Mike Mahler: Now you stated that your protein absorption rate goes up 160% on the "Warrior Diet." Would someone be able to consume considerably less protein as a result?
Ori Hofmekler: Yes and what is interesting is the late Dan Duchane stated in one of his last articles that he could maintain his bodyweight on 50-70 grams of protein a day. The high protein pitch is a marketing gimmick and anyone that follows it deserves what they get. How can you be so dumb to think that you need hundreds of grams of protein a day?
MM: I agree and think that people consume way too much protein. You recommend eating raw fruits and veggies during the day. Would it be beneficial to just eat raw food in the evening meal as well?
OH: Yes. However, some vegetables are much healthier if cooked and meat should definitely be cooked. The advantage of cooking vegetables is that it frees a lot of flavones and healthy fibers. A perfect example is the mushroom. Mushrooms are the best source of polysaccharides, which is a very healthy fiber. The only way to get this is to cook the mushroom and the heat will free the polysaccharides.
MM: One thing that I have noticed regarding the warrior diet, is that you crave exactly what you need when you overeat?
OH: Yes, if you eat when you are really hungry at the end of the day, your mind and body will make the right priorities. You will know exactly what you need to eat.
MM: What are some of the other benefits of the "Warrior Diet"?
OH: The benefits go way beyond just mental and physical health. Someone who follows the "Warrior Diet," will be able to adapt to different stresses much easier than other people. People are caught in real moments of truth in which food is inaccessible. It is only then that they realize who and what they are. The "Warrior Diet" prepares you for any change that can happen and you become much tougher. It is not deprivation as every evening is a celebration.
MM: Have you had anyone gain a great deal of muscle on the Warrior Diet?
OH: Great question. Yes, I myself gained 12lbs on the last year and my body fat did not change. I am between 5-6% body fat without effort. I am fifty years old and weigh close to 170lbs. More importantly I feel very strong and my sprinting ability has improved dramatically. My face looks leaner and better than ever.
I get emails all the time from people that lost body fat and gained muscle at the same time. That said, the "Warrior Diet" was never meant to be a bodybuilding diet. It is meant to get you in much better shape. If your goal is to gain muscle, it can be done on the "Warrior Diet." However, it will be much more gradual. The advantage is that your weight will not fluctuate as much and you will avoid all of the health risks.
MM: The Warrior Diet seems like it was meant for people that want to be lean and strong?
OH: : Exactly, the "Warrior Diet" is a way of life and part of being a warrior is having functional strength. You do not want to have quads that get in the way of running or impede fighting ability. Running is the first line of defense and should not be impeded by your thighs chaffing. Also keep in mind that women are more attracted to the lean and athletic build rather than the behemoth bodybuilding physique.
MM: Thus the "Warrior Diet" is not really for big bodybuilders or someone that wants to be huge?
OH: No, however keep in mind that I have nothing against bodybuilders and that some of my close friends are bodybuilders. If that is what you want to do, then go for it. It takes determination and discipline to be a big bodybuilder and I respect that. The "Warrior Diet" shows you an alternative to gain size, but not at the expense of function.
MM: I have worked with Pavel Tsatsouline (Author of "Power to the People") a great deal on strength training programs and I have incorporated a lot of his ideas into my training and in training my clients. One thing that he is really emphasizes is functional strength and having a strong central nervous system, rather than relying on the size of your muscle to determine what you can do with it.
OH: I absolutely agree with this. One training principle I have is called controlled fatigue.
MM: How does that work?
OH: You start by putting yourself under intense cardiovascular stress by doing 15-20 minutes of sprinting or something else that is explosive that really zaps your energy. Immediately after that you engage in resistance training. What I find is that my sprint ability goes directly against my leg resistance training. I cannot do the same resistance that I normally can after a hard sprint workout.
We are moving creatures and our ability to jump and explode quickly is much more important than what we can lift. Thus "controlled fatigue" training makes one tougher and is applicable to situations that might occur in your life.
MM: Would you consider the bench press a functional exercise?
OH: No. I know that a lot of people like to bench press. However, in life it is not an essential move at all unless you are getting raped by a 300lb behemoth women (laughing). Why do you really need to bench press?
MM: (laughing) Right it is not likely that you will ever be in that position where you need to use that strength.
OH: Correct and when you look at real warrior's bodies including boxers, athletes, or martial artists, they do not have big chests. Exercises such as military presses, squats, dead lifts, and swings are much more functional.
MM: I agree. I have a degree in religious studies and a very interesting side note is the diet that was professed by an organization called the "Nation of Islam." The former leader of the "Nation Of Islam", Elijah Muhammad recommended a very similar diet approach to the "Warrior Diet." Each member was required to do a water fast during the day and then they would have a feast in the evenings with their families. They did this for many reasons including mental and physical discipline and to have mental clarity during the day.
I believe that a Malcolm X stated that the most difficult instinct for man to control is not sexual desire, but desire for food. Furthermore, Malcolm X stated that if you can control hunger, then everything else will be a breeze. If you look at most members of the N.O.I, very few of them are overweight. Most are lean and in great shape.
OH: Very interesting point and the founder of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad came out of a wild Mediterranean tribe. I would say that the Muslim practice of Ramadan mimics the way that these tribes used to live. You do not eat, or at least you do not eat much during the day. People today in the Middle East that still live like that have physiques like rocks! The same Arabs that move to cities become soft in no time.
MM: I think that people who live "tough" lives are always going to be in better shape then people in the developed world that have relatively easy lives.
OH: Exactly Mike, so why can't people who know that there is something wrong with the soft lifestyle do a counter revolution and combine the warrior instinct with our current lifestyles. You can still be rich and sophisticated, live in an urban environment, but still keep the "warrior cycle."
It takes a little sacrifice, you cannot be a steroid sized bodybuilder, but that is a false image anyway. I am not Christian, but in the New Testament Jesus states that anyone who eats more than two meals a day, the third one is with the devil.
MM: Very interesting point.
OH: There was already an awareness of what I am talking about. What I am trying to do is make it simple and this is really not difficult to follow. Your level of satisfaction is going to be much higher. When you eat on the "Warrior Diet," you eat unrestricted; you eat as much as you want from all the food groups. Your body tells you what you need and it is a pleasurable experience.
MM: Could you avoid all food during the under eating phase, or should one include fruits and veggies?
OH: That is one way to do it and it is very drastic, but also very effective. However, the ideal way to do the "Warrior Diet" is to have some fruits and vegetables or fruit juices and vegetable juices. Why? Fruits and vegetables help in detoxification and nourish your body with vitamins and mineral and alkalize your system.
There is no substitute for the phytochemicals that you get from fruits and veggies and it does not tax your digestive system. You do not need to eat a lot and in your case Mike, one carrot juice will probably do the trick. If you want to have an apple, kiwi, or papaya, go for it. The sugar that naturally occurs in these fruits is bound to the fiber and has a very low glycemic index.
MM: Now when you say juices, you mean fresh juices from a juicer or blender right?
OH: Right, absolutely fresh. Otherwise don't waste your time on sugar laden fruit juices. Use either a blender or a juicer. Either one is fine, I use a juicer because it taste better and too much fiber might make some people bloated during the day. Minimize the digestion and feed your brain. It is the most active part of your body. The brain burns 25% of your calories and should not be neglected.
MM: One thing that I really like about the Warrior Diet is your focus on feeding the brain which no other diet seems to address.
OH: Yes, your brain is your number one energy source and controls any move that you make. Your brain controls your mood and the way that you perceive your body. You want your brain in the best shape possible. You want it to be active and be in your intellectual peak state. Caffeine is also allowed and in moderate amounts can increase brain function. The amino acid Tyrosine can be very beneficial as well.
MM: Do you recommend that people get their food and meat from organic sources where the animals are treated humanely?
OH:Yes, organic food is the ideal and is worth going out of your way for. However, don't worry about it if you do not always have access to it.
MM: Well Ori, it has been great talking to you and I really appreciate your time. I have benefited tremendously from the "Warrior Diet" and I hope that your book is a huge success.
OH: Thanks Mike and thanks for your support.