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

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

Join to Live a Super­hu­man Life
Which includes no spam!



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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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