August 2, 2018

Mental models

#08 – Tom Bilyeu: nutrition, fasting, meditation, mindset, immortality, and the secret formula of fulfillment

"When I’m at my most honest, I love helping with the body...but helping with the mind is what I’m meant to do." —Tom Bilyeu

Read Time 8 minutes

Tom Bilyeu is the founder of Impact Theory and a co-founder of Quest Nutrition. In this episode, among the highlights, Tom provides powerful insight he’s gained through his pursuit of fulfillment which led to a billion dollar company in Quest Nutrition. Tom makes a compelling case that it starts with a growth mindset and he’s determined to impart this knowledge to as many people as possible.


We discuss:

  • Tom’s history with dieting and his changing views on fat [4:00];
  • Tom’s dream of immortality [10:00];
  • Life leading to Quest Nutrition and how “mindset” made the difference [18:45];
  • Why Tom started Quest Nutrition and what made it a success [27:00];
  • Why Tom started Impact Theory [35:00];
  • Money and motivation [44:00];
  • What Tom learned interviewing every employee at Quest, and the one question everyone answers exactly the same [54:15];
  • Tom’s secret formula of fulfillment and the ubiquity of suicide [1:00:00];
  • Nutrition, fasting, sleep, meditation and other routines Tom uses to function at his best [1:13:15]; and
  • More.



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Tom Bilyeu

Tom Bilyeu is the co-founder of 2014 Inc. 500 company Quest Nutrition — a unicorn startup valued at over $1 billion — and the co-founder and host of Impact Theory. Impact Theory is a first-of-its-kind company designed to facilitate global change through the incubation of mission-based businesses and the cultivation of empowering content. Every piece of content Impact Theory creates is meant to underscore the company mission to free people from The Matrix and help them unlock their true potential. Impact Theory exists to inspire the next generation of game-changing companies and creators that will make a true and lasting impact on the world. []

Tom on YouTube: Tom Bilyeu

Tom on Instagram: @tombilyeu

Tom on Facebook: Tom Bilyeu

Tom on Twitter: @TomBilyeu

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  1. Children of your own, whether through birth or adoption, are awesome! Kids keep you young. Blessings!

  2. Thank you Peter and Tom. Excellent episode.

    Personally I feel that there is potentially something missing in the discussion of pursuit of fulfillment. I believe that it is possible to be fulfilled without pursuing fulfillment, and from that state you can potentially be even more of service to mankind. It is difficult to articulate but I have talked to people who has experienced this state for extended periods of time (weeks / months) where they are ecstatically in awe about just their experience of existing, and from this state there seems to spring forth an almost unlimited source of energy and clarity, possibly from the lack of inner struggle and conflict.

    I am looking forward to your episode on your 5 day fast. I have been experimenting with “dry” fasting where you do not eat or drink anything (“ramadan style”) and I recently finished a 5 day (120 hours) dry fast. Previously I’ve done 2, 3 and 4 days and surprisingly (to most people anyway) it is not that hard and I find it to almost be easier than doing a water fast. I went to work all 5 days and I jogged every morning. I dropped 18 lbs of bodyweight in 5 days (from 207 lbs to 189 lbs). I followed the dry fast with 3 days of water fasting and I only gained back one pound of bodyweight. Then after an additional 3 days of only ingesting dilluted fruit juices (150 grams of carbs per day) I lost another pound and I ended up weighing the same as after the 5 days of dry fasting. Now one week later I’m 195 lbs.

    I would be interested in what kind of blood work you would possibly do before/after a dry fast compared to a water fast. One time I did some blood work after 4 days of dry fasting without telling the doctor what I had done. I can’t remember how extensive the test was but everything on the test was within the “normal” range. Nothing they measured seemed to suggest that I hadn’t had anything to drink og eat in 4 days. Some doctors I’ve talked to thought I should be dead after 2-3 days but I’m still here. Also used to be part of a community where lots of people practiced dry fasting and some people there did 7-10 days.

    BTW I’ve seen interesting studies on dry fasting that suggested that the nitrogen balance didn’t really down much during the fast (compared to water fast where it dropped a lot) and also the fat loss was three times as high as compared to a water fast.

    Oslo, Norway

  3. Wow. I know The Drive is an experiment of sorts, but the quality of the existing 8 episodes has completely blown me away. The variety of topics and the enthusiasm and expertise of the guests is making me hungry for much more. I’m starting to develop a new living paradigm: If X is interesting to Peter A then it’s important for me to learn more about X. Great stuff, keep ’em coming.

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