight loss process. 

Intermittent fasting is a nutrition practice or a dietary practice that involves distributing meals at regular intervals or an alternative meal pattern of fasting and eating on a consistent schedule. 

According to some nutritionists, IF is an efficient way of reducing access to body fat as the individual is promoted to consume only one meal per day in the span of a few weeks. 

Among the most common eating patterns of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 intermittent fasting plan which involves fasting for 16 hours and eating on schedule for 8 hours.

Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the periods of fasting while keeping the meals during the eating window calorie-deficit. 

The body goes through myriad changes while fasting that contribute to one’s overall weight loss. 

When practicing a restrictive diet plan like Intermittent fasting, your body goes through a calorie deficit as you are not consuming enough calories throughout the day, hence the body goes through the ketosis process to convert fats, carbohydrates, and proteins into energy.

What is the Warrior Diet or 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Schedule?

The Warrior Diet Method or the 20/4 intermittent diet plan is based on the eating pattern of ancient warriors. 

The Warrior Intermittent fasting method was developed in the year 2001 and was both developed and coined by Ori Hofmekler, a fitness author based on his own observations.

The 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule to the warrior diet is a more restrictive variant of the 16/8 as well as Eat-Stop-Eat methods. 

The Warrior Diet plan involves eating small portions and fewer calories for 20 hours during the day and consuming as much food as you would like during the 4-hour window at night. 

People who start their warrior diet are often recommended to initially divide their meal plan into different phases over a three-week period.

Are Warrior Diet and 20/4 Intermittent fasting Plan different?

While both the warrior diet and the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule involve a twenty-hour fasting window and a four-hour eating window, they have their own distinct steps and restrictions that may trigger different results in individuals. 

If you are confused between both the warrior diet plan and the 20/4 intermittent fasting plan, do not worry, here is how these two are different:

Warrior Diet:

The warrior diet is based on the dietary practices and lifestyle of the warriors of the ancient warriors who fought in battle throughout the day and indulged in a scrumptious feast during the night. 

When practicing the warrior diet plan during the 20-hour fasting window, you eat foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, some dairy-based products, and hard-boiled eggs. During the four-hour eating window, you can enjoy any food of your choice.

The Clean 20/4 Intermittent Fasting:

Intermittent Fasting meal plans are more restrictive when it comes to what one can eat and what one cannot. 

Intermittent fasting eating schedules involve clean foods that are low in calories, fats, proteins, and carbohydrates as these nutrients may increase the levels of insulin in the body and break your fast. 

During the twenty-hour fasting window of the 20/4 intermittent fasting eating schedule, one cannot eat any form of food, instead, they are recommended to consume zero-calorie beverages for sustenance. 

During the eating window, you can enjoy any “clean food” of your choice and follow the intermittent fasting meal plans to achieve desired results.

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What are the benefits of the Warrior Diet or the 20/4 Intermittent fasting plan?

The main benefit of practicing the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule is to trigger the process of ketosis and facilitate weight loss. 

After the early fasting period that lasts up to 18 hours, the body eventually runs out of glycogens and fats present in the fat cells. 

Hence the body begins to utilize other sources to produce energy, during this stage the body releases ketones that help produce alternate sources of fuel or energy for the body. 

Other than facilitating weight loss, the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule or the warrior diet also integrates the following benefits:

  • Improves brain function
  • Enhances autography
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Enhances gut health
  • Anti-aging benefits

Are there any cons of the Warrior method or the 20/4 Intermittent fasting method?

The Warrior Method or the 20/4 intermittent fasting schedule is quite strenuous and often involves extreme food abstinence for a prolonged period of time. 

Since this method of intermittent fasting prevents you from eating food for about 20 hours a day, most people often experience certain side effects:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability 
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Extreme hunger
  • Lightheadedness
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Low Blood sugar levels
  • Brain fog
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Insomnia
  • Nutritional deficiencies

How to follow the Warrior Diet or the 20/4 Intermittent Fasting Method?

According to the creator of the warrior method himself Ori Hofmekler, one must follow a three-week or a three-phase plan when initiating their Warrior Diet plan. 

These phases allow you to easily transition to this highly restrictive diet plan without facing any form of negative side effects. 

Here are the three distinct phases of the warrior diet or the 20/4 intermittent fasting plan:

Phase I: The “Detox” Phase

This phase begins during the initial 4-hour eating window where you are recommended to consume salads, smaller meal portions, and whole grains. 

During the 20-hour fasting window, you can have fresh fruits, vegetable juice, vegetables, bone broth, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, and vegetables.

You can also enjoy unsweetened zero-calorie beverages like tea, black coffee, and milk.

Phase II: The “High-Fat” Phase

During the 4-hour eating window, you can enjoy salads, lean proteins, larger portioned meals, nuts, and vegetables. 

During the 20-hour fasting window, you can have fresh fruits, vegetable juice, vegetables, bone broth, hard-boiled eggs, and vegetables.

Phase III: The “Concluding Fat Loss” Phase

Lastly, during the third phase, or the concluding fat loss phase, one must alternate between high-carb and high-protein foods. 

During the days when you are consuming high carbs, you can consume pasta, oats, and potatoes. 

During the high protein days, you can have all foods recommended during phase two along with about 227 to 475 grams of proteins and vegetable starch.