How Bulletproof Coffee Shoots You in The Foot

by Sarah weight lossComments: 174

bulletproof coffee causes weight gain_mini

Bulletproof coffee has become quite the fad of late with fans touting its use as a way to lose weight, shrink that spare tire, and have more energy.

The basic recipe for bulletproof coffee calls for 2 cups of coffee, a minimum of 2 tablespoons grassfed butter, and 1-2 tablespoons MCT oil (some people substitute virgin coconut oil) all mixed together in a blender.

This coffee drink is promoted as a replacement for breakfast by Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof Executive as a way to feel “lean, focused and energized” and helps you “transform your diet without chewing on sticks of butter”.

While I have no doubt that this choice of morning beverage will indeed produce a high level of focus and intensity due to the quick injection of caffeine and medium chain triglycerides (used by the body for energy rather than fat storage) to the bloodstream, any weight loss benefits to a bulletproof coffee habit over the long term are completely ludicrous.

At the very least, bulletproof coffee certainly won’t be helping you lose weight and keep it off.  Yes, it’s just another yo-yo scenario and here’s why.

Skipping Breakfast a Big No-No for Sustainable Weight Loss

According to Julia Ross, best selling author of The Diet Cure, skipping breakfast and replacing it with coffee or a drink like bulletproof coffee is a big no-no and not just because it increases your chances of overeating starches and sugars later in the day.

Skipping a nutritious morning meal particularly one with a quality source of protein does a number on your body’s ability to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin which is derived from the amino acid tryptophan.

Tryptophan, like all the amino acids, is contained in protein. Meat is the best source of tryptophan but only from animals roaming on pasture.

Healthy Fats Added to Coffee Do Not Make it Breakfast!

Adding a bunch of healthy fats to coffee in no way redeems the situation and bulletproof coffee does not qualify as a meal replacement!

Protein (food)  —–> Tryptophan (amino acid) —–> Serotonin (neurotransmitter)  —–> Melatonin (hormone for restful sleep)

Serotonin is what helps you feel happy, calm, and self confident even in the face of stress. Moreover, ample serotonin is important for a restful night’s sleep as the body converts serotonin into melatonin at dusk.

Inadequate melatonin results in insomnia problems.

What about adding collagen hydrolysate, gelatin or protein powder to bulletproof coffee?  Does this make it better?

Please note that adding collagen hydrolysate or gelatin to your bulletproof coffee does not solve the problem as these protein sources are completely devoid of tryptophan containing primarily the amino acids glycine and proline in large amounts.

Protein powder would be the worst choice, however, as all brands are highly processed (don’t be fooled!) with the delicate protein molecules denatured even if processed at low temperature due to the powderizing process.

The Problem with Skipping Breakfast

Skipping breakfast in the morning short circuits the body’s ability to produce adequate serotonin throughout the day. While eating protein later in the day definitely helps, because none was consumed at breakfast, your body ends up playing serotonin catch up all day every day.

Ms. Ross says that we all need about 20-30 grams of protein 3 times per day to fulfill the body’s requirement for amino acids in order to produce adequate neurotransmitters like serotonin.

Drinking coffee even if it’s bulletproof coffee first thing in the morning instead of breakfast has the double whammy effect of suppressing appetite as well.  It’s the caffeine that reduces appetite so not only aren’t you getting the protein you need in the morning, but you likely won’t eat enough throughout the rest of the day either which further impacts serotonin and melatonin production in a negative way.

What good is feeling “energized and focused” from bulletproof coffee during the day if it also leaves you irritable, stressed, emotionally unstable and unable to get a quality night’s sleep when you get home?

Serotonin Deficiency Harms Sleep Quality

The research is ominous regarding serotonin deficiency causing insufficient melatonin production with the resulting effect of unwanted weight gain – even obesity over the long term.

According to Dr. Mercola, “it’s also well proven that lack of sleep is linked to obesity, while if you’re not getting enough sleep, there’s a good chance your melatonin production is not up to par either. The disturbance to your melatonin levels caused by lack of sleep may be one more reason why it leads to weight gain, and this could have far-reaching impacts on your health.”

In addition, Science Daily reported that scientists found that proper melatonin levels stimulate the production of beige fat, a heat-generating type of fat (also known as “good” or “thinning” fat) that helps your body to burn calories rather than store them.

Must Have Your BulletProof Coffee?  

Long story short, if you must drink bulletproof coffee, at the very least, wait until after a protein rich breakfast to do it!

This way, the impact on your serotonin and melatonin levels will not be as severe as drinking it as a replacement for breakfast with its appetite suppressing effects affecting the rest of the day’s protein consumption as well.

You may find that this one simple change alone will leave you feeling happier, more emotionally flexible, less stressed, and with increased ability to tackle whatever challenges you face each day with improved self confidence.

BulletProof Coffee Already Wrecked Your Sleep?

If you suspect that your serotonin levels are in the tank and you need neurotransmitter supplementation to help you with worry, anxiety, OCD thoughts or actions, depression, panic attacks, and/or chronic insomnia, Julia Ross recommends this dosage with the amino acid tryptophan:

  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP – sources):  50 mg in the mid-afternoon and before bedtime.


  • L-tryptophan (sources) : 500 mg in the mid-afternoon and again before bed especially if insomnia is a problem.

Note that 5-HTP is cheaper than L-tryptophan but some people get nausea from it, so switch to L-tryptophan if 5-HTP doesn’t work for you.

Raise the dosage as needed to eliminate low serotonin symptoms.

Once You’ve Got Your Serotonin Deficiency Under Control, Now What?

Once you’ve started eating breakfast again and eliminated or at least delayed your cup of bulletproof coffee until after you eat in the morning, you might perhaps feel motivated to try and wean yourself off coffee completely.

According to Julia Ross:

People who crave chocolate, coffee, alcohol and even exercise are typically low in the neurotransmitter endorphin.

Using supplementation of the amino acids that are precursors to endorphin may really help in trying to shake the bulletproof coffee habit.

  • Amino acid d-phenylalanine (DPA): 500 mg, 2-4X/day (sources).  Use DPA if you are addicted to coffee and also an anxious person.


  • Amino acid d-phenylalanine (DPA) bound to the amino acid I-phenylalanine (LPA) – known in combination as DLPA:   500 mg, 2-3X/day (sources).   Use DLPA if you crave the energizing effects of coffee and are not typically an anxious person.

Do you think a deficiency of neurotransmitters might be the reason some folks love their bulletproof coffee so much?

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

Why You Need to Change WHEN You Drink Coffee

Melatonin Regulates our Mood, Weight, Reproduction and May Fight Cancer

Bulletproof Coffee Recipe

Melatonin helps control weight gain as it stimulates the appearance of ‘beige fat’ that can burn calories instead of storing them, study suggests

Healthy Coffee Substitutes

How to Use Coconut Oil for Weight Loss

MCT Oil: The Coconut Oil Dregs

Coconut Oil Capsules: As Beneficial as Straight Up?

The Truth About Your Morning Coffee Fix

Comments (174)

  • Amy

    Sarah, I have been following you for years and appreciate your desire to help educate people about their health, and help them take responsibility for it. It’s actually a big undertaking and I admire you for it! As for BP coffee, I see where you are coming from with bringing up these potential downfalls of BP coffee. However, it stems from a shallow understanding of the principles and philosophies that go along with the “bulletproof diet.” Dave does far from recommend anyone to consume BP coffee as a meal replacement on a regular basis, and anyone who even slightly digs into the research and recommendations from Dave Asprey would know that and might appreciate that he encourages and guides people to optimize every single aspects of one’s life (including sleep). I encourage you to start with reading his book, The Bulletproof Diet, and then give what criticism you might be able to find.

    June 17th, 2016 11:29 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Shallow understanding? I don’t think so. I’ve personally witnessed over a dozen women drink bulletproof coffee, expound its benefits, experience weight loss and increased energy (who wouldn’t from all that caffeine?), only to discover one or more years down the road that it doesn’t work and they have gained all the weight back and more. What’s worse, they discovered their sleep is wrecked, they have perimenospausal symptoms from hell and the hormone problems created are quite difficult to recify. There are no double blind, placebo controlled studies on people who have consumed bulletproof coffee for a number of years … there is no “science” to back up this fad diet. Proceed with it at your own risk!

      June 18th, 2016 8:51 am Reply
  • Danielle

    If you’re not eating breakfast and some even not eating lunch, how are you getting any balance in your diet? I like bpc with my breakfast and need the extra fat in my diet but I still eat. Not eating for that long changes your metabolism over time doesn’t it? I mean why not have some fruit, an egg or even a green smoothie first? If you choose your food carefully you won’t gain weight from eating- this whole idea seems so backwards to me!

    June 17th, 2016 4:18 pm Reply
  • Elisa

    I think enough personal experiences written above prove that BPC is actually really helpful and beneficial for many people. I personally cannot drink coffee period. If I do, I would never sleep. So BPC it is not an option for me. However, I am actually considering it for my husband who is carbs dependent. I actually believe it will help him a lot. He already drinks a ton of coffee every morning.
    I do not think BPC is good for everyone, but it seems to be really great for many people. Many “experts” disagree om almost all things diet related and I am convinced that nothing works best for everyone. In my personal experience, I need a radical different diet from what my husband needs. We have different predispositions and genetic propensities for various conditions and diseases.

    June 17th, 2016 10:58 am Reply
    • Sarah

      Watch out for the boomerang effect of bulletproof coffee … it may work short term but the negative effects on your sleep (even if you think you are sleeping ok, it is most likely that your deep sleep/ overall sleep quality has been reduced) will affect hormone balance and eventually cause weight gain.

      June 17th, 2016 11:02 am Reply
  • Jonathan

    So much hate here. BPC is literally the best thing that’s every happened for me diet/supplement wise. I’ve tried many things and this is among the few that has made the cut.

    I have the Mood Cure. Dr. Ross (NOT Ms. Ross) doesn’t address why you need aminos in the first place, which few alternative doctors do. Dr. Kharrazian answers this question in “Why is My Brain Not Working.”

    Just because you like/hate a “religion” doesn’t mean it is right/wrong for someone else.

    February 15th, 2016 6:52 am Reply
    • peter

      Are you saying there is a difference between bullet proof brand coffee and any other coffee. ? Or should your article say “2 cups of coffee, a minimum of 2 tablespoons grassfed butter, and 1-2 tablespoons MCT oil shoots you in the foot” not sure it is necessary to attack a particular brand.

      March 11th, 2016 7:15 pm Reply
  • Gary

    I don’t agree with bulletproof coffee, but I believe in having a black coffee for breakfast to release alpha 2 receptors and to give a much needed energy boost. I do not, however, believe that you should “eat” when you wake up. That is awful advice and the whole “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is rubbish. We was never designed to wake up and eat food… our ancestors wouldn’t wake up with a bowl of cereal next to them. We would have to go out and hunt for some food before we could eat, even if that just meant walking around searching for berries or starchy carbs.

    If we had any left over food, trying to store it for breakfast – we would’ve increased the chances of attracting predators or other tribes. Our insulin levels aren’t stable in the morning either.

    Sometimes people with a decent base of health knowledge believe that they know EVERYTHING. The important thing is to keep learning and adapting your diet until you get it right for yourself. You have things to learn too, stop acting like a higher power with your “my way or the highway” attitude.

    February 10th, 2016 4:57 am Reply
  • Helen D

    Hi Sarah, I’ve been drinking BP coffee since 2011 – about 5 years now. I have no trouble sleeping 8-9 happy hours a night and have completely gotten rid of carb cravings. Horrible evening carb cravings were the bane of my adult life. And, I have eaten farm to table for 25 years. I am 63, hike California hills midday for 2 hours with my dogs, lift weights, and work physically and mentally every waking hour, with happiness and health.
    My husband also drinks BP coffee and we both follow a Weston Price style diet which I tailor to our different needs. He makes a big breakfast for his coworkers: uncured bacon, pastured eggs and lots of cooked veggies. I make bone broth and stock soups, lots of grass fed and wild animal meats, wild caught fish, lots and lots of veggies and lots of good fats. Yams and squash. My husband eats cheese, but I don’t. And neither of us eats gluten. This has worked really well for us. Bulletproof coffee has actually had the opposite effect that your post predicts – my energy is now really even throughout the day. Oh – and I look pretty good for my age. My skin is really tight, clear and radiant, and I have very few lines, even with daily hikes in the LA sun. (I’ve made my skin care products for about 8 years – from raw organic shea butter and coconut oil). We modify our diets to genetic info too. I have one or two cups of BP coffee in the morning, and so does my husband. For 5 years and looking forward to many more.

    February 7th, 2016 7:55 pm Reply
    • Sarah

      Glad it’s working for you. I daresay that your experience would be the rare exception as BP is a recipe for screwed up hormones over the long haul especially once a woman gets to her menopausal years.

      February 8th, 2016 7:31 am Reply
      • Joe

        I have been drinking bulletproof coffee for several years, I love it, my family loves it, my mom who is in her 60’s, my sisters, everyone is very healthy. Bullletproof Coffee is a way to mimic fasting without the damaging effects to your hormones and your metabolism. BUlletproof coffee dramatically lowers cravings, just about every person I know that drinks bulletproof coffee says it kills their cravings. The only time I make suer to eat breakfast with my coffee is if I plan on working out in the morning fairly hard, Then I feel it is important to get some calories and protein in before you tear down your body. The benefits of Bulletproof coffee far outweigh the benefits that getting protein in the morning give you. It is a great form of fat and it kills cravings while feeding your brain high octane fuel.

        February 21st, 2016 9:56 pm Reply
  • Alex

    Having read your article I must say that I strongly disagree with what you have written. Have you tried a Low Carb High Fat Diet (LCHF)?

    I have tried the Dukan diet, low fat & carb with high protein. I found that diet hard to follow as I was always hungry. I did however lose 35kg. As the Dukan diet was not sustainable I put the weight back on.

    Since finding the website Diet Dr setup by Dr Andreas Eenfeldt, where I started a Low Carb High Fat Diet , with intermittant fasting and use of Bulletproff Coffee every morning I feel amazing. You don’t need protein in the morning and can skip breakfast and lunch, other than my BP Coffee I fast the rest of the day and have a small meal in the evening or skip it completely. Not only do I sleep really well, I have more energy, I am more positive and have better cognitive abilities. I have lost a lot of weight and eating fat has helped normalise and stabilise my body.

    Skipping breakfast is fine, now been 4 months wihtout needing breakfast or lunch. Again this does in no way cause me to even crave carbs in any form. I have been carb free for 4 months. Eating 90% fat, small amount of protein and some above ground veg keeps me satisfied even though I only have 1 meal per day. A study on fasting showed that you do no lose muscle mass by fasting and not eating protein every day. I think they went 90 days without food and lost no muscle mass.

    What good is feeling “energized and focused” from bulletproof coffee during the day if it also leaves you irritable, stressed, emotionally unstable and unable to get a quality night’s sleep when you get home?

    This is simply not true, I have never felt irritable, stressed or emotionally unstable and again I sleep better than I did before starting the diet. I also feel more rested from the sleep that I get.

    “Nearly every single person I know who drinks bulletproof coffee skips breakfast as the fats in there are so filling they don’t want anything else particularly something with protein in it which is what they need WITH those healthy fats.”

    Yes Sarah that is the whole point. Eating high fat keeps you satisfied and full of energy. The coconut oil really supercharges you and creates keytones burning fat. By burning fat for energy, you never feel as though you are starving, I don’t get so called hunger pains or a grumbling stomach as my body consumes its own fat.

    “the caffeine in the morning acts as an appetite suppressant and causes cravings for sweets/carbs later in the day and not enough protein would be consumed later either.”

    You are very wrong with this comment. I used to love my carbs and sweets, but since BP Coffee and Low Carb High Fat Diet I do not crave sugar or carbs at any time. I don’t think you have ever tried this diet and your article is proof. I think you wrote this based on things you have read and not actual personal experience.

    “Whey protein powder is NOT Real Food! Why would you ever think a food that only a factory could produce with high tech equipment would be healthy?????”

    I do agree with you on this point. Whey protein is not good for you and there is no fat to keep you satisfied.

    “Greater mental clarity from supercharged caffeine from bulletproof coffee isn’t true clarity … just sayin’ I have 3 children too and have seen many a mother dependent on caffeine for child rearing eventually collapse in exhaustion with thyroid problems.”

    Again I do not agree with you. I have a 3 year old and a dog both of which are very demanding, I have a very busy day, up around 05:40 and have my coffee around 6:30am. I do not suffer from tiredness or low energy even when being very active. I may need to have a snack later in the afternoon like olives or some tuna and melted cheese but otherwise I cope very well.
    I only drink one mug of BP Coffee each day then water rest of the day without any issues at all.

    The coconut oil has taken some getting used to. when I started I could only take 1-2 teaspoons otherwise it had a laxative effect and made me feel nauseous, but after 4 months I can now take 3 tablespoons with 50g of butter in my morning coffee.

    I speak from personal experience and sure I have met a lot of people who are very skeptical that eating LCHF with BP Coffee will work. I can confirm that I works very well and I have never felt so good.

    Kind regards

    November 29th, 2015 4:38 am Reply
    • LW

      I agree! I have only had positive effects w/ BPC in the morning and I’ve lost eight pounds in four weeks (and as a 51 year old woman this is saying something!)

      February 2nd, 2016 3:09 pm Reply
      • Sarah

        You sound like a SlimFast commercial.

        February 2nd, 2016 5:27 pm Reply
  • pam

    I put 2 eggs in my BPC and eat a couple of slices of bacon. Problem solved.

    November 28th, 2015 10:29 am Reply
    • admin

      Except for the adrenal hit day in and day out. No thanks!

      November 28th, 2015 2:21 pm Reply
  • Julia

    Lots of great information in this article about bulletproof coffee. It’s also interesting how much misinformation there is in the comments. Helpful post! I’ll definitely have to refer some of my die-hard bulletproof coffee drinking friends to this post..

    November 7th, 2015 5:34 pm Reply
  • Naomi

    Fortunately Bulletproof also makes a really delicious decaff (by the proper water method) that is 99.9% cafeine free

    September 7th, 2015 9:41 pm Reply
  • Deane Alban

    I’m no fan of Bulletproof coffee but not for the same reasons as you are. You seem to put a lot of stock in the book The Mood Cure which in terms of neuroscience is pretty old (I own a copy and am very familiar with it and it’s shortcomings.) Your assertion that protein creates serotonin is wrong. In fact both serotonin and tryptophan levels drop after eating a meal that contains protein. To increase serotonin, carbohydrates must be eaten on their own separate from protein. To learn more about this you can read The Serotonin Power Diet by Dr. Judith J. Wurtman or look at the in- depth post I’ve written here:

    August 11th, 2015 12:11 am Reply
  • Daria Anna

    I have been on BP Diet for 15 months, that is so much longer than you. I have slept well sleep over u hours each night. I have lost fat, in my belly area, which is not the first place I normally lose so I am real happy. My husband has lost 40 lbs and feels great as do I. The MCT helps in many ways. Also I do not crave and that is amazing. All other diet programs I was on, I was hungry and craved. This helps hormones and helps with focus. I am doing more now, even though I am older than ever before. I am holistic and the type of coffee one uses is actually some of the best and purest in the world. No junk brands. This is so different than low carbing and Dr. Hymans enjoys BP and Dr Weil drinks buttered tea. Many cultures have their form of it. IF is wonderful and allows me to eliminate better which only enhances my health. You are misinformed and did not give this a chance. Have you heard of JJ Virgin, she also loves BP program and coffee. She has her version of healthy weight loss as does Dr. Hyman. Wish you well.

    July 23rd, 2015 11:38 am Reply
  • Deanna

    I find it interesting that you cite Dr. Mercola when it comes to lack of sleep causing obesity, but ignore his recommendations for skipping breakfast as one way of implementing intermittent fasting for those who are insulin resistant.

    May 12th, 2015 10:14 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I don’t agree with Dr. Mercola on a number of things. Where we agree, however, I am happy to link to his excellent website.

      May 12th, 2015 11:04 am Reply
      • Lisa

        Sarah, I feel like your conclusions is based on other experts and certain ‘science’ but not from actual experience. I am a 51 year old woman who drinks bulletproof coffee in the morning and I’ve lost weight, had great sleep and my mood is much more stable than it ever has been. Other people have commented similarly.

        January 4th, 2016 11:56 am Reply
  • Domestica

    I think you are missing the point of IF and have failed to note that their is ample research proving IF (yes, skipping breakfast!) is highly beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar levels, which in turn stabilizes mood and irritability. Serotonin levels are not my issue. PCOS-related insulin resistance is! So no amount of serotonin is going to help when my blood sugar levels are all over the place. IF, and bulletproof coffee, help me prolong my healthy morning blood sugar levels (another reason diabetics are told to IF!).

    That said, I use decaf coffee in my BP. I don’t consume any caffeine (for the past two years) but let’s be honest, most people drink more than two cups of coffee a day — regardless of their breakfast habits! Not sure that makes BP coffee any worse than a regular coffee habit.

    May 11th, 2015 2:21 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      “Ample research” funded by whom? The coffee industry?

      May 11th, 2015 3:12 pm Reply
      • Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit

        I’m not entirely sure it’s plausible to say that the coffee industry funds IF studies… I feel like there are a lot of holes in your statements, which is totally fine, if you display the facts in a “here’s what I think, guys” sort of way. But the way this is written, reads like gospel and could confuse a lot of people. To each their own. Blended coffee without the protein doesn’t work for me. So, I add a bit of protein like collagen or hemp hearts. Problem solved! There are many ways to make your eating style work for you.

        May 13th, 2015 8:29 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          As mentioned in the article, the protein in collagen doesn’t have the amino acids that solve the problem. Haven’t examined the protein structure of hemp hearts, but no plant protein is a complete protein from a human standpoint, so probably not.

          May 14th, 2015 8:13 am Reply
    • Hysed777

      I’ve always had a problem skipping breakfast and no matter what I do, the later I wait to eat the worse it seems to get. However I can say from experience that intermittent fasting after eating 3 meals between 8-4 made a hell of a difference. And I didn’t even need coffee. I was literally running up flights of stairs from having so much energy because I didn’t want to wait by walking slowly. Then I’d get to the top and be ready to keep going without hardly missing a breath. I don’t know what factors go into it all but everyone is different and I’d bet it’s the rest at night that plays a huge role. It wasn’t until after I starting drinking coffee and spacing my meals out from 1-9pm and even later sometimes that I began to experience problems. But protein, fat and carbs combined in the morning is definitely a better way for many of us.

      April 11th, 2016 12:16 am Reply
  • Hans

    Overeating starch later in the day? That’s ridiculous. As long as it’s not cornstarch you can’t overeat on starchy food. Try eating potatoes, any whole grain or white rice in excess of your caloric requirements and you’ll see that you cannot do so without force-feeding yourself. Maybe read NAPD and find out how Bantu and Polynesians had great health eating mostly starchy tubers. This also refutes the idea that people need huge amounts of protein.

    April 19th, 2015 9:36 am Reply
    • ANDY

      Interesting that you quote Polynesians eating high amounts of starches yet these people have some of the highest rates of obesity and diabetes in the world!

      December 20th, 2015 8:44 am Reply
  • liana

    hi sarah, how long did you do intermittent fasting and drink bulletproof coffee to prove this? i see you pointed out to those who said how long they’ve been on the bulletproof diet that, that’s “not a long time”. how long did you do this to notice weight gain and negative feedback about intermittent fasting and drink coffee instead of breakfast?


    April 14th, 2015 2:03 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would refer you to Julia Ross’ book The Mood Cure (or her other book The Diet Cure). I don’t need to wreck my sleep, go grey before my time, destroy my hormones, and set myself up for a perimenopause and menopause from hell with bulletproof coffee to know that it’s a bad idea … there’s plenty of research to support avoiding it already! Don’t fall for fads … they can seem to work beautifully for a short time, but then you pay the piper.

      April 14th, 2015 2:35 pm Reply
  • David

    This is utter hogwash. I have been having bulletproof coffee every morning for 18 months now and it is breakfast 4 days a week for me. I only sleep 5 to 7 hours a night. I am 48 and feel 22 again. I am still very slowly losing weight and I am asleep in 15 min or less and get up the next day with no problems. So sorry no convert here.

    April 7th, 2015 11:29 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Glad it seems to be working for you but with all due respect, 18 months isn’t a very long time. And, 5-7 hours of sleep really isn’t enough is it? 7 is on the borderline of absolutely minimal. 5 is definitely too little. Think about how much people slept traditionally before electricity. They mostly slept from shortly after dark and rose with the sun.

      April 8th, 2015 7:57 am Reply
  • Harrison

    I must say, as much as I enjoy your articles, this one has some flaws. First of all, bulletproof coffee is not equivalent into “skipping breakfast.” It is regarded as a form of intermittent fasting which is rather delaying breakfast. Coffee has been known to delay the negative effects of skipping breakfast, and including MCT and saturated fats increases testosterone levels while combining coffee and fasting increases nor epinephrine, serotonin, and BDNF. I am sure you are also aware that fasting increases focus and has been known to treat modern symptoms of ADHD. I am a nutritionist and I recommend bulletproof/intermittent fasting (with coffee) to all of my clients that are not endurance athletes. You make the common mistakes of creating an intersection between the negative effects of coffee and those of skipping breakfast. However, they seem to work together to negate these effects respectively.

    March 31st, 2015 9:23 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      This is not how the vast majority of people use it!

      April 1st, 2015 7:27 am Reply
  • David

    I’m sorry to say that this article is ridiculous.

    My wife and I have been doing Bulletproof Coffee for about a year now and love it. Before that we did almost a year of fasting though breakfast. Not a problem either way.

    March 23rd, 2015 1:55 pm Reply
  • Brendan O’Brien

    Hi Sarah,
    Brendan here from Ireland…land of green grass and Golden Butter…WAP Chapter leader Munster (keep an eye out for pics of our recent Wise Traditions conference in next edition of mag…)

    First…thank you for your tireless work with your HHE site…don’t ever stop!

    I live a stones throw from Kerry, in Limerick…cows graze outside my window and all over where I live for 40 miles in any direction.

    I’m prompted to comment on the Kerrygold butter part of the discussion…if you don’t want a longer read here is the nutshell version…the grass is fertilized but not sprayed with pesticides here!

    My longer comment…

    Your reference to the Mafia grip KG has is sort of true insofar as it is a huge commercial entity and can dictate unfair terms to the farmers. But all the big ones do this…not just KG. Every dairy co-op that got big turned around and went private and then public and basically squeezed the farmers. I think, to be open minded about it, this is just business, in some sense it’s the farmers own fault and they need to evolve into more ‘in touch’ farmers and demand more respect and give more to the land, animals and customers.

    The idea that the butter comes from lands sprayed with pesticides is definitely not true…they simply don’t need to spray grass for pests, excepting maybe the odd case of it. (In late winter some external feed is used and this may have ‘foreign’ product in it that could have been sprayed!)

    The milk comes from all over Ireland, not just Kerry where the company and name originated, it’s simply not possible for KG to state that their milk is or is not treated with chemicals…there are thousands of small farms involved in supply…it’s all pooled in the end.

    Unfortunately most do use N-P-K type fertilizer at least once a year, but use manure spray several times (I live beside that too!!!) but most don’t need to spray for pests.

    Kerrygold uses the Green Emerald Isle image to promote itself…but most of the farms could IMO have much better quality grass if they really chose to do that…but the issue is they don’t need to do it because of the pooling of the milk. There is no advantage to being better. Enter CSA, Co-Ops and education…these will hopefully wake up the sleeping farmers to realise there is a good reason to aim for higher. I also believe you guys in the USA could speak up and help change things for the better here by letting KG know loud and clear that you really would prefer to buy their butter if it was not derived from chemically grown grass. (Of course I’d advocate local sourcing above that!)
    If our farmers heard about this it would really make an impact because there is a deep connection here with the US and we do tend to follow it’s trend (for better or worse!!)

    Sometimes I can get organic raw butter, most of the time I use kerrygold daily all the same. Our grass is decent but could be great!

    I also enjoy a bullet proof coffee once in a while…and a good breakfast daily! As a former insomniac I did find benefit to coffee, it seemed to help me reset my rhythm…along with WAP fare.


    March 15th, 2015 3:12 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I don’t see you listed as a Chapter Leader for the WAPF in Ireland Brendan. Thanks for confirming the mafia tactics of Kerry Gold and for their use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides if needed even if not frequently. For the first reason alone, I wouldn’t buy their butter anymore. The fact that “all the big ones do it” is no excuse. There are plenty of small farms to buy from in your area, so I’m really surprised you would use Kerry Gold which is reputed to use GMO animal feed as well.

      March 15th, 2015 4:04 pm Reply
    • BC

      Kerrygold should get the USDA Organic certification to remove all doubt. It is within their power to remove chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides and chemical herbicides as well as GMO feed.

      If their pastures are clean, as they would want people to believe and as their website implies, then they should have no trouble taking the next step. It would be the right thing to do. Kerrygold certainly has the money and wherewithal to do it.

      As with most things, consumers demanding improvement is what will bring about change. In the mean time, I’ll suspend my purchasing of Kerrygold products, including their butter and Dubliner cheese, and stick with local grassfed butters and cheeses from clean pastures.

      March 16th, 2015 9:06 pm Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        Given that the Kerry Gold cows are already grazing on chemical fertilizer spiked pastures, it would take many years to qualify for the organic certification. Last time I checked, it takes at least 5 years for no chemical pesticides or fertilizers to be used at all before Organic certification can be approved. Perhaps it’s more lenient now … organic isn’t what it used to be once the USDA got involved.

        March 17th, 2015 7:04 am Reply
        • BC

          So true… well, they should make it priority #1 and get cracking since it may take quite a while.

          March 17th, 2015 7:20 am Reply
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            They also need to stop using GMO animal feed if Kerry Gold were to seek organic certification.

            March 17th, 2015 3:36 pm
  • Christina Santini

    400 calories is hardly skipping breakfast. the body recognizes medium chain fats from coconut almost immediately as source of energy while the longer chained fats from butter keeps body stable for hours – why this drink is popular — and why they do similar things in himalaya, this is hardly dave asprey’s invention per se.

    brain chemistry imbalance is not just about getting protein. our brains are predominantly fat. most of us are severely fat undernourished, why we are seeing so many autoimmune disorders and addictions on the rise also – not just about serotonin, this is only a minor part of the puzzle.

    if anyone was doing this for every meal, we had an issue. and of course as no diet fits all, as will this breakfast also not be right for all.

    that said, caffeine aids nutrient absorption – the fats you are getting from grass-fed butter and coconut goes directly into rebuilding brain and body cell structures. not the worst choice.

    March 4th, 2015 12:37 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Did you read the article? Seems not.

      March 4th, 2015 4:52 pm Reply
  • Marcus Plating

    This is a great piece that should be carefully considered! Although I am so glad folks are embracing whole foods like grass fed butter, we need to carefully analyze wholesale changes like this on their impact on the whole body and its processes.

    February 16th, 2015 3:19 pm Reply
  • Lorraine

    Everyone is different, of course. I’ve been using BP coffee for a little 6 months (longer than that, but not seriously). I feel great. My energy level is MUCH more stable throughout the day. Cravings are less than ever in my life. Generally, if I have a craving, it’s because I’m standing in a store in front of the candy bar display. 95% of the time I can easily pass them up. My thyroid, cholesterol, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and levels of inflammation in my body are all quite improved and well within normal ranges. My accupuncturist, who didn’t know what I was doing, was palpating my abdomen and commented how much less inflammation was there. Most days, I do the intermittent fasting as recommended by Dave, Dr Mercola and my naturopath. I don’t believe the fast is broken by ingesting fats. I am losing weight slowly. In the three months ending December 29, 2014 (for example) I lost 8 pounds of fat and gained 1 pound of muscle as verified by a BIA test. I have lost 25 of about 65 pounds that I need to lose. I am 63 years old and have not felt this good in MANY years. I sleep great. It doesn’t matter if I use caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee for my morning drink. It is a lifestyle I can easily maintain for the duration. I REALLY appreciate your blog, Sarah, but this one painted with just a bit too broad of a brush. :-) PS Weston A Price is my hero, as well as the Price-Pottenger Foundation.

    January 23rd, 2015 12:03 pm Reply
    • Lydia

      I’ve been replacing breakfast with bulletproof coffee for about a year and a half, and all was smooth sailing until about six months ago. My sleep was all out of whack, my weight loss not only stopped but reversed, and my carb cravings were suddenly out of control after over a year of LCHF, grain-free living. It never occurred to me that my coffee might be to blame. I think BP coffee is a great short-term solution, but I wish I had read this article when I had only been doing it for six months!.

      February 21st, 2015 12:29 pm Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        Thank you for posting, yes this bulletproof coffee thing might seem like a miracle for awhile, but long term it is suicide to your sleep.

        February 21st, 2015 1:13 pm Reply
  • Marty

    Lucky for me I have the metabolism of a great dane! 😀

    January 20th, 2015 2:34 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Cute :) But, unfortunately, having a good metabolism still does not protect from the inevitable long term health ravages of missing breakfast and replacing it with bulletproof coffee.

      January 20th, 2015 3:38 pm Reply
      • Annie Dru

        Sarah, what are your thoughts on Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride’s assertion that the body is detoxing until about 10AM, and that many people are better served by skipping breakfast and instead having the first meal of the day be an early lunch? This seems to coincide with my own experience of getting hungry later rather than earlier in the morning.

        March 3rd, 2015 8:44 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          I don’t agree … I think folks who aren’t hungry until later in the morning are displaying signs of hormonal issues already .. this is what holistic psychiatrist Dr. Kelly Brogan MD writes about and sees in her practice all the time.

          March 4th, 2015 4:57 pm Reply
      • Mentor

        Skipping breakfast is not a bad thing per se. I’ve been in Intermittent Fasting for 3 years now (pre-hype) and have thus not have breakfast in ages. Sleep like a baby though.

        There are many more factors involved. I’m not saying bulletproof coffee is the way to go, but skipping breakfast is not a big argument. Neither is serotonin really, you can get your tryptophan in other meals, and the brain has ample reuptake mechanisms in the synapses.

        March 10th, 2015 5:04 am Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          3 years is not a long time!

          March 10th, 2015 11:53 am Reply
  • Chad

    If you consume carbs for breakfast, such as a bowl of oatmeal, just before drinking your BPC, wouldn’t your body use the carbs for energy instead of the healthy fats?

    I eat oatmeal every day with slivered almonds, strawberries, and blueberries. If I’m going to workout after, I’ll down a cup of black coffee. Once this bulletproof craze started catching on and I discovered the Lakers use it before games, I had to try it out. My breakfast routine remained unchanged except for a tbsp of coconut oil stirred in my coffee.

    I just bought some Kerrygold butter and was going to try smaller doses of the BP recipe:
    10 oz. coffee
    1/2 tbsp of butter
    1/2 tbsp of coconut oil

    With this tapered down recipe and a bowl of oatmeal+fruit would my body still use fat energy stores for a workout or would it just use the carbs and store the butter and oil as fat?

    I really want to experience the benefits of BPC without giving up breakfast because I agree with Sarah. Complete proteins are important, especially if you’re not intermittent fasting and like to workout in the morning.

    January 19th, 2015 2:30 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I would skip the kerrygold butter. Did you know the fields where the cows graze to make that butter are sprayed with pesticides and chemical fertilizers?

      January 19th, 2015 7:57 am Reply
      • Chad

        I did not know that, but I already bought the butter and am not just going to throw it away. I trust my stomach to handle minuscule amounts of pesticides at a time as it most likely has in the past.

        My question is more concerned with the metabolism component of consuming good fat with carbohydrates and whether or not the carbs negate the fat-burning properties of the good fats.

        January 19th, 2015 11:27 am Reply
      • Chad

        I did not know that.

        I just want to know if a bowl of oatmeal and fruit is a good breakfast to eat before drinking BPC. I want the benefits of the healthy fats but I’m concerned that consuming carbohydrates will negate them.

        January 19th, 2015 12:06 pm Reply
        • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

          Just make sure your oatmeal has plenty of butter and/or cream!

          January 20th, 2015 8:34 am Reply
          • Chase

            That sounds like terrible advice. Your body metabolizes carbohydrates before fat, so eating oatmeal with a bunch of butter or cream would burn the oatmeal for energy and store the butter and cream for later as fat. That’s why it’s suggest to drink BPC as a replacement meal, so that your body goes into fat-burning mode during “intermittent fasting”. I think I’m going to try this out and get the other nutrients I need from the rest of my day’s meals.

            January 21st, 2015 1:42 pm
        • Pepper Culpepper

          Just more misinformation. The Kerrygold website explicitly says their products are pesticide free.

          January 23rd, 2015 7:25 pm Reply
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            I have it from a very excellent source IN IRELAND that the pastures where the cows graze are sprayed heavily with pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The Irish people themselves consider Kerry Gold to be the bottom of the barrel butter. I no longer buy it.

            I’m sure there is some sort of regulatory loophole that allows Kerry Gold to claim their products “pesticide free” even though the cows are munching chemical grass.

            January 23rd, 2015 10:17 pm
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Unreal the stuff people come up with to justify a bad habit.

          February 17th, 2015 11:03 am Reply
      • Michele G

        I’d really appreciate some links collaborating that information. Simply saying you have reliable sources that say so is not evidence that it’s true. If you’re going to make those kinds of serious claims you should provide confirming sources / evidence to back it up. I did a quick search myself and found nothing.

        Kerrygold makes no claims of being organic, and has acknowledged that up to 3% of their cow’s feed is GMO grain. Likely this grain was pesticide treated. That still places them head and shoulders above any other commercial source I can find.

        What’s your suggestion for a better source?

        February 16th, 2015 3:03 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Go to Ireland and talk to the people themselves. Apparently, KerryGold has a Mafia like hold over there and folks are afraid to speak out on the record.

          February 16th, 2015 7:09 pm Reply
          • BC

            This news about Kerrygold is very disturbing!

            The kerrygoldusa website gives the impression that it’s pure, with sentences like: “The winds, rain and warming influence of the Gulf Stream all contribute to the lush grass our cows feed on year-round.” And “All Kerrygold butter comes from the milk of grass-fed cows that are free of growth hormones. Our Unsalted version is an all-natural, cultured-cream Irish butter…”

            Of course “all natural” is not a regulated term, but many would agree that this should not include pesticides and herbicides on the grass.

            Is there any way of having this tested?

            I assume it also applies to their grassfed cheeses like Kerrygold Dubliner, right?

            Kerrygold should get the USDA Organic certification, to remove all doubt. If their pastures are clean, as they would want people to believe, they certainly have the money and wherewithal to do it. Some letters and consumer demand could help. In the mean time, I’ll suspend my purchasing of Kerrygold products until there is some sort of assurance (if ever), and stick with local grassfed butters and cheeses.

            March 12th, 2015 2:21 pm
          • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

            I don’t buy Kerry Gold cheese either anymore. Easiest thing to do is to just switch to a brand that isn’t considered mafia-like by the people in the neighboring communities. I don’t advocate wasting time with testing with a company that has this sort of reputation.

            March 12th, 2015 2:36 pm
          • Leah Murphy

            As an Irish person, I have to say nobody here considers Kerrygold to be the bottom of the barrel, as per one of your previous comments, but rather a high quality product, though just one of many good butter producers in Ireland. Irish farmers do not routinely use chemical pesticides (what pesticides does grass need?) and fertilisers, though there may of course be exceptions, and we are very proud of the quality of our food. Bear also in mind that we are subject to very strict EU rules about food production. By all means go for something certified organic if you prefer, but don’t base your decision on hearsay from Northern Ireland, which, by the way, is subject to UK rather than Irish agricultural policy.

            May 8th, 2016 12:57 pm
      • Luci

        I don’t know where you found that information, but the country of Ireland is WAY more strict about pesticides and chemical fertilizers than we are. I have contacted the company asking very specific questions regarding the health of their grass and they said there was no chemical or pesticide use allowed there. I also disagree with your broad statements about bulletproof coffee. It is part of a whole healthy lifestyle change and you can’t just use any coffee beans you want in order for it to really be bulletproof. They must be low-no toxin beans that are tested from bush to bag. I have had no sleep disruptions while consuming a big mugful everyday and my energy is much more stable than it has ever been with no crash because the beans have no mycotoxins. My hormones and blood values are being monitored by my doctor as well. I have had only exceptional results in the three months I’ve been eating this way. I highly recommend reading the whole book and checking into the science behind it before coming down so hard on him. I have been a Nourishing Traditions fan for almost 15 years and it is a great improvement over the standard American diet, but truthfully, I never lost weight. I still advocate grass fed, and all that. I just had to get rid of grains and legumes, dairy, and several other things that my own body couldn’t process. Losing sugars was a given.
        I respect your right to not eat this way, but I think there is more cutting edge research now than ever before to help us achieve health and wellness. I don’t discount the helpful age old wisdom, but it think it must be also viewed through a lens that takes into account that the ground and food supply was very different then. We as humans were different then and now we must make different choices if we are to attain health, sometimes within the parameters set forth by ancient wisdom, sometimes new wisdom.
        By the way, I do think that there is no one perfect eating plan for everyone. I think we are all unique and thus require many options to choose from. Thankfully we have lots!
        I appreciate all the good information you have on this blog, I just disagree with your opinion on bulletproof coffee. Peace.

        February 18th, 2015 3:06 pm Reply
      • Annie Dru

        I’m curious as to the source of the information that led you to this conclusion. What you’re saying is counter to what is written on their website and what Dave Asprey asserts about Kerrygold.

        March 3rd, 2015 8:47 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Asprey should actually go to Ireland and talk to the farmers over there about it.

          March 4th, 2015 4:56 pm Reply
    • Bruce

      Chad, have you seen how poorly the Lakers have been playing this season? 😉

      February 16th, 2015 8:40 pm Reply
  • Heather

    My husband and I have been drinking bulletproof coffee every morning for about a year now. I didn’t start drinking it to lose weight, because I don’t have a weight problem. Rather, I drank it because of the claims of greater mental clarity. As a mother of three small children, I can use all the clarity I can get. 😉 Anyway, it gives us great mental clarity and stamina. We can feel the difference like night and day if we have to drink ‘regular’ coffee, either black or with cream. We have ended up following the intermittent fasting protocol of not eating between 8pm and approximately 12pm with the exception of drinking the bulletproof coffee with MCT oil and grassfed butter. At 12pm I have a small amount of nuts while making a healthy, substantial lunch. Then we got on to have a small snack in the late afternoon and a healthy, substantial dinner. We all sleep extremely well. I was surprised to read your article because we do this daily and haven’t suffered any of the ill effects you mention.

    January 17th, 2015 9:30 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Greater mental clarity from supercharged caffeine from bulletproof coffee isn’t true clarity … just sayin’ I have 3 children too and have seen many a mother dependent on caffeine for child rearing eventually collapse in exhaustion with thyroid problems.

      January 18th, 2015 8:39 am Reply
      • Pepper Culpepper

        With all due respect, it seems to me that you are determined to invalidate those whose experience is different from what you are claiming with your article.

        There is absolutely nothing wrong with using caffeine to enhance performance. Athletes like myself use it on a regular basis.

        If a person chooses to consume caffeine and it does not affect their sleep and it enhances their daily life for the better, then who are you to tell someone how to live their lives?

        January 18th, 2015 12:49 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Not telling anyone how to live their lives … just warning about what a high caffeine intake coupled with skipping breakfast will do to your health over the long haul particularly to women.

          January 18th, 2015 10:13 pm Reply
  • Elise Thomson

    If you add an egg to the bullet proof coffee that can be “breakfast” and you will have enough protein and good fat to get you to lunch….I do it every morning and it works…say good buy to sugar crash and brain fog!!

    January 16th, 2015 2:39 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Unfortunately, 1 egg only has 6 grams of protein in it. And, if you wake up with brain fog and need bulletproof coffee to fix it, there are some serious gut imbalance issues that need to be addressed and not band-aided over with a caffeine infusion.

      January 16th, 2015 9:55 pm Reply
      • Kelley

        What would be your ideal breakfast Sarah?

        January 19th, 2015 7:17 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Bacon and eggs with some spears of asparagus cooked in butter on the side with a glass of grassfed raw milk.

          January 20th, 2015 7:18 am Reply
          • jgmurphy

            Sarah, I start work at 8 am, which means I leave for work about 6:30. At 6:00 am I cannot stomach anything like that! Many of us early risers have a problem with breakfast and it gets depressing to keep getting berated for not eating it. I don’t believe it does you any good to eat when you are not hungry. I would rather save my calories for later on in the day when I actually have an appetite!

            January 21st, 2015 1:50 pm
    • Nancy

      I don’t drink coffee very often, maybe once or twice a month. I consider it to be a treat. When I do have it, I make it with home made ghee where I get the butter from a local farm (grass fed, no pesticides, etc) and coconut oil. Any time I have added egg to this mixture (also from a high quality, local source), has resulted in a stomach ache and then vomiting. It surely isn’t that the egg is bad to eat raw as I use the same raw eggs to make mayonnaise and have never had a problem with them as raw mayo.

      March 5th, 2015 12:01 am Reply
  • Chuck D

    Ive been on bulletproof coffee/diet for a month now… I have zero carb cravings at the end of the day.. and when I do the honey/fish oil at night like the book says I sleep like a champ. Ive never been so focused in my adult life. I literally have to force myself to eat dinner… Breaking the fast at lunch at about 12:30 I am a little hungry but I have never had control over my eating habits my entire life… There is a lot of negative people about bulletproof coffee/diet but try it and you will not be a naysayer anymore. I seen will brink rip on this coffee idea a few months ago and then come out with his own version Bombproof coffee.. lol too funny

    January 15th, 2015 10:41 pm Reply
  • FennFromMaine

    The idea that we “need” breakfast is utterly false. Did our paleo ancestors wake up and have a healthy breakfast every morning? One meal a day (if they were lucky) was more the norm. And if they did, It wasn’t a shake or oatmeal it was meat, fat and veggies. It’s amazing we even got this far as a human race with our bad paleo nutrition 10,000’s of years ago. :-)

    January 15th, 2015 11:05 am Reply
    • Pepper Culpepper

      Exactly. More than likely if they stored anything it would be nuts, which have carbs and fat and would be a good source of fuel. But they certainly weren’t waking up to bacon and eggs.

      January 18th, 2015 12:52 pm Reply
      • Nancy

        They also weren’t waking up to bulletproof coffee.

        March 5th, 2015 12:03 am Reply
  • Sandra

    Fasting of all sorts has it place, but if all, and I do mean ALL of your systems are not healthy, it is a major stressor. Add coffee and you just wring out your poor little adrenals.

    January 15th, 2015 10:08 am Reply
  • Pepper Culpepper

    Here’s some food for thought on skipping breakfast. I encourage you all to do your own thinking and not believe what anyone with a vested interest in the idea of breakfast tells you from the tv.

    According to an article published in the New York Times:

    Americans have long been told that routinely eating breakfast is a simple habit that helps prevent weight gain.

    Skipping breakfast, the thinking goes, increases hunger throughout the day, making people overeat and seek out snacks to compensate for missing that first – and some would say most important – meal of the day.

    “Eating a healthy breakfast is a good way to start the day,” according to the Web site of the United States surgeon general, “and may be important in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.”

    But new research shows that despite the conventional weight-loss wisdom, the idea that eating breakfast helps you lose weight stems largely from misconstrued studies.

    Only a handful of rigorous, carefully controlled trials have tested the claim, the new report, published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found. And generally they conclude that missing breakfast has either little or no effect on weight gain, or that people who eat breakfast end up consuming more daily calories than those who skip it.

    But those trials have been largely overlooked, and their findings drowned out by dozens of large observational studies that have found associations between breakfast habits and obesity but no direct cause and effect, said Dr. David B. Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Allison and his colleagues scoured the medical literature and found that the only long-term, carefully controlled trial that randomly assigned people to routinely eat or go without breakfast and then measured the effect on their body weight was published in 1992.

    Here’s the link to the article:

    And here’s the link to the study:

    January 15th, 2015 9:03 am Reply
    • Dina

      This is a meta study. There’s no way to control what was served for breakfast. Also, if we look back into historical accounts of what constituted typical meals, then it it is easier to realize that breakfast did not occur a few our after waking time, which was consumed by chores such as gathering and preparation of foods. Breakfast in the modern sense use to be the luxury enjoyed by ruling classes. However they were also the ones suffering from degenerative diseases.

      January 21st, 2015 12:55 am Reply
    • Natalie

      AMEN Pepper Culpepper 😀
      I agree and yes please people find out for yourself, cause there is some really deceptive information that I believe has a greater agenda to keeping your in poor health and disempowered. Carbs will cause you to crave carbs latter, simple. The high fat intake with butter coffee actually fuels the brain, resets leptin, and gives you your life back (no wasting will power on eating foods that rob you of energy, clarity, and vitality). I think some people are just so against actually being in their greatest potential, maybe be it scares them to actually thrive so they try to influence others to stay in mediocrity like they are.
      Sara again maybe try the stuff your self and be bold to let go of old thinking.
      Check out David Wolfe and the Longevity Now Conference, there is some very wonderful information from the top leading scientist, doctors, and health experts.

      February 17th, 2015 10:38 am Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        The only old thinking going on with bulletproof coffee is the same old same old with folks trying to justify a bad habit by adding something good to it like butter. Coffee instead of food is ALWAYS bad and will ALWAYS lead to problems over time especially for women skipping breakfast. Bulletproof coffee = major hormone issues and a menopause from hell. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

        February 17th, 2015 10:57 am Reply
  • Jude from Australia

    Well now I’m disagreeing on the missing breakfast is bad comment. I have been on 5:2 diet for 6 months and on my fasting days, I skip breakfast and don’t eat anything until about 2pm. For those that have not heard of 5:2 diet – you eat normally 5 days of the week and fast 2 alternate days of the week. On your fasting days, women eat 500 calories any which way they like.
    Overall, it means that out of a week’s total calories, you have reduced your cals quite a bit without having to count the calories of every morsel you eat.
    And back to bullet proof coffee, it was designed by a male, and men always lose weight and cut up much easier and faster than women.

    January 14th, 2015 8:42 pm Reply
  • Carmen

    I do a modified bulletproof, but with an added raw home pastured egg, some collagen, a cube of broth (I freeze it) and a cube of coconut oil (I freeze it). 5 drops of stevia and a tsp of green powder. This probably makes it a good breakfast!

    January 14th, 2015 5:17 pm Reply
  • Pepper Culpepper

    “Skipping breakfast in the morning short circuits the body’s ability to produce adequate serotonin throughout the day.”

    I just want to question the validity of that statement, because for millions of years, humans did not have the luxury of waking up to food. It had to be foraged. Fished. Hunted. Gathered. It had to be worked for.

    I would say it’s not the skipping of breakfast, but rather the drinking of copius amounts of coffee leading to today’s prevalence of insomnia. Ditch the caffeine and eat when you’re hungry.

    When I quit worrying about eating every three hours like “they” said I should do and rather ate whole foods with plenty of fat, I found that I was only hungry about twice a day, slept much better (and this is coming from someone with severe, chronic insomnia that couldn’t be knocked out with a boat of xanax.)

    Besides, there’s plenty of nutrition in butter, and people really need to eat less anyway. Hunter Gatherers spent about 1000 calories a day looking for food and probably ate about the same. I’ve been learning this in my World History class in college (I did not just pull this information off the internet.)


    January 14th, 2015 4:20 pm Reply
    • Kelley

      I have diabetes and my experience is that my blood sugar climbs if I skip breakfast and I end up taking more insulin than if I eat. In addition I begin to fade before lunch even if I take healthy oils, with or without caffeine. I do best with a couple eggs cooked in ghee or butter with tomatoes or avocado. I also take coconut oil and fermented cod liver oil. My experiences may be more dramatic because of the diabetes but I don’t feel good when my blood sugar has the opportunity to swing way up and down. I do respect some of what the paleo movement has brought to our attention but I don’t necessarily think diets were perfectly healthy “millions” of years ago. Technologically we’ve advanced but in the main we do unhealthy stuff to ourselves because it tastes or feels good right now or because it seems easier. I don’t think that has changed. Periodic fasting has value but daily fasting is asking for trouble. I predict Starbucks will jump on this bandwagon though.

      January 19th, 2015 7:16 pm Reply
  • Sheri

    How about if I add a raw, pastured farm-fresh egg to my BPC? It makes it taste like a latte and it adds protein??? (really hoping here!)

    January 14th, 2015 2:41 pm Reply
  • Denise Stufflebeam

    Thanks for this good article. I get it that BPC isn’t a substitute for breakfast, but that begs the question, “what IS a good breakfast?”
    I regularly enjoy scrambled eggs (from pastured hens) at breakfast but what are some other good breakfast options?

    January 14th, 2015 1:30 pm Reply
  • Andrea Newman

    Fascinating. I wasn’t aware BPC was being promoted as replacing breakfast. I enjoy it from time to time in the morning for a boost, but I could never imagine skipping breakfast and just drinking coffee! I always make sure I have a good protein packed breakfast when I drink coffee, as opposed to some mornings when I have baked oatmeal or a smoothie.

    January 13th, 2015 10:48 am Reply
    • D.

      Me too, Andrea Newman! I had no idea I was supposedly “replacing” my breakfast. I don’t drink “real” coffee, I drink decaf (the fair trade kind I buy at our local food co-op) and I’ve been adding a plop of butter to it for years- just like my gramma did! Sometimes I add a little coconut oil but I reallllllly can’t tolerate it very often, YUK. I use coconut oil in various other ways so putting it into my coffee isn’t a priority.

      I only drink a couple of small cups of coffee in the a.m., not the huge 16 oz mugs like some folks do. I eat a regular breakfast of eggs and sourdough toast (or whatever) for breakfast sometimes but not necessarily daily. I don’t use “protein powders” or any of that kind of stuff. I do use kosher gelatin (bloomed first) then mixed with my vitamin C in warm water every other morning which makes it liquid form which is easier for my stomach to handle and the C is more easily absorbed.

      People do what works for them, no matter how much “good” advice they’re given.

      I also drink warm water with 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it every morning. I’ve been doing that for more than 10 years – gets the gallbladder and liver perked up and moving. 😉 Not everyone will think that’s a good idea for some reason or another but I’ve sure seen a lot about lemon water on the ‘net recently, as if it were some new phenomenon.

      March 4th, 2015 11:07 am Reply
  • Dave

    Asprey gives the paleo and ancestral health movement a bad name. Most of his “upgraded” solutions lead one to have to buy something obscure and expensive from him directly, contrary to the other paleo or WAP big names out there who stick closer to empiricism and accessible solutions. Asprey seems bent on figuring out how to sustain an unhealthy type A lifestyle at all times.

    January 13th, 2015 9:07 am Reply
  • Ann

    Great info and a great post!

    However, one thing: you use “denatured” as if that’s a strike against certain protein products (protein powders). While I completely agree they are not optimal for all the other reasons you give, denaturing protein is not an inherently dangerous or undesirable process. Protein is denatured by the simple act of cooking, so if you cook your protein rather than eat it raw, you are consuming denatured protein too. Your post makes it sounds like denaturing protein is dangerous, but it’s not.

    Thank you, and I look forward to following and reading more of your fantastic work!!

    January 13th, 2015 2:01 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Here’s the particular problem with protein powders … they are a factory food. They are not Real Food, they are highly processed with the protein separated from it’s natural food source. Also, MSG is formed during the processing … it’s in the protein powder but not listed on the label because it wasn’t added … it’s a byproduct of the violent processing. Avoid protein powder!!!

      January 13th, 2015 8:07 am Reply
  • Sonja

    It seems odd to quote Dr. Mercola to back you on one aspect of your offense while he himself is a proponent of intermittent fasting. I have never tried BPC, but I feel AWESOME on intermittent fasting (and I’d tried so hard for years to eat breakfast, even if I wasn’t hungry). So– I think I’ll try the BPC. I don’t know how else to get that much coconut oil down.

    January 13th, 2015 12:26 am Reply
    • Raven

      I was wondering about this, as well.

      January 13th, 2015 4:28 pm Reply
    • Indigo

      I feel awesome on intermittent fasting, too, based on Dr. Johnson’s Alternate Day diet. It has really balanced me out and I love it because when I do eat I can eat in line with WPF and I still get my daily CLO!

      Here is a post by Mercola about fasting…

      I tried my own version BPO coffee (a little butter & a little coconut oil) and I think it is a tasty treat once in a while. The first time I every put any oil into a hot drink was after reading Sally Fallon’s Eat Fat, Lose Fat.

      I like most of this website but perhaps having to always create blog posts might bring out the “diet dictocrat” even in those rebelling against the traditional “diet dictocrats”.

      January 18th, 2015 2:28 pm Reply
  • donnagail broussard

    would an egg white scramble suffice to accomplish the requirements of a protein breakfast to kickstart this neurotransmitter cycling for the day? Or would there have to be a yolk too? Or is an egg insufficient and pastured-raised meat essential?

    January 12th, 2015 11:02 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Eggs WITH the yolk would be wonderful. Don’t just do egg whites.

      January 13th, 2015 8:05 am Reply
  • Shari

    What’s your take on MCT oil???

    January 12th, 2015 8:56 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      It’s probably fine, but I prefer virgin coconut oil that hasn’t been processed at all.

      January 12th, 2015 9:32 pm Reply
  • Rachel

    This must be why I could barely sleep when I was on a 3-day coconut oil fast… wasn’t the wonderful cleansing experience I expected!

    January 12th, 2015 8:15 pm Reply
    • Yuri

      Hi Sarah,

      I’ve been using Kerrygold butter for May years thinking it’s the best one on the market. Which one would you recommend?

      March 6th, 2015 10:08 pm Reply
      • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

        I’ve switched to Finlandia (certified from family-owned farms, grassfed, nonGMO feed). Organic Valley’s grassfed organic butter is also way better than Kerry Gold … I just don’t like Organic Valley because the family farms that sell milk to the OV cooperative are not allowed to sell raw milk on the side. I’ve been boycotting OV products for years because of this (see my post on that).

        March 7th, 2015 9:30 am Reply
  • Fiona

    What do you think about adding collagen to your bulletproof coffee? Dave Asprey actually suggests in his book that women over 40 especially don’t do well if they don’t have protein in the morning, so he suggests they add the collagen for that extra protein.

    I have also read that while intermittent fasting may work for some people, it doesn’t work as well for women, so I also bear that in mind!

    I actually don’t have any collagen at the moment, only grass fed gelatin, so I was thinking I should just add that to my BPC (which I do have every day for the healthy fats!!).

    January 12th, 2015 4:56 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Please note that adding collagen hydrolysate or gelatin to your bulletproof coffee does not solve the problem as these protein sources are completely devoid of tryptophan containing primarily the amino acids glycine and proline in large amounts.

      January 12th, 2015 7:28 pm Reply
  • Nettie

    I like to add a scoop of organic grass fed whey protein powder to my bp coffee if I don’t have time for a traditional breakfast.

    January 12th, 2015 4:47 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Unfortunately, all protein powders are highly processed, denatured and not a good choice for protein. Yes, even when processed at low temperatures, the protein is denatured from the powderizing.

      January 12th, 2015 7:28 pm Reply
  • Melina

    Agreed Sarah!

    January 12th, 2015 4:38 pm Reply
  • Laura

    If you have ever heard Dave Asperey speak about bulletproof coffee he never speaks of skipping breakfast? He presents a lot of science why properly sourced proteins and fats and well balanced meals all day are the key to weight loss and health. Blame the misinformed author not the product…

    January 12th, 2015 4:17 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Unfortunately, this is how most people are implementing it!

      January 12th, 2015 7:29 pm Reply
      • klever

        I never thought it was suggested to skip breakfast either though because of the fat it does make it more difficult to get my protein. I had just been working harder to make sure and eat.
        I do really enjoy this coffee a lot. But I do have 20lbs. to loose, is your position don’t drink it at all if you want to loose weight? I thought taking a tablespoon of coconut oil was beneficial to loosing weight.

        Thank you for the info.

        January 12th, 2015 9:11 pm Reply
    • Jim

      Actually I have heard Dave say many times that he drinks Bulletproof coffee for breakfast, with no additional food, thus “skipping” or “replacing” breakfast.

      January 13th, 2015 11:29 am Reply
  • Barb

    I drink bulletproof coffee with collagen protein powder from pasture raised happy cows every morning. I sleep great and I eat a hearty and healthy lunch and dinner. It keeps me satisfied until lunchtime and I find I do have much better focus and memory.

    January 12th, 2015 3:59 pm Reply
  • RCA

    I think you’ve missed the boat on this one, Sara. Despite Julia’s “theory” re: breakfast, I have not found any problems w/ serotonin or melatonin when substituting breakfast for Bulletproof coffee (BC); while you may crave carbs later when you skip breakfast, BC keeps me satisfied for hours, AND Dave Asprey recommends that if weight loss is your goal that you add a dose of grassfed collagen protein to the coffee, and I can say from experience that any protein cravings are satisfied by doing this. Also, why would you be “irritable” etc. when you’re “focused and energized”? That’s oxymoronic!

    January 12th, 2015 3:35 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      How long have you been doing bulletproof coffee … just curious? I don’t doubt there may be a short term benefit which is what tends to suck people in that a fad is “good for them” and it’s the silver bullet that they’ve been looking for (which doesn’t exist). It’s the long haul when these types of things wreak havoc with hormones and health.

      January 12th, 2015 7:30 pm Reply
      • Kristin

        I’ve been drinking bulletproof/butter coffee (and tea) with collagen for well over a year, every day, sometimes twice a day. I have one WITH my breakfast of eggs, some kind of grass fed or pastured meat and sauerkraut. I also may have one before my evening workout. My sleep is fine. My body fat is balanced. My blood sugar is low. My hormones are completely balanced. My weight is exactly where it should be. This whole idea of everything is 100% good or bad is what is making everyone so confused about food. There needs to be acknowledgment of the individual.

        January 14th, 2015 10:42 am Reply
  • Liz

    You know a LOT of people add collagen protein and even gelatin to their BP coffee? Some people even add eggs. Do some more research and cover all the basis before tossing bp off as a fad. I’d say the wide majority of people are not drinking it for weight-loss to begin with. I don’t know anyone drinking it for weight loss. Do you know how BP came about? You should read into it. It had absolutely nothing to do with weight loss.

    A lot of people also drink BP because of how clean it is, especially if you are sensitive to molds. There is a night and day difference between BP and regular coffee. How many people are crashing and having negative experiences with coffee because the coffee itself is poorly produced and full of myco-toxins? My guess is many. I stopped drinking coffee a while ago because of those very things, but revisited it with BP. After playing around with it, I have to say that there is no comparison. I don’t have any of the problems I used to have when I drank regular coffee. I’m a big stickler for testing things with a log, elimination experiments etc. There’s a lot more to BP.

    Everybody also isn’t the same. There are plenty of people that thrive without breakfast. Read the Warrior diet by Ori Hofmekler. It’s a good book. I rarely ever eat breakfast, never really have. My body doesn’t like starting the day with a meal.

    January 12th, 2015 1:32 pm Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Please note that adding collagen hydrolysate or gelatin to your bulletproof coffee does not solve the problem as these protein sources are completely devoid of tryptophan containing primarily the amino acids glycine and proline in large amounts.

      January 12th, 2015 7:41 pm Reply
      • Michael

        Why do you let so-called ‘science’ of neurotransmitters trump the actual experience of a huge number of people? Bulletproof Coffee simply works! And amazingly so for almost anyone who tried it. It’s certainly works great for me — and I sleep like a baby. Very disappointing to read your comments, Sarah. And unlike the Weston A. Price kind of views. I doubt you’ve even tried it. And indigenous peoples like the Tibetans have historically had butter in their tea. And the “Breakfast as most important meal of the day” thing is a marketing idea for processed cereals. I learned that at a WAPF conference. Do you have the guts to try BPC and find out for yourself?

        January 13th, 2015 5:53 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          This article is about the folly of replacing a healthy breakfast with bulletproof coffee and how it’s going to shoot you in the foot in the long term if you think it is a good replacement for actual food. If you love your bulletproof coffee so much, then fine … drink it. But please eat breakfast first!

          January 14th, 2015 9:03 am Reply
          • Pepper Culpepper

            Breakfast was not always a luxury for human beings. Like someone above said, it’s a marketing ploy by cereal companies. For millions of years people had to move around to find food first. They didn’t roll out of bed and cook some eggs and bacon.

            January 14th, 2015 10:30 pm
  • Alison

    I agree with you Sarah, BPC is not a healthy breakfast.
    If one must drink coffee, then at least it’s a way to lessen the blow to blood sugar. A protein rich breakfast with a healthy amount of fat is the best way to keep blood sugar stable, quell cravings, and ultimately lose weight. If you like coffee, add a Tbs of butter and a Tbs. of coconut oil, blend it up and call it good. If you can have cream, then add raw cream instead.
    Personally, I can’t digest that much fat on an empty stomach. It makes me feel sick. I’ll stick with my pastured bacon and eggs!

    January 12th, 2015 1:30 pm Reply
  • Ellie

    As a holistic nutritionist with a solid foundation of weston a. price principles AND respect for science that comes from the paleo and biohacking communities (Bulletproof Executive) I have to tell you I’m disappointed with this piece. It feels like a marketing ploy to get hits on your blog. It’s inflammatory, poorly researched and offers one point of view as fact.
    I’m personally embracing the culture of self-experimentation based on ancedotal and research-based evidence in the field of nutrition and I think a posture of collaboration and open-mindedness is crucial to helping the largest number of people find health through food.
    My own experiences with bulletproof coffee and those of my clients have been mostly positive, although there does seem to be a tendency to under-consume food due to the appetite-suppressing effects and I agree that for some people, eating breakfast first may be an appropriate strategy. I’ve also seen some clients experience a rebound weight gain, especially women and I strongly discourage anyone from drinking more than one cup per day. I’ve not had any clients experience sleep issues after adopting bulletproof coffee or intermittent fasting. It’s crucial to start with very high quality coffee beans, organic and shade-grown at the very least. The advent of bulletproof coffee came about through ancient wisdom tradition when Dave was given yak butter tea in Tibet as a restorative. He, of course augmented and changed the recipe and that may or may not be appropriate for an individual.
    On another note, to discount intermittent fasting as a viable approach to nutrition because of an arbitrary observation is simply irresponsible. A five minute google search turns up valid scientific results and intriguing conversations about the benefits of intermittent fasting.. Human nutrition is an ever-evolving field and fundamentalist black/white thinking has no place in the responsible forward movement of this field. Let’s be open to what we know about traditional nutrition wisdom AND see how science, self-experimentation and clinical evidence add to the depth of knowledge.

    January 12th, 2015 1:13 pm Reply
    • Jeanmarie

      Amen, Ellie!
      One size does not fit all. I have found intermittent fasting, in the form of a compressed eating window (typically I restrict my eating to between noon and about 8 p.m.), very helpful for minor weight loss and improved digestion. I have found that eating breakfast makes me hungrier the rest of the day, not less. This is such an individual decision, I don’t think it makes any sense to make blanket recommendations for or against breakfast, except in the case of children. They need it, but not all adults do well eating breakfast. I can’t eat it very early, especially before going to yoga class at 10 a.m.

      It’s good to remember that women do have different responses to IF and low-carb dieting for that matter, and the best advice I’ve found is for women to do a carb re-feed a couple of times a week because cutting carbohydrates too much can result in adrenal stress in women in particular. Cut carbs overall, but loosen up a couple of times a week for best results, in other words.

      Similarly, individual reactions to coffee vary greatly. I have always been very sensitive to caffeine, but the many health benefits I’ve been reading about moderate coffee consumption have convinced me to keep trying to find a way to make it work for me. I have found that if I’m regular in my magnesium supplementation and drink coffee no more than about 1 cup every other day, then I do really well. I used to do it Bulletproof style and I still do a modified version. Since I drink Chameleon Cold Brew and don’t bother to heat it, I usually skip the butter and just add MCT oil. That and sometimes a slice or two of bacon keeps me satisfied for hours. I do not consider that a detriment. My digestion seems to work better if I don’t overload my belly with too many meals in a day; two is usually better for me than one, but I don’t force myself to stick to a hard-and-fast rule.

      January 13th, 2015 12:53 am Reply
      • Jeanmarie

        Correction, I meant to write: two meals is usually better for me than THREE not one! Once meal is not enough for me.

        Your mileage may vary.

        January 13th, 2015 12:56 am Reply
      • Lisa

        i would suggest that if eating breakfast makes your hungrier you might want to look at you blood sugar/insulin metabolic areas – it could be an imbalance in your blood sugar, which i am sure you are aware isn’t a great picture. not eating breakfast because it makes your hungrier isn’t a good sign from my professional perspective

        January 16th, 2015 11:53 am Reply
    • ncs

      Thanks for offering a very rational perspective.

      January 14th, 2015 10:59 am Reply
  • Mike

    I have use coffee and coconut oil for years now and in my case it make me sharper in the mornings. Just the coconut oil gives my brain a boost of mental energy. I’ve tried many different breakfast ideas and none work as well as the coconut oil. Do I have some health issues? Yes, I do! But I have found that things work for some but not all. I to use intermittent fasting, do I look sickly? From the comments I get from people, they think I look much younger then I actually am. Many comment on how healthy I look for my age, 57. First off if you haven’t tried something yourself, you only have an opinion based on what you have experienced or the information of others which could be disinformation at best. We are all different and each person should make a decision based on what it does for there own health. While we make look the same, we are not all going to react the same!

    January 12th, 2015 12:28 pm Reply
  • Sandra Earle

    Sarah, I have never commented until now. I am 70 years old and lived on coffee for most of my adult life because of brain fog–since I was 12. I am now paying the price and looking for the real causes, not the least of which is crushed thyroid and adrenals I am sure. I hate to bad mouth Dave, but I have come to believe that his hacking which includes lots of short cuts don’t really solve the root problems. I love coffee, but it really can be a stressor. Anxiety is not real energy even if you feel sharp. It is very easy to accept the stimulant as a substitute.

    I have suffered to stay slim my whole life and have succeeded, but that alone is not real health. If you NEED coffee, don’t kid yourself you have a problem. Try Vietnamese coffee using Teecino, eggs, cinnamon, and butter/cream if you are so short on time. Just be gentle with the eggs as they poach. Then get to more real food. Sandra

    January 12th, 2015 12:19 pm Reply
    • Jeanmarie

      To be fair, Dave Asprey does not advocate overconsumption of coffee, and he certainly does not suggest living on coffee, Bulletproof or not. It is only a minor part of an overall very healthful diet: grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish, plenty of good fats and vegetables, some fruits, and coffee uncontaminated by mycotoxins. I’m pretty sure he would say not to overdo coffee at the expense of your adrenal glands. I’m not into bio-hacking the way Dave is, but he does in fact emphasis getting the diet right as the fundamental change to improve health.

      January 13th, 2015 1:01 am Reply
  • Elise

    I appreciate the article. I drink BP coffee most mornings because it is a good way for me to get coconut oil in my diet. But I always eat a full breakfast.

    Certainly food for thought

    January 12th, 2015 12:03 pm Reply
  • Midge

    I think you have not done enough homework on this and I belong to about 25 Low Carb fb pages and websites, most do not replace breakfast with BPC. You are coming to some erroneous conclusions. :)

    January 12th, 2015 11:53 am Reply
  • Tami Berman

    Also good quality homemade broth is great for breakfast with a piece of whole grain sour dough toast. Yum!

    January 12th, 2015 11:48 am Reply
  • Stephanie

    Sarah, BP coffee is meant to be drunk as part of an intermittent fasting diet, eating in an 8-hour window of time per day, for example. I have been doing this, though not totally strictly, for many months. I do not use coffee in my butter drink, nor do I use the MCT oil or coconut oil, since those do not agree with me, so I use extra butter to get more fat into my diet. It is said that by consuming BP coffee (or tea, or I particularly like raw cacao powder and cacao butter in my butter drink), you maintain the state of ketosis – the objective of intermittent fasting, so that your body is burning fat for fuel instead of sugar. The intention is that people who do this, eat plenty of food, high-quality protein and healthy fats during the day and are getting adequate calories. I always use non-caffeinated herbal tea in my butter drink and once in a while I use decaf coffee (or the cacao I mentioned). I follow Julia Ross’ amino acid therapy protocol as described in her book and have been on it for many months as well, so it is hard for me to know if the BP drinks with intermittent fasting is harmful in any way, since I take pretty high doses of amino acids. I feel so great and sleep well. What do you think of using a BP drink – meaning with butter, not coffee per se, with an intermittent fasting diet? Do you find there is any detriment there? I know people with adrenal fatigue should not do intermittent fasting. Curious to know your thoughts. Thanks!

    January 12th, 2015 11:42 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      I am not all that enthusiastic about the intermittent fasting idea. The folks I’ve seen using it don’t look very healthy to me to be quite honest. I would be very careful with it as almost everyone has adrenal issues to some degree anymore as stressful as our culture is … even if you really try to stay stress free it is very hard with all the chaos around you 24×7

      January 12th, 2015 11:50 am Reply
      • kimyo

        fasting can be a stress-reliever, too.

        and ‘3 square meals a day’ is as artificial a construct as high fructose corn syrup,

        i find my sleep and digestion work best when i’m eating 1 – 1.5 meals a day. i fast on occasion for 24+ hours. and i put a tablespoon full of ghee in my coffee in the morning.

        ps: echoing one of the other commentors, this post is kind of harsh compared to the more frequent, deliberate, well-argued posts i see here on a weekly basis.

        January 13th, 2015 3:58 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Seriously? Fasting a stress reliever? Something that puts the body in a high state of biological stress is a stress reliever?

          January 14th, 2015 9:04 am Reply
          • kimyo

            a measured reduction is blood pressure is a sign of stress relief, is it not?


            Acute effects of short-term fasting on blood pressure, circulating noradrenaline and efferent sympathetic nerve activity

            Eleven moderately obese women, aged 46-62 years, with a body mass index of 29-34 and with borderline hypertension (repeated diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mmHg) fasted for 48 hours.

            Systolic blood pressure (BP) was reduced from 158 +/- 3 mmHg to 146 +/- 5 mmHg (p less than 0.001) and diastolic BP from 96 +/- 3 mmHg to 89 +/- 3 mmHg (p less than 0.01) during the fast.

            January 14th, 2015 12:33 pm
        • Pepper Culpepper

          I agree. Humans, for 99 percent of our history, have not eaten three squares. That’s a luxury only afforded to us by the Neolithic revolution.

          January 14th, 2015 10:22 pm Reply
    • Cookie dough

      Stephanie, let me reassure you right away: you are not doing intermittent fasting.

      If you are having a coffee or a herbal tea with tons of butter for breakfast this is NOT intermittent fasting, unless you skip dinner.
      Anybody who tried BP coffee can tell the difference between having BP coffee and fasting. What makes you think drinking butter is similar to fasting? Because somebody who has an interest in selling you a very expensive coffee tells you so?
      I’m not saying BP coffee is bad, I still find it delicious (with any good coffee, btw) but I think Dave Asprey is also a good business man.

      Furthermore you say you feel great and sleep well. Why would you change something in your current way of eating? Don’t worry be happy!

      January 12th, 2015 12:39 pm Reply
  • Robin

    I have never heard this explanation of how not eating breakfast can disturb your sleep, what an eye opener. I routinely skip breakfast and I have suffered with insomnia for years, basically since my first child was born. I occasionally do the bullet proof coffee thing but in general I stick to basic coffee–but it is an absolute must, more than any other thing I consume in my entire diet. One thing I will say, I literally have to choke down breakfast. The thought of eating in the morning makes me feel vaguely nauseous and any interest in food doesn’t enter my mind until about 11:30. If I do start ‘choking down’ protein in the morning, can I change this aversion?

    January 12th, 2015 11:39 am Reply
    • Rachael

      I’ve been following the GAPS protocol for 11 months now and one of the “ah-ha” moments I had was when I read not to eat for a couple hours after waking. The first couple of hours upon waking the body is in detoxification mode, which is why a lot of people don’t get hungry until about 11am. I drink a glass of warm water (sometimes with a tablespoon for ACV or lemon in it) first thing and then wait at least an hour or two before eating soup, stew or whatever leftovers I have. I’ve never felt so satisfied from breakfast as I do using this method.

      January 12th, 2015 2:19 pm Reply
  • Tracey

    Sarah a lot of people are using bullet proof coffee for enemas. I would love if you’d do an article on coffee enemas. Everyone totes how great they are for you but I ended up severely dehydrated After trying them and then got a kidney infection. I can find lots of reasons on the internet why to do them but not very many reasons why not and I am not sure where I went wrong.

    January 12th, 2015 11:37 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Plain coffee enemas are used for alternative cancer therapy (by oncologist Dr. Nicolas Gonzalez MD for one who has his patients do them multiple times per day) as they stimulate the liver to release the mother of all antioxidants – glutathione which is tremendously detoxifying. But, bulletproof coffee as an enema? Yikes.

      January 12th, 2015 11:41 am Reply
      • Natalie

        I am glad you mention glutathione….Good quality, low temp processed whey protein is the best way to get glutathione into your body. I have a genetic issue where my detox pathways are not functioning. I don’t have/make enough glutathione. In fact a lot of people don’t. Liposomal glutathione supplements are partially effective ( I take one and receive IVs weekly-but for my son who likely has the same genetic issue, I make him smoothies with the whey)…but whey is a great way to get it from food. I think your relegating whey protein (even when processed at low temps) to factory food is unfortunate. I think whey protein is a nice ADDITION to a healthy diet. Especially for those with the genetic detox issue. And when people say they do a BP coffee enema they are usually talking about just using the BP brand coffee bc it is low in Mycotoxins. For those of us who have been mold-sick (people with the glutathinone issue often are) the low mycotoxin coffee is best for the enemas. Just some food for thought.

        January 16th, 2015 2:49 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          Whey protein powder is NOT Real Food! Why would you ever think a food that only a factory could produce with high tech equipment would be healthy?????

          January 16th, 2015 9:55 pm Reply
          • Natalie

            Sooooo how would you suggest getting a therapeutic amount of glutathione into one’s diet besides IVs? It is in other foods in VERY SMALL amounts. There are times when some things are necessary and making sweeping generalizations is unfortunate. Good for you that you don’t have to worry about it.

            January 17th, 2015 2:16 pm
    • Cookie dough

      Coffee enema OR oils enema, not both at the same time!

      Ayurvedic doctors recommend in certain cases an oil enema to pacify the vata dosha (tendancy towards dryness) which will cleanse the colon and nourish the body.

      Coffee enema helps the liver to detoxify.

      But BP coffee enemas? I agree with Sarah: yikes.

      January 12th, 2015 12:50 pm Reply
  • Chrissy Bernazzani

    Hi Sarah,

    I like to add Vital Proteins collagen peptides into my bullet proof style coffee in the AM.

    4-6oz cup french press organic coffee
    1T Raw Grassfed butter
    1T MCT or Coconut Oil
    2 Scoops Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides (blended in at the last 10 seconds so the proteins aren’t denatured)

    I find that I still have hunger and typically still eat my breakfast an hour within waking and my blood sugar stays stable throughout the day. My breakfast is usually protein based with veggies as well.

    I did enjoy reading your article as I do every post you write. Thanks!

    January 12th, 2015 11:34 am Reply
  • Dana

    Wow nothing I’ve ever read about bullet proof coffee ever put emphasis on skipping breakfast. It’s a way to enhance your morning routine. Why not add more healthy fats to your diet?! Bulletproof coffee is great when you have a light breakfast. I’m surprised by the aggressive nature of this article, mostly.

    January 12th, 2015 11:34 am Reply
    • Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist

      Nearly every single person I know who drinks bulletproof coffee skips breakfast as the fats in there are so filling they don’t want anything else particularly something with protein in it which is what they need WITH those healthy fats.

      January 12th, 2015 11:47 am Reply
      • Anthony

        Sarah, I feel that you haven’t bothered to read anything else about this diet other than the coffee and fasting. First and foremost, Dave himself stresses in his book that the intermittent fasting may not be the best option for women. He talks clearly about how women shouldn’t fast, at least not for the length of time he suggests. Further, the fasting is simply there to kick start the fat burning process.

        You made a comment about protein here which furthers my belief that you’ve read nothing about this diet. While Dave supports eating organic, grass-fed meats, he also goes on to explain why taking a protein fast day is beneficial to you. Unfortunately, I will not explain this to someone who has decided to slander something without having actually read anything they’ve written. Also, you can eat protein on this diet, you do so in the 6 hour window in which you eat your calories for the day.

        I’ve actually done the diet and the fasting. The first day, I did not feel hungry, but I did feel that I should be eating something. I stress again, I did not feel hungry at all. That was the best part of this diet. I was able to concentrate on everything I had to do because I wasn’t distracted by feelings of hunger. The first night, I ate a lot of veggies and a big dinner meal between 2-8, but I didn’t eat out of hunger, I ate because that was the time I was supposed to eat and I ate a lot because I was told to eat my days calories in that window. The second day on, I only ate a normal sized dinner meal. I lost about 10 pounds and my size 32 pants started to fit me again.

        As far as sleep, I normally only get about 6 hours a night and even when I get a “good” nights sleep, I feel groggy and tired. By the third day of this diet, I was down to 5 hours of sleep and I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to go.

        January 12th, 2015 1:20 pm Reply
      • Liam

        So, are you ignoring the folks who add collagen protein to this for the purposes of sensationalism?

        January 12th, 2015 1:52 pm Reply
        • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

          As I have said in previous comments, no one I know doing bulletproof coffee is adding protein and when they do, the protein source doesn’t contain any tryptophan. I still don’t think this is a good idea though as mentioned in the post … the caffeine in the morning acts as an appetite suppressant and causes cravings for sweets/carbs later in the day and not enough protein would be consumed later either. I would suggest reading Julia Ross’ take on coffee and why it screws up neurotransmitters for many people.

          January 12th, 2015 7:35 pm Reply
          • Anthony

            What you think and what the results are are two totally separate ideas. If you check the stories and the outcomes of people who did this, the results are positive. I am one such case. No exercise, nothing other than intermittent fasting and 2 cups of Bulletproof coffee each morning and here were my results: I felt more focused, I slept better, got to sleep faster, woke up refreshed, lost about 10 pounds (my size 32s fit for the first time in about 8 years), and I was no longer craving sugary garbage. I decided to see what would happen if I stopped this diet, so I stopped for a week. I intentionally ate the way I used to and I gained most of the weight back, I slept horribly, woke up feeling tired, was cloudy during the day and couldn’t remember things and I got a bit bloated, to the point where my 32’s didn’t fit again. I was constantly hungry and in turn constantly searching for food instead of focusing on my work.

            This notion of three meals a day didn’t exist in the first few thousand years of us as a species and we managed to make it this far. I agree, fueling your brain first thing in the morning is very important, but that is what the butter and MCT/coconut oil is for.

            I see you over stressing the importance of protein and I can tell you from the horrors in the mens bathroom in gyms world wide, protein in excess is not good for you at all. Further, if you actually take the time to read the book, Dave explains why limiting protein and even taking a protein fast day once a week is important to your cells.

            The notion that “Bulletproof coffee causes weight gain” and your horrible use of an obese woman drinking coffee do nothing to dispute the facts and personal success stories of all of those who did this and lost weight. When I was in college and took a research writing class, one thing above all else was stressed: credible sources. I would gladly read any that you can provide that debunk this diet and prove your claim that coffee with organic, grass-fed butter and MCT/coconut oil causes weight gain. From my understanding of biology, the fact that we are no more than overclocked apes and the Bulletproof diet along with several others that I’ve tried in the past, this diet and it’s premises make perfect sense.

            January 14th, 2015 5:05 pm
          • Pepper Culpepper

            BPC never set me up for sweet cravings later in the day.Why would it? I don’t put sugar in my coffee. Just 100 percent cacao, butter and stevia and it keeps me alert, focused an energetic until noon and I certainly don’t overeat later in the day. If I eat protein for breakfast I just go back to bed.

            January 14th, 2015 10:15 pm
  • Sue

    Never slept better. Never felt better. I’m sure you’ll get lots of hits to your site though, by jumping on the bandwagon. I’ll keep my BPC….thanks.

    January 12th, 2015 11:18 am Reply
  • Helen

    I love a soft boiled egg with a buttery slice of toasted sourdough . It does it for me – everytime!

    January 12th, 2015 11:12 am Reply
  • tz

    Personally, I don’t need breakfast, but in the rare times I’m hungry in the morning, its eggs, cheese, and meat, cooked in butter. Usually, it just makes me feel tired while it digests. Since I eat right, my body has stores of everything – I still have fat to burn for energy, and like many overdo on the protein. Especially after going low-carb.
    Maybe add egg whites or whole eggs to the bp coffee?
    Everyone’s different. But even the “3 meals a day” is an old tradition – Breakfast was after a few hours of hard work, not just after waking up.
    Neither experts nor fads are smarter than your own body. And the test is practical – are you alert and focused all day? Your sleep is ok – whether it is 6 or 9 hours, deep or light. Is your digestion ok? You are eating right there (I have some unsweetened active culture yogurt and resistant starch that clears up problems). Are you merely “under the weather” when the rest of the gang is home recovering? Your immune system is working.
    Bulletproof Coffee might help some people. Some skip but need breakfast so this might help. It is also low-carb, so is better than lots of OJ and cereal. It is better than a bad breakfast.

    January 12th, 2015 10:52 am Reply
  • Sarah

    Do you have any recommendations for nutritious protein rich breakfasts?

    January 12th, 2015 10:09 am Reply
    • Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

      Bacon and eggs, a cup of soaked porridge of some kind (oatmeal and teff are both delicious), a yogurt smoothie … so many options.

      January 12th, 2015 10:16 am Reply
      • Sarah

        Ok, thank! I usually eat a kefir smoothie, and sometimes add a scrambled egg if I’m still hungry, but wasn’t sure from what you were saying if that is enough protein.

        January 13th, 2015 11:51 am Reply
    • Nancy

      After being on GAPS Diet for 2.5 years, and still having a lot of issues that were not being helped, I finally capitulated and went with the advice of my TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner had me start eating white rice again (Jasmine or Basmati). He wants me eating a small portion daily. I eat what is probably considered to be about a 1/2 portion and I eat in the morning for breakfast in the traditional Chinese form of congee. Congee is basically a rice cereal, similar to cream of wheat, but made with water (or you can use broth). The traditional method is to make it on the stove top, but that requires a lot of watching and stirring. I make it in the crock pot. You use a large ratio of water to rice. When I was researching on how to do this, the ratios were either 8:1, 9:1, or 10:1 (the larger number being water). I usually go with 9:1 and also throw in a few of my ice cube sized frozen cubes of bone broth. I only make 3/4 of a cup of rice total to last the entire week. The cooked congee gives me a generous 1/2 cup (meaning I don’t measure exactly and go over the top of the measuring cup a bit) serving of congee that I then reheat. When I reheat it, I add a couple of hard boiled eggs and some ghee (along with seasoning. There are a number of ways to eat congee, you could add bits of meat as well. Other cultures apparently do the same type of cooked “cereal” using other grains and/or quinoa. Although for my condition, the TCM wants me eating the white rice. So this has been my breakfast for the past several weeks. Sometimes I take a break from it and scramble a couple of eggs and pour them thinly into a pan to make a “tortilla” that I then add filling to. My favorite way is with some mashed avocado, boiled chicken (from making broth each week) and salsa. You can add various things to this such as pre-cooked ground beef, shredded pork, whatever you happen to have on hand basically.

      March 5th, 2015 12:28 am Reply

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