Information on how to run faster, lift stronger and think deeper

This is the beautiful effect of fasting and bulletproof coffee [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jul 18, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Why breakfast might not be as important as we thought

This is the beautiful effect of fasting and bulletproof coffee

In this article, you will find an overview of intermittent fasting and how it is done, how to make bulletproof coffee and some facts to rethink whether you should have any breakfast at all. Most of the ideas were taken out of Tim Ferris book Tools of Titans and tested by me over a month. In this post, I expanded upon them and provide you with more background for crosscheck if you feel the need.


How breakfast as we know it was invented by producers of cereal


When it comes to breakfast being the most important meal of the day many of us are the result of good advertising just like the belief that Santa Claus dresses in red rather than in a bishop’s rope. What Coca-Cola did to Christmas with its very successful Christmas campaign depicting Santa Claus in red from 1931 onwards General Foods did with Breakfast and cereal starting from 1944.

The slogan was “Eat a good breakfast, do a better job” which resonated with urban workers who should get a quick meal in before they left their house for most of the rest of the day. That was not always the case. In the past, the Romans believed in only eating one meal a day. Breakfast only started to become a thing when populations transformed from living from the land in villages to more organised settlements like towns in the 1600s. In the 1800s breakfast was popular but was rich in fat like a good Irish or English breakfast involving eggs, potatoes, chicken and other ingredients which we now would more consider to be a full lunch. Except if you lived long enough in Ireland to get retrained to appreciate a good fry on a Sunday morning. Excellent stuff, try it.

This rise of fatty foods in the 1800s lead to digestion problems and a need for a solution at the turn of the century. This is where Dr Kellogg enters the stage in 1890, the inventor of cereals as we know them today. His intention was to make Americans healthier but also suppress the urge for sex and masturbation (one of his favourites was to tie the hand of minors in his care together to prevent them from doing just that). The first iteration of cereal was described as horse food by one of Dr Kellogg’s direct relatives as it was very hard and needed a lot of milk to be edible. Still, it became a success and was made more palatable by adding sugar making it the product which is served to millions of children around the globe today.

Since the beginnings of cereals as a ready to go processed meal (which also would classify as fast food, even though you think burgers whenever you hear that and not cereals) the advertising space has become very crowded. Just walk into your local Tesco’s or target and see for yourself how many options are there to choose from. This might be as companies see big money in cereals because there is evidence pointing towards that cereals have strong brand loyalty and consumption is more likely to be habitual.

With more recent studies contradicting that breakfast has a positive influence on weight management and same happening when it comes to alleged positive effects on focus for work in school children at least we should be more open to the alternative of skipping breakfast altogether or at least having eggs and bacon instead of cereal to fuel the day. I personally have switched to skipping breakfast altogether and I feel good.

How intermittent fasting works

Intermittent fasting 

Intermittent fasting helped me to lose 4 kilogrammes in a month whilst maintaining my energy levels improving my pin squat from 250kg to 280kg and my overhead press from 80kg to 90 kg. You will find more positive reports. Terry Crews, Hollywood actor, is a big advocate of intermittent fasting and so is Tim Ferris author of the 4 hour work week and Tools of Titans. Both books I highly recommend.

The basic of intermittent fasting is the idea to starve your body to make it burn fat. Which is also a more natural state to be in as in the distant past we did not have food ready available just 5 minutes around the corner. It was more likely that we would have periods of abundance in summer or after a big killing and then had to wait and get by until the next main food source was available to us.

Generally, you can distinguish three states the body can be in the fed state, absorptive state and fasting state. The fed state occurs lasts for three to five hours after a meal. In this phase, it is hard for your body to burn fat as insulin levels are high due to the food intake. The absorptive state comes after the fed state and you enter usually 8 to 12 hours after you ate. The insulin levels lower but are still not that low that your body starts to dig into its fat reserves to change the motor from carbohydrates to fat. If you eat three meals a day it is very likely that most of the time you just go back and forth between the fed and absorptive state. After 12 hours of eating you enter the fasting state. This is when your body turns from the food you ate to your fat reserves to nourish your body. Intermittent fasting is all about getting into that 12+ hour window to take advantage of your metabolism to burn fat.

Apart from getting you to burn fat intermittent fasting can also save you money and time as you can plan fewer meals during the week because you are cutting them out. For me, the easiest meal to skip is breakfast is no one else prepares it for me and I usually have it on my own.

There are several studies in mice, cancer patients and even one comprehensive analysis which indicate that fasting provides longer lifespans and lessens risk for cancer and cardiovascular diseases. On top of that intermittent fasting is easy to learn and is therefore way more likely to be adopted as a new habit to provide weight loss as shown in this study. I can only agree based on my own experience. I hate calorie counting and diet plans of any sorts and I still managed to stick to intermittent fasting for more than a month the first time I tried it and kept it since.

Daily Intermittent Fasting is explained in more detail on which is run by Michael Berkhan who brought the idea into the mainstream. This method lets you skip breakfast to have lunch at one o clock. From there you have an eight-hour window to eat how you want when you want and what you want. Just by splitting the day into an 8-hour eating and 16-hour fasting window a lot of people already see weight loss without changing what they eat or how many calories they are taking in. In addition, this approach helps to get into the habit of fasting and expand from there from time to time, as you are doing it daily. The behaviour changes here are minimal as you are following the same eating habits and do not affect your family as much as full day fasts. If you stick to it for 90% of the time also let your hair down from time to time. Life is too short to pass a good piece of meat or slice of pizza on the weekend when you have fasted all week.

One of the downsides of intermittent fasting is that you might not get enough calories in during the day. This can be compensated by eating more in the other two meals of the day or drinking bulletproof coffee to up your calorie and fat intake.

Weekly Intermittent Fasting is the same principle with the exception that you only fast once a week or once a month to get used to it. Here you will fast for an entire day. No, you will not die if you don’t eat for more than 24 hours. In fact, you might have already done this. Ever went out on a bender and had no appetite the next day. Did you die? No, you didn’t. This is getting some of the benefits without cutting out a meal every day to get used to it.

Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting is what it says on the tin. More extreme as the other two options this might help when you must lose weight fast for several reasons. I have not tried it myself and for this, I would recommend seeing a doctor first before you consider it.

What bullet proof coffee does for you

Bulletproof coffee

If you practice intermittent fasting, you could be exposed to not getting enough calories in. Entry of the fat packed bulletproof coffee which I have in the mornings to bridge the time until my fasting window ends.

Bulletproof coffee kicked off after Dave Asprey, a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, went to Tibet and got served a creamy cup of yak butter tea at high altitude. Being invigorated by this tea he was inspired to develop the recipe for bulletproof coffee which can be found on the website with the same name which he published on his blog in 2009. This is the original taken from there:

  1. Brew 1 cup (8-12 ounces) of coffee using filtered water with 2 ½ heaping tablespoons of freshly ground Bulletproof Coffee Beans. Use a French Press for ease of use and to preserve beneficial coffee oils that paper filters keep out.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of Brain Octane Oil. You’ll learn much more about Brain Octane Oil below, but keep in mind that this stuff is powerful. Start with 1 teaspoon per cup and work your way up to 1-2 tablespoons over several days.
  3. Add 1-2 tablespoons of grass-fed, unsalted butter or grass-fed ghee.
  4. Mix it all in a blender for 20-30 seconds

Bulletproof coffee claims to suppress hunger, make you more focused and feel more energised whilst having less of the usual side effects of normal tea and coffee. A bonus is that it also helps for meeting the high-fat low-carb requirements of a ketogenic diet. Ketosis is a state in which your body starts burning fat instead of carbohydrates which help to lose weight easier.

I personally heard about bulletproof coffee the first time in 2017 so I am a bit late to the game and was told that it is, in fact, an Australian thing.

Most people shudder at the thought of putting butter in their tea or coffee and my first reaction was the same. The first two objections that come to mind are “does it not taste horrible” and “putting pure fat into my coffee, are you mad, that will make me look like a blob and die of a heart attack”.

On the first one I would say whenever you tasted coffee, tea, beer, wine, blue cheese or porridge (I used to call it prison food) for the first time, did you like it? Probably not. Why should it be different for an acquired cool taste such as bulletproof coffee?

One the point that “fat is bad for you” we might all be victims of good advertising by the cereal companies too. There was a long string of evidence being provided for almost 60 years that cereals and bread should be at the base of the food pyramid. Now there is a growing body of evidence to be found that this is not true and we need a lot more fat and a lot fewer carbohydrates in our diet. (Although coming to think of it, might this also be another marketing spin to things, we will never know for sure)

It might take you a week to adapt to the new taste and consistency of this just like with most other foods you have never tried before and then this will be ok based on my own and fiancée’s experience. The recipe I outlined is one of the most comprehensive I could find. If you have the time to make it and the money to spent on the supplements which are linked I am sure this is one of the best bulletproof coffees, you can possibly make.

I personally prefer to keep things simple and still gain the benefits. As outlined in Tim Ferris book Tools of Titans I get one to two tablespoons of coconut oil into my tea and drink it. You can do the same thing with coffee and/or butter. The main thing is to add a good amount of fat to your hot morning beverage in favour of skipping breakfast until lunch.

How intermittent fasting works in the eating window

Lunchtime until bed

From lunch time to bed I usually eat breakfast food at 1 pm to 2 pm depending on my work schedule and have Dinner at 8 pm to 9 pm together with my family. My greatest enemies are Kinder Buenos, pick up bars and jam toast. I have a very sweet tooth and the chocolate bars are free at work. I managed to get off my bad habit of eating Nutella with a spoon (I went through entire jars like a maniac) and switch to two to four jam toasts after dinner. My fiancée makes nice dinners as she is currently being losing weight to look her best at the wedding. So, that comes as a bonus. In total, I do not follow a diet as I am not a friend of being a food Nazi if I can avoid it.

Have a reward system

When you want to start fasting have a reward system. For example, once a week if you did not break the planned fast have a big fat Domino’s pizza with your family and friends while watching Gogglebox or Geordie shore. Whatever rocks your boat. Fasting is not about punishment but feeling better about yourself and getting more control and focus in your life. Whatever works as a reward, use it when you earned it.

Have a punishment system

What is true for rewards is also true for punishment. Whenever you break the planned fast, have a little punishment in place. For me, 100 burpees work quite well which are added to the next workout. I hate burpees even though they are one of the best non-weighted exercises you can do. Anyone he pretends to like them is either lying or not human.

Have a day off

If you stick to it 90% of the time give you some breathing space and have a day off from fasting here and then. Especially when you want to spend quality time with your spouse, friends or children. It’s very awkward when everyone licks an ice cream on the walk on the beach and you have to say “Sorry, but Daddy is not breaking is fast”. It’s also silly and not worth the hassle you will get from your wife encouraging you to enjoy yourself a bit more.

30 Day fasting tracker

If you want to move something into action a good first step is to print out a list and tick it off. I saved you the work of doing it yourself in Excel and you can download it for free. Just hit the button at the end of the post to come to your free download. Once it is downloaded print it and hang it on your fridge. Intermittent fasting works and is for free. Start today.


Bulletproof coffee and intermittent fasting combined make a powerful pair to fasten up the effects of ketosis and get your body into a fat burning state. For me personally, it translated in more power and less fat on my body in a month with noticeable changes in appearance. I tried a lot of things together with my fiancées like a ketogenic eating plan, slimming world and Dr Diets High Fat Low Carb Diet. None of them was as simple as effective as this combo.

Further reading

Fasting tracker to burn fat



Topics: Think Deeper, Diet