How Lunch – and Decisions – Make You Weak

Share:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

While interviewing my friend Dan John for a Bulletproof podcast, we got into an interesting discussion that deserves its own blog post. Dan has become a fan of Bulletproof intermittent fasting (only drinking Bulletproof® Coffee in the morning to sustain fullness and energy into the afternoon while losing fat and building muscle) and he noticed something about it that isn’t obvious.

Dan and I have both paid attention to the fact that simply having Bulletproof Coffee takes very little time to prepare. Once we have the Bulletproof Coffee in the morning, there is no additional thinking about food, worrying about hunger, or making even a single decision about food for up to 6-10 hours. And it just so happens that those are the hours when most of us are focusing on work and getting things done.

By contrast, if you are still stuck on the snacking treadmill (eating a meal or a snack every two or three hours) you *have to* think about your energy level, AND decide what to eat. Then you battle with deciding what would be the right thing to eat. Is it a bag of chips? Is it a low-fat, vegan, franken-patty made out of twigs and leaves? “Just one” of those candies that obese friend keeps on the desk to share with coworkers? Whatever you decide, even if it’s on the green side of the Bulletproof diet, it’s still yet another decision you have to make.

As a high-performance entrepreneur, I’ve recently become more aware of decision-making fatigue. In addition to a demanding job as a vice president at a billion-dollar Internet security company (one that is likely protecting your PC from attack right now), I run the Bulletproof Executive website. Between these two jobs, and my two young children and wife, the number of daily decisions I make can be daunting. I became aware of the small psychological and biological cost incurred for each decision I make regardless if it’s a large decision (like deciding to create the world’s most Bulletproof decaf coffee even though caffeinated has more benefits), or a little decision (like deciding to have dinner at 6:00 vs 6:15).

By the end of some days, my decision-making power is completely used up. I simply don’t care if dinner is at 6:00 or 6:15. I just want to eat whenever it’s ready, so I can refuel and recharge my decision-making capacity!

You might think this is just a bunch of whining from an overachiever, but it’s not. It’s a real psychological effect, and decision making fatigue is probably hurting your performance too.  Decision fatigue is documented in psychology and it refers to the deteriorating quality of decisions after a long session of decision making.[1][2] It is one of the causes of irrational trade-offs in decision making.[2] For instance, judges in court have been shown to make poorer decisions later in the day.[1][3] Decision fatigue may also lead to you to make less optimal choices when you buy things.

Decision fatigue may even be keeping people you know in poverty. Dean Spears of Princeton University has argued that decision fatigue caused by the constant need to make financial trade-offs actually helps to trap people in poverty. Financial situations force the poor to make so many trade-offs that they are left with less mental energy for other activities.[1]

The main effects of decision fatigue are:

  • Reduced ability to make trade-offs
  • Decision avoidance
  • Impulse purchasing
  • Impaired self-regulation

Those are totally not Bulletproof.

On days when breakfast and/or lunch are on the agenda, not only do I lose the time it takes to cook two meals (or buy them), eat them, and return to work, but also I incur the cost of deciding what to cook, where to eat, how to cook it, et cetera et cetera. So the decision to have lunch is actually composed of a long series of micro decisions, each of which takes energy that I could have better-applied elsewhere.

One impact of this realization is that I’ve started asking people in my life, both coworkers and family, to stop asking me to make decisions I don’t need to make. A loving, “dinner at 6:00 or 6:15?” question is meant to show concern and care, but in fact “dinner at 6:00” requires no decision at all, and serves to save a decision for something that is going to matter.

That said, I’m certain that the primary effects of Bulletproof® Coffee come from the  amazing effects of Upgraded Coffee combined with the satiating and nourishing effects of the right types of fat without toxins. Now, I realize that some of the performance enhancement comes from the simplicity and lack of decisions that the daily Bulletproof Coffee ritual brings to my life.

What do you think? Is it the simplicity offered from Bulletproof Coffee and similar lifestyle protocols in the Bulletproof Diet Book that help increase your performance by removing distracting decision making? I’m considering adding this concept to my next book and would greatly appreciate your input!

Share:Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookPin on PinterestShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

By Dave Asprey

  • ryanhand

    I also have noticed the effect of decision fatigue. I’m an entrepreneur and have 5 kids & a wife. I have to make it a point to get out of the house as quickly as possible in the morning. Otherwise, I naturally get sucked into the morning drama and decisions with the kids getting ready to for school. Bulletproof coffee in the morning definitely helps. It also helps a lot for my wife and I to set certain things in our schedule that we don’t question – groceries on Tuesday, date night on Saturday, etc. And having a weekly meal plan is a must for us. Also, at the office I start by making a list of what I plan to accomplish, and barring any unforeseen circumstances, I just plod through the list without question since I’ve already decided what to do.

  • Peter Martinez

    Completely agree. I used to wake up late for work and rush into the office and eat whatever unsavory items were laying around (donuts, pizza, etc.) just to ease my hunger.

    No more! Now I’m full all morning and i’m treated to screams of shock and horror when people see me blending away. =D

  • I very much relate to this. I’m an online professional poker player and at the end of my work sessions, after making about 1 decision every .5 seconds for 6-8 hours I’m just done. When people in my life ask me simple things I just don’t have the mind for it. I don’t care, anything is fine as long as I don’t have to think about it. It can be hard when you’re a single guy and generally expected to be decisive and assertive (never ask a date what she wants to do or where she wants to eat, that’s lame.) I’ve been doing a pretty simple routine of Bulletproof Coffee (sometimes with eggs in the blender) followed by avocados and soft boiled eggs, then cross-fit, then a proper meal (Bulletproof of course) and then I generally don’t eat the rest of the day while I work besides maybe more bulletproof coffee until I sleep and repeat. It’s basically the same Bulletproof intermittent fasting routine except I generally eat the first part of the day and fast the second b/c working the second half of the day fits better for my work and my personality/sleep schedule. I’m not expert enough to know if this is functionally equivalent, but it seems to be working for me and it certainly simplifies my life, which is a welcome reprieve from constant decisions.

  • Greg

    I always found breakfast the hardest meal to plan for and get to work on time. IF and Bulletproof IF have fit into my life so well for many of the reasons you described.

  • Me

    I’m pumped about Bulletproof everything but I’m annoyed with you constant remindier about your billion dollar companies. Just and FYI.

    • lol I wish it was *my* billion dollar company. It’s just a big public company. Without naming it, what’s the best way for me to say “big company high stress job” effectively? I’m glad to change it! Thanks for letting me know.

      • It would nice to be able to say “I’m the owner of a billion dollar company,” but seriously don’t you think it’s possible considering the amount of money people can save long run by living Bulletproof?

        • He doesn’t own the company though, he’s just an exec there.

      • Dave, don’t give it too much thought. I doesn’t bother me. As an exec at a company of that stature, you are faced with dozens of mission critical decisions a day, and I thought it was relevant to this article. Makes you more credible if anything else, IMO.

      • Paul

        Dont stress about it. Sounds like that guys jealous.

      • Mark

        It’s also probably a good idea to include information like that in posts for new readers as well. I imagine there are a lot of new readers from all over the web who may not be aware of Dave’s background

      • Jane Smith

        How cool, your name is flipped upside down! Now back down from my OCD self;
        Bugger the whiner. Fact is you are a VP for a huge comp and also an entrepreneur.

        I do appreciate your willingness to listen to your listener base.


    • Emerson Wright

      Why has this gotten so many positive votes?

      I want to know how the hell you VP a cloud computing securities company, run a huge blog, write books, and have 2 little kids whom you spend time with.

      • Christine

        Yes, he has 2 little kids whom he spends time with, but he doesn’t take care of them all the time. Its easier for men to run large corporations because women in general still take care of the children. I have what it takes to run a business, however, I also have 2 children and I will not neglect them. Bedtime stories take about an hour with made-up stories. Nurturing is a full-time job. The kids are turning out great. I have no regrets. Christine

        • Jane Smith

          Bit of an assumption… And because one makes a choice to NOT to stay home with a child doesn’t mean that child is neglected.

    • chos

      Yeah, jealousy is a bitch of a thing.

      I love hearing about your successes, Dave. It’s very inspirational and for me it’s proof of how good the bulletproof lifestyle actually is.

      • Agreed, thought the same thing when I read the comment. Dave, your success doesn’t bother me either, rather inspires me regularly – I love hearing about it! I see how your business/material success could be easy to see as flaunting or displaying your superiority if I was a person who didn’t generally consider myself successful.

        • Kevin H.

          You can’t make everybody happy. Its hard to effectively describe yourself constantly and be original… I understand the remark being made from a recurrent BP blog post reader… I also understand that there might be new readers on the website and Dave Asprey needs to present himself and his achievements…

      • Garrett K

        Fully agree. It definitely pushes me to step up more, as a person, and see what I can actually do, when supported by the Bulletproof Diet, and other Bulletproof habits 🙂

    • Mandy LeBaron Jessop

      Haha, I wouldn’t pay too much attention to this Dave. Any unit of measurement, including money, that shows the responsibility that you are able to successfully maintain using all of your bulletproof research is inspiring and extremely useful for all those who are aspiring to create a life that is well above average =)

    • Christine

      I am glad he is mentioning his companies. I am new here and I had no idea.

    • kremit

      I am not. I am happy to see someone like Dave Asprey that earned and deserved their success. Donald Trump is one of those I am not happy to see succeed. I wish that guy would fall off a cliff.

      • Garrett K


  • I’ve noticed very similar benefits. I often see 4-6 new patients in the mornings, which is very hectic considering I’m taking my own films at this time, and also seeing other patients for their check-ups. I’ve been doing BP coffee for about a month now, and definitely see the improved focus. But what is also nice, I’m finding I only need some protein around lunch time to hold me thru, and this can be from a protein bar or some tuna (straight out of the can or bag), and I’m good till the evening. I likely need some more carbs with dinner for burning more fat, but it’s a pretty good system. Still having some bloating/gas issues that I need to work out, but those pass quickly enough and are less bothersome depending on some digestive enzymes or how fast I drink the coffee. There’s one added benefit I forgot to mention. I’ve been able to get up at 5 AM pretty consistently since I started, and this has been very difficult for me. It’s not the caffeine, but the fats that allow me to start moving, as my body CRAVES it!! I like that the most!!

    • Tarejev

      just don’t forget that protein bar can have toxins in it. Plus tuna may not be actually tuna, or it may contain high levels of heavy metals. But you’re rocking it man! 🙂

    • Emerson Wright

      Yeah! You might want to think about using pastured whey protein with a couple raw egg yolks for lunch. That’s what I do when I work out–razor focus till dinner.

      • Emerson Wright

        (I hate throwing away the albumen–my cats love it.)

  • yah it’s mind is saying I need to eat, snack, i’m hungry…but I’m’s like a phantom limb lol

    • Michael

      There’s actually a school of thought that some types of binge eating–the kind where you do it because your body is screaming at you to eat, even though you know your not hungry–can be managed by considering it ‘neurological noise’ that your higher cognitive function then try to ascribe some meaning to. Not too far off in concept

    • Garrett K

      I definitely have found that meditation + BPC + Bulletproof Diet have certainly helped to knock down the ‘cravings’ from the mind.

      Also, are you making sure to drink enough water / water with squeezed lemon? You may be dehydrated.

  • James

    Anyone do Bulletproof diet and do morning workouts?

    • Chris Busch

      Yes. It was the key to dropping that last 5 lbs. For more intense workouts or > an hour use GenerationUCAN to get the needed level of glycogen.

  • TC

    I agree – on days where I’m not active, BP coffee is great and I get so much work done when I don’t eat. But it’s not all upside BP coffee might be great for fairly sedentary people, but it’s not really that ideal for execs who are also trying to manage active lifestyles. Why?

    – It’s simply not sating enough. My metabolism is freakishly high due to how much I train, so one BP coffee will likely do me for until 2pm or so, but after that I’m going to need an actual meal.

    – A high-fat diet near the window is suboptimal. Preworkout caffeine is great, but preworkout fat isn’t. Fat is best consumed away from the workout period (see Berardi et al). So BP coffee pretty much entirely rules out morning training.

    • austin newsam

      I definitely agree. I am an undergraduate student and my overall vitality is so much better with even 3+ workouts a week. I was sedentary for about 2 weeks this past semester when finals came, strictly adhering to the bulletproof diet (Intermittent Fasting style)

      The bulletproof diet is fantastic for those who absolutely can not make time for exercise. I recommended this diet to my parents who work 9-5 office jobs. PERFECT for these kinds of people.

      However, for me as a slightly active student I have to stick with Paleo. Mentally, I love the BP diet but the fats get to me. I am sick of being bloated with gas and fats so much that I can’t train at high intensity without messing my pants.

      This is my subjective opinion though as a slightly active college student. I fully support this diet for other lifestyles though!

  • dietgoal

    Absolutely, Bulletproof coffee saves so much time. Petty decisions just drive me mad. When business lunches were more common for me, I hated big menus when trying to concentrate on business and conversing with somebody. 2 dishes: meat or fish are enough, if they are BP, of course!

  • momo3

    As a housewife, being bulletproof by fasting all morning is not working for me. I am going to try fasting in the afternoon when tasks are mostly complete and I can relax by not having to decide about food. I totally get the concept of not having to make decisions about food, and want to make it a habit I adopt.

    • kf

      I love having bulletproof coffee in early morning, exactly because then I can focus on the needs of my kids during breakfast –

      • Barbara H Foster

        Welp, that didnt work either. I posted again above because I think its mylack of processing thats causing me to need to eat something before 2pm (diabetic).

  • Hey Dave,

    Are you a fan of Daniel Kahneman’s work, particularly Thinking Fast and Slow? I think it actually has some very applicable Bulletproof principles as it demonstrates some of the different depletions that occur when people are stressed.

  • Jörg Schwartz

    totally in line with tim ferriss. just watched two interviews about his new book “4-hour-chef” and he refers to the exact same thing. though I doubt he drinks bpc.

  • hsvmama

    Love the point about the poor — I work in inner city ministry and can see that everyday! Never even considered the decision making part of it before — but it is so true — the poor make survival decisions minute by minute. Some good, lots not so good because they tire of thinking about everything and slip into surviving for the moment. They lose the long term picture because its easier to think for the moment. The emotional fatigue is evident even in their eyes. Great post!

    • Robert Nugent

      I can definitely confirm your point as I’ve been poor a few times in my life. When you start out from the bottom and your net worth is negative from the day you start college, it can be difficult to dig yourself out of that hole. At one point it was a tough decision for me to go to the dollar movie on campus because my finances were that tight, no BS. That’s obviously not something you need to be thinking about when you need to study for a test. At another time, I was juggling 6 credit card payments, a car payment, student loans, moving across the country and trying to find any job. Needless to say, my dietary decisions were abysmal at that time and I developed other unhealthy lifestyle choices as well. The last thing I could bring myself to think about was whether that burrito I just ate was too fatty.

  • Emerson Wright

    Definitely mention the time saved by not making or thinking about meals–that’s a major aspect of the “Bulletproof” part of Bulletproof Coffee, to my mind.

    I did the Lean Gains IF protocol for a couple months and while I certainly saw improvements in Body Fat, I struggled with mental fog and (in the winter) cold extremities, which denuded any practical benefit because I couldn’t focus. The main benefits (for me) of “Bulletproof IF” are three–1. It’s painless. Never hungry or cold. 2. It’s brainless. Never think about breakfast or lunch anymore. 3. You won’t worry about the terms “Gain” or “Less.” I’ve been on the red side of the Bulletproof Diet infographic more times than I’d like. But if I did Bulletproof IF, it doesn’t seem to affect me. (Not to promote beer and potato chips during your eating window, but resiliency in spite of bad behavior is pretty damn bulletproof.)

    Thanks for all your work, Dave!

  • bpcfan

    I love bulletproof coffee and it has simplified my morning. however there is a downside which is that morning breath doesn’t seem to completely go away even after brushing until I eat lunch. any tips on how to get rid of it?

    • Leaf Eating Carnivore

      Unless you have say, lung or sinus issues or suchlike, you will almost certainly be able to eliminate morning breath by: flossing, brushing and scraping your tongue every night before bed, then brushing and scraping every morning as you prep for the day, even if you are not eating. If nothing else, do the nighttime thing – it’s the food between your teeth that gives the sulfurous little mouth-nasties the wherewithal to grow and multiply their stinky little selves. And boy, are they icky to kiss.

      Going low-carb helps too. Changes the critter demographics. For us, at least, any ketone breath has smelled only like ripe apples – fine by me.

      This has worked splendidly for my husband and myself, from day one.

  • Jeremy Lawson

    I completely agree. The combination of IF and BPC dramatically simplifies my morning. I have been following your advice now for 1.5 months, and the positive changes in my life have been dramatic. I am now waking well before my alarm, so I have time to enjoy my upgraded glutathione, krill oil, and BPC, before I wash up. For lunch I’ll usually have four pastured eggs, or grassfed ground beef and 1/2 pint guacamole, and that is around 2 or 3 pm. The thing is, I eat lunch not because I am starving, but because I know I need it at some point before the end of the day! The BPC, kerrygold butter, and MCT oil just demolish all cravings. I am never hungry for dinner, so I usually just munch on some raw veggies to get my healthy on.

    The fact that I am in the zone, performing all day long, with no carb crash after lunch, has made the biggest difference in my life. Cravings are a thing of the past. Mental acuity is the new norm. The fact that I know my routine before I even start saves mental power for real decisions during the day. When everything I eat drives enhanced performance, it is that much easier to make good decisions as the day progresses.

  • Ulyana

    Hell yes! I’m a student and I enjoy sitting in the lectures in a fasted mode with coffee in my thermos bottle and staying focused while others are eating bananas and ugly chocolate bars trying to keep themselves awake!

  • I completely agree. This is a huge part of my daily struggle. Working from home with a 3 month old and 3 year old adds a lot of decision fatigue to my workday, especially when we’re battling food problems and trying to recover/heal. Always looking for a way to streamline and/or eliminate decisions.

  • jimmy

    how does your coffee curb hunger? caffeine speeds metabolism. not being cynical; if there’s some magic sh1t in here, I want to know.

  • Paul

    I looove the fact that i dont have to calculate or time my meals throughout the day, thanks to the bulletproof diet. Way less stress.

  • NBB

    I’ve noticed when I skip lunch/meals for 8+ hours I often remain in a highly focused and driven state for longer. As long as I’m working towards a goal, my energy levels stay higher than if I were to stop for a meal. Essentially, I don’t eat or sleep until my day is done.

    My 0.02$.

  • Robert Nugent

    I recently watched a PBS documentary about how intermittent fasting is not only a great way to lose weight and stay healthy in other ways (and here we find out it can save you from decision fatigue), it also has the added benefit of bumping your IQ a few points. The theory is that the hunger-related effects on the brain involve a boosting of growth of new neurons to respond to and solve the problem of no food. Our brains are biologically predisposed to become lazy during times of abundance and pick up the slack when food is scarce.

    Anecdotally, the people that I’ve known over the years who were the smartest are the types of people who would forgo food for long periods to accomplish what they consider to be more important tasks during the day. I never put that together until now, but it’s a common variable amongst all of my smart acquaintances. Needless to say, even though I’m thin and fit, I plan to start an intermittent fasting routine in the near term.

  • Kevin Keller

    While I am very intrigued by this topic, I was kind of disappointed by the sources you sited here, bring that they were all from Wikipedia. I have nothing against Wikipedia per say, but some primary sources and/or one published in peer-reviewed journals would have been great.

    For example, I found an editorial article published in the Annals of Neurology here:

    Quibbles, aside, keep up the great work Dave! I really enjoy reading your blog.

    • As as a health-care practitioner in the evidence-based era, I agree 100%. Before educating health-care consumers, I pass it through a fine tooth comb of biological plausibility, research citing effectiveness and safety. There’s no way around this fact if anyone wants to be credible in the long-term. I agree with most of what Dave says, but the references could be improved. Then, not only would be products be Bulletproof, but so would the scientific and research side of the equations that are grounded in the best evidence. I would be up to helping you out Dave if you’re ever interested in a second opinion. Cheers.

    • KarenLA

      Read David Rock’s book, Your Brain at Work

      • Yes! I’ve been trying to spruik that book around here for ages!!!

        • Garrett K

          Just grab the PDF online. It’s floating around in cyberspace 😉 Google can point you in the right direction.

  • james

    I have been doing the bulletproof coffee with bulletproof mgt oil since beginning of the year and I can safely say there is no way that you can last 6-10 hours without being hungry or not eating, I drink it at 8 and then eat around 1pm the latest

    • Justin Newman

      I’ve had similar results. 4tbs butter and 2 tbs MCT. It’s great, and definitely makes my mornings better, but getting past 1pm without eating something results in significant decrease in performance.

      • Barbara H Foster

        I have the same experience, getting hungry by 1pm, with bulletproof coffee. But I am diabetic, so not processing and using nutrients as effectively as others. However, being bulletproof has helped me stay off meds and lost plenty of weight.

    • Ayala

      Ditto for me. And not losing weight 🙁

    • Mandy LeBaron Jessop

      I believe that the result Dave is getting is because he doesn’t just drink the coffee, but also eats the BP diet, which when followed makes your body function at much higher capacities. The BP coffee is not a magic pill, but an awesome addition to the BP lifestyle =)

    • David

      Keep in mind that Dave puts up to 7 tbsps of butter along with 2 tbsps of coco oil in his bulletproof coffee. Most people (at least that I know of) drinking BPC only put in 2 tbsps butter, if that.

  • tammy

    I am fascinated by this idea of decision fatigue and am working to automate non-essential tasks so I have the mental and emotional acuity to keep making good decisions through the day. My 17 year old daughter very quickly depletes my resources with continual small requests, so I am getting better at drawing boundaries with her.

    Does anyone else out there get seriously stinky when they start messing around with their eating? IF = stinky tammy. Very low carb = stinky tammy. Thoughts?

    • KarenLA

      You may be lacking zinc. You could also try Earth’s Harvest 100% micro algae, blue/green. There is no sugar or barley, alfalfa in it, which a lot of people are allergic to. It comes in capsules or powder. Alone it tastes like crap, but it also bullet proofs your immune system, cleanses your body and reduces acidity, which is problematic with low carb dieting. I have found in a protein drink using raspberries offsets the taste. When traveling I use the pill form or just tough it out and add the powder to water and drink it.

    • abright

      Hey Tammy– your question was answered in podcast 45!

      • Tammy McCrea

        Sweet… thanks abright! I’ll queue that one up!

  • Adro

    This is one of my favourite posts and makesore sense then the
    Thousands of different ideas people have regarding time management. I really enjoyed this post!

  • Michael A

    I’ve been in the process of making one of the biggest decision of my life over the past few months and the stress has been weighing heavy. Thanks for the good information as always, Dave.

  • Michael

    YES! I just joined this site, but I’ve been eating once every 24 hours for the past month. I can’t believe how much simpler life feels.

    Now, I do obsess about food when it’s time to eat…I love cooking and nutrition, and see it as a hobby. But if I’m not in the mood I just pull something out that fits my diet. Not having to agonize over energy levels, maximum satiation per calorie, nutritional variety, etc during work is a huge load lifted from my shoulders!

    Before eating once every 24 hours, I went longer stretches (3-5 days). But I usually ended up obsessing about food a few days in, then making horrible choices, and being almost as miserable as eating 6x/day.


    In The Morning… The Bulletproof Coffee with HTC Oil, Kerrygold Butter, and Whey Protein Powder with and Apple or Blue Berries in the Coffee Shake is a Full meal.

  • diyanaalcheva

    I watched an interview of you with Joe Rogan just last week and that’s where I got introduced to you, and thought you were an absolute genius. My boyfriend had already been converting me to very much the same diet over the last year. However, the benefits of coffee were absolutely new to me… I can’t sleep and always get jittery and always thought coffee was too acidic and not good for you, and even though I love coffee, the smell and taste of it, I never drink it… Until you sold me on it… and I ordered BPC. I still have to get fully plugged into all the information you have here and get totally bulletproof but just reading this post made me realize that for the last 4 days since I’ve been drinking BPC with grass fed butter and MCT oil I actually don’t think about food until 3 pm sometimes, I am totally focused, and in sharp mode just 5-10 minutes after I have a sip of my morning coffee till very late at night. I have no problem sleeping and I don’t get jittery. 🙂 I’m self employed online entrepreneur and I work at home and have to be very productive, creative and focused on a daily basis, but that’s just not been always possible in the past… And so I am really looking forward to following your advice and truly hacking my mind/brain and body and being the highest achiever I’ve ever been in my life. I’m excited.

  • Sburko

    Although I agree with and follow most of principles of the BPD and have learnt a lot from the podcasts, I can’t help thinking that the whole idea is devoid of any love or enjoyment of food. It feels like you treat your body as if you’re a robot that needs re-fueling (with butter n steak in your case) just so you can ‘kick more ass’ at work. What about those of us that love deciding what paleo style meal to create for dinner/lunch? All it takes is a little forward planning, and thinking about it doesn’t make our performance at work suffer. There also seems to be a lack of consideration for those if us who live with a partner who chooses not to follow the BPD. For example I know it wouldn’t go down well if I told my partner that I can’t think about meal times or what & when to eat as thinking about those things is a waste of my time… I’d quickly be shown the door. Anyway, like a said, thanks for all the great free info you’ve given us as i’ve lost a load of weight following BPD principles. Just don’t forget us food lovers out there – a few more recipe ideas perhaps? Keep up the good work

    • Candace Lee

      You would be “shown the door”? Sounds like you are NOT a “partner” at all. Sad.

  • Andrew Boskamp

    I can imagine how someone who is very heavily involved in other things would not care to think about food. But honestly, caring about what I eat and when makes me happy, and is very natural imo. Sure I IF and drink drink BPC in the morning and am focused and productive until 2PM… but when 2 o’clock comes around I am ready for a break and enjoy eating. Food should be a big part of everyones life and if you don’t have energy to think about it then you probably need to chill a bit.

  • KarenLA

    Excellent point and it is further outlined in David Rock’s book, Your Brain at Work. Our brains weren’t meant to multitask, at least not the way we do today. To stop depleting your brain’s ability to make decisions, a suggestion is to refrain from checking your ipod, ipad, email, etc. every 5 minutes…or is it 2? While this may seem ridiculous to some, Steve Jobs figured this out, which is why he wore the “uniform” every day, so he didn’t have to make the decision on what to wear, limited his friends to about 6 and would only interface with several people in his company. I believe he also didn’t use any of his products on a daily basis. Rock’s book has some startling revelations. However, what came to my mind was the gold standard management practice of controlling your day by controlling your interruptions. Example, return phone calls every 2 hours. Now people expect instant email responses, making us all more ineffective. I guess some “old school” methods still have value.

  • Jason Rothgeb

    Great article. I read that President Obama has reduced his wardrobe to only black and navy suits to reduce decision fatigue. One less thing he has to make a decision about in the morning, i guess.

  • On the topic of your post, I agree with you whole heartedly. It’s hard to argue against your theory: simply put the more energy you spend on making a decision the less you have to spend thinking about or doing something else. It’s been my experience that the Bulletproof diet and more specifically intermittent fasting in combination with Bulletproof Coffee has tremendously helped with decision fatigue – and as a result my focus as well. Before becoming Bulletproof, I spent so much time deciding what how and when to eat (usually every few hours). Not to mention the amount of time I spent every morning preparing my food for the workday. Now I have a simple recipe of what to do about food that has become second nature, reinforced by the fact that I know HOW it will make me feel – great! My quality of work is so much better and my ability to keep my head at work when I’m there has improved two or three fold. This has increased my income significantly as I work in a 100% performance based industry (I’m working 20% less hours now and making the same amount of money, more time and energy to spent on my personal life and studies, which is crucial for me right now as a young person).

    By the way just to tout BP coffee some more for ya, I can usually make it to 3 or 4 o’clock by upping the coffee ratio to 1 liter. By that time of the day I’m usually 3-4 meals and 2000+ calories deep. Now with measurably better focus and performance I’d say that’s damn impressive.

    Kudos and many thanks Dave, you’re doing incredible things around here.

  • Zanne

    Ok, I can get on board with not having to worry about eating in the morning, but how does one take any supplements on an empty stomach? Do you just skip them and take them all later in the day?

    • Don

      I take my “morning” supplements with lunch, my “empty stomach” supplements an hour before dinner, and my “evening” supplements right before bed. Seems to work fine.

  • This is some great marketing. Hey look! I lost 100 pounds with no exercise and using these special expensive products which I just happen to have for sale! lol

    • Bardufoss84

      do some of the research yourself and you will find out that Dave has some great ideas – and that you, on thr other hand, is just a lazy a hole

      • So in the very first video I watch on this site, Dave states that he is taking estrogen-blockers and testosterone. THAT is where the good physique is coming from. You can throw out all the buttered coffee and expensive mumbo jumbo. The guy is on testosterone.

        • Bardufoss84

          its really easy to say that, but impossible to disprove. don’t be one of those people

  • Viviana/TheLeanTimes

    I love the point about decision fatigue and poverty. It is exhausting worrying where the next penny is coming from. I plan our meals once a week when I do the shopping which takes away any dinner decisions and since I have been doing BPC in the morning, the breakfast question is mute.

  • Trenna Berry

    RN NEEDS HELP!!! Hi, I’m a 50 year old nurse who works the night shift three to four nights a week; 7P-7A :(. I eat really clean, take great supplements, and have started to do bullet proof coffee (which I LOVE!!). I am VERY interested in brain health and support as well as in losing 10-15 pounds (please please).

    My question is how do I eat/plan my eating and coffee around my crazy work/sleep schedule???

    On my days off, I switch back to a normal sleep schedule. Ugh.

    I would LOVE and so appreciate some suggestions!!

  • Pingback: 25 May 13 - Crossfit Silver Spring()

  • Jimmy Fisher

    One of the best thing about BP intermittent fasting is that I don’t have to think about food for all but 6hrs per day. In those 6 hours its still pretty easy to make my food decisions because of the concise information presented on this site. Thanks so much Dave.

    On another note: Keep sharing your successes. People need to know that if the bulletproof lifestyle works for such a successful high functioning person like yourself, then why wouldn’t it work for anyone who wants more from themselves and their life.

    I’ve lost nearly 100lbs with bulletproof principles.

  • Gabriel

    I read that will power depends on glucose depletion, so how is that oils can help? Thanks.

  • Adam DuHame

    I notice this when I play chess for long periods. I tend to have more success earlier in the session and then my decision making begins to slip and I begin to lose. Poker players call this being “on tilt”.

  • Pat

    What are the ethics of telling others to not ask you to make decisions? Arent you selfishly, by default, asking them to use their decision making energy so you dont have to? Why should someone else have to decide what time dinner is? Decisions, even little ones, have to be made by someone.

  • Michael

    I’m confused about the notion of BP intermittient fasting. Isnt a BP Coffee in the morning breaking the fast?

    • Michael

      I just read the post about BP IF, and saw this:

      “The cool thing is that an all fat breakfast (like Bulletproof Coffee ™ ) doesn’t make your body think it’s broken the fast, so you get the benefits of the fasting anyway. It’s awesome!”

      But … why?

  • Alice Roberts

    My work in the medical fiend involves hundreds of critical decisions daily under time constraints…intense mental activity and little physical activity. My shut-down on some evenings and weekends with no real drive to do fun activities is very likely due to decision fatigue. Would love to hear more about this!

  • Dalilonna

    This! Decision fatigue! This is what plagues my whole family when we feel too lazy to cook. Thank you. It’s time to eliminate needless decision making.

  • RRS in MN

    I just happened to stumble onto this site, and after reading only a few posts, I’m caught! This is amazing stuff, and I’m gratified that someone else has posted & published many ideas I’ve researched on my own. My only question is, how has this guy managed to build his empire, so to speak, yet people within my own circle look at my like I’m cuckoo for saying the same things?!?

  • Mandy LeBaron Jessop

    I’d definitely include it in your next book. It is absolutely a problem for myself, and most people I know, now that I think about it.

    As a work-at-home-mom (and I imagine for anybody in any kind of position where they manage other people) you are constantly having to make decisions that affect many other people’s lives, in addition to the basic decisions of maintaining your own existence. It is completely draining and any shortcut to decision making would make a measurable difference in my day to day flow of energy.

  • desender

    I can’t agree with that. I am in Construction Management and have 2 young kids and a wife. I am making so many decisions a day that I can’t decide if I like being the decider….. But I have to say that after waking up at 4 or 5 am and starving myself until 1pm on nothing but 3-4 cups of bulletproof coffee, i’m hungry, groggy, and a little cranky. Am I missing something?

  • Pingback: Podcast #48: “Fat Burning Man,” Abel James and Bulletproof Exec Unite()

  • John Jones

    I hear Provigil works wonders for decision fatigue…

  • Cass

    Vegan food is tasty, giving it a bad name contributes to the cruelty.

  • Russell

    I need a real quick easy lunch Dave, I am thinking of BP iced coffee with protien, and a quick munch on celery and cucumber

  • Guest

    ive been doing this my entire life!!! haha!

  • SusieQ

    I think all performance that requires brain power, diminishes as the day wears on, whether it be decisions, math skills to pay my bills, creative writing ability, or surgical skills. I can’t say that deciding what to eat throughout the day contributed to my mental exhaustion by day’s end, but who knows? Maybe it does cause an overload effect on busy decision days. My problem is that I still get hungry on the coffee cocktail – in fact all coffee makes me hungrier than if I do not drink it in the morning, so for me, coffee that even has the good fats in it, actually increases my need to make decisions about what to eat, because I get hungrier than if I had not drank it. Maybe it is different based on body chemistry or maybe men have better results than women with suppressing their hunger with it.

  • Mike Schlottig

    Wow. I guess now I know why world-class poker players start playing like lunatics at final tables, Ha.

  • Mitchings

    I love the bulletproof intermittent fast lifestyle, I eat 2 large meals between 14:00-20:00 and it just simplifies things so much, less decisions, less wasted time, less washing-up (oh how much I hate washing up..) and I feel better for it.

    I have a great appreciation for efficiency and optimisation and being able to apply it to my life while bringing about a greater health-span and potentially, life-span is brilliant.