I Only Ate One Meal Today…And I’m Not Hungry

I am a couple weeks shy of 60 years old.  Today I ate only one meal and I’m not hungry. That’s very different from where I was 2 months ago, when I was on the usual American 3-meals a day, plus snacks, diet. In my case, those were largely paleo-friendly meals – meaning they were high protein and low carbohydrate meals – but they were still made up of significant amounts of food.

In April I learned about bulletproof coffee and decided to give it a try. The magic of bulletproof coffee is in the butter and oil. The butter has to be from grass-fed, ranging cows, and the oil has to be high-quality coconut.

Bulletproof coffee is made by combining one cup of coffee with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (I use 2), which is blended in a blender until a froth forms. When it’s poured into a mug it looks like a latte, and tastes delicious.

Those high quality fats provide short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are sorely lacking in the standard American diet, but which are crucial for proper body function. This is why all of those programs and diets that emphasize low-fat foods and lean meats are just flat out wrong. The human brain, for example, is highly dependent upon animal fat to function: it is the animal fat that makes neural connections possible. (For more, read Carol Shanahan’s book, “Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food.”)

Health “experts” and dietitians say that too much fat makes us fat; that fatty meats lead to heart attacks. They are wrong. When it’s functioning properly, the human body burns fat, not carbohydrates. In active children, that’s exactly what happens, especially when those children are not consuming a lot of sugars (carbohydrates), or starches (carbohydrates by another name), or cereals and grains (more carbohydrates).

While active children burn fats, at some time during our late 20s to mid-30s our bodies shift and we begin to burn carbohydrates for energy rather than fat. Experts say they don’t know why we shift, and they notice that after that shift we begin to put on the pounds. Therefore, they reason, we should eat more carbohydrates, which will be used to power our bodies, and less fatty foods that our bodies no longer burn off. But that’s reasoning from effects, not causes.

These days, even our children don’t burn fats very well, either. In fact, they are often overweight, leading experts to insist that children need to eat less fatty foods and more grains and vegetables. They are right about the vegetables, but wrong about the fats and grains.

Our bodies shift to burning carbohydrates as a consequence of our bad eating and exercise habits. Somehow, the experts have not noticed that adults shift from fat-burning to carb-burning as we shift from active childhood to sedentary, office-drone adulthood. Couple that to the bad habit of eating lots of carbohydrates (omega-6 fatty acids), which act as a poison at the cellular level when consumed in larger quantities, and restricting high-quality animal fat (omega-3 fatty acids) which is essential to healthy cell production and function; then add in our typical high sugar consumption, which literally burns our cells, and our use of vegetable oils, most of which become highly toxic at even low temperatures (which means, as  they are being processed into oils!); and the causes of so many human maladies becomes pretty transparent. How to reverse them becomes just as obvious.

The reason modern adults switch from fat burning to carb burning is really very simple. When we enter into our late 20s, we get jobs in offices, where we sit at desks all day long, then ride home and sit in front of a television all evening, before rolling into bed for the night. That is, we don’t get any exercise; we become sedentary, and that shifts our metabolism. To burn fat, we need to be active, as we were when we were children.

Many adults realize they need more exercise, and populate their local gymnasiums. I’ve been there and done that. I remember the ongoing battle to keep up enough exercising to prevent – or at least slow – my weight gain. The reason that didn’t work better for me, and why it often fails other adults, is because I coupled my exercise to a continual consumption of large quantities of carbohydrates. Even though I ate plenty of meat, I was eating so much carbohydrate-rich (omega-6 rich) foodstuffs that my eating was counteracting, even winning over, my exercise. I did not shift my body from carb-burning to fat-burning, so I kept the fat and craved more carbs after my workouts!

Our modern children are on the same treadmill. Most of our kids spend all day in classrooms (where recess has been eliminated), then in front of the television or computer screen, before rolling into bed for the night. As a result, many are shifting from fat burning to carbohydrate burning early in life. At the same time, like us they are eating high-carb meals, along with snack foods filled with toxic sugar and vegetable oils in the form of cookies, crackers, breads, noodle dishes, rice, potatoes and potato products, soft drinks, and fruit and fruit drinks.  These are all omega-6 rich (that is, toxic) foods.

Meanwhile, they are being told to cut down their fatty meats, and full-fat milk and milk products (like cream, yogurt, cheese, and butter). Those are all omega-3 rich (that is, essential) foods.

So our experts are promoting a diet rich in omega-6 and sparing of omega-3. Unfortunately, we know that the human body requires the opposite: a diet rich in omega-3 and sparing in omega-6 in order to function at peak efficiency and stay healthy. So modern dietary advice is absolutely standing on its head, publicly advocating dietary protocols in direct opposition to the best nutritional research. In an effort to curb the obesity epidemic and promote physical well being, the experts are telling us to eat more low protein, low fat foods. That is, to consume less omega-3, which our bodies require, and more omega-6, which acts as a poison when consumed in large quantities. And because our bodies are starved for omega-3, we stay hungry, and keep snacking between meals, no matter how much we eat. No wonder we are overfed, undernourished, fat, and low in energy! No wonder as we age we get increasingly decrepit, and our minds stop working.

In the second week of April, 2014, I started drinking bulletproof coffee. By the end of the week, I could tell my mind was working better. I also felt more energy, and less emotional. Most importantly, I started losing my big appetite. By the end of the third week, I was eating noticeably less dinner, and sometimes skipping breakfast. I also realized the constant pain in my hip, that had me convinced I was heading toward a hip replacement, was gone. So too were the aches in my finger joints that warned of approaching arthritis.

By the fifth week, I was completely skipping breakfast. Instead, I was eager to get out into the yard and work in my nearly 9000 square feet of garden space. I was trimming trees, hauling rocks, installing watering systems, rototilling beds, chainsawing limbs, chipping wood, and generally getting things done. I was also easily remembering things that I used to forget.

Over this last week, Willow and I have discovered that we prefer to eat a large meal somewhere between 11 am and 2 or 3 pm, depending upon when we start feeling hungry. If we eat what would be dinner at the lunch hour, emphasizing protein and healthy fat, with a minimum of carbohydrates, and plenty of good vegetables, we are not hungry for the rest of the day. Oh, sometimes in the evening we may have a small bowl of yoghurt – say a half cup – or a like amount of homemade sauerkraut or kimchee, but not every day, and not more than that.

Similarly, we might have a small serving of something in the morning. For example, today we woke up at 5:30. Willow had several wedges of watermelon that our son brought with him on his visit last night. I had one wedge. The rest of breakfast consisted of a cup of bulletproof coffee each, and a second cup of coffee each with raw milk and cream in it. Then nothing until lunch.

We had lunch at 2 pm. I grilled chicken, and we made potato salad to share with the kids before they headed home. Willow and I each ate a drumstick and a thigh and about a half cup of potato salad. I drank a beer. A couple hours later I went shopping for more of the grass fed butter; while I was out I swung by our favorite bakery and bought an eclair for me (which I ate in the car) and a thin wedge of chocolate decadence for Willow that she ate around 5 pm when I got home.

Neither of us had anything else to eat all day. We were talking about our new diet this evening, still marveling at what is taking place. We both recognize a bit of hunger, but we have no sense of urgency about it – unlike in the past, when the start of hunger pangs meant it was time to ferret out something to assuage it. Now, a slightly empty stomach is manageable. So, for example, when we are out, we are no longer inclined to stop for something to eat (the bakery today being a rare exception). We find we don’t want the sugar in most commercial snacks, and we don’t desire the artificial ingredients; in fact, the thought of them is more of a turnoff than the old turn-on.

In terms of work, I spent several hours writing this morning, because I get paid to write. Then I worked in the garden, preparing a 2′ x 26′ bed for planting before cooking lunch. I ate with the kids, then went shopping when they left, at about 3 pm, and when I returned around 5, I transplanted 69 lettuce starts into the bed I’d prepared in the morning, and harvested our first crop of the season: about 40 radishes.

If the kids had not been visiting, I would have finished chipping the apple tree branches I thinned out last week, and I would have started spreading the cow manure I had delivered yesterday.

It’s now 10:30 pm. I am about to turn out the lights and go to sleep. In the morning, I will feel hungry, but it won’t be gut wrenching, or the emotion-corrupting experience it used to be, and the bulletproof coffee will satisfy the feeling and provide my body with the nutrition it needs for the morning’s mental and physical work. Then we will have a big lunch again.

Without trying, I have lost just over 10 lbs in about 7 weeks. Clearly, my body is burning fat while I am drinking 3 tablespoons of high-quality fat every day, dressing my second cup of coffee with raw whole milk and high-fat cream, eating plenty of meat, and consuming almost no grains or simple carbohydrates (that is, sugar or sugar substitutes).

I buy the bulletproof coffee sold by bulletproof exec for reasons explained on his website. Delivered, it costs about $18 per pound. When you set that cost, and the $5.50 per pound for good butter, over against the quantity of food we don’t  eat, it is clear we are saving significant money out of our food budget. That’s just icing on the cake. (So to speak!)