Diet. The mere mention of the word can conjure images of carrot sticks and water. Starvation level calorie intake and deprivation. They are these things we “do” when we want to be more “healthy” or lose some fat. Fairly negative connotations for many of us. That’s actually kind of funny.
This is the first definition of the word…
the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
“a vegetarian diet”
Yes, sure, there’s the additional definition of restriction and “special” short-term instances in which we eat (or don’t) a certain way to get some specific benefit, usually fat loss.
For these reasons I dislike the word diet. Or at least I only like the first definition of it.
The Bulletproof Diet is no exception. I get it. Marketing, book sales, yep…gotta have “Diet” in the title.
Except the Bulletproof Diet isn’t really a diet in the restrictive, starvation sense of the word. It’s really more of a lifestyle shift.
Consider this; we eat the way we eat for many, many reasons. Cost, taste, tradition, what we’re told, maybe even “health”. Whatever each of us eats right now, at this moment, is the product of many variables and experiences. We eat a certain balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins without, generally, giving it much thought.
The food companies have thought about it though. So have the medical and pharmaceutical industries. So much so in fact that much of the “food” we are offered today in our grocery stores has been manufactured specifically so we’ll eat (and buy) more of it. So much so that while we’re eating all this engineered food (maybe because we’re being told it’s good for us… “heart healthy” or “low fat”) we have, as a country, become sicker, fatter, more tired and more stressed.
So yes, a “diet” is something you can “go on” if you want to lose a few pounds or maybe try and ameliorate the effects of heart disease. Diet is also something that you have almost limitless choice around. It is, as the first definition says…the kinds of foods we eat. We are all “on a diet”!
Enter the Bulletproof Diet. It might be the ultimate diet. Eat exactly whatever you want, whenever you want. Just pay attention. The roadmap (see the graphic above) elegantly illustrates which foods are the most efficacious for maintaining true health and which are the worst. It is shown as a continuum from best to worst. The best foods are good for everyone, the worst are bad for everyone. The ones in the middle have varying degrees of negative or positive effects for different people based on variables such as genetics, current health or desired physical or mental outcomes.
Eat whatever you want just pay attention. That’s really the essence of it.
Go ahead, have that Big Mac or Twinkie…just know, understand, deep down, that it is not good for your health or well being, that you won’t feel good or think clearly or perform better from eating it.
Then make your choices.
Yes, it’s more nuanced than this. That bowl of Greek yogurt with organic granola and berries you’ve had for breakfast every day for the past two years because you think (or have been told) that it’s a “healthy” breakfast…think about it for a minute. How do you feel after eating it? How about an hour or two later? How’s your energy? How is your brain working? Are you forgetting things? Do you have cravings? Are you reaching your weight or health goals?
Maybe all your answers were positive ones. In that case, carry on.
If not though, ask yourself why.
Are you open to trying other things, new ways of considering foods and “diet”? Are you open to feeling better? To experimenting?
The first step is attention and awareness. If you don’t have these or aren’t willing to cultivate them then it’s probably a non-starter. This is not a fad or lose weight quick plan. This is a paradigm shift; a way of thinking about and practicing nutrition that is based on current and well-done scientific research as well as ancestral practices…how we ate for thousands of years before someone decided it was bad for us.
Then just try it. A little at a time make some shifts. Maybe leave out the toast and stick with bacon and eggs for breakfast. Skip the juice. Have a salad with some avocado for lunch. Steak and steamed broccoli or mashed cauliflower for dinner, skip the potatoes. Don’t skimp on the good quality butter throughout the day. Maybe even give Bulletproof coffee a try in the morning.
Try it for a week and pay attention!
How do you feel? How’s your energy? How is your brain working?
Slowly but surely (and yes, patience is key), you will shift towards the greener foods on the map, not because someone told you to but because you just feel and function better when you do.
Yes, if you do this and lower your carbohydrate consumption, you will likely, if you have it to lose, lose a good deal of weight in the first couple weeks. Most of this will be water but it will be some fat as well.
If you get headaches, have some salt. Good salt, Himalayan pink or sea preferably. Put a teaspoon in a large glass of water first thing in the morning and drink it. Cutting down your carb intake will flush water and electrolytes out of your system…a good thing but you’ll need to replace both. Drink more water too.
Try not to read all the Facebook posts on some of the Bulletproof groups where folks talk about how amazing they feel and how much weight they’ve lost and blah, blah…that’s great if you’re experiencing those things, not so much if you’re not. Everyone is a little different…sometimes things happen quickly, sometimes they don’t. There’s nothing “wrong” with you nor are you doing it wrong. You need to play with it a bit until you find what works for YOU.
And did I mention…PAY ATTENTION!
How are you feeling? What’s working, what’s not? What might need to be tweaked? Sometimes women need a bit more carbohydrates and protein. If you’re working out you may need even more. Do some research, get interested, play around with it…try one thing for a week then something else the next. Let the things that work stick, drop the things that don’t. Do you still have cravings? Why? You shouldn’t. Cravings are our body’s way of telling us we need something but normally we reach for the quick and easy…usually carbs, sugar or salt.
Keep some really dark chocolate, macadamia nuts, almonds or even a few Bulletproof Bars or Collagen Bites on hand for a quick snack if you’re having cravings or get a bit hungry between meals.
Attention, awareness and presence in the moment are all completely free to implement and practice and are some of the most powerful things you can bring to bear in your quest to…well…do anything, whether it be lose weight, gain energy or lessen your stress.
It doesn’t take much. Set an alarm for an hour or two after you eat. When it goes off just check in with yourself; how are you feeling? How’s your energy? How’s your brain working?
While you’re at it, take a quick break from whatever you’re doing…completely let it go for 5 or 10 minutes and go for a walk outside. You’ll be amazed at what doing this consistently will do for your mood and energy.
We have all come to eat how we eat as individuals by many different paths. We are generally set in our ways with patterns of eating evolved over the course of our lives, most with little thought. For something as impactful to our health, well being and longevity it might behoove us to give it a bit of attention.
The local and organic food you search out today can save you money, time and suffering in the long run from increased health and decreased medical costs.
We are all on a “diet” all of the time. We just normally don’t exercise to the fullest extent, our ability to choose what is actually best for us physically, instead of what is quick and easy.
If you love burgers…have them, just forgo the bun, add a salad instead of fries. Have sweet potato fries instead of regular.
If you love desserts, make them yourself! A coconut cream panna cotta with fresh berries (and xylitol instead of sugar) is amazing and extremely easy to make.
There are ways to modify any recipe into a healthy or healthier version. A little at a time, small steps…
We came to our current way of eating over time. Take some time to modify it and it will become second nature, sustainable by definition and you can finally get off the on again, off again deprivation diet train.
This is not about willpower or determination. This is about desire, willingness and attention. It should be relatively easy and will become habit over time. That’s the goal. To create for yourself a new paradigm, a new way of being that takes little thought and no willpower to practice.
Let me know if I can help get your started. I’ll provide a ton of resources on this site and would love to have a conversation about it if you’d like.
Reach out any time!