Is drinking coffee with butter and oil the key to weight loss?

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Is Bulletproof coffee – coffee with butter and MCT oil – the key to weight loss? Hardly:

‘Based on scientific evidence, butter is not dangerous, but neither is it particularly nutritious,’ says Dr Harcombe, who is an expert in public health dietary guidelines. ‘So Bulletproof coffee isn’t unsafe, but I’d still urge caution.

‘What people need to realise is that if you start adding extra fat to your diet, you had better make sure that everything else you consume is very, very low in carbohydrates.

‘If you think you can have a Bulletproof coffee and then devour a muffin without any consequences, forget it, you will start to gain weight.

MailOnline: Is drinking coffee laced with butter and oil the key to easy weight loss? Company boss Angela swears it is (but find out what the health experts say)

A high-fat coffee instead of breakfast may be fast and delicious and full of energy. But it’s not the best way to lose weight.

Let’s say you just have a cup of black coffee for breakfast (intermittent fasting) or a small amount of milk in it. You may still end up feeling great (many people, including me, do) and you could still end up in ketosis (if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet) and you’ll certainly lose more weight. Plus, you don’t have to buy any expensive branded coffee or MCT oil products.

More

Keto for beginners

How to lose weight

Low-carb drink recipes

Intermittent fasting

51 comments

Top comments

  1. Johan
    Many people still don't get it; saturated fat is not the enemy. It is rather bad carbs. The medical and dietary professions stick to their idea that fat is responsible for cholesterol and cholesterol is responsible for heart attacks. This has been debunked so many times that it becomes sickening to hear it repeated again and again. If you want to improve your health then avoid fast foods and bad carbs, if not all carbs. Ketosis has been shown to reverse many diseases including diabetes, Alzheimers, heart disease and many more. In my case it prevented an operation on my hip. I barely even notice it any more. But how will they make money from us if we never get Ill. Not good for business. So they will keep on pushing their view and selling you drugs that will make you sicker and cause you to buy more of their drugs which will make you sicker ...
    Read more →
  2. Vince
    I've wondered about Bulletproof coffee myself. While the idea might work for some people, the promoted benefits seem higher than is realistic. It's nice to see that I'm not alone in that perspective.

    Personally, I'd rather just have black coffee. There are many tastier ways to get those same calories.

    Read more →

All comments

  1. 1 comment removed
  2. MIRIAM
    Just wondering, in that case, what it's doing as part of some of the DD meal plans? Somehow I've never fancied it anyway and would rather fast properly than use it as a breakfast substitute.
  3. Vince
    I've wondered about Bulletproof coffee myself. While the idea might work for some people, the promoted benefits seem higher than is realistic. It's nice to see that I'm not alone in that perspective.

    Personally, I'd rather just have black coffee. There are many tastier ways to get those same calories.

  4. AnitC
    Personally I love my morning coffee with cream and butter or coconut oil. I've never been someone who likes eating breakfast and the idea of meat and eggs is a serious no go for me. I'm now in maintenance and travel a lot so it's a very easy way for me to stick with this way of eating and get enough fat and calories, I actually find maintenance harder than when I was losing weight because I need to eat more fat so I just up the fat in my coffee to make sure I'm not getting hungry by midday.
  5. Danielle
    When I put MCT oil and butter in my coffee my attention span and concentration is so much better. Brain needs fat and I'd rather drink my breakfast and have a snack of fruit or coconut yogurt a little bit later. I also dropped my bad cholesterol and upped my good cholesterol while doing this.
  6. Jc
    It doesn't matter if you eat carbs or not, it all depends on if the coffee and whatever else you eat puts you in a calorie surplus or not.
    Replies: #47, #50
  7. Cindy R
    I add coconut oil and MCT oil, 1TBS each, and 1 tsp of unsalted grass-fed butter to 12 oz of really good coffee. The butter is mostly for flavor. I do this on the mornings that I work from 8 -1:15. I am not hungry at all and usually eat lunch at 2, do less for dinner. That's the best reason for the healthy fat in the coffee, curbing hunger. Other mornings, I enjoy 2 cups of coffee, each with 2 TBS half & half. I have used Diet Doctor plans and modified intermittent fasting since June 22. As of Sept 28, I have lost 15 pounds, but started this journey to end my chronic indigestion. It's working. Both carbs and calories count. All carbs are not equal, just as 250 calories of cauliflower is not nutritionally equivalent to 250 calories worth of French fries. So, the calories in vs calories out is math that has to be carefully applied to the complex human organism.
  8. Johan
    Many people still don't get it; saturated fat is not the enemy. It is rather bad carbs. The medical and dietary professions stick to their idea that fat is responsible for cholesterol and cholesterol is responsible for heart attacks. This has been debunked so many times that it becomes sickening to hear it repeated again and again. If you want to improve your health then avoid fast foods and bad carbs, if not all carbs. Ketosis has been shown to reverse many diseases including diabetes, Alzheimers, heart disease and many more. In my case it prevented an operation on my hip. I barely even notice it any more. But how will they make money from us if we never get Ill. Not good for business. So they will keep on pushing their view and selling you drugs that will make you sicker and cause you to buy more of their drugs which will make you sicker ...
  9. Birgit
    Who would have believed that you just have to add more fat and change nothing else anyway? certainly not me!
    Yes, you can use bulletproof coffee for weight loss, but ...
    but then you need to take the fat and the calories into account and of course keep the carbs very low. The latter you would have done anyway on LCHF.
    I therefore think, if anything should be investigated further, then it was how well each particular fat in the coffee works for some goals, such as weight loss, combined with LCHF or a ketogenic diet.
  10. Marcella
    I started adding MCT oil in addition to the coconut oil and butter to my coffee. It seems to be making a huge difference. I am feeling fuller, longer. My thinking just feels clearer. I thought it was much improved on LCHF in general but evidently there was room for more improvement. I would much rather have just my caffeinated fat bomb than actual meal to start my day. It does help with my weight.
  11. Ron
    OK... I will admit that I haven't tried it, but I have to wonder why folks do this to a perfectly good cup of coffee? :) I am a home coffee roaster and enjoy coffee for what it is. I can get my good fats in a lot of other ways.

    Someone convince me that it is worth trying?

  12. Cathy
    Either you love it or you don’t...if you’ve never tried you can’t knock it, it is pretty good and I too, love good coffee
    Reply: #20
  13. Clare
    It works like a charm for me.
    I prefer it to a solid breakfast and it keeps me good till around 1pm.

    Without it I'm hungry.

  14. Demi L.
    I used to do Bulletproof Coffee every morning with 2 tbsp of MCT and 2 tbsp of butter. It filled me up sure. But the way some ppl talk about it there is some magical property of the bulletproof coffee that helps you lose weight faster. I don't think that's true from what I've discovered.

    What makes you lose weight is eating less carbs. Because that puts you in Ketosis and gives all the benefits of that mentioned on this site and elsewhere. All a bulletproof coffee does is give you fat so your body has calories and you're less hungry. So really, I think if you can get by with even less fat, you'll lose weight quicker. Because even in Keto weight loss is still about calories in, calories out. Of course the balance is that you want to eat enough fat so you're not craving carbs and end up cheating drastically.

    I still do a bulletproof coffee from time to time. Mostly to up my fat intake for the day if I feel I won't get enough otherwise. But now mornings (almost every morning), I do intermittent fasting (from about 8 pm to 12 noon next day). It's given me much better results. And I still get to enjoy the taste of my *expensive* Starbucks black coffee which I grind and brew daily.

  15. Pablo
    My 2 cents, I started drinking in the morning MCT oil (brain octane) + butter + tablespoon of cacao powder (need to get a coffee machine :P) and I can tell you that the difference is indeed huge, I feel more energetic, clear mind, etc.

    I skip lunch and I eat when I get back home. I would recommend it.

  16. Kathleen
    I tried it for a couple of days when I first began this diet, and although it is very tasty, it seems like a lot of work for a cup of coffee. I pour my coffee into my cup, add some cream and drink. Voila. Afterall we do have to be cognizant of how much unnecessary fat we are taking in.
  17. Trina
    Adding butter and MCT oil isn't about just adding fat but about properties within those specific two items that help the body in unique ways. Butyric acid is one component - research it and see its benefits. I know there are other reasons which aren't coming to mound.
  18. freddie
    Just started drinking this last week, and due to digestive issues I'm using 1 tsp Kava (reduced acid instant coffee) along with hot water and fats. This has worked quite well, with no stomach issues (maybe the fats are coating my stomach?) and keeps me quite full for a number of hours.
  19. Clint
    I drink one and sometimes two cups of bulletproof coffee per day. It helps me manage my fat intake (on the high side) and I feel great. Can I eat three meals as well? No, but I still eat twice a day and I've managed to lose 25 pounds in about 3 months with this strategy. I think we have to be careful with absolutes. Will it work for everyone? Nope. Does it work for many? Yep.
  20. Ron

    Either you love it or you don’t...if you’ve never tried you can’t knock it, it is pretty good and I too, love good coffee

    I'm not knocking it, I'm just not sure that I want to do that to my coffee :)

  21. Chelo
    I haven't tired bullet proof coffe yet. But I do fast from 16 to 19 Hrs. Per day depending on my lunch hour. I drink my coffee with land o lakes heavy cream. My question is. Am I cheating should I be using. Heavy cream? So for I'm on a plateau and I was wondering is this what's causing it. I haven't tried the Bulletproof Coffee because I'm scared of having an accident at work if you know what I mean. Dose it cause oil to leak out.
    Reply: #28
  22. 1 comment removed
  23. David
    I use my own variation of Bulletproff coffee. I don't add butter, just a couple of teaspoons of coconut oil. To me it doesn't taste any different, I just use it to help me get my daily fat intake. That is what I've found to be the most difficult on LCHF. Getting enough good fats.
  24. Tara
    I love my bulletproof coffee in the morning, eating early in my day has always made me nauseous but my coffee gives me energy and I don't get hungry until 1pm or so.
  25. Gabrielle
    For a real life perspective on bullet proof coffee....look at the French people. All they have for breakfast usually is Cafe au lait. I saw this for the one year I lived in France. And they are some of the thinnest people in the world. I find keto to be very french...if one cooks 70 percent fat...one is eating like the French. Since I am back to my French Keto I have trimmed down from a size 10 to a 6. And I am 65. I am in heaven to eat all the cream and butter and fatty fish and meat. The trick is to keep the portions smaller...much much smaller than huge American portions. By the way my cholesterol has made a dramatic improvement as well as BP. ITS THE PORTION SIZE FOR EVERY MEAL NOT THE BULLETPROOF COFFEE. Don't deprive yourself of the miracle of keto.
  26. Geraldine D. Kuss
    That study has absolutely NOTHING to do with the way we are eating here on Diet Doctor. Those people drink Orange Juice! Loaded with carbs! Juice is pure sugar. Bread, any bread, makes your blood sugar go up, which, in turn , makes you hungry again. Eating High fat, Low Carb controls one's blood sugar, one NEVER has High Glucose therefore one doesn't feel hungry in the morning normally. You can't mix things up. Obviously you haven't read much about this way of eating.
    I eat about once a day normally around six a'çlock I get peckish and eat in a window 7-9,00pm.Intermmitant Fasting. IF.(The Nobel Prize Winner studied it last Year) I've been eating this way for two years. Feel good and don't get ravenously hungry like I used to when I counted calories & ate lots of fruit .(nature's candy!)
  27. Geraldine D. Kuss
    I make my Bullet Proof Coffee with 1tbsp. Coconut Oil and a small nob of Butter, or I drink coffee with 1tbsp.35% fat Cream. When I drink Black Coffee I take a tbsp.of extra Virgin Olive Oil. We don't have MCT. Oil here in Brazil, there is an oil which is form a plant called Cartamo, but it has the type of flavour that wouldn't improve coffee. I like good coffee! I find that when I have cream around I have a tough time controlling myself, I have to be VERY disciplined or I end up eating the cream , the whole carton , in one day. I try just to keep it to a maximum of 1 tbsp. in each coffee. I've lost 14kgs.in two years. But regained 8kgs.in the last three months. Wondering why, I think it's been too much protein.
  28. Rose
    Land of Lakes Heavy Whipping Cream has no carbs. I have recently realized, "for me, if I go over 15 carbs a day I stall. I have learned that there are carb intolerant people, unfortunately I am one of them. If you have stalled, my advice, start a again with a 3 day zero carb, then add only 5 for the rest of the 4 days. The second week add 10 daily. Each week add 5 as long as you are losing weight. Some people can most people can continue to lose weight up to 30. This is the old school, Dr. Atkins way, difference is..ypu must also calculate calorie intake for your age and weight. Keto Coffee with 1 TBS of coconut oil and 2 TBS of grass fed butter, with HWC, is about 500 calories. I am only allowed 1200, so I do intermittent fasting. I eat the rest of my calories between 5-7. No leakage. And no cheating on keto, it is very very unhealthy and dangerous to cheat on keto. We know that it is saturated fat + processed carbs that are dangerous.
    Reply: #39
  29. Dean
    I drink a modified version of this every morning. I brew my coffee, then I steep a chia tea bag. I pour it in to my bullet and add the butter and coconut oil and blend until everything is melted. To top it off I add my protein powder and blend again for about a minute. Bullet Proof mocha/chia/coffee.
  30. Angela
    So based on this article, we should not use the bullet coffee? Sounds like the diet dr. is providing bad advice or did I miss something
  31. Kris
    I love the flavor of my hot black coffee so much, I don't want to gum it up with a bunch of stuff in it. I'm very low carb, no grains, etc, so I could probably get away with the the bulletproof coffee, but really, I rather just eat the butter from a spoon or something. I love butter too!
  32. Christine
    I have lost the surplus weight and have been maintaining my new weight for 8 months now.
    From the beginning I drank 3 bpc every day. I have a heaped desert spoon of coconut oil in every coffee. I love it. I believe that coconut oil is very important for me to keep my brain healthy among other things. (My mother died of Alzheimers). So since I do not cook with coconut oil (husband can't stand it) I drink my oil. I do low carbs (between 10 and 18g) and medium protein (80g). Apart from the fat on my lamb chop or steak I eat very little other fat just because I'm not fond of too much cheese and cream. It worked for me, combining my love for coffee and my need to ingest coconut oil! If I did not like coffee I certainly would not have bothered with bpc ....but I LOVE it! At 61 I run 10km every day, my blood pressure is that of an 18 year old (according to my dr) and I have no diabetes or high cholesterol.
  33. Christina
    Okay, who drinks bulletproof coffee with a muffin? If I drink it I add a couple of boiled eggs to add some protein and that fills me up for hours, I literally have to force myself to eat because I will go the entire day without eating.
  34. HM
    The problem with this piece of fluff is that Andreas is sacrificing quantity for quality. This is a meaningless mini-post that doesn't do anything other than waste our time. Like many others I found bulletproof coffee to be very energizing, especially in Intermittent Fasting days. I drink it when I feel like it, and I would never pair it with a muffin because, carbs, nitwit. Dave Asprey may be out of control, but we're not. Feh to this article, Andreas, and Harcombe. It is substandard and doesn't belong in a serious discussion or website.
    Reply: #41
  35. Kat
    Does anyone know if there other good ways to use MCT oil besides putting into coffee? Could it be mixed into salad dressing, for instance? (I also like to drink my fresh ground brewed coffee as is every morning.)
    Reply: #37
  36. 1 comment removed
  37. Marcella
    I include a tablespoon in my bpc in the morning. I just eat a tablespoon of it a couple more times during the day. What I use doesn't seem to have any taste. I think you can easily add it into a salad as part of the salad dressing. I would be more likely to drizzle the tablespoon of MCT oil on my salad and then just add the dressing like normal that I want on the salad. You're right though, I too love the taste of black coffee. Other than the one bpc I drink in the morning to help get fat going into my diet for the day, I really prefer drinking it black.
  38. r
    I awaken each day looking forward to my Bullet proof coffee. I do high fat low carb so no "muffin with my coffee". I use Kerrygold grass fed butter. The MTC oil does help sharpen my focus. I drink it before lifting wts in the morning. I have incredible energy and yes, I have found it reduces hunger. I actually learned about bullet proof coffee in the book, "Primal Fat Burner" by Nora Gedgaudas.
  39. Geraldine D. Kuss
    Saturated fat has been proven over and over again NOT to be dangerous. There are dozens of comments and news on Diet Doctor about this. Cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease . Even the American publications about this have changed.
  40. Kathy
    I have switched from Bulletproof to Keto Coffee and I’m losing. It’s an instant coffee that already has MCT oil’ grass fed butter and collagen in it. I have it iced or hot and it is delicious. The combo of ingredients work. This suits my on the go lifestyle much better:)
  41. Tamara Palmer
    This is the most on point comment! I agree with HM
  42. angie
    Clapping hands, Hats off to you and when will the health professionals start listening. I have done the LCHF way of healthy eating and love it. I have lost 60 pounds and have some off an insulin pump, something all the doctors told me i couldn't do. Well I did! My numbers are like a person's without diabetes and have come off all my medicines. YEAH ME!!!! Thank You Diet Doctor!
  43. Sean
    I’d simply think of bulletproof coffee as a meal replacement for those on a ketogenic diet. I wouldn’t drink it if I weren’t also doing Keto.
  44. Peggy Holloway
    BP coffee every morning for six years, including days when I do long distance cycling as much as 100 miles. I really do sense more energy and mental clarity. My son introduced me to it. He found so much improvement in his ADHD and the BP brand products have helped chronic digestive issues to the point where he is a bit of a BP disciple. He is rail thin and my weight has been stable for years . I do follow a very low carb ketogenic diet, and agree that it would not be useful for weight loss to add BP coffee to the SAD. Lipstick on a pig, you know.
  45. Stephen
    I think some clarification from Dr. Eenfeldt or the team is needed here. In other places on this site "bulletproof" type coffee is praised, and here it seems to be dismissed. Please clarify whether this is a good thing for Keto followers or not, and why/why not. Thanks!
    Reply: #49
  46. Eileen Mynes
    I love it, because on previous diets, I was always hungry. Even on the Atkins, I suffered hunger. With the Diet Doctor, I ingest fewer calories total, but higher fats. This way I am never hungry. Every breakfast is Bulletproof Coffee. Lunch is keto dinner, and supper is minimal or non-existant. My carbs stay around 10g per day, so I am a good candidate for this coffee drink.

    I understand why my way wouldn't work for all. That is the beauty of what Dr. Eenfeldt started. We have choices and options!

  47. Mike
    No no no no no. Why are you even on this site?
  48. Pete
    You really should refrain from referring to Zoe Harcombe simply as Dr Harcombe. She is not a medical doctor. Rather, she has a PhD in public health nutrition. She may well be an expert (whatever that means these days), but in this context the title "Dr" confers to a general audience a meaning that is unwarranted. So stop it.
    Reply: #51
  49. MIRIAM
    It would be really great if the DD team could finally get round to replying to me ( #1) HM (#34) and Stephen (#45) about this. We have all questioned why was this post put on the site in the first place - let alone being rated the top post of last year - as it appears to be warning against using bullet-proof coffee, which I for one thought was supposed to be a good thing. Should we be drinking it or not? Please clarify!

    Surely there is enough conflicting information around without confusing the issue unnecessarily. Since I posted my comment, I now see that this slight and confusing post seems to have attracted a lot of interesting and useful comments by people who have either found BPC helpful (or not) but I'd really love some science from the DD team. That's one reason I've been paying my subs. .

    HM is right about the difference between quantity and quality, DD team, even if I think s/he wrote them the wrong way round:

    Less really is more. Thank you.

  50. KQ
    Your statement is incorrect. A calorie is not that simple. calories from different sources are burned and stored differently. "Calories in and calories out" is a saying of the past. This theory has been proven incorrect.
  51. Cathy
    Those with a PhD have the right to the "Dr" moniker. It is medical practitioners who have usurped the title. Unfortunately in English we use the same word for both, but in some other languages they are two completely different words. In Japanese, for instance, the title for a PhD holder is "Hakase" and you would never use this to refer to someone who is just a medical practitioner.
    Reply: #52
  52. Pete
    Referring to somebody simply as "Dr" on a health blog about a medical matter is not the same as what you have a right to do under some academic or societal convention. The distinction should be made explicit because of the very ambiguity in English that you acknowledge. Dropping the "Dr" and referring to her as Zoe Harcombe (PhD) is still accurate as well a being more transparent and less open to misinterpretation.
  53. Jessica
    Bulletproof coffee and fat bombs were created to help people who are in ketosis get enough fat, curb hunger and maintain the proper ratios of fat, protein and carbs. If you are consuming these things and then going on to eat a traditional diet, yes, you are going to gain weight. I know that Libby and Ditch The Carbs emphasizes this in her fat bomb recipes that this is NOT meant for people who eat a traditional diet.

    I find it disheartening that a website that promotes a low carb diet would publish such a one sided article. The whole point of the keto diet is to consume sufficent amounts of healthy fats so you feel satisfied and alert! I'm not sure what to think of this Diet Dr now.

  54. Gentiann
    I agree that it's rather confusing.
    I think that Zoe Harcombe is refering to the trend to drink bullet proof coffee regardless of the diet.
    There is nothing wrong with bpc as long as weight loss is going on or if people are slim in the first place.
    For others, it may be worth trying to skip the morning cup of bpc to allow the body to continue burning its own fat, without disturbing the overnight fasting state.
    This is just my personal interpretation.

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