Dave Asprey, CEO of Bulletproof Nutrition and widely regarded as the ‘father of biohacking’, defines the practice as follows:
“To change the environment outside of you and inside of you so you have full control of your biology, to allow you to upgrade your body, mind, and your life. The art and science of becoming superhuman.” [*]
Biohacking may seem like a daunting prospect at first, but it’s essentially all about improving your health and fitness through simple tweaks to your habits and surrounding environment.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 biohacks that you can get started with today to upgrade your wellbeing and kick-start your weight loss journey. Discover simple habits you can easily implement without having to make massive changes to your diet or exercise regime.
1. Biohack Your Breakfast with Keto Coffee
If you're looking to save time in the morning and enjoy sustainable energy levels throughout the day, you might consider swapping your standard breakfast bowl for a cup of high-fat coffee.
The idea of fattening up your morning brew was popularized by Dave Asprey, lifestyle guru and founder of BULLETPROOF® coffee. The idea was born during a trip to Tibet in 2004, where after an arduous trek, a local handed Dave a creamy cup of yak butter tea that sent his energy levels through the roof.
After years of research, this is Dave’s updated formula:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons ground BULLETPROOF® Coffee
- 6-8 ounces of filtered water
- 1 teaspoon - 2 tablespoons BULLETPROOF® Brain Octane® Oil (MCT oil)
- 1-2 tablespoons BULLETPROOF® Grass-Fed Ghee or unsalted butter
There are a number of potential benefits to starting your day with Keto coffee:
Due to the high-fat content, you may feel fuller for longer and experience fewer food cravings throughout the morning [*]. And because you’ll be less likely to overeat, you’ll find it easier to maintain or lose weight without any extra effort.
Keto coffee may also make it easier to get into and stay into Ketosis. MCT oil is fast absorbed and easily converted to ketones, which may help induce nutritional Ketosis faster and reduce symptoms of the Keto flu [*].
You can go for the traditional coffee-MCT-butter combo, or spice things up a little with our collection of delicious, Keto-friendly brews below:
- Peppermint Mocha Keto Coffee
- Keto Indian Chai Coffee
- Keto Coffee Protein Shake
- White Chocolate Keto Coffee
- Keto Iced Butter Coffee
- Keto Vegan Iced "Butter" Coffee
- Keto Sweet Pumpkin Butter Coffee
- Keto Golden Milk Coffee
2. Biohack Your Sleep with These Simple Habits
We already know that sleep is crucial for our general health and wellbeing, but there are also important links between good quality shut-eye and fat loss.
An in-depth meta-analysis found that a lack of sleep increased the likelihood of obesity by 89% in children and 55% in adults. Even less than 7 hours of sleep was enough to elicit changes in weight [*].
The good news?
There are some simple habits you can get started today to biohack your slumber and support your weight loss goals while you sleep:
1. Get the Basics Right
For optimum sleep quality, keep your room cold, dark, and quiet. Blackout blinds and an eye mask will take care of any light pollution, and ear plugs are a game changer if you live near a busy road.
Temperature is one of the most important factors when it comes to sleep quality [*]. Between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit is a commonly suggested range, but the most important thing is to find a comfortable temperature that’s right for you [*] .
2. Wind Down Before Bed
Relaxing activities like reading, meditation, yoga or taking a warm bath can help shift your nervous system into a parasympathetic, rest-and-digest state - perfect for dropping off and enjoying a restful night.
3. Minimize PM Screen Time
Blue light from laptops, TVs and phones disrupts your natural sleep cycles and can interfere with sleep quality [*].
Last but not least, switching to warm indoor lighting (or better still, candle light) in the evenings can be another great way to reduce blue light exposure and help create a relaxing environment to support your sleep quality and weight loss goals.
3. Biohack Your Stress with Meditation & Breathwork
Chronic stress is a growing challenge in our increasingly fast-paced world. In fact, a 2017 survey showed that a whopping 75% of Americans suffered one or more symptoms of stress in the previous month [*].
Amongst other things, stress leads to an increase in cortisol production. Cortisol has an intricate relationship with insulin. Excess levels in the blood has been linked with increased weight gain and food cravings [*].
Short-term exposure to stress can also lower your metabolism, making it harder to lose weight. A 2014 study showed that women who reported experiencing stress in the previous 24 hours burned 100 fewer calories than women with no stress [*].
Here are three simple biohacks you can experiment with to help curb your stress levels and support your body composition at the same time:
1. Mindfulness Meditation
Research from 2017 found that meditation can reduce cortisol and inflammatory markers [*]. Another study found that mindfulness meditation is one of the most effective ways to reduce binge eating and emotional eating [*]
Getting started is now easier than ever with apps like Calm, Headspace and other free guided meditation sites. Just 10 minutes a day using a meditation app may be enough to reduce stress levels and increase mindfulness [*].
Like meditation, breathing exercises can help reduce cortisol levels. Simply slowing your breathing down to six breaths per minute can have numerous benefits, including reduced blood pressure, improved emotional wellbeing and increased Heart Rate Variability - essentially a measure of how relaxed your nervous system is [*].
You can get started today with a simple resonance breathing exercise - inhale in for a count of 5, then exhale for a count of 5, with a slight pause between each inhale and exhale. Repeat for 10-15 minutes and enjoy that feeling of complete relaxation.
If you're after something a little more intense, holotropic breathwork and the Wim Hof Method may also be worth exploring. Fast-paced breathing practices like these have been linked with improved emotional wellbeing [*] and enhanced self-awareness [*].
Research shows that the simple act of practicing gratitude every day for two weeks can lead to a 28% reduction in perceived stress and a 23% reduction in cortisol levels [*]
This can be through a gratitude journal, like they used in the study above, or simply thinking of a few things you're grateful for in the morning.
4. Biohack Your Movement with Fitness Trackers
Measuring something is a great first step towards making improvements. Simply being more aware of our habits can sometimes be enough to initiate change.
A great way to do that is to use a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, Apple Watch or Garmin to track your steps and record your workouts..
Wearables like the above can help you stick to regular physical activity and increase confidence in your ability to lead a healthy, active lifestyle [*]. They also tend to have strong community features, and research shows that accountability and sharing goals with friends can be key when looking to make lasting changes [*].
The great news is that you can also integrate your Fitbit into the premium version of the Carb Manager app.
In the app, you can keep tabs on caloric intake, carb count, and your favorite recipes. On top of that, you’re also able to track and chart various health metrics including weight, BMI, insulin, glucose, ketones, cholesterol, and blood pressure in the ‘My Measurements’ section.
5. Biohack Your Wellbeing with Bloodwork
Getting regular bloodwork can be a great way to keep tabs on your health status, and may give you some insights into factors that could impact your ability to lose weight.
There are a few markers that are worth keeping an eye on from a weight-loss standpoint. Knowing where you stand can be helpful in moving forwards. You’ll feel more empowered and can work with a professional to make the necessary changes.
Here are a few biomarkers to keep track of:
- Thyroid hormones. These hormones govern your metabolism, and too much or too little can lead to adverse effects. An underactive thyroid in particular is associated with weight gain and lethargy [*].
- HbA1c. Hemoglobin A1c or the glycated hemoglobin test is used to monitor and diagnose type 2 diabetes. It may give an indication of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, which is linked with weight gain [*].
- Iron. It’s important to stay on top of all micronutrients, but low iron is associated with fatigue, and studies show that correcting an iron deficiency can potentially induce weight loss and improve metabolic status [*]
- Vitamin D. Low vitamin D status is thought to be a major cause of common obesity. The proposed mechanism is that without sufficient vitamin D, the body thinks it’s wintertime and begins to store fat as a survival mechanism to use for warmth and fuel [*].
- Other hormone tests. We’ve already established that there’s a link between cortisol levels and body composition. Other hormones like testosterone and progesterone may also play a role, as they can impact the thyroid and a myriad of other systems and health outcomes in the body [*].
Over to You
Now you're armed with a toolkit of simple weight loss biohacks, it's time for you to get out there and put them into practice.
Just remember that you don't have to do them all at once!
Pick one or two to get started with right away, and build gradually over time. Before you know it, you’ll have a collection of weight loss friendly habits that you perform on complete autopilot.