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Surprise, surprise: The latest diet fad isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Q: “Everyone in my office is talking about Bulletproof Coffee. They say it gives them more energy and has helped them lose weight. But I’m worried about putting butter in my coffee; seems like too much fat to add to my diet. I wanted to ask an independent expert: Is it really effective and safe?”

— Rick D., via Facebook.

Answer by Nathan Mikeska, owner of N8 Wellness & Fitness:

You should be concerned about what you are adding into your body, especially when we’re talking about butter and high amounts of caffeine. Bulletproof Coffee has created a frenzy about helping people lose weight and gain more energy. But the fact is there are no peer-reviewed studies that corroborate the idea that eating nothing but MCT (Medium Chain Triglycerides) and caffeine in the morning sets you up for burning body fat. Anybody can lose weight on an extreme diet and make no mistake, the Bulletproof Coffee Diet is extreme. Our bodies crave real food and when we’re fasting throughout the day our energy levels will eventually start to crash leaving us with low blood sugar and less energy. Between the two tablespoons of butter and one tablespoon of MCT oil in your morning coffee, you are consuming 140 percent of your RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for saturated fat before you have taken a single bite of real food.

This is the problem with these extreme diets that promise rapid results: They aren’t sustainable. Bulletproof recommends that you get 50 to 70 percent of your daily calorie intake from fat when typically, you should be consuming 50 to 70 percent from healthy carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will fuel you brain, heart, and central nervous system with sustainable energy versus utilizing caffeine. While no one diet is a perfect fit for everyone, some conventional wisdom has stood the test of time.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, increase the amount of calories you burn by becoming more active, and then find a way to reduce the calories you consume until you’re burning a bit more than you consume. Find a way that feels right to you, so you don’t feel like you’re starving, and so you get all the nutrients you need. In my opinion there are better ways to get healthy, and there are tastier ways to drink coffee that don’t involve paying a lot of money or falling into another fad diet trap. Keep it balanced and you’ll reach all your goals!

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