The Modified Warrior Diet

The warrior diet is a concept originally developed by Ori Hofmekler, he also released a book by the same name.  In it he outlines the general concepts and ideas upon which the diet was based.  His primary goal was developing a lean, athletic “warrior” body as seen in the times of the Romans and Greeks and doing so in a healthful manner.

Ori’s original work is excellent for anyone looking for a simple, healthy easy way to eat, feel good and drop some bodyfat in the process.  In its original form it works well for the average Joe.  For athletes and strength sport competitors it needed some tweaking and here is why…

Ori recommends periods of underfeeding and overfeeding and he maintains that this style of eating is most natural to us as hunter/gather’s and warriors were active and working during the day with little time or available food to eat.   The Greek and Roman warriors in the day usually set up camp at night and that is when they would feast, refueling themselves for another day of battle.  This system works well with our bodies natural tendencies, following CNS output parameters and circadian rhythms.  The underfeeding portion keeps us in the sympathetic nervous system, the fight or flight system which is perfect for being alert and ready for battle or hunting your food.  The overfeeding portion triggers the parasysmpathetic system which lets you rest and digest your spoils and recover for the next day.

Think about going to train after eating a thanksgiving dinner and how you normally feel after crushing a copious amount of food. Ready to train?  I didn’t think so. You’re ready to take a nap and that is the power of the parasympathetic nervous system.  Your body is much better suited to train in an underfeed state. You’ll see what this looks like in the meal plan below.

For athletes, especially sports that are explosively oriented like football, track and field basketball, MMA and baseball in some cases and all strength athletes, I found that there was too much margin for error when eating by feel.  There needed to be an emphasis on more protein and selectively timed carbohydrate intake with a steady source of healthy dietary fats. Certain supplements like BCAA’s also came into effect  This is where the tweaking came in. Ori wasn’t concerned with maximal muscle mass and strength/explosiveness, I am.  With some guidelines set for certain goals, be it a recomposition effect, pure fat loss or a mass gaining phase it gives the trainee a more adjustable plan where modifications can be measure and monitored and the outcome tailored to the goal.

With the adjustments I’ve made there is more of an emphasis on macro counting vs calorie counting.  They may seem the same to some people, but I assure you they are quite different.  A mixture of 70% protein and 30% carbohydrate will elicit a much different response in your body and on your physique than a mixture of 70% carbohydrate and 30% protein, yet the calorie content of each mixture is the exact same.

Here is a sample of the macro guidelines and a meal plan I use for trainees that wish to accomplish a recomposition effect (simultaneous fat burning and muscle building) This is based on a 180lb male athlete

Weight Training Day


1-1.5 grams per

pound of bwt



1.5-2 grams per pound of bwt



0.4-0.75 grams

per pound of bwt

Non-weight training day


.5-.75 gram per

pound of bwt



1.5–2 grams per

pound of bwt



0.75-1 grams

per pound of bwt

Meal Plan

Rise at 6-7am


9-11 am Underfeeding Meal 1

5g BCAA- Optional but helpful

6oz 0% fat Greek Yogurt or 4 egg whites

1tbsp flax seeds or .5tbsp olive oil


12-2 pm Underfeeding Meal 2

5g BCAA- again optional

1 scoop low carb protein powder or 2oz lean meat

1oz raw pecans


Pre workout meal at 4-5pm

5g BCAA- optional

1 scoop low carb protein powder

1 medium orange/grapefruit

1oz raw almonds


Workout From 5-7

During workout

1 scoop low carb protein powder


Post workout

1 scoop low carb protein powder

50g Swedish Oat starch/Waxy maize/Maltose/Dextrose/8oz sweet potato


Main Feeding or “Feast” 1 hour later and last until 1 hour before bed

14oz cooked  ground turkey breast or 14oz top flank steak

1.5 cup cooked brown rice pasta

2 scoops casein based protein powder

3g Fish Oil

8oz cooked sweet potato

1.5tbsp natural almond butter

1tbsp Walnut or Avocado Oil


Daily totals

Protein     270g       1.5g/lb

Carbs       180         1g/lb

Fats          70          .4g/lb

Calories    2,565* does not include trace macros

*For morning trainees I recommend consuming ¾ of your pre/during/pwo meal and resuming underfeeding from there until it is time to feast at night.

There you have it.  It looks totally different from everything we have ever been told about nutrition but it flat out works and works wonderfully.

Do you have a question for Michael Keck? Drop a comment below



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Leave A Reply (6 comments so far)

  • Pingback: 4 Reasons Why I Love the Warrior Diet()

  • What’s the best place to find the guidelines of how to put a MWD together? Thanks

  • Thanks for your comment. Did you read the article? There are guidelines in it. What guidelines are you looking for exactly?

  • Ash


    Thanks for the great info, but how would I change eating on a non training day? Would I still do the bulk of my eating later on in the day or would I just do the standard 6 meals a day with the correct macros?



  • Ash,

    Thanks for checking out the article.

    Non training days are treated the same as training days in terms of meal frequency and timing. The primary difference is there is no during or PWO meal/shake to be had.
    Protein is kept at the same levels, carbs are dropped lower and fats are the same or slightly higher depending on the persons goals.

  • alen Timmy

    i’m trying to gain lean mass and mayby even lose some fat% or at max stay the same
    what do i need to increase than to fit my goals cause i don’t think at 2565kcal i can add mass since it’s under my maintenance
    i’m 169pounds at 12% so about 150lean lbs
    i aslo train in the morning.

    ps in the gym they said i should do a 60/25/15macro split being carbs/proteine/fat
    but i’m endomorph so gain easely and little sceptic on the amount of carbs (over 450grams each day) that’s why i want to try your way but don’t know how to apply it

    hope you can help me out