Whether you embrace the Quantified Self lifestyle or just like hearing about the wacky things that other people will do in the name of personal optimization, Dave Asprey's story is one for the books.

The co-founder of Basis, a maker of wearable activity trackers acquired by Intel earlier this year, Asprey says he spent $300,000 and 15 years studying his own biology in order to learn what was causing him to be overweight, sluggish and mentally foggy.

The result is a new book, The Bulletproof Diet, in which Asprey details the results he obtained after making a series of lifestyle changes around nutrition,  sleep and exercise. 

Some of his practices sound counterintuitive. Asprey preaches a diet high in saturated fat. He advocates starting the day with a concoction that blends coffee with one to two tablespoons of butter and coconut oil.

When asked how he convinces people that his coffee isn't going to give them a heart attack, he points out that a whole country is on board with his approach. Last year Sweden adopted new dietary guidelines that encourage people to consume foods that are high in fat and low in carbs.

"Our misplaced fear of fats, including butter, makes no sense because it is sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and damaging harmful fats that are causing the problem," Asprey says.

His Bulletproof Coffee was designed to give people an energy boost without the unwanted side effects like energy crashes, food cravings and the urge to drink more caffeine.

The other special ingredient in Asprey's coffee is the beans. The kind he sells are free of mold toxins, which he says naturally occur in most coffees, albeit in small amounts, and are responsible for a lot of coffee's less desirable side effects.

If you're not quite ready to take Asprey's word for it and start blending your coffee with butter, check out his other energy-boosting tips, which simply center around getting a good night's sleep.

Dim the lights

"Turn everything down before bed," Asprey says. "Dim your screen at night so that your screen won't turn off your melatonin production for four hours after you stare at it."

When on your computer at night, Asprey recommends using f.lux software, which automatically adjusts the brightness of your screen depending on the time of day.

Eat to sleep

"There's a group of people that do better with protein before sleep. Or a group of people that do better with raw honey before sleep," Asprey says. He recommends trying some of your own self-experimentation to figure out which camp you fall into.  

Track your shut eye 

If you're aren't looking to buy a wearable device, Asprey suggests using the Sleep Cycle app. It requires you to place your phone on top of your mattress, and under your sheet, so it can track your movement. In addition to collecting sleep data, the app pays attention to your deep and light sleep in order to determine when to wake you up. 

"Your alarm clock wakes you gently when you're already almost awake. And that's just a huge boost in your day," Asprey says.

Published on: Dec 9, 2014