Bulletproof Diet

Erin Coleman, R.D., L.D.
cup of coffee

With a name like Bulletproof Diet, this weight loss plan seems worth a try. But you might be wondering if the diet is effective and safe before you give it a go.

What Is It?

This diet is a restrictive food plan designed to help support muscle maintenance, enhance fat loss, lower inflammation, balance hormones, control blood sugar, and boost energy and brain function. The diet's founder claims following it helps improve mood, boost happiness, and reduce food cravings. The plan divides foods into zones; you can eat as many foods in the green zone as you want, consume yellow zone foods in moderation, and steer clear of red zone foods.

The diet's founder Dave Asprey designed the diet after much research and many failed weight loss attempts. He claims a 100-pound fat loss, energy increase, chronic disease symptom reduction, and an improved IQ after switching to the diet.

What Can/Can't You Eat?

Generally speaking, you'll focus on eating nutrient-dense, high-quality foods (preferably green zone foods) when following the diet.

Foods to choose include:

  • Bulletproof coffee (8 ounces of brewed coffee made with filtered water and 2 ½ tablespoons of ground Bulletproof coffee beans. Mix the coffee with about 1 tablespoon of Brain Octane Oil and 1 to 2 tablespoons of grass-fed ghee or unsalted grass-fed butter.)
  • Brain Octane Oil (medium-chain triglyceride oil derived from coconut oil)
  • XCT Oil (another Bulletproof oil; MCT oil derived from coconut oil)
  • Grass-fed butter
  • Grass-fed ghee
  • Cocoa butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Organic fruits (1 to 2 servings daily)
  • Organic non-starchy vegetables
  • Full-fat, raw dairy foods from grass-fed cows
  • Grass-fed meat (bison, beef, and lamb)
  • Pastured pork, turkey, chicken, and duck
  • Pastured eggs
  • Wild caught fish and other seafood

Foods to steer clear of when following the diet include:

  • Added sugars (including sugars found in sports drinks, fruit juices, other sugary drinks, sweets, salad dressings, sauces, honey, agave, and maple syrup -- just to name a few)
  • Corn oil
  • Canola oil
  • Soy oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Flax oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Smoked foods
  • Grilled foods
  • Fried foods
  • Microwaved foods
  • Legumes (beans, peas and lentils)
  • Peanuts
  • Processed, pasteurized or homogenized dairy foods
  • Artificial sugars
  • MSG, dyes and artificial flavorings
  • Gluten
  • Grains (including barley, oats, corn and other cereal grains)
  • Farmed fish

What to Expect

You don't have to count calories when following the diet. Simply follow the food plan instructions, eat foods on the green zone list, and avoid foods on the "do not eat" foods list. The diet is basically a high-protein, low-carb meal plan rich in dietary fat (especially medium chain triglycerides from coconut oil and dairy fat). It's similar to a MCT oil diet or ketogenic meal plan.

Does the Diet Work?

The Founder of the diet claims a 100-pound weight loss using the diet. Studies show medium-chain triglycerides appear to help lower body weight, waist circumference, hip circumference, and total body fat when used in place of long chain triglycerides, but more research is needed in this area.

In a 2014 U.S. News and World Report, medical experts chime in saying you can lose weight using this diet if it helps you reduce calories, but that the diet nixes healthy foods like corn, grains, and legumes and due to its restrictive nature, the diet may be difficult to follow long term, making it hard to keep lost weight off.

Pros and Cons

As with any type of eating plan, pros and cons exist when following this diet. You can certainly lose weight when on it due to the diet's low carb content and the fact it cuts out added sugar and other junk foods. Not having to count calories or measure food is another perk.

But, paying for Bulletproof supplements is a drawback for some people, and such supplements aren't necessary to lose weight effectively. While the diet claims a boost in energy, some people may feel fatigued when restricting carbs. Another shortcoming of this weight loss plan is it eliminates nutrient-dense foods like low-fat dairy products, corn, grains, legumes, peanuts, and many heart-healthy plant-based oils.

Who Should Follow the Diet?

The diet is designed for anybody willing to give it a try but always have a doctor's approval before you give it a go. If you've tried other weight loss diets with no avail, it won't hurt to turn to the Bulletproof diet. However, if you're looking for something less restrictive you can stick with long term, consider reduced-calorie MyPlate diets or the Mediterranean diet.

Bulletproof Diet