You may have heard of the bulletproof coffee, a new “hobby” of people who want to lose weight. The “bulletproof” diet has also recently gained popularity. It is assumed that on this diet you can lose up to a pound per day and achieve a high level of energy and concentration.
What is a bulletproof diet?
Bulletproof 360 is the company that is promoting the diet to the masses. During the diet, we have to focus on fats consumed, and only after that on the number of proteins and carbohydrates.
Like most diets, a “bulletproof” diet has its pros, cons, and side effects for health. Therefore, it would be better to study all the possible negative consequences of such a diet.
Dave Asprey, Bulletproof’s technology manager, who later became a true biohacking guru, created the “bulletproof” diet in 2014.
Asprey checked his diet first on himself. In his youth, Asprey’s weight reached 250 pounds. In the bulletproof diet, Asprey describes his weight loss experience as a 15-year marathon for gaining desired weight and health without traditional diets. He also claims that you can follow his experience to achieve the same results. Asprey presents the “Bulletproof” diet as an anti-inflammatory program and promises a lack of hunger, quick results in weight loss, and improving cognitive functions.
How does this diet work?
A “bulletproof” diet is a cyclic keto diet — a modified version of a ketogenic diet. It allows you to eat ketogenic food – with a large amount of fat and little carbohydrates – for 5-6 days a week. On “ketogenic” days, you need to strive to get 75% of calories from fat, 20% from protein, and only 5% from carbohydrates. Such a diet introduces your body into a state of ketosis – a natural process in which the body begins to burn fats, instead of carbohydrates, to get energy.
According to Asprey, the goal of carbohydrate replenishment is to avoid the negative health side effects attributed to ketogenic diets, such as constipation and kidney stones. The diet also implies periodic intermittent fasting, that is, complete abstinence from eating at a certain time.
Particularly encouraged to drink branded “Bulletproof coffee” – coffee with organic unsalted butter and butter with medium-chain triglycerides.
Will the diet help to lose weight?
Although there have been no studies studying the effect of the “Bulletproof” diet on weight loss, there is no ideal diet that would be perfect for everyone. Diets that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat, such as the keto diet, lead to faster weight loss than other diets.
The best condition for losing or maintaining weight is your ability to follow a low-calorie diet for a long period. Due to the high-fat content, keto diets are considered complete and allow you to eat less and lose weight very quickly.
As with most diets, the “Bulletproof” diet has strict rules that you must follow if you want to get results. The diet allows certain foods, excludes others, recommends specific cooking methods, and promotes its own branded foods.
In terms of diet, Asprey places products in the range from “toxic” to “bulletproof”. You must replace any toxic foods in your diet with “bulletproof”.
Toxic products according to Asprey are:
Drinks: milk, soy milk, packaged juices, soda, sports drinks;
Vegetables: raw spinach and kale, beets, mushrooms, any canned vegetables;
Fats: chicken fat, vegetable oils, margarine, spreads;
Nuts and legumes: chickpeas, peas, beans, and peanuts;
Dairy products: skimmed or low-fat milk, inorganic milk or yogurt, cheese, and ice cream;
Meat and fish: frozen meat and fish;
Cereals: oatmeal, buckwheat, quinoa, wheat, corn, and potato starch;
Fruits: melon, grapes, dried fruits, preserves and jams, jellies and canned fruits;
Spices: ready-made dressings, broths, sauces;
Sweeteners: sugar, agave syrup, fructose, artificial sugar substitutes.
Products that are considered as “bulletproof”:
Drinks: “Bulletproof” coffee, green tea, coconut water;
Vegetables: cauliflower, olives, asparagus, lettuce, zucchini, boiled broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts;
Fats: triglyceride oil, egg yolks (farm eggs), butter (preferably farm), fish oil and palm oil;
Nuts: coconut, almonds, cashews;
Meat: Bulletproof branded proteins (such as whey or collagen protein), farm eggs, beef and lamb, salmon;
Starches: sweet potato, yams, potatoes, carrots, white rice, tapioca, and cassava;
Fruits: blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, and avocados;
Spices: Bulletproof branded products (such as cocoa and vanilla), sea salt, cilantro, turmeric, rosemary, and thyme.
1. Limited supporting scientific evidence
The creator of the Bulletproof Diet claims that it is based on convincing scientific evidence, but the results are of poor quality and not applicable to most people.
So, for example, Asprey gives false data claiming that eating cereals contributes to nutrient deficiency. However, crops are often enriched with many important nutrients, and their intake increases rather than reduces the intake of important nutrients.
2. Bulletproof diet can be too expensive
Asprey recommends using organic products and farm meat, stating that they are more nutritious and contain fewer pesticide residues. However, since these products are much more expensive than their regular “versions,” not everyone can buy them.
3. It is advisable to purchase special products
A “bulletproof” line of branded products makes this diet even more expensive. Many of Asprey’s considered bulletproof foods are his proprietary products. Asprey argues that buying expensive products from his company will make the diet more successful. But is that true?
4. May cause an eating disorder
A rigid classification of food as “toxic” or “bulletproof” can lead to people thinking unhealthy about food. This can further lead to an unhealthy obsession with eating only healthy foods – orthorexia Nervosa. Also, following a strict all-or-nothing dietary approach is associated with overeating and weight gaining afterward.
To sum up, we can say that the “Bulletproof” diet combines a cyclic ketogenic diet with interval fasting. Being a cyclic ketogenic diet, a “Bulletproof” diet can indeed help you lose weight quickly, especially in the short term. It may be useful for short-term rapid weight loss and for controlling appetite, but it is quite difficult to follow.