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Shape Magazine Argues Bulletproof Coffee is Not a Weight Loss Health Drink

Tim Boyer's picture
Bulletproof Coffee not a Weight Loss Drink

Are you jumping on the popular bandwagon of adding Bulletproof coffee to your diet for weight loss? You may want to rethink that decision as a recent Shape magazine article argues why Bulletproof coffee is not a weight loss health drink.


Bulletproof coffee is the brainchild of Dave Osprey, a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who lost 100 pounds without counting calories or engaging in excessive exercise. Part of his weight loss success is attributed to what he terms as bulletproof diet hacks that includes among other things―putting butter in your coffee.

Mr. Osprey uses the term “Being Bulletproof” as a concept of achieving a state of high performance where you take control of and improve your biochemistry, your body, and your mind so they work in unison, helping you execute at levels far beyond what you’d expect—even towards weight loss.

According to his Bulletproof exec website, Bulletproof coffee consists of:

• At least 1-2tbs unsalted grass-fed butter.

• 1-2tbs of Brain Octane or XCT oil (these are 18x and 6x stronger than coconut oil, with no flavor. They are NOT generic MCT oil, which is about 1.6x stronger than coconut oil).

• 1-2 cups (~250-500ml) of hot coffee brewed with low-toxin beans (like Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee) using a metal filter (like French press or gold filter drip).

But does drinking coffee laden with butter really make sense when it comes to weight loss?! That is the question posed by a recent online edition of Shape Magazine which enlists the help and expertise of Jenna A. Bell, PhD, RD, sports dietician and author of “Energy to Burn: The Ultimate Food & Nutrition Guide to Fuel Your Active Lifestyle.”

Here is a summary of what Ms. Bell has to say about Bulletproof coffee as a weight loss health drink:

Are any of the Bulletproof coffee claims legit?

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According to Ms. Bell, the claims of weight loss by itself just doesn’t make sense with what is the basic tenet of weight loss—fewer calories in, more calories burned adds up to losing weight. A cup of Bulletproof coffee adds on about 450 calories to your calorie count, so do the math when you look at your meal plan.

“Fat is more satiating than nothing, so if you add it to your morning cup, you may feel full longer,” says Bell. “However, turning your 80-calorie cup of coffee into a 400-plus-calorie mug is unlikely to promote weight loss given that its ingredients—coffee, butter and oils—have not been shown to promote weight loss independently or when stirred together. Rather than refer to science here, I’d like to consider it logically—without exercise, is anyone out there losing weight by eating more calories?”

Is at there at least something healthy to Bulletproof coffee?

Ms. Bell agrees that there are biochemical benefits to drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee due to their antioxidant content. Furthermore, studies have shown that caffeine can pep up cognitive functioning and mental acuity―and may even save your eyesight and prevent disease.

However, “…it’s hard to call Bulletproof coffee ‘healthy,’" says Ms. Bell. “We need to eat fat for our body to function properly—especially the essential fatty acids (polyunsaturated fats) found in fish, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds—but adding it to our coffee doesn’t provide any additional health benefits.”

Are there any health risks associated with drinking Bulletproof coffee?

“Clinical studies have shown that for many individuals, eating too much saturated fat can contribute to high LDL-cholesterol,” says Bell. “If you fall into that category, you may not want to add butter to a drink that you were satisfied with already.”

Shape magazine concludes that the bottom line of their analysis of Bulletproof coffee is that if you’re going to drink it, do it for one reason only—because you think it tastes good.

For more about a healthy way to start your day caffeinated, here are 3 coffee choices that won't add inches to your waist.

Reference: Shape― “The Buzz Behind Bulletproof Coffee