My Fat Body Mistakes vs. My Bulletproof® Body Plan
By: Dave Asprey
May 2, 2011
The vast majority of executives I know in Silicon Valley are spending a lot of time and energy trying to lose weight, or just stay thin. That’s what I did when I weighed 300lbs years ago. Losing weight was my single biggest focus every day in the gym and at meals. I spent at least 20 hours a week trying to lose weight . I did this for years – what a complete waste of time!
Thanks to the joys of biohacking and self-experimenting, while working with world-class experts, I don’t have to spend any time on my physique to stay lean and muscular, and if I have time to exercise for 10 minutes even twice a week (a good idea), I start to look like a bodybuilder.
I maintain a 6-pack and muscle mass with no exercise at all thanks to the Bulletproof® Diet, but when I want to add 10 pounds of muscle in 2-4 weeks, I eat more, I sleep more, and I do 10 minutes of high intensity exercise, twice a week.
Here are the mistakes I made when I was fat. They’re the same mistakes many people are repeating today.
- I chose energy-sucking low-calorie foods instead of high-nutrition ones that fill you with energy.
- I spent hours doing cardio in the mistaken assumption that burning calories was relevant to losing weight. I did 45 minutes of treadmill 6 days a week.
- I cut as much fat as I could from my diet increasing my insulin levels, which caused me to store fat.
- I chose complex carbs over meat and vegetables believing they, somehow, gave me energy.
- I lifted weights 6 days a week for 45 minutes, severely overtraining, driving up my cortisol levels, which causes weight gain and muscle loss.
- I didn’t increase my sleep after workouts.
You can have a low-maintenance, lean, ripped body without wasting time. Here are the basics that will give you a Bulletproof® Body:
- Whether you’re doing cardio, or weight training, do high intensity interval training – fast, brief, maximum intensity bursts followed by short recovery periods. This will cause your growth hormone levels to skyrocket and you will experience the most benefit from the least work.
- DO NOT work out for long periods – 25 minutes of high intensity is the maximum. (Walking around is not exercise…)
- DO NOT exercise every day. 3 times a week, with at least 1 day separating workouts, produces twice the results of daily workouts in less than half the time.
- Eat a high quality protein source like hydrolyzed collagen protein, or whey protein, within 15 minutes of finishing a workout to prevent a muscle-robbing cortisol spike that lasts up to 48 hours. The collagen is superior because it makes your skin and ligaments more flexible too.
- Eat MCT oil every day, which puts your body into fat burning mode, increases cellular energy, and makes your brain work better. This is my brand for a variety of reasons.
- Read the Bulletproof® Diet section, or even better, read “Good Calories, Bad Calories.”
- Remember that exercise makes you hungry. If you don’t eat after a workout, your energy will drop and you will store more fat.
- Get 50% of your calories from healthy fats – grass-fed butter, grass-fed meats, egg yolks, MCT oil, unheated olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, etc.
- Avoid digestible starch and sugar.
- Eat more food, and get more sleep when you workout.
The most efficient “full body” workout for strength is the Body by Science workout which is designed to change your hormones so that you grow muscles everywhere, as long as you don’t eat sugar and carbs afterwards.
I’m not the kind of egomaniac who posts glamour shots of his abs, so this isnt a glamour shot. It’s real, and it’s here because a few naysayers don’t believe my story. It is a picture of me, taken with my phone in a hotel room at midnight, after flying 7 times in 10 days in 2 countries, at the end of a 12 hour workday at a conference, following 18 months of sleeping less than 5 hours/night, NOT working out, and eating about 4,000 high-performance calories of the Bulletproof® Diet per day.
No special dramatic lighting (no flash bulb even), no pre-photo crunches, no Photoshop, just a formerly obese near-40-year old at the end of a long business trip. There are lots of guys with slightly lower body fat and more muscle, but they pay dearly for it by wasting time in the gym and even more time sleeping. I’m calibrated – I can add 5lbs of muscle and get leaner in a couple weeks, but I have to sleep 2 hours more per night to do it. I’d rather look like I do now and sleep only 3 or 4 hours than look slightly better but sleep 6.5 hours every night.