Diet 101: The Bulletproof Diet

Are butter and coffee the answer to weight loss? According to Dave Asprey, the creator of the Bulletproof Diet, these two foods along with a laundry list of “bulletproof” foods are how you can shed pounds and reclaim your energy.

Are butter and coffee the answer to weight loss? According to Dave Asprey, the creator of the Bulletproof Diet, these two foods along with a laundry list of “bulletproof” foods are how you can shed pounds and reclaim your energy. If you think this diet is different than all the others, you’re sadly mistaken.

Overview

Asprey, once morbidly obese, lost weight and has spent over 15 years and over $300,000 hacking into his own biology. The theory behind the diet is if you choose bulletproof foods, and avoid those that are kryptonite and "toxic" foods, you will lose weight, become smarter and transform your life (mind and body).

There’s no calorie counting or measuring portions. and the weight will melt away without an ounce of exercise. The diet consists of 50 to 60 percent calories from healthy fat, 20 percent from protein and 20 to 30 percent from vegetables.

Bulletproof Coffee is a must-have on the plan. Asprey claims that most coffee beans are filled with toxins, so it’s important to purchase “low toxin” beans from your local store. To make your morning Bulletproof Coffee, combine "low toxin" coffee with grass-fed butter and either coconut oil or medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. This 400-calorie cup of joe promises to help get you into ketosis so you can burn fat, lose weight and halt hunger. Bulletproof Coffee can help you follow intermittent fasting if you choose, so snacks are not encouraged.

The Rules

There are so many rules on this plan it can make your head spin. Here are some of the main ones:

1. Eliminate gluten and sugar.

2. Limit fruit to one to two servings per day.

3. Eat foods high in fat, like pasteurized egg yolks, krill oil, grass-fed meat fat and marrow, avocado oil, coconut oil, and sunflower lecithin.

4. Limit polyunsaturated fats (like safflower and sunflower oil).

5. Choose organic grass-fed butter as your main source of dairy. If you are allergic, ghee or colostrum (from the cow) are alternatives.

6. Choose grass-fed meats that are as fatty as possible. If grain-fed meat is your only option, then choose the leanest option.

The Meal Plan

A two-week meal plan is provided to take the guesswork out of the initial diet. A sample day looks like:

Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee

Lunch (eaten 15 to 18 hours after last night’s dinner):  Bulletproof Taco Salad (made with grass-fed and organic ground beef, lettuce, carrots, cucumber, cabbage and avocado)

Dinner (eaten 5 to 6 hours after lunch): Roasted Lamb Rack with Vegetables and Cauliflower-Bacon Mash

Dessert: Bulletproof Cupcakes (made with rice flour and sugar alcohol)

The Costs

The book The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life retails for $26.99. You can also purchase Bulletproof Coffee for $18.95 per 12-ounce bag. A variety of other Bulletproof foods and supplements can be purchased from the website store. Additional costs include the pricey food tags. Grass-fed butter and meats cost a pretty penny that many folks can’t afford to spend. The special oils, ingredients and other recommended supplements will also cost you. It will also be very difficult to follow the diet when socializing, dining out and running a household with kids.

The Good
  • No calorie counting or measuring
  • Promotes eating vegetables
The Not-So Good
  • Theory is based on gibberish — although he claims to use scientific evidence, many of the “facts” stated in the book are false.
  • The book has an overload of information and rules to follow.
  • Numerous food groups and foods are cut out of the diet, leaving room for deficiency.
  • Very tough to follow over the long haul
  • Expensive to follow
  • Promotes little or no exercise

An array of 10 supplements is recommended, which can interact with medications. A physician or registered dietitian should be consulted before taking any supplements.

The Bottom Line

Skip the Bulletproof Diet and save your sanity from deciphering all its rules. It’s another fad that has come our way and will quickly vanish like the rest.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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