Bulletproof or Bullshit?

Photo Jan 19, 8 03 00 PM

I just finished reading The Bulletproof Diet by Dave Asprey.  I was thinking I’d do a little self-experimenting of my own over the next couple weeks to see how fantastic I could get to feeling. Joel and I are doing dry January so I figured this would be the perfect way to finish up feeling good this month.

Dave Asprey is the Silicon Valley, millionaire, ‘biohacker’ behind the Bulletproof coffee craze. I decided to hear what he has to say.  I even thought about ordering his Bulletproof coffee starter kit but, we forgot we had to actually pay for our wedding rings when we bought them. Apparently, they don’t just give them to you for free because you’re excited. I’m a little light on my budget this week as a result.

However, after reading the book and doing a bit more research on my own, I’ve decided not to move forward with the diet.  Here’s why.

1. I forgot that I don’t believe in strict diets. Oops. 

Sometimes I get lured in by the promises of nutrition book titles.  “Lose a pound a day!” “Supercharge your energy!” etc, etc.  The act of ‘dieting’ though, has done nothing but cause me trouble over the years.  It wasn’t until I stopped trying to stick to ridiculous, restrictive, daily regiments, that I actually lost the 20 extra pounds I gained after college and started feeling like myself again.  Since then, I’ve fluctuated between the same 5 lbs or so regardless of what I do.

I’m getting married in June though, so obviously I want to look my absolute best. I think I’m just overly susceptible to the false promises shouting from the covers of nutrition books at the moment.  At least I’m aware of this though, I suppose.

2.  I don’t really believe in taking extracts.

Dave strongly advises using MCT Oil – a medium chain fatty acid extract – in his famous Bulletproof coffee.  He basically says not to bother if you don’t buy his product and use it.

You’re supposed to mix grass-fed butter, MCT oil or what he calls “Brain Octane” with high quality, single origin coffee. I’m wary of this. Some things just seem too far removed from nature to be ingesting on a regular basis. Call me crazy but, I think that taking extracts is unnecessary and odd.

That being said, I did not technically make Bulletproof coffee.  I made what he calls “butter coffee”. I blended single origin Starbucks Sumatra coffee (french pressed) with 1 tablespoon of grass-fed butter and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.  The result was a frothy, oily little concoction that tasted pretty good.  I mean, really good butter tastes really good, right? It tasted like a latte.  It wasn’t very warm though and it didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for my mental clarity, focus or energy.

Photo Jan 19, 10 25 26 AM

If you want to give it a go, by all means prove me wrong.  I’d honestly love to hear firsthand about an out of body, super-charged-energy and mental clarity experience with it. Until then, I’m just not really buying it. I think it’s good to experiment but, I also think it’s good to trust your gut. Mine is saying “Come on, man, 5 Hour Energy says it does the same thing and I’m not drinking that shit”.

I do support adding grass-fed butter and coconut oil to your coffee though, if you want.  I’d already done that a few times.  I’ve read about all the benefits of coconut oil and healthy anti-inflammatory fats for better skin.  I think we’re all in need of better quality fats and that’s a decent way to get some in your belly each morning, if you enjoy it, that is.

3.  I don’t generally believe people who claim that their products are the only answer to the problem. 

It seemed like his entire book was an infomercial for the products on his site.  Obviously he is biased.  What I’ve learned over the years is that if people stand to profit from the outcome of ‘research’, they are not always straightforward in their presentation of the facts. Certain things are highlighted, certain things are omitted, certain things are twisted, all to tweak the research to back up their claims.

I’m not saying this is what he’s done, I’m just saying that I’ve seen it happen too many times to take what someone who’s selling something says at face value.

Check out what Joe Rogan has to say about this. He interviewed Dave on his show and after not only advocating for, but also selling Dave’s stuff, he did his own research into the claims and was not happy about what he found out. Basically, he feels he was duped.

4. Anyone who offers you a magic bullet to weight loss and long term health is probably full of it. 

There are a lot of different ways to lose weight. There are a lot of different ways to be healthy. I think that there are general principles we can all follow to feel better every day but, there is no magic bullet to weight loss and long term health.  If there is, it’s just a compilation of all the boring stuff we know we’re supposed to do but, don’t generally feel like doing.

We’re all different. Our bodies are different.  Our personal, biological needs are different and when you start giving people a universal, magic bullet, I stop believing you.

The answer to the ‘what should I eat to lose weight and be healthy’ question can be a complicated one.  One that each of us should answer for ourselves based on how we feel and the state of our actual health. The answer is not always simple.

I guess I’m really just sick to death of all these magic bullet type nutrition books. I’m sick to death of this billion-dollar industry confusing the hell out of everyone and leaving us all fat, sick, tired and frustrated. I see books like this as part of the problem, not the solution.

The bottom line as I see it

The Bulletproof Diet may be helping a bunch of people feel really good. A lot of diets will do that, especially ones that focus on real, whole foods. There is some valid, good info in this book.

What bothers me is the products and the claim that they’re the solution. He’s really selling these products hard. This makes it hard for me to refrain from calling into question the validity of his ‘research’ and the mysterious ‘processing’ of his coffee that he won’t tell anyone about.

I’m just not buying it.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t take what I say at face value either.  I’m just one human who’s read a lot of books and has an opinion. Get out there and see/read/experiment for yourself.

At the end of the day, you’re the one who has to figure out what makes you feel your best.  No one else can do that for you. Maybe you will love Bulletproof coffee and the diet and you’ll feel amazing and start immediately kicking ass and taking names. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you will just drink frothy, oily coffee and cut out carbs for a while. I don’t know. You won’t know until you try.

Anyone else have an opinion on this?  I’d love to hear about it.  Have you tried Bulletproof coffee or The Bulletproof Diet?  What are your thoughts?

Dana

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for the awesome analysis, Dana! I was JUST thinking that I need to head over to Hu Kitchen to try some bulletproof coffee and see what all the hullabaloo is about. (There’s no way I’m blending up some coffee and butter myself.)

    The claim that I’m most skeptical of “This is an excellent breakfast replacement.” Really? A cup of coffee is better for you than a bowl of oatmeal/pastured eggs/whole wheat toast with almond butter? I just don’t buy that. Especially since I’m hearing this from various health coaches/doctors who previously have said that coffee has no nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible. So now that you’ve added grass-fed butter to it, it all of a sudden has these inherent magical powers? I call that “jumping on the bandwagon.” Sometimes it’s fun to jump on the bandwagon, but it’s good to keep perspective on passing trends.

  2. Yes Laura, keeping perspective on passing trends is so important. If we tried to keep up with everything new fad that came along, we’d be in big trouble. I think the best thing we can do is educate ourselves, experiment to find what works for us, and then trust our own instincts. Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

Leave a Reply