I consider myself to be a pretty healthy eater. I know when to turn down cake at the office and eat salads for plenty of meals. Thing is, the scale doesn’t always reflect that. My weight fluctuates like crazy, and I have the range of clothing in sizes 4 to 10 in my closet to prove it.
Recently, I noticed I was creeping up towards the larger end of my closet and knew it was time to get down to business. I’d seen so much buzz about The Bulletproof Diet out there and decided to give it a try.
The Deal With The Bulletproof Diet
Well, turns out, this fatty coffee is a staple of a larger eating plan, called The Bulletproof Diet. Created by ‘biohacker’ Dave Asprey, Bulletproof is all about losing fat while and maintaining muscle and decreasing inflammation, balancing hormones and blood sugar, and boosting energy and cognitive function.
To make the magic happen, you majorly slash carbs, cut out inflammatory foods (like processed sugar, grains, and legumes), and load up on lots of healthy fats and vegetables. Instead of counting calories, you focus on eating (and eliminating) the right foods.
Related: 6 Signs You Have Inflammation
Though I’ve always been a little wary of diets that require eliminating major food groups (I’m more of the ‘everything in moderation’ type), Bulletproof claims it can help you lose up to a pound a day, feel better than ever, and conquer cravings—and that certainly appealed.
To prep for my Bulletproof experiment, I took to Instagram and the internet to learn as much as I could about the diet. I printed out Asprey’s ‘Bulletproof roadmap’ to reference when I wasn’t sure about what I could and couldn’t eat. (There are a lot more rules than you’d think! You’re not even supposed to microwave food…)
After saving a few meals that sounded good, I hit the grocery store with my roadmap in-hand.
Disclaimer: I always find the first week of a diet to be the easiest, since I kick off with so much motivation that I can power through the tough times.
I charged into my first week of Bulletproof with exactly that mindset: determined to ace the plan, boost my energy, and watch the scale go down.
My biggest challenge ended up being breakfast. Before Bulletproof, I always ate the same thing in the morning: oatmeal with fruit. Considering oats are off-the-table on Bulletproof—and fruit should be limited to about a serving per day, I had to find a new A.M. meal.
Bulletproof encourages healthy fats and protein for breakfast, so I opted for two sunny-side-up eggs cooked in the brand’s grass-fed ghee, along with some avocado and a Bulletproof Coffee.
Honestly, I didn’t love the fat-filled coffee. I’m definitely more of a tea person—but when I do drink coffee, I like it with milk and sugar, so Bulletproof coffee just tasted off. But, knowing it was a cornerstone of the diet, I drank it down.
Throughout the week, I noticed I needed a few extra minutes to whip up my breakfast than usual, and had to adjust my schedule a bit to accommodate that.
Luckily, lunch and dinner were pretty easy. I stuck with salads for lunch (making sure any add-ons were Bulletproof-friendly) and paired a protein with lots of veggies for dinners. One favorite: zoodles with meatballs.
Bulletproof aims to help you cut down on snacking, but when I found myself hungry around mid-afternoon, I swapped my usual piece of fruit for a Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bar. The bar always filled me up, but didn’t quite satisfy like my fresh fruit. (I know fruit can have a lot of sugar, but c’mon, it’s natural!)
As I adjusted to eating fewer carbs and more healthy fats, I found myself going to bed a little hungry a few times, but otherwise had no complaints. Sure, I missed sugar and carbs (who wouldn’t), but my determination kept me from caving.
By my second week on Bulletproof, I realized continued success would require careful meal planning and grocery shopping. Luckily, trips to the supermarket were quick, since I walked right past most of the aisles containing snacks and grains—but my Seamless days were over!
Though I found plenty of recipes on social media, I just didn’t have much time or energy to cook during the week, so, for the sake of simplicity, I stuck with my original eats.
Still this week, I found myself craving carbs and sweets, which was a struggle considering most sweet stuff is off-limits on Bulletproof.
I also noticed my mid-afternoon slump still hung around. I sipped on some green tea (oddly the only type of tea encouraged on the diet) to give myself a boost, which helped a bit. In retrospect, though, I realized my lunchtime salads probably didn’t contain enough healthy fats to compensate for the carbs I’d slashed. Lesson learned: You have to up your fat a lot to feel its fueling benefits.
The other pain point that popped up: eating out. Ordering a plain chicken breast at a fantastic Italian restaurant while everyone else twirled delicious pasta really sucked the fun out of eating out. I had a hard time finding something Bulletproof-friendly on many a menu.
The result: I tried to eat out less the rest of the month, which forced me to get more creative in the kitchen and have fun with my food!
Weeks Three And Four
Throughout the last two weeks on Bulletproof, I still didn’t notice any significant changes in my energy. An, honestly, I still missed my morning oatmeal a bit.
Though my ability to turn down pizza and desserts grew easier, some social situations made it virtually impossible to stick with the diet.
One example: a friend’s bridal shower, which had a fixed menu. I either had to break the diet or not eat. Everything looked delicious, and I didn’t want to be rude, so I did my best to avoid the crust on the quiche and pass on wine.
On the bright side, I was starting to feel lighter!
One Month Bulletproof
When the one-month mark rolled around, I realized that my afternoon slumps had finally become less slumpy. Also, the bloating I used to experience here and there had disappeared. (A sign of lower inflammation, perhaps?)
I felt darn proud of myself for sticking to Bulletproof pretty closely all month long. However, looking back, I wondered if pumping my meals with more healthy fats would have helped me feel more satisfied and energized throughout the day—and ultimately boosted my results.
When I stepped on the scale, I was a bit disappointed to find I’d lost exactly 5.2 pounds.
Though I won’t continue with super-strict Bulletproof eating now that my month is up, I will carry some of its principles with me moving forward. For one, I will try to keep carbs low, since it’s a proven way to shed pounds. I will, however, definitely bring fruit and some whole grains back into my life.
Hopefully taking this modified approach will help me keep the weight off while enjoying some more flexibility!