Thursday, April 2, 2009

:: warrior diet - how i do it ::

This post is part of participation to Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays. This is the third week I am participating but will be on vacation for awhile. I am a follower of the warrior diet tradition (among others) and this post is a response to my critics and in particular discusses how I am able to pull it off.


When people see the pictures of what I eat in the day... they often ask, "How do you do that? ...That's impossible! ...I could never eat so little. I need way more than that... I can't eat raw stuff...I need hot food."I do eat like a warrior - 20 hours of controlled fasting (under-eating) and 4 hours of over-eating. During under-eating, warrior consumes only raw and natural foods like veges, fruits, nuts. During over-eating, warrior consumes more veges, whole grains, and meat. But it's cooked!

Why eat like a warrior?
Let's be serious guys, these guys don't really care about why I eat like warrior. If it were that simple, people would be doing it already. If the answer to "why should we be healthy?" was so important, America wouldn't be in the sorry state it is today. But here's the answer to that question anyway. Also love the Top 10 diet fallacies.

Practice makes Perfect
I won't deny that I am starving myself somewhat in the day, but the good people over at the warrior diet camp would call it "controlled fasting". When I first started out, it was a very drastic change from how I was eating before. If not for my partner in crime, Aylin, I probably would not have succeeded. So we kept each other accountable day after day and I stuck to it. Within a few weeks, it just became habit for me to eat that "amount" of food in the day. If I tried to eat more than that, I would feel pretty crabby the rest of the day. Almost like a zombie.

My body wants that morning blend!

I'm pretty surprised that after 9 months of going clean, I still have not gotten sick of my morning blend (veges, fruits etc). It helps that each blend always tastes slightly different... depending on what is in the fridge. I think back on those days where I would drink those meal replacement shakes (powder form) and get sick of it within 2 days. There is something about the blend each morning that my body just _craves_ for... literally. Don't give me anything else, just the morning goodies please. I'll admit there are times that I just want some scrambled eggs. That doesn't happen very often though.

Plant not the tree of knowledge
There is nothing in my pantry that is my bad for me. Seriously. We went through a pantry overhaul and got rid of anything that will stand in the way of my success. If I ever feel the snackies, I'm free to raid the fridge! Usually, I'll end up with some nuts or dried apricot or a spoon of raw almond butter. I'll still have relapses like when I went to a company party yesterday that was full of the knowledge trees. I caved. But when I went to movie night with my husband, I insisted he finished whatever "free popcorn" he wanted outside the theater, before enjoying the movie with me. It worked! :)

Some Suffering is Good
When I get hunger pangs at work, it makes me feel almost ... primal. I can't explain it, but it keeps me really alert at work and I feel like I'm at my best concentration. If I allow myself to get a large meal, I immediately feel sluggish and it affects my productivity at work. We've been conditioned to believe that we need to satisfy every craving and allow ourselves to shut up the hunger like eating 6 small meals a day... but I kinda like hunger. Some suffering is good for me, especially hunger.

Eating clean IS yummy

I'm usually a rather modest person (asian roots) but I must say that people love the dishes I make. I keep to clean and natural principles and even so, food is yummy. Even more yummy than what you might get a restaurant. That's why we hardly eat out anymore. It's way more expensive and just doesn't taste as good. :)

Let the Feast begin

The warrior diet's principles involve a 20-hour period of controlled fasting and 4 hours of feasting. If I ever feel the temptation to reach for something with more taste... I remind myself that I'm going to have a fantabulous dinner that most will be jealous about. I pull out my blog and look at the recipes I've posted and allow myself to drool at the meal which is to come. It really does help that I meal plan in advance and I always keep things interesting by trying at least 3-4 new recipes each week and keeping the husband involved in meal choices.

Use Natural Variety

Eating responsibly and sustainably is a great way to have variety in the diet. The seasons change, the farmer's markets flavor and color changes with the season. There's really no better way to select ingredients for cooking. And it helps keep the taste buds interested!

I'm not the extremist
I have people tell me that my diet is "radical" or "extreme". I find that so... amusing. Because that's what I feel about their diets! Because quite frankly, I'm not the one pushing my body to its extremes. If anything, I am lengthening my longevity and what I am doing is anything BUT extreme!

Sustainability is Key
This is no diet. This is a mindset change that became a lifestyle change and is not a physiological change. I can't go back even if I willed myself to because my body WILL reject it. But why would I even think of going back? I've never enjoyed food more than I do now and I've never felt better. Life is in short, awesome. (Oh and did I mention losing 40+ lbs in 8 months? :P )


mikee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jo said...

there can be many reasons for obesity though...

if you eat 3000 calories worth of raw broccoli, you will still have an over-eating problem. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting!

This is somewhat similar to the intermittent fasting paradigm so popular among CrossFitters, but they'll do a less "predictable" fast. In other words, they'll go entirely without food some days, and mix and match which days they fast on and which days they feast on. They say that if you keep your fasts predictable -- same time every day -- your body's metabolism just adjusts to that. So, eventually you'll plateau. But if you mix up your fasting and feasting and make it a bit more random, you can plow through any sort of plateau without too much trouble.

I enjoyed your contribution to today's Fight Back Fridays carnival. Thank you so much for joining in the fun! Hopefully this will inspire others in their weight loss goals!

(AKA FoodRenegade)

Anonymous said...

great post!

there is a phenomema going on with IFing success stories i read, where you look fantastic, you feel better than you have in you life, you explain in rational, reasonable terms how you're doing it, and people STILL trash you're experience. i look better and feel better than since i was a teen (im 40 now), but family n friends still say im going damage and hurting myself, and expect me to get sick or end up bloating back up any day now. LOL> im sure if i stick with it, it will change, but its facinating to watch people deny the facts, even when they are staring them in the face. :) keep at it!

Jo said...

thanks rachel! Yeah i'm doing mostly IF now... but WD is based on the same principle.

But no one can refute how great i feel/look so HAH!

but it's funny that sometimes the people that are criticizing me are the ones who need help most. misery loves company. :)

日月神教-向左使 said...