Feeling Very Tired After Eating On Bulletproof If

edited April 2014 in The Bulletproof Diet

Hi guys-


I have been doing Bulletproof IF for a week now. Prior to that I was doing keto (20-30g carbs/day) for about 2 months, and prior to that I was doing a low carb diet (50-60g carbs/day) for a month. I've never tried IF before this.


On bulletproof IF, I wake up at around 8am and have a cup of tea with 1T butter and 1T coconut oil. If I get hungry again before 2pm, I'll make another cup with the same amounts. I break the fast at 2pm, eat a regular sized LC meal, and then have a snack before 8pm which is when I start fasting again. (I should also add that since I've only been doing this for a week, I haven't done any carb ups yet. I'm actually kind of hesistant to do a carb-day at all since I have been doing so well on LC/keto without it and without any negative symptoms.)


This whole week I've been feeling mentally foggy and sort of anxious until I eat my first meal. I assume this is normal and that I'm just not fully adjusted to doing IF. Another thing that I noticed is that I've been feeling so exhausted after eating my first meal of the day. I can literally fall right asleep at 4pm without even trying.. and this sleepy feeling doesn't go away no matter what I do. I've tried upping my calories by grazing on snacks throughout the eating period. I've tried lowering my calories by eating just the one meal a day at 2pm with a snack later at night. I've tried taking the bus instead of walking my usual 4 miles each day. I've tried walking slower and not exerting myself as much. Nothing has helped get me through the day with consistent energy levels... 


Is this normal? Temporary? Or is this what everyone means when they say adrenal fatigue? I've never had these symptoms on LC or keto, so I've just been assuming this is my body's way of adjusting to IF. I wasn't planning on doing carb refeeds at all because I've lost so much weight on LC/keto, and am eating the exact same way I did on keto (exclusively meats, eggs, and veggies). I never did carb 'refeeding' on keto and did not have any negative symptoms. Really the only thing that's changed between now and my keto days is the addition of bulletproof tea and my limited eating window.



  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    Do the carb refeed, at least 150g net carbs (carbs - fiber.) If you don't, your leptin levels will change, you will slow your metabolism, and you will be lower energy. If you keep it up for too long without adequate carbs or refeeds, you will slow your mucous production, which depletes your gut lining and causes new food allergies due to poop getting into your blood stream. Not fun. 


    OK, as for the other stuff... what you are describing is not normal, so we need to fix it. 


    First off, what is your goal for doing IF? 


    Mentally foggy / anxious before first meal: you should be able to burn fat pretty well based on your previous keto and low carb efforts, so this is strange. Are you using grass fed butter? Past that, lower quality teas and coconut oils can have issues with mold toxins or other contaminants which could cause brain fog. That's why Dave recommends Upgraded MCT over coconut oil. 


    Tired after first meal: what is this meal? If you're having one meal plus a snack, this meal had better be HUGE and packed with protein. At first glance I think you are WAY low calorie and protein. 


    Finally, many women need more carbs than men, for whatever reason. You can still do IF if you have a sweet potato or a some low sugar berries in the evening. Some women have commented in the women's forum that they need to do that kind of thing, or at least carb refeed twice a week instead of once. 


    If you are feeling run down, your diet is not fueling your body sufficiently. 

  • Maybe the downregulation is your body's reaction to not having enough energy coming in to support normal functioning?

    And can you really say you've been doing well on a Low Carb diet if after two months you're having mental fog and anxiousness?

    Sounds like your body's going into starvation mode.
  • CycloneCyclone rich in satisfats

    I would add more butter to the coffee and switch from coconut oil to 2Tbsp MCT. At least until you don't feel foggy, then you can look at reducing it a bit if you aren't losing weight. (if that's you goal)

  • CycloneCyclone rich in satisfats

    new food allergies due to poop getting into your blood stream. Not fun.


    Oh, my sides!

  • CycloneCyclone rich in satisfats

    It's all about training your body to use fat for energy first. I can now fast over 24 hours without really feeling hungry now or any negative effects. But the first 2 weeks I had rough patches of brain fog and bad moods.

  • Thanks for the quick response. I'll try to answer everyone in this post, if I can.


    I've been eating 1400-1800 cals/day. Usually 70-75% is fat, 20-25% is protein, and the rest is carbs from veggies and low carb tortilla wraps (I always have one a day, which runs 5 net carbs). The type of meat I eat is what increases/decreases my total cals. As I said earlier, I'm  eating almost the exact same way I did on keto and felt 100% normal prior to this week. I exclusively ate meat, eggs, veggies, a few low carb fruits thrown in every now and then, and sometimes had cheeses. This week I've only eaten meat, eggs, and LC veggies. No significant change in cals/fat/protein intake. I monitor my food intake pretty closely and log it all online.

    I'm really just doing IF to switch up my normal keto diet. I like the idea of eating only once or twice instead of grazing all day. Being able to control my hunger more easily would be a plus, as would having more mental clarity, energy, etc. In general, though, I have been doing LC/keto for weight loss. I should probably add that I never did carb 'refeeds' on LC or keto and didn't notice any negative symptoms.. maybe it's just catching up with me now?


  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭

    Weird, so you're basically just doing what you've done in a smaller eating window... Maybe low carb is just catching up with you now as you said? 


    Tortillas are not bulletproof, a lot of corn is GM, most has mold toxins. But you were OK before. 


    IF is definitely not for people who have adrenal fatigue, thyroid issues, or anything like that, so maybe you're discovering that? Of course keto isn't great for that either, but not as problematic as IF. 


    Calories could be a bit low, but I don't think low enough to cause those problems on their own. Wouldn't hurt to do a big calorie day with >150g net carbs to see what happens energy wise. You'll gain a few pounds, but it's just water weight and will go away. If you're burning fat effectively, hunger shouldn't be a big deal on keto or IF. Perhaps present, but not a big deal. It sounds like it is for you, which makes me wonder about hunger-related hormone levels and metabolism, which is why I think a high calorie / high carb day might be a good reset. 

  • Yep, exactly. I've been under 40g carbs for the past 2 months. Maybe another issue is that I've never done IF before now. Never fasted at all, really. That's all I can think of. Before I started LC I had a physical with a blood test and all, and everything came back within the average ranges. I think my cholesterol was towards the high end of the range, but that was it. So I am pretty confident there are no underlying health conditions. My weight is the only thing that's out of whack.


    I'll try doing a high carb day and see what happens. Maybe have some sweet potatoes and rice later in the evening. I'll try to keep my amounts of fat and protein the same to better gauage what happens. Will post back later with any changes.

  • ACH85ACH85 ✭✭
    edited April 2014

    There is some evidence that very low carb reduces LDL receptors at the cellular level, which can explain high LDL cholesterol but everything else normal. T3 (rarely on regular blood panels) can also be reduced on very low carb. 


    If you're going to test carbs, I'd recommend you really go all-out and do >150g, otherwise it probably won't reset leptin. So that's like five 5" sweet potatoes plus almost a cup of rice. I think a lot of people who aren't used to refeeds don't refeed fully, then don't know why it didn't change much. 

  • personally I would add more butter to your bp morning tea... i would even recommend coffee for its stimulating effects.. 

    I know you are probably worried about calories, but if you can find some good grass fed butter I wouldn't be afraid of going up to 125 grams of butter!! I find that amount can get me from 8 am to around 4pm most days feeling energized and happy.. 

    Have you calculated your protein requirements for your lean body mass? 

    If so, I would basically do everything you can to get that right amount of protein per day, and mix it up between a SHAKE, with a good cross microfiltered whey protein concentrate, free range eggs, and for your main meal, quality grass fed beef or certain types of low toxin fish.. with lots of salad or green veges! 

    DEFINITELY do the two 100 gram carb days at least twice a week, with white rice or sweet potato.. 

    Are you exercising? 


    let me tell you I do a similar type of diet to you, but my body is now used to burning fat for energy, and I easily can do a 22 hour fast with more energy than I ever had before, but i make sure I get LOADS, of the highest quality protein I can get, and I exercise on an empty stomach too.. 


    personally i would stick with protein around your lean body mass, maybe a bit more, 

    exercise a LOT more 

    add more butter to your morning drink, 

    and without a doubt religiously get your 100 grams carbs from rice and sweet potato at least twice a week.. 


    i am by no means a master of this type of diet but I can tell you this method has worked for me.. 

  • also are you supplementing? Taking Vitamin D3 and a good quality absorbable form of magnesium? 


    have you seens Dave's list of recommended supps?? 



  • edited April 2014

    The first day I started BIF I put the whole 3T butter and 3T coconut oil in my tea- wasn't pleasant at all, I was running to the bathroom most of the day. I immediately lowered it the next day. I find that having two spaced out cups of tea, with 1T butter & oil in each, helps a bit with that, though not entirely.. :P  I still get hungry, but it's not unbearable or anything. I think I'm just mentally used to eating right when I wake up, so it is definitely a change to wait 6 hrs until my first meal. I'll take your suggestion and up the butter intake. Maybe the coconut oil was the problem before.

    It's funny though, I really have to watch my fat intake or I naturally end up eating like 80 or 85% fat. I didn't realize it until I started seriously tracking my food. The LC sweets (stuff made with cheeses and HWC, especially) really did me in. Cutting out dairy has made a big difference in this dept, though I am still at 70% fat most of the time, which I think is pretty normal.

    I would probably do the coffee but I only have folger's around at the moment, and drinking that would probably be more harmful than helpful. Next month I'll be getting the MCT oil + coffee. I already have most of the supplements and take those daily. I also have some isopure protein powder, but I feel silly drinking it without working out. I usually get all of my protein in the form of eggs/meat. 70g a day is what the ketocalc recommended for me at sedentary, and I tend to get between 60 and 90 depending on the type of meat I have/day.

    About carb loading- I know that it takes a few days to get into keto. If I carb load not just once a week but twice, how will I ever get there?? I'm not a lifter or into any intense sports, so I don't know that that's necessary. My typical exercise is just walking ~4 miles a day.

  • Folgers! Nooo! : )


    Okay, I am sorry to hear you are dragging right now, and I hope you sort it out. One theory that comes to mind: The IF is doing what it's supposed to, but now you are in too severe ketosis now, and need that carb reefed badly. (Do you use ketosticks? I'm curious how dark they might be now compared to last week.)


    Just in case you haven't seen this info, here is a link about the risks:


    I want to mention one more thing... it's unlikely, but if you have it, it's dangerous, so I'll mention it: ketoacidosis. Does your breath smells fruity, or like nail polish remover? I hope not:


  • personally if I don't get the rice or sweet potato every third day, then my energy level drops massively.. 

    I actually decided to have 100 grams of carb via 300 grams of white rice every FOURTH day, and I noticed that if I left it more than three days, around 1pm or so my energy level would drop so severely it would feel like my head was spinning.. Immediately I ate the 100 grams of carb then I was back to normal. So leaving two days and having 150-200 grams of starch is probably extremely good advice..




    I do think that some exercise on in a fasted state will help things along a lot for you, ben greenfield has a lot of info about this.. 

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