4

votes

IF and Women: Bulletproof Coffee "Solution"

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Hello guys (but specifically women), I want to know what you all think of this study promoting bulletproof coffee as a solution to IFing for women. There are a gathering number of blog posts in the paleo-sphere claiming that for women trying to lose fat, IF may not be the most ideal method.

Basically, the protocol says to break the fast with Bulletproof coffee (butter & MCT oils) in order to tell the body that there is an abundance of food (and fat, too!), so it does not need to store fat. I am well aware of the myths of "starvation mode," but am willing to believe that the hormonal structure of women is different enough from men to create a semi-starvation mode.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:51 AM

You've got to be kidding me...

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:09 AM

Yea, everybody knows it's not fasting. Good job.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 30, 2013
at 09:57 PM

FINALLY! Someone SAID IT. Thank you!! ---> "This "fasting" (sorry for the repeated quotes, but it's really not a fast when you consume 3 Tbs of fat in the middle of it..."

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 30, 2013
at 09:57 PM

FINALLY! Someone SAID IT. Than you!! ---> "This "fasting" (sorry for the repeated quotes, but it's really not a fast when you consume 3 Tbs of fat in the middle of it..."

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on July 11, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Yes, for some, namely us fragile hormonal women, fasting can be a challenge. However, by adding lots of fat to the coffee you are telling your body that you are in fact in a fed state and therefore not under stress.

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:35 AM

The shaky comes from histamines or mycotoxins in your beans. The nausea from not digesting fat well. lipase and HCL fixes that!

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:34 AM

Great attitude! The nausea comes from sluggish liver - taking lipase and/or betaine HCL (like I recommend in the posts) will fix that!

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:32 AM

The normal recipe is 70 grams of beans per liter of water for french press. I use 450ml of brewed coffee to (up to) 80 grams of butter plus 20-30 of MCT. Lately, have been doing 30 grams of butter and 30 of MCT. Your experience may vary depending on the quality of the beans. It matters a lot.

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:30 AM

"Promoting Bulletproof Coffee for women?" Geez, are you guys "promoting" paleo for humans too? You don't have to buy my low toxin coffee beans for anything in that post to work. Fat only (no protein or carbs at all) during a fast keeps you in autophagy. Having other fatty protein-containing foods doesn't work. The whey has small amounts of maltodextrin in it because that's the only MCT powder available. Reformulating with the manufacturer of the powder now to get tapioca; I don't like malto when I can avoid it.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on June 17, 2012
at 05:33 PM

It's not fasting - that's the whole point. That IF may be a bad idea for women. And seeing as most PaleoHackers seem to be coffee addicted, Bulletproof coffee (other cultures have been doing the same thing for years with coffee and tea with high fat) may be better for women than having coffee in the morning, and then not eating til 2pm.

19acef0aed67ef8dc1118d8e74edb349

(2954)

on June 16, 2012
at 12:44 AM

Just said this yesterday. If you're "eating" bulletproof coffee, you're not fasting. Not sure why you think you'd be fasting when eating that. If you're hungry enough to consume the coffee, you can eat a regular meal too. If the "trick" is to eat plenty of fat to break a fast, then you can eat a fat piece of meat or fatty fish, or coconut milk curry, or a gazillion more high-fat things that are more nutritious than bulletproof coffee.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 15, 2012
at 11:39 PM

I think this is an important question. Spikey Cortisol isn't our friend.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 15, 2012
at 11:28 PM

A quick Google search would have turned up the answer...

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 15, 2012
at 11:28 PM

@wildwabbit: I use a 33 oz Bodum French press, 1.5 tablespoons of ground coffee, and fill it, leaving 1" head space. Once steeped, I pour it into the blender with 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/4 c. coconut oil. Whir it until it is frothy. It takes me about 30 mins to drink it all and I am until late afternoon/early evening (I start drinking it around 06:30)

1b979cd0d09ec7b34f872447a54b46ac

(240)

on June 15, 2012
at 10:32 PM

Oh yeah-- I have no doubt that if you are fat-adapted it probably works really well. For whatever reason my body either hated ketosis or never became very efficient at converting fat to energy. After three months of VLC/LC, I gave up-- my body seemed to think it was starving no matter how much fat I ate (ALOT, by the way). I was doing bulletproof coffee at the time and it didn't seem to be effective for increasing my energy level/satiating me. We are all such individual damn snowflakes!

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on June 15, 2012
at 08:01 PM

Amen, Jen. I never thought of it as sending my body a message, exactly (are there Hallmark cards for that?) but I'm pretty VLC IF-er these days and the coconut oil in coffee (whether caffeinated or not) makes it all good.

38dc9448a52fef25672c8ef6e17e8efc

(70)

on June 15, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I drink a cup of rooibos in the evening when I'm getting that "I could really eat a little something right now" feeling and it gets rid of it.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on June 15, 2012
at 06:38 PM

+1 for taking life as it is

Cfdbf3485f0bac5895f86d74afd9fac0

(98)

on June 15, 2012
at 06:03 PM

I don't understand how drinking what must be a considerable amount of calories in the form of fat with coffee flavour can have anything to do with fasting

140e2a7ebd23d56038f8b597bab28464

on June 15, 2012
at 04:55 PM

@Rob, I was skeptical too about his agenda. He definitely looks to make a profit. However, he doesn't say it *has* to be his coffee in the mix, just needs to be high quality.

Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I have trouble trusting people who sell 35 dollar a pound whey powder...with maltodextrin.

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:10 PM

My suspicion is that very low/zero carb folks that use mostly fat for energy have the easiest time with this, because for us it's almost like a liquid fat meal...

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:03 PM

High quality coffee, with grassfed butter and MCT oil added. With or without Tim Ferris's "Upgraded Coffee".

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:02 PM

I just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil with my morning coffee. I don't like the taste I get from adding it to the coffee. And as much as I wanted to try whipped coffee with butter and MCT oil, when I actually tried it I was pretty disappointed in the results.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 15, 2012
at 03:51 PM

Thanks! I've finally found something that works for me after trying all of the USDA, ADA, AHA, etc., recommendations.

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on June 15, 2012
at 03:39 PM

^ That's awesome! Keep it up.

140e2a7ebd23d56038f8b597bab28464

on June 15, 2012
at 03:01 PM

His formula was a little heavy for me. I still believe calories play a huge role in weight loss, so I downed it to 1 tablespoon butter, one tablespoon coconut oil. He's using about 3x what I am!

7caec21ad66b572d9afcb1e24f7297aa

(257)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:57 PM

Craig - take a look at this: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

B4b56fcc5ebad76ed8e1709dedf01f86

(660)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:51 PM

I've only experimented with the coffee w/ heavy cream IF, but I definitely don't feel as good in the afternoons when I skip breakfast (even though, like Melissa, I have to force it down).

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:49 PM

Melissa, how much butter in your coffee and how many oz of beans / oz of liquid? Just curious the formula everyone uses.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:40 PM

Male here - but same response. I feel like I can punch-out Godzilla while breakdancing until around the same time (1pm or so) but then I come down. It's not just the caffeine because I drink at a minimum of 16oz sumatra pretty much every day.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:32 PM

Bulletproof coffee is my work-day staple and will keep me sated until late in the afternoon. Sometimes, on a particularly stressful day, I will need to eat around 2, but can get by with a small salad until I can get home and have dinner with my family. I am losing weight and my T2 diabetes is coming under control. I do still take Metformin, but am hoping to get off of them in the next year. There is already a HUGE difference in the control in only 2 months of doing this.

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11 Answers

4
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 15, 2012
at 02:33 PM

On a personal level I have not had the best experience with this. Normally when I IF, it's because I'm lazy and just not very hungry in the morning. Coffee is one of the few things I desire and the butter-MCT-coffee method gives me crazy energy. Unfortunate about the crazy part. I will feel very very very crazy, like a manic state, and then I'll crash around 1 PM. I've had to brute force myself into breakfast lately.

B4b56fcc5ebad76ed8e1709dedf01f86

(660)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:51 PM

I've only experimented with the coffee w/ heavy cream IF, but I definitely don't feel as good in the afternoons when I skip breakfast (even though, like Melissa, I have to force it down).

140e2a7ebd23d56038f8b597bab28464

on June 15, 2012
at 03:01 PM

His formula was a little heavy for me. I still believe calories play a huge role in weight loss, so I downed it to 1 tablespoon butter, one tablespoon coconut oil. He's using about 3x what I am!

3b0b95dfc6dc5c18e535945f4aab0866

(2392)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:49 PM

Melissa, how much butter in your coffee and how many oz of beans / oz of liquid? Just curious the formula everyone uses.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:40 PM

Male here - but same response. I feel like I can punch-out Godzilla while breakdancing until around the same time (1pm or so) but then I come down. It's not just the caffeine because I drink at a minimum of 16oz sumatra pretty much every day.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:02 PM

I just eat a tablespoon of coconut oil with my morning coffee. I don't like the taste I get from adding it to the coffee. And as much as I wanted to try whipped coffee with butter and MCT oil, when I actually tried it I was pretty disappointed in the results.

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 15, 2012
at 11:28 PM

@wildwabbit: I use a 33 oz Bodum French press, 1.5 tablespoons of ground coffee, and fill it, leaving 1" head space. Once steeped, I pour it into the blender with 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter and 1/4 c. coconut oil. Whir it until it is frothy. It takes me about 30 mins to drink it all and I am until late afternoon/early evening (I start drinking it around 06:30)

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:32 AM

The normal recipe is 70 grams of beans per liter of water for french press. I use 450ml of brewed coffee to (up to) 80 grams of butter plus 20-30 of MCT. Lately, have been doing 30 grams of butter and 30 of MCT. Your experience may vary depending on the quality of the beans. It matters a lot.

3
673f7ad6052448d51496f177395416b7

on June 15, 2012
at 08:21 PM

Don't know if it would solve the female IF dilemma since my understanding was that the main problem with IF'ing was the cortisol spike doing more harm to the female hormone balance. Wouldn't the coffee spike cortisol just as much (if not more?)

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 15, 2012
at 11:39 PM

I think this is an important question. Spikey Cortisol isn't our friend.

06bf7b92d77f1ac1d8e3dc9d539d8254

(1649)

on July 11, 2012
at 03:59 PM

Yes, for some, namely us fragile hormonal women, fasting can be a challenge. However, by adding lots of fat to the coffee you are telling your body that you are in fact in a fed state and therefore not under stress.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:51 AM

You've got to be kidding me...

3
5e63e3fa78e998736106a4a5b9aef58c

on June 15, 2012
at 05:47 PM

I'm female, I do 18/6 IF, and I eat very low-carb/high fat. And while I can eat lots of fat with no problem, I just can't deal with bulletproof coffee. Even after drastically reducing the quantities of MCT oil and butter, it made me feel nauseous (and screwed up some perfectly good coffee).

It's a morning thing. I've never been a breakfast eater, either--the last thing I want in the morning is food. So I wake up, have my strong, black coffee, and I'm fine fasting until 6:00 PM (which, given my schedule, is equivalent to lunch for a normal person).

My weight loss has been slow--I'm 45, and hormones are not on my side. But even though I don't like being a fatty, I'm cool with it. I'm doing all this for health reasons, and have already seen tremendous improvements on that score that make me very happy, and much more optimistic about my future. And if I continue, eventually I will be lean again, and it will be because I'm healthy. So I don't really feel the need to keep hacking weight loss any further (which is kind of amazing, when I think about it). I'm not losing weight to get healthy; I'm getting healthy, and weight loss is one result.

De641ff2accb4975e1f42886b43009db

(2227)

on June 15, 2012
at 06:38 PM

+1 for taking life as it is

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:34 AM

Great attitude! The nausea comes from sluggish liver - taking lipase and/or betaine HCL (like I recommend in the posts) will fix that!

1
1407bd6152d9fdbc239250385159fea1

on June 15, 2012
at 03:58 PM

Immediate Disclaimer: I am not a woman.

Though I do not sport the same gender and accompanying milieu of temperamental hormones (sorry, it's true though, the ladies have a much harder time dropping body fat), I do have a something to offer on the matter since I have fasted for over a year and my mother began inadvertently fasting several months ago.

With that said, I do not see any negative benefits of prolonged fasting unless I'm eating poorly, which I would not recommend to anyone regardless. My mom on the other hand notices that she starts to feel "off" in general if her daily fasts extend beyond 15-ish hours. She really enjoys a general protocol of finishing eating around 7:30-8:00 and having a large-ish breakfast at approximately 11:00-11:30. She generally does have a bit of coffee in the morning (black: no milk, cream, or sugar --she and I share that quality), so that may help the fast go smoothly.

So, I would suggest that you give it a shot both ways; that is, try a true fast for around 14 hours without any additives in your coffee and then give this "bulletproof fast" a shot. Speaking to the latter though, if body fat loss is the main goal, I don't think it's logical to put 4-800 calories worth of energy into a liquid you plan to consume, regardless of the health properties of those foods (butter & MCT oil). Perhaps that's just my opinion --which may or may not be skewed by that fact that I believe Dave Asprey to be arrogant and obnoxious-- but I think it's a valid suggestion.

Best of luck Julia,
-Ian

1
1b979cd0d09ec7b34f872447a54b46ac

(240)

on June 15, 2012
at 03:35 PM

Bulletproof coffee didn't help me at all with IF. I just got shaky and felt somewhat nauseated for a few hours after waking up. Of course, IF didn't work out for me either so I can't blame it all on the coffee-- turns out I am just a breakfast gal!

Additionally, I wonder if slamming a MCT-laced/butter-infused /caffeinated cocktail is really effective at sending the message to your body that there is an abundance of food... if you're body is under the impression that it is starving it seems that a super fatty cup of coffee is hardly going to convince it otherwise.

0382fa263de4c83328dc34a56e25437f

(4238)

on June 15, 2012
at 08:01 PM

Amen, Jen. I never thought of it as sending my body a message, exactly (are there Hallmark cards for that?) but I'm pretty VLC IF-er these days and the coconut oil in coffee (whether caffeinated or not) makes it all good.

1b979cd0d09ec7b34f872447a54b46ac

(240)

on June 15, 2012
at 10:32 PM

Oh yeah-- I have no doubt that if you are fat-adapted it probably works really well. For whatever reason my body either hated ketosis or never became very efficient at converting fat to energy. After three months of VLC/LC, I gave up-- my body seemed to think it was starving no matter how much fat I ate (ALOT, by the way). I was doing bulletproof coffee at the time and it didn't seem to be effective for increasing my energy level/satiating me. We are all such individual damn snowflakes!

65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:10 PM

My suspicion is that very low/zero carb folks that use mostly fat for energy have the easiest time with this, because for us it's almost like a liquid fat meal...

E45254f32389b6f8f56f1d7f335e616c

on June 21, 2012
at 10:35 AM

The shaky comes from histamines or mycotoxins in your beans. The nausea from not digesting fat well. lipase and HCL fixes that!

1
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on June 15, 2012
at 03:28 PM

I make my own version of this, which could be named "bulletproof decaf chai", but isn't because well, that's stupid.

I don't do caffeine.

I've consumed it for approx 4 months, and it contains roobois chai tea, coconut oil and MCT oil. (I use I TBSP of each).

Has it helped me lose any weight? I'm going to say no. Does it keep me from getting hungry? Sure... however in the past 2 weeks I swapped it out for just the rooibos chai tea, and it also helped me from being hungry and I've noticed that I have lost weight. I'm not really trying to lose any more fat, so I'm now tempted to just eat a small breakfast of something fatty and delicious.

Edit: My suspicion is that very low/zero carb folks that use mostly fat for energy have the easiest time with this, because for us it's almost like a liquid fat meal... and to me it isn't true IFing.

38dc9448a52fef25672c8ef6e17e8efc

(70)

on June 15, 2012
at 07:27 PM

I drink a cup of rooibos in the evening when I'm getting that "I could really eat a little something right now" feeling and it gets rid of it.

0
9ddfd3d2a706e45f17150191abc93623

on January 30, 2013
at 09:27 PM

I was completely skeptical about bulletproof coffee (not to mention extremely grossed out) but my inner nay-sayer got beat down on this one. Following the guidelines for buying the proper coffee, I picked up some beans at Four Barrel coffee, reduced the fats to 1 TBS each and used ghee (grass fed) instead of butter.

The result?

A nice, clean energy rush that lasts most of the workday. No crash. No headache. The headache thing is really worth noting - I rarely drink coffee because it gives me awful headaches. As a drink, lipid-laden coffee not nearly as gross as expected. I'd give it two thumbs up if there was some way to ice it, but that's just me.

Say what you will about Dave Asprey (Mr. Bulletproof), but maybe spend some time on his site before passing judgement. Sure, he sells some of the stuff he talks about. But he also tells you exactly what you need if you'd like to source the stuff elsewhere. I live within walking distance of single origin, wet-process, South American coffee grown at altitude (variety most likely to be free of mycotoxins) so no one but me & a local roaster profited from my coffee experiment. I, for one, am quite grateful to Mr. Bulletproof for sharing :)

0
D7ec5ab98a0b971f9e24b4e654abfa7d

on June 17, 2012
at 04:55 PM

I'm female and usually "fast" for roughly 15 hrs (8-9 pm to noon-1 pm) 4 days a week (the days I go to work). I don't do bulletproof coffee, I do drink a big cup of coffee with a lot of coconut "cream" (the thick, fatty layer at the top of the can) in it in the morning. I'm doing a Whole30 now, prior to Whole30, I used heavy cream from grassfed cows when I was feeling rich, commercial half-and-half when I was not. When lunch time comes, I'm definitely hungry and ready to eat, but not starving, shaky, etc.

When I started doing this (maybe 3 months ago?), I dropped 4 lbs in a week. Fat loss has slowed but continued. Of course this "fasting" (sorry for the repeated quotes, but it's really not a fast when you consume 3 Tbs of fat in the middle of it) isn't the only variable in my diet -- I've been watching the fruit & nuts, and am now on day 25 of the Whole30 which is pretty restrictive, and is definitely contributing to recent fat loss. So I can't really say if it's cause and effect, but I'm happy with it and it certainly doesn't seem to be hurting me.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 31, 2013
at 01:09 AM

Yea, everybody knows it's not fasting. Good job.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 30, 2013
at 09:57 PM

FINALLY! Someone SAID IT. Thank you!! ---> "This "fasting" (sorry for the repeated quotes, but it's really not a fast when you consume 3 Tbs of fat in the middle of it..."

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on January 30, 2013
at 09:57 PM

FINALLY! Someone SAID IT. Than you!! ---> "This "fasting" (sorry for the repeated quotes, but it's really not a fast when you consume 3 Tbs of fat in the middle of it..."

0
C8549e3ab0e3d77910e72c87cb5e0918

(435)

on June 15, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Female here. I regularly stop eating at about 6 pm. Have coffee with 150 cals worth of coconut oil in the morning, and don't get hungry until at least noon. It feels healthy to me, I have no energy problems, no symptoms from it, but weight loss for me is consistently slow, so who knows if it is good or not.

0
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on June 15, 2012
at 04:22 PM

I find it does help me. I have a tendency not to want food in the morning, and while at first that was a benefit to losing weight, recently I stalled for quite a bit. I replaced my coffee with heavy cream for Bulletproof coffee, and I started losing weight again. I think that I did need some morning fat, some more calories, but forcing myself to eat wasn't the answer.

I find I get great energy from it, and it's delicious. I also drink less coffee on it. I am a total coffee and tea fiend, and while I can have my tea with coconut milk, I don't like coconut milk in coffee. I think I was drinking too much coffee with heavy cream before.

Everyone is different, so I can't say how it will work for anyone else, but I'm going to keep using it, and watching my progress. I am all for personal experimentation, and there are tons of different things that may or not work for me, and the only way to find out is to try them.

0
C116f7e54620c6003b67cd4450a298cd

on June 15, 2012
at 02:52 PM

please enlighten us not in the know what "bulletproof coffee" is. Details without acronyms. Thanks!

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on June 15, 2012
at 04:03 PM

High quality coffee, with grassfed butter and MCT oil added. With or without Tim Ferris's "Upgraded Coffee".

7caec21ad66b572d9afcb1e24f7297aa

(257)

on June 15, 2012
at 02:57 PM

Craig - take a look at this: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

61844af1187e745e09bb394cbd28cf23

(11058)

on June 15, 2012
at 11:28 PM

A quick Google search would have turned up the answer...

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