Even if you haven't heard of the Bulletproof Diet, you've probably heard of the drink, a mixture of melted butter and black coffee that adherents have in place of breakfast. But while founder Dave Asprey claims his diet and exercise regimen raised his IQ (12 points? More than 20? Who cares!), reduced his need for sleep, and fueled his massive weight loss—over 100 pounds, according to Asprey's creation myth—the best thing for you to do is just do as its founder does: take a lot of high-end drugs.
As Steve Magness writes at Science of Running, it's impossible to tell what the merits of the Bulletproof Diet are because Asprey was pumping himself full of drugs for years, among them Modafinil, testosterone, and thyroid meds. So let's examine all the pharmaceuticals one one at a time and their effect on sleep and weight loss.
First, Modafinil. By his own admission, Asprey was on it for eight years straight. Also called Provigil, Alertec, Vigicer, or Modalert, the compound was originally developed to treat narcolepsy, and it works as a concentration-enhancer. Asprey described it "like meth, but cleaner." Could this, more than any diet, affect how much sleep you need?
Then there's testosterone. According to Magness, Asprey has admitted to being on varying amounts. Research has already begun linking testosterone to weight loss in older men. But don't take the testosterone shot just to lose weight: you're two to three times more likely to have a heart attack, according to this recent study.
Finally, there's the thyroid medication. Asprey is on thyroid medication, in addition to coffee and butter. At its most basic level, the thyroid controls metabolism. Speed up the metabolism by playing with medication and your body burns more calories.
"What we get from Asprey is focusing on the things that maybe had 10% impact on his health and appearance, and ignoring the variables that had a 90% impact—the drugs," Magness writes. Asprey and his Bulletproof Diet promise the same thing that all modern super-diets do: amazing results with minimal effort. It's a great sell for Americans, but it's only half the story. The Bulletproof Diet's founder was under the influence of multiple pharmaceuticals, and until clinical trials are conducted sans drugs, we can lump it in with zero carbs, Paleo, toe shoes, and the rest of the diet and exercise fads that come and go.
But while you're waiting, eat your vegetables, exercise regularly, and get a full night's sleep. Let us know what happens.
Photo: Andrés Nieto Porras/Flickr