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Bulletproof Coffee and Fat Loss: Does It Work?

The road to successful fat loss can be full of pitfalls.

A good cut requires planning, programming and persistence – but stick with it and you’ll soon start to see those abs shining through and your fitness levels increasing week by week.

It’s all about your lifestyle. Get your exercise and diet right and you’ll be well on your way to a physique .

One of the biggest (and most debatable) fat loss methods to take the weight loss and fitness industries by storm within the last couple of years is bullet proof coffee.

But is it good for improving your body composition or will it lead you down the road to buttery ruin?

In this article we take a look.


What is Bulletproof Coffee?

Bulletproof coffee is an ideology. It’s not a brand of drink, rather a recipe. This ‘fat loss drink’ is based around the premise that certain ingredients can optimize your cut by stimulating your metabolism and shredding fat cells directly.

This beverage is made up of three distinct ingredients:

  • Fresh coffee
  • Butter
  • Medium chain triglyceride (MCT) oil

Although there are some variations on recipes and preferences based on individual recommendations, the basic way to make bulletproof coffee is to firstly take a freshly brewed, low acid coffee. Unsurprisingly, the coffee often involves a ‘special organic blend’ that is only available directly from designers of the drink.

Whether that’s just a way to make monet we’ll leave to your judgement.

Once you’ve got your coffee you add in one or two tablespoons of unsalted, grass-fed butter and a tablespoon of MCT chain oil – often advised as coming from coconut.

Your first thought is probably “butter in coffee?”.

And you’d be right to question it. After all, it doesn’t sound like the best tasting combination, but apparently it gives your drink a creamy consistency similar to actual cream.

It requires some pretty hard blending as you need to emulsify the water and oils together. Get it right and you end up with a frothy, foamy beverage that looks like a latte. Get it wrong and it looks like an oil slick with floating chunks of debris floating around.

Bulletproof coffee has a more bitter taste than your traditional java and tastes oily and thick. Many people report that it leaves a sticky film across thelips too, even when properly blended.

As with many fads and come-and-go weight loss aids, bulletproof coffee has many celebrity followers. There’s even a full product line and diet that comes with it too.


A cup of bulletproof coffee with butter floating on the top of it

What Are the Reported Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee?

Bulletproof coffee was designed with one intention – to help you ramp up your fat loss results. It is said to improve your body composition by:

  • Increasing energy levels, mood and motivation
  • Decreasing hunger and elevating satiety
  • Supporting your hormones
  • Directly boosting your metabolism

Bulletproof coffee and fat loss

The ingredients in bulletproof coffee are said to all play their own role in fat loss.

Most of the fats you consume in a normal diet are composed of saturated long chain triglycerides. MCTs are said to be different. Found in foods such as coconut oil, medium chain triglycerides are reported to digest more like carbs than fats, giving you more rapid energy.

There are one or two studies that show potential benefits of MCT oil for health, but most of these are in clinical settings and not linked to fat loss in general population.

There’s no research to suggest that butter has any direct effect on fat loss, other than saturated fats contain cholesterol which help you synthesise steroid hormones such as testosterone that can help increase lean muscle mass and strength.

The only well-researched ingredient in your bulletproof coffee is caffeine. And when it comes to health and weight loss, it helps by improving insulin sensitivity, endurance and power.

Caffeine has also been shown to have a direct influence on fat burning too – and that’s without butter and oil thrown in on top.


Why Bulletproof Coffee Won’t Help You Shred Fat

On a physiological basis, fat loss is pretty straight forward. If you take in less calories than you burn off each day you force your body to liberate its own fat cells and use the excess stored energy to make up the difference.

If you want to shred fat or lose weight you need to achieve a calorie deficit.

Bulletproof coffee is very high in calories

Now let’s think about the ingredients in bulletproof coffee.

Other than calorie free coffee beans, you’ve got two very high fat, high calorie ingredients. And at 9 calories per gram, a typical cup of bulletproof coffee could provide you with as much as 700 calories per drink.

That’s the equivalent of a decent slice of chocolate pudding… with extras! No wonder it’s said to give you energy.

Bulletproof coffee could be as much as 50 percent of the daily calories for an average size person during a weight cut.

Combining butter and MCTs pushes you over your saturated fat RDA

Even one cup of bulletproof coffee will provide you much more than the recommended daily amount of saturated fat.

And whilst this type of fatty acid isn’t thought to be as connected to heart disease as it once was, it is more than what would be considered a ‘balanced diet’.

Can lead to low nutrient intake

Even if you managed to calculate your calories and stay within your deficit, you run the real risk of missing out on vital fat burning nutrients such as zinc, chromium and B vitamins.

You’ll also have less room for protein which means you could be sacrificing your lean muscle levels, and fruit and vegetables to optimize health.

You’re essentially missing out on 1-2 meals worth of good nutrition in the hope that bulletproof butter will somehow boost your fat loss progress.

There’s no science to back it up

If you look at any good fat burner supplement, the individual nutrients included in them are all well researched, with a credible, robust research profile backing them up. They work and that’s clear.

The problem with the bulletproof coffee movement is that all of the claims are based on anecdotes and what ifs. And even when research is put forward, it is dated, poorly designed or involves only animal studies.

The only exception to this is caffeine, which as we’ve already said has been found to improve cognitive and physical performance, as well as directly impacting fat loss.

In theory, any diet can help you lose weight

If you chose to take bulletproof coffee on as a dietary aid and restricted your overall calorie intake you’d lose weight. The problem is though that you aren’t optimizing your health and you are following something that just isn’t sustainable.

A good fat loss supplement should support you in your journey, not aim to provide a quick fix or replace the role of a good, healthy diet.


Dark-haired woman in a grey vest smiling stood in the park

Summary

The foods you choose to eat have a drastic effect on fat loss success.

As common sense might suggest, a diet containing high calorie, high fat beverages probably isn’t the best way to go. Even if you were to keep to your calorie deficit you’d be running the risk of missing out on some vital nutrients to support your health and wellness.

We suggest that if you want to have a bulletproof coffee every now and then for dietary ‘flexibility’ then it won’t hurt at all – but avoid sliding it into your diet too regularly or you run the risk of not achieving your goals.


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