The Bulletproof Diet: How to Upgrade Paleo and Eat More Chocolate, Butter, and Coffee Everyday!

Posted on 08. Apr, 2012 by in What to Eat

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Dave Asprey starts almost every day off by blend­ing around 6 spoon­fuls of Ker­ry­Gold but­ter and/or MCT Oil (another fat source) into his morn­ing cup of coffee.

For the last 2 years, he has con­sumed between 4000 and 4500 calo­ries daily with­out exer­cise.

At one point in his life, Dave weighed over 300 lbs and was obese.

Today, Dave is in the best shape he has ever been.

Despite com­mon belief sur­round­ing his butter-blended cof­fee and high-calorie diet, Dave cur­rently sits just over 200 lbs and is the ripped guy you see in the pic­ture below.

Dave Asprey The Bulletproof Executive

How did Dave Asprey go from diet­ing and exer­cis­ing all the time and weigh­ing over 300 lbs, to eat­ing 4500 calo­ries daily, never exer­cis­ing, and los­ing 100 lbs?

You’re about to find out.

Dave Asprey, aka The Bul­let­proof Exec­u­tive, is the ulti­mate bio­hacker.  He has spent over $250,000 in the last 15 years to hack his body, upgrade his IQ, and dra­mat­i­cally increase his men­tal and phys­i­cal performance.

I was ini­tially turned on to Dave’s blog and pod­cast a few weeks ago when I was search­ing for a high-quality whey pro­tein to start using as a sup­ple­ment for myself.  @DrRCPatel on Twit­ter rec­om­mended Dave’s Upgraded Whey Pro­tein and I began check­ing out some of the arti­cles on Dave’s Bul­let­Proof Exec­u­tive blog.

One of the first arti­cles I came across on the blog was the recipe for Bul­let­proof Cof­fee.  Ini­tially, I thought Dave was just some crazy guy who put a lot of but­ter in his cof­fee, but I was intrigued enough to con­tinue explor­ing his site.  It quickly became clear to me that Dave knew what he was talk­ing about, and there was plenty of research and results to back up his uncon­ven­tional methods.

If you look at noth­ing else on Dave’s blog, please check out the Bul­let­proof Diet Info­graphic.  I have talked a lot in pre­vi­ous posts about upgrad­ing the paleo diet for max­i­mum ben­e­fits, and the Bul­let­proof Diet does exactly that.  The info­graphic sep­a­rates foods by cat­e­gories so not only can you pick from pro­teins, veg­gies, and fats, but you can see which foods are the BEST pro­teins, the BEST veg­gies, and the BEST fats.  He even does this for non-paleo options like grains, legumes, and added sweet­en­ers.  I have included a screen­shot below, but sign up for The Bul­let­proof Exec­u­tive email list to down­load the full PDF.  I hope this doesn’t spoil things for you but beef, but­ter, and choco­late are all foods you should be eat­ing more of!


This info­graphic takes most of the guess­work out of eat­ing qual­ity food.  While Dave’s rec­om­men­da­tions look very sim­i­lar to a paleo diet, there are a few key dis­tinc­tions between the Bul­let­proof way of eat­ing and stan­dard paleo:

1) The Role of Mycotoxins

Myco­tox­ins are mold tox­ins that are formed by yeast and fungi and can dra­mat­i­cally dam­age the qual­ity of our food.  They are espe­cially preva­lent in things like corn, wheat, and other grains, but they can also effect oth­er­wise healthy foods like cof­fee and choco­late.   This is why the Bul­let­proof Diet rec­om­mends strict stan­dards for buy­ing cof­fee as well as opt­ing for European-sourced dark choco­late such as Lindt.  For more infor­ma­tion on myco­tox­ins, read this arti­cle.

2) The Effect of Cook­ing or Over­cook­ing on Food Quality

This is some­thing most paleo advo­cates rec­og­nize as an issue, but tend to ignore in favor of sim­plic­ity.  There are a lot of stud­ies that sug­gest the dan­gers of microwav­ing or over­cook­ing food and Dr. Mer­cola has writ­ten a cou­ple arti­cles out­lin­ing some of these issues.  As the Bul­let­proof diet sug­gests, lightly cooked or even raw food tends to be your health­i­est option.

3) Adding Impor­tant Sup­ple­ments Can Opti­mize Your Diet and Over­all Performance

One of the assump­tions with a stan­dard paleo diet, is that sup­ple­ments are not nec­es­sary when you are eat­ing real food all the time.  While I believe this to be true to an extent, there are some key dif­fer­ences between our cur­rent food sup­ply and what our hunter gath­erer ances­tors ate.  Myco­tox­ins, depleted soil and water, and cur­rent food pro­duc­tion meth­ods are just a few of the things that are mak­ing the same food less nutri­tious today than it was in our ances­tral past.  It’s actu­ally been esti­mated that the aver­age per­son would have to con­sume over 27,000 calo­ries daily just to meet their rec­om­mended vit­a­min and min­eral needs.  But instead of just pop­ping a mul­ti­vi­t­a­min and call­ing it a day, the Bul­let­proof Diet would like peo­ple to make a more tar­geted approach with valu­able sup­ple­ments like vit­a­min D, calcium-D-glucarate, mag­ne­sium, and fish oil.

Over the last few weeks I have been exper­i­ment­ing with some of the Bul­let­proof prin­ci­ples by eat­ing more but­ter (about a half a stick of Ker­ry­Gold daily), choco­late (close to 1 full 85% Lindt bar daily), and cof­fee (I went from no cof­fee to about 1 cup daily).  I have also been eat­ing more food raw or lightly cooked, and started adding in some key sup­ple­ments like mag­ne­sium, vit­a­min D, and glu­t­a­mine.  I look and feel pretty good so far and will keep every­one updated as I con­tinue to exper­i­ment even more.

I have also tried both the Upgraded Cof­fee and the Upgraded Whey that Dave sells and I am very happy with both.  While they are more expen­sive than most cof­fee or pro­tein prod­ucts out there, I have lit­tle doubt that they are among the high­est qual­ity forms of either one that you could buy.  My brother claimed that the Upgraded Whey tastes like con­crete, but per­son­ally I like the taste and don’t mind drink­ing it just mixed in water.  The cof­fee, on the other hand, tastes amaz­ing, espe­cially when blended with but­ter and coconut oil.  I feel pretty Super­hu­man (or should I say, Bul­let­proof) when I drink both and that is what really matters.

To pur­chase either prod­uct, check out the Upgraded Self store or click on the affil­i­ate links you see below.

If eat­ing more but­ter, choco­late, and cof­fee inter­ests you than I would highly rec­om­mend check­ing out The Bul­let­proof Exec­u­tive blog or lis­ten­ing to the Upgraded Self pod­casts which you can find for free on ITunes.

Bul­let­proofTM Upgraded Cof­fee

Bul­let­proofTM Upgraded Whey



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11 Responses to “The Bulletproof Diet: How to Upgrade Paleo and Eat More Chocolate, Butter, and Coffee Everyday!”

  1. mayhem

    23. Oct, 2012

    Hello, Can you tell me when one would eat choco­late and “get some” ice cream on the bul­let­proof diet?  I’ve seen where some folks have the choco­late before break­ing their fast but wouldn’t the small amounts of sugar (in a lindt bar) cause you to come out of keto­sis.  I also have seen peo­ple eat­ing the “get some” ice cream recipe before the fast as well…would that take you out of keto­sis as well?  I’m just con­fused as to when the best time to eat these foods would be!

    • Tony Frezza

      31. Oct, 2012

      Small amounts of sugar from a choco­late bar or small serv­ing of the ice cream won’t pull you out of keto­sis. Most peo­ple can main­tain keto­sis by shoot­ing for the goal of under 50 carbs a day. Don’t try to do too much, reward your­self every 3rd or 4th day with a small, “bet­ter for you” treat and keep your san­ity mayhem. :)

  2. Amit Sonawane

    02. Jun, 2012

    Still going strong on the BP diet? I’d love to hear your thoughts now that you’re about a month in. 



    • Andrew

      04. Jun, 2012

      I don’t know if you could nec­es­sar­ily say I was ever “on” the bul­let­proof diet specif­i­cally. Most of the nutri­tion prin­ci­ples that I have been fol­low­ing for the last year align closely with the bul­let­proof diet so in that sense I was fol­low­ing it. The one change I did make since stum­bling across the BP Exec blog was con­sum­ing more dark choco­late, grass-fed beef, and but­ter than nor­mal (not so much the cof­fee) with­out any notice­able neg­a­tive effects. I have a much more phys­i­cally active lifestyle than Dave so I think nat­u­rally there will be some dif­fer­ences in what we do per­son­ally and advo­cate for other peo­ple. One of those being eat­ing more starchy veg­eta­bles like squashes, yams, sweet pota­toes, and plan­tains when the BP Diet lists those in the foods that should be lim­ited. All in all, I think the BP Diet is pretty solid and I like the way it is pre­sented where peo­ple can con­tinue to move closer and closer to the green side of the diet with­out being dog­matic about try­ing to be perfect.

  3. Andrew Frezza

    12. Apr, 2012

    Hey Bill,

    You make some excel­lent points and I agree with you that Dave prob­a­bly couldnt have attained that level of lean­ness and mus­cle mass with­out a lot of the sup­ple­ments that he takes. It should also be noted that most of Dave’s advice for other peo­ple is to sleep more and to sup­ple­ment with basic vit­a­mins and min­er­als like the things I have listed in the post, not nec­es­sar­ily testos­terone. He specif­i­cally states sev­eral times on his pod­cast for oth­ers NOT to try and hack their sleep unless the rest of their life is com­pletely in order. Dave seems to push the healthy lim­its for a lot of things out there while exper­i­ment­ing with his own body, but it seems like his advice for oth­ers is always more rea­son­able and more sub­stan­ti­ated. Its also hard for me to argue with his cur­rent health results (based on his own report­ing of blood tests and such) even though I wouldnt per­son­ally do some of the more extreme things that he does.

    More impor­tantly though I think his diet advice is great and he has a lot of good info on his site­and pod­cast. He prob­a­bly exager­rates the 4000 calo­rie thing a lit­tle too much, but some­times you have to tell peo­ple what they want to hear in order to tell them what they need to hear. There’s a lot of qual­ity infor­ma­tion once you get past the atten­tion grab­bing stuff.

  4. Bill

    09. Apr, 2012

    This should also read, “Dave also takes thy­roid and testos­terone to sup­ple­ment his low con­ver­sion from T4 to T3 and the high chance of arom­a­ti­za­tion from his excess fat tis­sue”. He has admit­ted to this in a few of the pod­casts, though very rarely on the blog posts or in the sec­tions tak­ing about his 4000 calo­rie diet with­out exercise. 

    Most peo­ple would get fat, regard­less of how low carbs are, on that diet with that lit­tle of activ­ity and sleep with­out hor­monal supplementation. 

    I love Bul­let­proof Cof­fee and Whey, but Dave leaves out some key details when he’s play­ing sales­man that end up being pretty sus­pect if you actu­ally think about it. 

    • Joe

      07. Jul, 2012

      I appre­ci­ate the head up re Dave’s sup­ple­men­ta­tion, as have been scratch­ing my head over his bul­let­proof diet. It goes against much of what I thought was true, stuff imparted by some pretty smart fel­las like Drs. Hyman, Mer­cola, Weil and Ornish, not to men­tion my own experience.

      I have a health blog of my own and intend on writ­ing a pros and cons piece about this and the carb back load­ing diets pop­u­lar on the weight lift­ing web sites.  But need to learn more about it all first.


      • Andrew Frezza

        12. Jul, 2012

        Thanks for the input Joe! I know Dr. Mer­cola and Dave agree on a lot of things. Dr. Mercola’s diet info­graphic is actu­ally almost iden­ti­cal to the bul­let­proof diet info­graphic. Good luck with your blog!

      • mike

        03. Jan, 2014

        Joe, appar­ently some can overeat fat calo­ries in large amounts and lose fat or at least not gain. most likely those who are keto adapted who’s bod­ies burn fat.

    • Mierty

      20. Oct, 2012

       Your reply should also read “I didn’t do the extra research that reveals Dave has been on thy­roid med­ica­tion his entire life as he has Hashimoto’s. Even when he was fat.”. Watch Joe Rogans pod­cast episode with him on it. He tells you flat out you should really exer­cise and he was just depriv­ing him­self in order to show how this diet works in eff­i­cency of burn­ing fat in the most SEVERE cases. The diet works and i’ve been on it for months and im feel­ing the best i’ve ever felt, men­tally and phys­i­cally. Cou­pled with inter­mit­tent fast­ing — which is how he eats 4000 a day. You shed the damn fat off. Not sure if you are try­ing to jus­tify that you eat carbs, or what. But the sci­ence is proven. Ancel Keys was wrong and used ter­ri­bled skewed data.

      • mike

        03. Jan, 2014

        And where are your dexa scans? Food logs, BF% test­ing? Dave is a scam­ming sales guy. So tired of his “bul­let­proof” bull­shit over­priced crap. Post your proof you lost fat at 4000 cals — I want to do it too.

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