I want to start this blog by writing about one of the single most effective lifestyle changes I have come across. This change has caused me to have greatly increased energy levels, clarity of mind, increased muscle tone, lower body-fat percentage, better mood, and as a result, an overall improved quality of life Now you may be thinking, “Wow Matt, whatever you’re talking about sounds pretty extreme” and I’m telling you now, it’s not.
This awesome ‘life changing’ hack I’m telling you about is simply a change in diet. Not even a drastic one at that (at least for most people). The diet that I’m suggesting is a low-carb, high-fat (good fats) diet. In full disclosure here, I did not invent this diet nor do I claim to have done so. I simply want to inform you about what has been an extremely effective lifestyle change for me and something that lately I have been recommending over and over again. This type of diet has become popular in the recent years due to a man named Dave Asprey. Dave is the founder of Bulletproof, a company focused on optimizing or “bio-hacking” the human body to increase performance, productivity, happiness, and overall life. Bulletproof has TONS of information including books, a huge blog, and a large forum full of people giving helpful advice and I encourage you to do some more research on this topic after reading this.
So you still may be wondering what in the world I’m actually talking about here so, I’ll explain some more. The diet (I really hate using that word), is based on the assumption that a body that is in ketosis, is an efficient one. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process of the body that happens when the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, so it burns fat stores instead. So, from a nutritional standpoint, utilizing this normal bodily processes makes a lot of sense. The reason why is that there are three main macronutrients that make up 90% of the human diet. They are Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Fats. However, all things are not created equal. Proteins and Carbohydrates both contribute 4 calories per gram each, whereas Fats contribute 9 calories per gram. Keep in mind that a calorie is simply a scientific unit of measurement for heat energy, which is what your body uses to run on a daily basis. It makes sense then, that consuming less of the energetically unfavorable foods such as carbs and proteins, and more of the energetically efficient foods containing good fats could lead to some benefits.
Now that I’ve given you a little background on this whole low-carb, high-fat diet thing. I want to give you a little background history on myself, and how I got to making this lifestyle change.
Growing up, I have always battled with brain fog. So much so, that I continuously underperformed academically throughout much of my schooling. When I got to college and started a much more rigorous academic program, I found the challenges of trying to learn too great to handle on my own. So like any underperforming college student would do, I got tested for ADHD. That test came out to be positive and I was prescribed to the two ADHD drugs Vyvanse and Adderall. I took these for two years and saw an improvement in my focus, grades, and overall life. I mean when it comes to the big picture, the drugs did exactly what they were designed to do. But I still had a few problems that I felt needed to be addressed. Even though the medicine made me focus on my work, I still was trying to tackle everything I did with a foggy brain. Trying to go to medical school while living in a constant state of brain fog is like trying to fight Mike Tyson with one arm tied behind your back.
After some time and a lot of research, I decided to get off the ADHD medicine and try to address my brain fog from a nutritional standpoint. This meant cleaning up my diet, improving the quality of my sleep, and fueling my body to be the most optimized version it could be. So, a few trips to Kroger, a couple good nights sleep, and a lot less Bojangles biscuits in the morning and I’ll be damned, the fog was lifted! Now you might be thinking, “Ok Matt, I eat pretty clean, and where does this tie into this whole diet thing you’ve been talking about?”. Relax, I’m getting there. I found that even though I had figured out how to get rid of my cloudy mind, it was very inconsistent. I never knew if I was going to wake up and have a good brain day, or a bad brain day. Well, thank the Lord I found a Dave Asprey book on the Bulletproof diet.
Now, to spare your the rest of your time, I will save the remainder of this story for another post and get back to breaking down this diet for you.
These are some of the aspects of the diet that I have found to be most important in my personal experience.
Let’s get some bullet points going here:
Eat lots of good Fats ( Avocados, Coconut Oil, Nuts, Grass-fed Butter, etc…)
Eat quality protein sources (Grass-fed beef, Chicken, Low mercury fish such as salmon, and one of my personal favorites, Bone Broth Collagen Protein powder.
Eat a lot fewer carbs, and save them for the end of the day. (underline this)
If you’re wondering what “A lot of” and “Fewer” means exactly, I would say that my diet is about 50% quality fats, 30% protein, and 20% carb. If you read into the protocol more, many people will fall on the more extreme side of the spectrum around 70% fat, but just in my personal experience, that hasn’t worked the best for me.
There are a few other key factors at play to make this work for you. Remember when I was talking about ketosis? Yeah well, it turns out that is a pretty hard metabolic state to get your body into. That is of course if you don’t hack your way into it like Dave Asprey suggests. An integral part of the process is consuming what he calls “Brain Octane Oil”, which is essentially a super concentrated form of coconut oil that he formulated and sells on his website. I have been using Brain Octane Oil for some time now and let me tell you… the stuff freaking works. The theory is that the oil provides ample amounts of MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides) for your body to produce ketones. Enough so that your body will transition into ketosis without having to totally purge yourself of carbs for weeks on end. Getting your body to switch over to burning ketones has many benefits, a few of which include,
Reduction of brain fog
Increase in happiness
Increase in overall performance and lifestyle
I can say right now that this diet is the single most effective lifestyle change I have ever made and that my energy levels have skyrocketed, while my brain fog has diminished to hopefully never appear again. This post is only to get your feet wet when it comes to this subject, and you can expect many more posts to follow with more details. If it has sparked your interest, I would recommend going to www.bulletproof.com and taking a look around to learn some more.
Altering your diet to mirror this one could show drastic improvements in many areas of your life including energy levels, brain fog, and even weight regulation. I would recommend it to anyone looking to optimize their life and take the first step to improve themselves for good. I hope you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment any thoughts you may have, and look forward to some more awesome content.