Going Bulletproof for Beginners
If you’re like most people, you learned the same things I did growing up: You’re stuck with the brain you were born with, being skinny or fat is genetic and performance is a matter of effort.
Oh, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
I can tell you that none of that is true.
I’m Dave Asprey, founder of Bulletproof, and I’m a biohacker.
Biohacking (verb, noun):
(v): changing your environment from the inside-out so you have full control of your biology; using your body as your personal laboratory, finding the exact hacks that work for you.
(n): the art and science of becoming superhuman.
Table of contents:
Welcome to the state of high performance
I can tell you firsthand that you’re not condemned to live with the body and brain you were born with.
For nearly two decades, I’ve been challenging the status quo of nutrition and medicine to feel better and have more energy in my 40s than I did when I was in my teens or 20s. I believe you can do this, too.
Upgrade your life and get better at everything
No matter your weight, your background, your family or work situation, I believe you can upgrade your body and your brain to perform better than you ever have. It doesn’t have to cost a lot. It doesn’t even have to take up a ton of your time.
In fact, the most important step to begin changing your body, your brain, even your career and personal relationships is the belief that you can change.
Join more than 1 million biohackers who follow Bulletproof for insider information on how to supercharge your body, upgrade your brain and be Bulletproof. Here are some of my favorite articles to get you started:
The Bulletproof Diet
The Complete Bulletproof Diet Roadmap: Burn fat, curb cravings and have more energy for the things you love, no calorie counting required. Want a more detailed guide? Check out the free Bulletproof 30 Day Upgrade for meal plans, recipes and tips to start the Bulletproof Diet.
Everything You Need to Know About Bulletproof Coffee: The story and the science behind Bulletproof Coffee. Plus, the one and only Bulletproof Coffee recipe!
Keto Diet for Beginners: Your Complete Guide: Learn the science behind the ketogenic diet and how it can boost your energy, help you manage weight and increase your brain power by burning fat for fuel.
Learn Your Lipids: The Bulletproof Guide to Omega Fats: Quality fats are a mainstay of the Bulletproof Diet and what helped me to lose over 100 pounds and keep it off. But not all fats work the same way in your body. This post is a must-read if you want more brain-boosting, hormone-balancing fats in your diet.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
The Ultimate Guide to MCT Oil and MCT Supplements: MCT oil is a quality fat that can help burn fat and kick your brain into high gear. But not all MCTs are created equal. Read this post for the secret to getting the most out of your MCT oil!
The Complete Intermittent Fasting Guide for Beginners: Intermittent fasting can help you manage your weight, boost brain power and protect your cells. Upgrade your intermittent fast with Bulletproof Coffee to make it more effective with way less effort.
How to Sleep Better: Science-Backed Sleep Hacks to Wake Up Ready to Go: One of the best things you can do for your body and brain is upgrade your sleep. Save these Bulletproof tips to get better, deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.
The Top 10 Supplements That Everyone Should Take: Is it time to throw away your multivitamin? Learn my approach to finding the supplements that work for your body and your performance goals and why your multivitamin may not be as helpful as you think.
The Bulletproof Diet will challenge and change the way you think about weight management and wellness. It shows you how to build a foundation for performance, resilience and health with foods that nourish your mind and body, reduce inflammation and give you more energy.
Download the free Bulletproof Diet Roadmap to get started. You don’t have to do everything at once. It’s better to start small and make changes that add up over time. Implementing just a few of the Bulletproof Diet principles will make a difference. You’ll feel stronger, sharper and happier by making even the smallest steps. And the more you do, the better you’ll feel.
1. Eliminate sugar
Sugar comes in many hidden forms, including fruit juice, sports drinks — even sauces and salad dressings. Even naturally-derived sweeteners like honey, maple syrup and agave can mess with your blood sugar and lead to energy crashes.
This step comes first because eliminating sugar makes a massive impact on how you feel. Since sugar has the same addictive qualities as drugs and alcohol, giving it up early on makes every step after that easier. You don’t have to forsake your sweet tooth entirely. Simply switch to these Bulletproof-approved sweeteners instead.
2. Replace sugar with the right fats
Replace sugary foods with quality fats to curb cravings, add valuable nutrients to your diet and make your food taste amazing. Look for Bulletproof fats like grass-fed butter, Grass-Fed Ghee, Brain Octane MCT oil, avocados, cocoa butter and olive oil.
Avoid inflammatory fats like corn, soy and canola oil, as well as unstable polyunsaturated fats like walnut, flax and peanut oil.
3. Switch to grass-fed meat and wild-caught seafood
The Bulletproof Diet aims to keep toxins low, so the quality of your food matters. Choose pasture-raised, grass-fed meat like beef, lamb and bison. Pasture-raised eggs, pork, chicken, turkey and duck also make good, clean sources of protein. Eat significant amounts of fish and other seafood, but make sure your fish is wild-caught — never farmed! Wild-caught fish is higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, and it has a better nutritional profile than farmed fish
4. Remove grains and gluten
Wheat is a particularly important grain to avoid because of the many negative effects of gluten, a protein found in wheat and other grains. This category also includes corn, oats, barley, and other cereal grains. Here’s a helpful guide to gluten and grains.
5. Eliminate synthetic additives, colorings, and flavorings
Your food should be made of food. Avoid ingredients like aspartame, MSG, dyes and artificial flavorings. Even “natural flavor” on the ingredient label can be questionable. Hundreds of ingredients fall under the “natural flavor” category. Some are legitimately natural: The “natural flavors” in Bulletproof FATWater come from fruit and vegetable essences. Other companies don’t have the same quality standards as Bulletproof. Know what you’re eating.
6. Eliminate legumes
Peanuts, beans and lentils can cause inflammation, especially if you’re sensitive to them. If you must have beans, soak, sprout or ferment them, and cook them yourself.
7. Remove all processed, homogenized and pasteurized dairy
Most dairy products contain casein and lactose, two compounds that cause inflammation and digestive distress in many people. Grass-fed butter has much lower levels of casein and lactose because of the churning process, which removes the buttermilk from the butterfat. Most people feel a lot better removing milk, cheese, and other dairy products entirely, but if you want to keep some dairy products, opt for full-fat, raw dairy from grass-fed cows.
8. Switch to organic fruits and vegetables
Avoiding insecticides and herbicides goes a long way. Some plants have higher levels of residues than others. You can find a full updated list from the Environmental Working Group.
9. Cook your food gently, if at all
Smoking, frying and grilling can damage the proteins in your meat and produce carcinogens that adhere to the surface. Best to cook your food slow and low, at or under about 320°F. Do not use microwaves or fry your food. Here’s an article detailing why high-heat cooking methods change the chemical composition of your food, plus a guide to the best and worst cooking methods.
10. Limit fruit consumption to 1-2 servings per day
Start thinking of fruits and vegetables as separate categories. Fruits, especially deeply colored fruits like berries, are packed with nutrients. The difference is, fruits contain a sugar called fructose. In excess, fructose can be just as damaging as too much sugar. To get the polyphenols and nutrients from fruits without a fructose surge, choose low-fructose fruits like berries and lemons over higher sugar fruits like watermelon and apples.
Bonus tip: Enjoy your food.
Download the Bulletproof 30 Day Upgrade now
I created Bulletproof almost a decade ago as a personal account of how I lost 100 pounds with a high-fat diet and minimal exercise and used brain training techniques to improve my performance, all while sleeping less than 5 hours a night.
None of these things are “supposed” to be possible, according to the status quo in “health and wellness.” But the tools and techniques I’m sharing with you haven’t just helped me, they’ve also helped thousands of people just like you.
I work on the cutting edge of research and theory, with some of the stuff I do being in the early stages. Years of research help to determine what’s safe enough to try it on myself, and I continue to use and refine what works. When it works, I share it and explain what I (and researchers) know about the risk and rewards. Everyone has a different risk tolerance — you may want to start small, or you may want to jump in with both feet.
Either way, the lowest risk, and first reward for many people is the Bulletproof Diet, with tangible improvements in energy and focus (not to mention weight loss) in less than a week. Diets aren’t supposed to be hard or leave you starving.
Welcome to your Bulletproof journey
There’s a lot of info here, and it can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to do everything all at once. Bookmark this page and make a commitment to learn something new every week and implement one small thing at a time. After a few months, you’ll be amazed at how great you feel.
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