I had the privilege to review an advance copy of Dave Asprey’s new book, The Bulletproof Diet, which is officially on sale today! This book is a comprehensive guide that teaches you how to “hack” your body to achieve optimal physical and mental wellbeing. Dave’s book is unique from other diet books, because it dispels the myths of popular diet fads and teaches you how and when to consume certain foods according to your needs. Dave explains how hormones, vitamins, minerals, and even our own thought processes and behaviors affect our physical and mental performance. Not only is this book an excellent guide for adult nutrition, it is also applicable to children. I especially recommend this book to parents who want to treat the symptoms of their child’s autism or ADHD naturally through nutrition and OTC supplementation. It is an honor to share this guest post from Dave Asprey, which outlines some of the important principles outlined in his book and explains how we may be approaching weight loss the wrong way. If you enjoy this article and would like to learn more about Dave’s research and experience, please follow the links at the end of the post to purchase his book, visit the Bulletproof website, or follow on social media.
7 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts
By Dave Asprey
There are five basic things your diet should provide: energy for your brain, fuel for your body, nutrients for your cells, no unnecessary toxins, and, perhaps most importantly, satisfaction. But most low-calorie, low-fat diets fail to do any of these things. Instead of helping you, common advice from the so-called “diet” industry can actually create serious problems for your weight loss goals. Avoid these problems to avoid crippling your weight loss efforts.
Problem #1: Thinking if you’re not losing weight, you’re not trying hard enough
As a man who grew up fat and used to weigh 300 pounds, this is the belief that caused me the most harm. Trust me, fat people know when we’re fat. The problem is that dieters and even many doctors woefully misunderstand the concept of willpower. They believe that the secret to success is simply buckling down and saying “no” to overeating by using an endless reserve of willpower. But willpower has been proven to be a limited resource. You can run out of willpower every day, and you can’t renew your supply simply by deciding to do so.
Problem #2: Ignoring Hunger
In its simplest form, hunger is the urge to eat. It’s an instinct that keeps humans from starving to death. Hunger decreases your performance, saps your energy, and makes you cranky, tired, and unproductive. Sustained hunger is not a sign of toughness or resolve, and it’s definitely not Bulletproof. The goal of a diet shouldn’t be to ignore hunger or to sate it by eating a low-calorie snack every 90 minutes.
Problem #3: Following a Low-Fat Diet
In the 1950s a scientist named Ancel Keys rocked the world of nutrition by claiming, with some pretty convincing research, that saturated fat caused heart disease. The low-fat diet craze immediately stormed the scene. The problem is we later learned Keys threw out data that didn’t fit his model. The science didn’t support his theory at all.
Food chemists immediately began concocting low-fat foods and to remove the fat from foods, they had to replace it with something. Sugar and/or corn syrup was pumped into most low-fat “diet” foods. Not only are these low-fat foods actually terrible for you because they lack nutrients but they also taste like cardboard and make your brain believe a famine is coming.
Problem #4 – Avoiding Fats
We’ve grown afraid of eating fat because we believe it will make us fat and sick. As I was testing the Bulletproof Diet, I wanted to see how quickly eating more fat calories would make me fat. I started eating between 4,000 and 4,500 calories from the Bulletproof Diet each day and about 70% of those calories came from Bulletproof fats.
According to most nutritionists, I should have gained a dozen pounds in a month eating this way. Instead, the opposite happened. My brain worked effortlessly, I didn’t need more sleep, and I even grew a six-pack.
Problem #5 – Cutting Calories to Lose Weight
Many diets claim that the magic formula to weight loss is, “calories in versus calories out.” This is sort of true in a famine situation but we now know that crash diets mess with your hunger hormones and your metabolism, making it easier for you to gain weight later when you begin eating normally again.
Problem #6 – Trying to Lose Weight Through Heavy Exercise
One of the greatest misconceptions when it comes to weight loss is that burning calories is relevant to losing pounds and slimming down. That’s because your diet is much more important than exercise when it comes to weight loss. In fact, overtraining can actually cause you to gain weight. Your body responds to rigorous exercise as it does to a stressor, by increasing cortisol levels in your body. When cortisol levels remain raised for extended periods of time, the well-known result is weight gain and muscle loss.
Problem #7 – Removing Salt From Your Diet
In 1979, the U.S. Surgeon General stated, “Salt is a clear cause of high blood pressure.” The problem is that human beings cannot live without salt. Much has been made of the supposed negative health effects of salt, but the science shows that low-sodium diets are actually the ones that cause harm.
The Bulletproof Diet is not an all or nothing approach; it’s a simple road map that will help you make better choices so you can eat more of the foods that move your health and performance in the right direction and fewer of the ones that don’t support your goals.