All right. What’s up everyone? It’s me. Drew Manning from the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in for another great episode here on the podcast. I really appreciate you guys doing that each and every week. Um, I really do hope you guys are listening to these. Uh, based on the analytics, it looks like you guys are so, um, today’s guests on the podcast, you guys is the co founder and president of quest nutrition. Now you guys know we’ve been big fans of quest. They’ve been a big supporter of mine since back in the day, right since before they made it big since before I made it big actually. Um, so I bring on Tom bill, you, uh, that’s BI, L, Y, E. U. Um, just a little bit about Tom in case you don’t know much about him.
I’m assuming most of you guys know about their bars, their products, right? Um, so at Tom Bilyeu is cofounder and president of quest nutrition and guys, the company’s culture of passion and transformation. Uh, having grown up in Tacoma, Washington and a family that struggled with obesity, Tom felt a personal drive to segue into the health and fitness industry and help his loved ones and others like them. Revolutionized, revolutionized, sorry. Their relationship with food as it would turn out, has this new focus on something deeply personal and passion-based led him and his two partners to found quest even though they stopped making decisions solely based on what makes the most money. By the end of their third year, quest was named as the second fastest growing private company in America generating more revenue in a single day than their former company generated annually. So Tom’s got a great story you guys.
He also has a podcast called inside quest where he has interviewed some amazing people like sugar Ray Leonard, Tim Ferriss, Chris angel, Tony Robbins, Jay Hawk, Jim Kwik, Russell Simmons, and a ton of other influence influencers in the industry. Tom’s a great guy. You know, he’s got an interesting background. You’re going to love his story to learn about how quest came about and all the work that goes into making quest nutrition. What it is today. We talked about, you know, the protein bar story. We talk about how they’re starting this keto movement, um, and the foods that they have available as well. And a lot of interesting life lessons. You guys, Tom’s super smart, right way smarter than I am. Um, and he is a mile a minute type of person. He goes, goes, goes, goes, goes, works hard, grinds hard and he’s super successful. And one of his quotes that I love is, you know, don’t be afraid to be poor.
You know, that’s one of his things he lives by. So he’s willing to risk it and take some chances, which is why I think quest has become so successful. So definitely listen to this. Before we jump into the episode though, our show sponsors, today’s episode is brought to you guys by everybody, well.com everything well.com you guys as the at home medical testing company, that makes it so much more convenient than going into your doctor’s office. Basically you go to every well.com and you can use my discount code fit to fat to fame for a 10% discount. You order which tests want to do. So if you want to check your cholesterol, your, um, inflammation, vitamin D levels, uh, your, your hormones or thyroid, your estrogen, your progesterone, um, they have a ton of different tests available, you guys. So, um, you order it online, it arrives at your door, you follow the instructions of what to do, you put it in the prepaid package, drop it off at a ups store or schedule pickup, and then boom, within a few days you have your results emailed to you in an easy to understand format you guys.
That makes it so much more convenient than going into your doctor’s office. It’s way more affordable and it’s so much quicker and easier to understand. And that’s what I love about everybody. Well, you guys, I’m super excited to partner up with them and that they’re our show sponsor because I really feel like people can benefit tremendously if we just make testing our blood so much easier. Um, and that’s why you guys definitely need to check out every well.com for size, fit, threat fit or use my code fit to fit for 10% off. Obviously our next show sponsor is quest nutrition. Uh, they have been a huge supporter of our podcast. We appreciate them. Um, obviously I love their protein bars. I’ve loved them from day one. Now that I’m doing more of a keto lifestyle, um, I’ve kind of transferred over to their keto bars, right?
They have a chocolate bar that I love. It, it, it’s by far the best tasting keto dessert. I’ve tried you guys and I promise you this food is not, tastes like it’s healthy for you. It’s loaded with fat, right? Which is what you want on a keto diet, a moderate amount of protein, very low carbs, and that’s what you want and the food and it tastes delicious. You guys. So you can either go to quest, nutrition.com right, for all of their protein products, but then also, uh, quest quito.com to check out their line of keto products. So, uh, check them out and we appreciate our show sponsors each and every week who support this podcast. All right, let’s go ahead and chat with Tom.
All right, Tom, welcome to the show, man. Thank you man. Thanks for having me on. Oh, my pleasure, man. I’ve been, I’ve been wanting to have you on for quite a while. So let me just, uh, let me just update people, uh, on how I first met you and quest nutrition. Um, so back in the day when I was doing my fit to fat to fit journey, someone mentioned you guys and I think at the time you guys had 90,000 Facebook followers. I remember this and which is a lot, right? But I know you guys are like, well, you know, so much more than that now. But I remember checking them out, reached out to you guys. You sent me some samples. I was blown away instantly. A fan of your protein bars. And um, and then I was in LA for, I think it was filming for HLN or CNN or something.
And I remember meeting with Ron and Nick. I didn’t get a chance to meet you yet. And we were just at a restaurant or a cafe. And then there’s these TVs on the background and then as we’re talking that segment that I just filmed shows up. Right. Like live on TV. So anyways, I, I’ve been friends with you guys for a long time and then I eventually, did you, I think when, um, I was doing that thing with Cassie ho, um, quest cooking. Yes. Or cooking with quest. Sorry. So I, I been a big fan of your guys for a long time and I’m glad that we finally were able to get you on the podcast, man. Yeah, man, I’m super excited to be here. Yeah. So here’s the thing is, um, I think people, unless they follow you personally might not know a lot about your story. Cause I’ve, I mean I’ve been following you for a while and I’m super impressed with what you’re doing. Uh, because it’s, you do, it’s, it’s so much more than just protein bars at this point. Right? Definitely. So what I want to do is connect the dots, kind of go back and connect the dots to show how you took this company to where it’s at today. So the first question I have actually is what was your passion growing up, growing up?
Filmmaking from the time I was like 12 or 13, I knew that I wanted to be behind the camera making movies, um, telling stories and uh, yeah, that was it. I had my sights set on that and, and that’s certainly how I ended up in Los Angeles. Went to film school, got my degree and uh, certainly a bizarre, uh, beginning to, to my life and where I’ve ended up now. But there are a few dots in there that, um, we could connect and it all makes sense.
Yeah, that’s super interesting. I actually didn’t know that. Um, did you work in the film industry for a while before you shifted over?
I did, yeah. So I, um, I worked for a while and like straight up traditional filmmaking did some set photography. Um, I did some editing, uh, and I did some teaching and that was really the thing that connected me to, um, the, the world that I’m in now. And, and also wrote a screenplay which got turned into a movie. And that was a very painful experience because the movie did not exactly, uh, come out the way that I had envisioned it. Um, when we were writing it. And that was one of the things that made me so open to being in business. Cause the guys who are now my business partners said, look, part of the reason that was such a frustrating experience for you, you’re coming to the world with your handout and you need to take control of your world and you need to um, basically get control of your own finances. And the moment that you can finance your own films and you can control it. And I thought, wow, like that’s so true. And if I really want control, then I’ve got to get rich. And if only I had known what a mistake it was going to be to focus on money, I could have saved a lot of time. But the concept of controlling your own destiny now that is critical. And that really changed my life. And once I divorced that notion from money, then things started to really happen.
Interesting. So how, um, how did the transition to, from that world to quest nutrition start to evolve? At what point did you start to say, Oh, protein bars? Well,
so it went a little bit like this. My partners approached me. They said, Hey, we’re starting this technology company. We, you seem like a sharp guy. You should help us out. We have a role open for a copywriter, but Hey, don’t think of yourself as a copywriter of yourself as a partner company and work your way up. And um, their thing to me was, dude, you can have any job in this company you want. You just have to become the right person for that job. And so I already had a mindset of acquiring skills and I thought, okay, well, you know, I could do this. And these guys are very experienced and they have a lot of knowledge in an area that I’d like to become more powerful in. And so, Hey, I’m going to work with them and learn as much as I can.
Um, and that turned into an eight and a half year stint of chasing money, hard, um, thinking we wanted to build this technology company up, get rich and then, you know, move on to the things that we were passionate about. And at that point I was going to go into filmmaking. And, um, while towards the end of that, I was making more money than I’d ever made in my life. And we were winning awards. And, uh, 2010, that company, the technology company was named as the 42nd fastest growing company technology company, I should say, in North America, making money, winning awards. Um, we were in this beautiful conference room, I remember overlooking civic ocean and I turned to my partners and I said, I’m completely miserable. Like, there’s got to be a better way. Like they’re really does, right? We were living the cliche of money can’t buy happiness, which is super ironic because I’s that understand the power of money, which is, it’s a facilitator.
It makes things happen. But if you don’t know what you’re trying to make happen, if you don’t have something that you really believe in, that you’re trying to facilitate with that money, it’s a totally empty quest. And so we decided then and there we were going to sell the company and the next thing that we were going to found was going to be something founded entirely on passion, belief. And it was going to be something designed from the ground up to bring value to other people’s lives. And we made the mandate that it had to be something that we would love even if we were failing. And so if you took a Venn diagram and said, you know, what’s that area of common interest where we would love it, even if we were failing, the answer was health and fitness. And for me, and this is just me because honestly we founded the company for three very different reasons.
Uh, but for me, I grew up in a morbidly obese family and I wanted to save them. And you know, there’s this awesome quote from other Theresa. Nobody will act for the many, but people will act for the one. And so I just showed up every day thinking about my mom and my sister and knowing that I couldn’t tell them eat less, exercise more. Right. That’s just, you know, for people like you like me, even like you can switch your mind over and live in this world of hyper discipline and I’m going to do this because it’s part of my identity, you know? And it is very possible and obviously what you’ve gone through and you’re fit to fat to fit or any shows that like if you’ve got a why that’s strong enough man, that it’s, it’s really about just putting in the work and making the right choices. And I just knew though that for a huge percentage of the population of the world, that that just was too much to ask and they weren’t going to do that or at least it wasn’t. They needed something more to be the catalyst. And what we believed was that more that catalyst was to make food that people chose based on taste and it happened to be good for them. And then we could get them in a virtuous cycle. And you know where that goes from there.
Yeah, no man. Super powerful. I love what you said there. You know, especially about having your wife, cause I feel like if your why is strong enough, the how will figure itself out, it’ll eventually happen. If you, if you really have that passion, that drive and you know why you’re doing it, then you know, you might not know how you’re going to raise capital. You might not know how you’re going to create this protein bar that tastes good. But that was all figured out over time. And it was probably a learning process, right? I mean, I don’t know if the first bar was a, a hit a success or how many times you guys had to redo the recipe, the recipes, uh, which I’m sure you can talk about in a little bit, but super powerful stuff because all these things are life lessons, right?
I’m not just here to talk about health and fitness. This is how you lose weight. It’s a very saturated market and anybody can give you a meal plan and a workout plan in the industry. But there’s so much more to life in my opinion than what your body looks like an end. It really is about health like you talked about. Um, so I loved that mentality of getting foods that are good for you to actually taste good. Cause that’s what a lot of people struggle with, right? They having food that tastes good, that is actually good for them. Um, because I feel like our, we’ve been trained since we were young to go for the quick and easy foods. You know, like I grew up in the eighties. You did too, you know, sugary cereals and sodas and white bread and you know, I grew up on all that stuff. I grew up in a family of 11 kids and it was like, okay, what can I, yeah. I was like, what can I do to feed 11 kids? All right. You know, cheap cereal, peanut butter sandwiches and that’s what it was and you know, but anyways, uh, where was I going with that? I kind of got off track there a little bit, but, so let’s go back to Oh, go ahead.
Yeah, I was just going to say, you were saying that it’s more than just a health and fitness and you know, this really is about the, the lifestyle and the mindset and finding ways to make it fun. And, and you know, you were saying it goes beyond just offering people a meal plan and I think that that’s right on the money. And um, you know, that’s really what we try to do is transcend that, right? And those are important. Like don’t get me wrong, like the way, the way that you look is not only amazing by the way, but it’s also a reflection of what’s going on in your mind and it’s a predictor of longevity, right? So just looking at how healthy you are and the kind of shape that you’re in, even though it’s not about the aesthetics, the very reason that human beings find that aesthetic appealing is because it’s a sign of health. It’s a marker of all the things you’re going to need. Strength, endurance, longevity, you know, to rear children essentially and make sure that your genes stay in the gene pool. So we’re hardwired to look at those results and be impressed, um, largely because they’re markers for something more profound, which is the health and you know, at the, at the end of the day, that’s where you and I are just totally aligned is it really is about that thing.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s why I feel like, you know, working with you guys has been so easy because we have the same goals in mind. Um, I follow you on social media and I remember your, I think you still do, but on Thursdays you would do these throwback Thursday photos of when you guys first started very humble beginnings. I love seeing those pictures. Talk about those days of the struggles you guys had. Maybe you can talk about, you know, the recipes and troubles you guys had to make this food taste good. It brings back to those humble beginnings.
Definitely. So they were humble. We bootstrapped the entire company. So in the first year, maybe a little bit less than a year, we had spent I think roughly $10,000 on the company and that was it. And, um, we immediately began putting every dollar that we made back into the company and we were running it at night. So during the day we were still running our technology company, which we had sold yet. And so at night we were making protein bars and then during the day we were running the company. And it was, you know, those times where you realize that one of the things that nobody can ever take away from you and it has such a huge impact on your life is just hard ass work, man. Just hard ass work. You gotta put in the work, you got to show up, you gotta do the reps and, and that will separate you from everybody else.
And you know, doing inside quest, which is essentially my podcast, um, that the thing that I am just hell bent to make sure it never happens is that it does it become empty advice with no follow through? No action. Like giving people a lot of platitudes, a lot of mantras that they can say like that’s part of the battle. But the other part is just executing and working hard and showing up. And so that’s what those early days were all about. It’s just grit and determination and the formulas definitely were changing and we were tweaking and trying things and trying to figure out how to make stuff shelf stable, which was bizarrely difficult and never would have guessed that water is your enemy. And so that’s sort of how big a neophytes we were. We actually had to learn that lesson. So here we are trying to build this business and we’re like, our product rots after three days.
Like what the hell do you do with that? So you know, and, and really trying to crack that code. And at one point we actually considered making our tagline the first bar that rots and that by that look, this is the first bar this like so real that there’s no preservatives, there’s none of that stuff in it, man. Like you better eat it fast like this. And we thought there’s just no distribution with that. So we knew we cracked the code and, and thankfully the answer was just that you can’t have that much water in the product. So we obviously went on to find, um, liquid fibers, which were just a game changer for us. Um, but yeah, it’s, it’s all that stuff in the beginning of learning, learning, learning, and we were hardcore learners. That’s such a huge part of the quest ethos, not viewing yourself as a teacher and always viewing yourself as a student and really trying to every day show up, learn something new. Um, and that was it. And in the beginning we couldn’t even give the bars away, which now is, you know, hilarious. But I’m serious. Like we would try to hand these things out for free and people were like, yeah, I don’t eat protein bars. I don’t eat protein bars. So over at getting people, you know, to, to really look at it and take it seriously was, was a journey.
So quick question for you. Did you know anything about, you know, food science or how to make a protein bar? Did you have any expertise or knowledge or were you just starting from ground zero?
My business partner, Ron is the guy that deserves every last liquor credit for the products themselves. And now obviously he has a full team, um, which is utterly astonishing. And in the beginning it was, it was him and he was working with his wife and they were, you know, trying to come up with flavors and they got really good at flavors in the beginning. But the hardcore food science, honestly we didn’t understand, but I just have such mad respect for him. He has, he has become truly, I’m not kidding. And I look, I get it bias, but I’ll put them up against anybody. He’s become one of the most knowledgeable food scientists on the planet. And the R and D department that we have here is second to none. These guys are unbelievable now and watching them learn and grow and develop into just this team of amazing wizards where we truly have scientists who are educated and you know, have PhDs and all that good stuff.
And then we have other people that are self-taught, but to be self-taught in the area of food science is unbelievable. Um, and to now be looking at the science of metabolism as well is, is thrilling. That’s something that I’m pretty passionate about. And compared to some of the guys in R and, D, I’m a total neophyte, but, um, you know, just even learning about my own body in ways that, um, I just never imagined to a cellular level being a cancer, looking at, you know, all of these things and what’s really going on at the genetic and epigenetic level and, you know, really trying to answer some potent, potent questions about epigenetics and what’s the intersection of diet disease and, you know, coming away with answers that, you know, it’s, it’s way more important to understand the, the molecular biology of the situation and how that marries to choices that we make and knowing that those choices are near patrolman. It’s, it’s really incredible so that I know it’s a law. That’s the excitement that builds up here. That all started with how to a product shelf stable and it’s just Bible from there. Wonderful land of knowledge. It’s incredible.
Yeah. But now a couple of things about that. One is, is a lot of people from an outside perspective don’t see all that goes into these products, right? They’re like, Oh cool, new a blueberry muffin flavor. I’m sure it tastes good and they have no idea the hell you guys had to go through to create this, this bar that actually tastes good. The shelf life is stable and you know, you’re in consumer has no idea what you guys went through. And so there’s, you know, a lack of appreciation and some sense and that’s why I want to talk about it on here. For people listening, there’s so much work that goes into these, these products and to have some respect for the process a little bit. Second thing is, it’s a really cool, the reason I asked if you had any experience was because it’s not about what you know in this life, it’s about, you know, having that drive to learn and doing what it takes to learn and adjusting to your surroundings.
Like you went to school to film school and yeah, you didn’t, you don’t have to be, you know, an expert in, in protein bars to create a successful protein bar company. Right. And you’re proof of that. And I think there’s so many examples in life, people will think, well, I just don’t know enough, or, you know, I’m passionate about this, but I just, you know, I don’t feel like I’m this guru and you don’t need to be this guru, right. You don’t need to be the smartest person in the room, you know, uh, working hard, like you said, and, and, and putting the time in to learn this new skill or this new, um, industry is what it’s about. And it’s really cool to see you, um, because I’m sure you know more than even some food scientists now, cause you’ve been there part of the process and you’ve seen how it’s, uh, how has he evolved over the years? And like you said, you know, all these things now that, uh, you know, uh, years ago you probably would have had no idea or understood someone that was talking about these things, right?
Yeah, man, that’s really, really well said. And I hope all your listeners appreciate that mindset in you because that’s so powerful. And if they adopt it, it will change their life. And what I always tell people is it doesn’t matter who you are today. It really doesn’t. What matters is who you want to become and the price you’re willing to pay to get there. And that’s what I find separates people that are successful from people who are not. It really isn’t the intellect. Um, and there’s three parts of success and it’s to work smart for sure. Work hard and work long hours. And you know, people overemphasize the working smart, a working smart as great, but if you only work smart, but I work smart, hard and long hours, I’m going to win every time. Um, and, and honestly, if you had to tell me which of those is more valuable, um, then I’m gonna say it’s, it’s really effort.
It comes down to putting in the effort. Now I assume that you meet sort of what I’ll call minimum requirements of intelligence. Like if, if you have, um, you know, somebody who truly struggles in a profound way, uh, mentally they’re, they’re legitimate mentally handicap obviously that that’s going to limit their prospects. But assuming like, man, once your IQ breaks it, like it’s somewhere around like a hundred, which is like maybe even slightly below average. And if you look at like Richard Branson, he’ll tell you he grew up dyslexic. Everybody thought that he had, I mean he did have a learning disability, but everybody thought that he was kind of slow and you know, he’s turned himself self made billionaire. So it comes down to some people are broken by that deficit, right? And then other people push so hard to overcome something like dyslexia that they overshoot the Mark so far that they end up doing something extraordinary.
They’re willing to admit like, I’ve got to work harder. I’ve got to acquire more skills maybe than the next person. And so they go on do more. And that’s me that like I love that about life so much that at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you were born with, it only matters how hard you’re willing to work to get better at the things you want to get better at. And over enough time. This is what I tell people, look, don’t judge yourself to the lens of a moment, judge yourself to the lens of a lifetime. Because here’s what I know about myself. People can beat me and stuff right now. You put me up against people in virtually any category and I’m going to somebody, right? But on a long enough timeline, no one can keep up with me. Like on a long enough timeline, I would just persevere.
I would just keep going. I will keep learning new stuff. And because I never stopped. Like every day I’m trying to learn something new. There’s just nothing special about me. But I’ll keep getting those skills one after another, after another. They seem small at the time, but they all stack. And you know, the famous story in, in my own, um, history is my mother has always been my biggest cheerleader. She’s just amazing, amazing woman. But when I left for college, she quietly assumed that I would fail and that I’d be coming back home. And I remember when she finally admitted that to me, she was like, you just didn’t show signs of promise, you know, and bless her. Like she never let me know that she was always amazing. I could do anything I wanted, but I was lazy and I wasn’t doing anything and you know, so she just quietly assumed, well, if he at least has to try, but he’ll be back, you know. And, um, what she didn’t account for was that one simple belief that just because I don’t know it today doesn’t mean I can’t know it tomorrow. And once I pointed myself at something I was interested in, man, that was it. I just went all in and was willing to look stupid. I was willing to embarrass myself. I was willing to admit I didn’t know something. And, um, because of that, then I could learn it. I could get that knowledge and then I could progress.
That’s awesome. And you kind of already answered my next question, which is kind of funny, but because I was going to ask, you know, how have you been able to keep quests relevant? Right? Um, and you kind of already answered that, but you know, I want to talk about the supplement industry specifically because the supplement industry is so unique. It’s weird, right? So, you know, there’s a, there’s a million, you know, protein bars out there, there’s a million, uh, protein powders, there’s a million companies and you know, there’s new ones and they repackage the same product and you know, rebrand it and, you know, new marketing techniques. But my question was, how have you been able to make quests this juggernaut of a company that’s, you know, in my opinion, in the front, you know, in the forefront of the supplement industry with new cutting edge products. I mean, we’ll talk about the quest Kito stuff in a little bit, but that was my question, unless you have a different answer.
I do, man, it’s a great question. And here’s how I look at that. So one, um, it all comes down to we are a slave to one thing and that’s a metabolic truth. And I have an alarm that goes off in my phone to remind me, and this is have the guts to be poor. And what I mean by that is I don’t want to be trapped by my success. At the end of the day, we’ve got to hold true to always products that work that are real and that lasts. So you want to talk about staying relevant. You’re never going to stay relevant unless your products are real. And about a little over a year ago, um, we got a call, we used to use a fiber source called isomalto-oligosaccharides known as IMO. It’s basically what every other protein bar in the industry uses even today, which is crazy.
Um, but we got a call from a fiber expert that we know, cause we try to be connected to all these guys so that we’re at the, literally the forefront, the absolute cutting edge of what’s happening in science and called us. He said, Hey guys, look, I’m in Paris right now. And they just reviewed an illeosteomy study, which is the gold standard of human digestion where they literally have a probe inside the digestive tract and they can see where a nutrient gets absorbed or not. And so if something’s a fiber, it does not get absorbed in the small intestine. It gets fermented in the large intestine. And so we, every piece of literature on IMO, including from the manufacturer is going to tell you that. Yep, that’s exactly what happens. I am as a fiber, it gets fermented in the colon and, but no one had ever done the gold standard tests before.
And so they did this test and he said, guys, 85% of it is digested in the small intestine. And that means it is by definition not a fiber. It’s a carb. And we’re like, Oh Whoa. Like what do you like now? At that moment we’ve got this big business, the whole industry is switched over. We’re all using IMO now and we’re going, if we make this change, it is going to have a significant impact on our sales. On our profits because what we would have to replace it with was way more expensive. And it literally without debate right then and there, and this is the thing I’m most proud of the three of us, because when we did this, we said, right, they’re going to do it right or we’re not going to do it. We said, no, there’s nothing to discuss. We have to change.
And we heard that on Saturday. On Monday we began switching everything over to soluble corn fiber. And that on that day I put that in my, that alarm in my phone to say have the guts to be poor because I am here to bring value to other people. I’m here to end metabolic disease, right? Like we, our marching orders are so clear and we want to be so internally consistent with that. So we switched over to everything. People went bonkers. Like, you guys are doing this to save money. Like why would you switch over? Like they went crazy and I said, guys, I promise you one thing because it’s the truth. And because anybody who even just tests their own blood sugar will see that they’re going to get a better response with soluble corn fiber with IMO, it will last and we will come out the other side of this and people are going to see like that’s how you stay relevant, right?
That’s you be real. You be a slave to something that’s objective, that’s measurable and most importantly is valuable to the end consumer because now when an end consumer is testing their own blood, which is what we always encourage people to do, going to see the results for themselves. And so we’ve just been on a mission to tell people like as consumers, you guys need to make bigger demands of us food companies because here’s how the food industry thinks right now and this is in health and fitness. This is everywhere. Set and forget, right? Oreo created a recipe 40 years ago. They didn’t touch it until when? Until the government legislated. You could no longer have trans fats. Then they change. If they waited, legislation came down, man, and look should have done the same thing, right? We could have said, well, we know we’ve got probably two years before the FDA makes a ruling before this study makes it out.
And then they finally take a position saying, actually, sorry, IMO isn’t a fiber. That’s not us. Right? Like that. That’s not us. And when you, as a consumer, when you make those demands of companies, you’re going to see a sea change. And I feel like we’re in the midst of that now because with the internet, with social media, consumers are talking to each other and they’re making bigger and bigger demands of food companies. And for us, that’s exciting, right? When I stop and think about my mom and my sister and really wanting to save them, and when I was 12 I had an uncle eat himself to death. It’s like this is real. Like we’re playing it an intense game right now. We’ve made food and I love how good food tastes meant and I’ll have somebody else, I don’t want the government to have to legislate their way out of this.
I want food to man up and say we’re going to make stuff that not only tastes good, but it’s actually good for you. And so, and that’s in consumer’s hands, right? They can vote with their dollars. But in terms of staying relevant, to me, that’s leg number one, amazing products that deliver objective, real value. And then number two is way more subjective. And that’s to create a lifestyle and to paint a vision for a way to live that people are like, hell yeah, I want to be a part of that. And if you look at what Apple did, Apple totally transcended computers, not about computers, not about phones, not about iPods, iPads. It’s about thinking differently, right? It’s about being one of the crazy ones who think that they can change the world. And that’s what it means to have an iPhone or to have a Apple desktop or laptop.
You felt like you were a part of a movement. And so when you can transcend your products and you become a lifestyle and you actually mean something to people, that’s when the real magic happens. And like you doing this podcast, that’s what I’m trying to do with inside quest. I want to show people a lifestyle. I want to show people what it means to think of yourself, mind, body, and spirit, right? That it’s all together. That to think of a split between the brain and the body is, is fake. It’s totally an illusion. They’re, they’re in such a feedback loop. There’s neurons in your digestive track. Right? So, I mean, like all this stuff is so intertwined. I’m getting all hyped up over here, you know? But that’s how, that’s how we think of it. And, and, you know, we just want people to be excited about living a life that’s going to be awesome in the way that they define it.
Yeah, man, there’s so many things I could talk about there. Um, but I know we’re limited on limited on time. And so, um, I appreciate that though, and I really love that you shared that story because I know that that was kind of a, a touchy subject, you know, a year ago or so, uh, when that change happened and there was, you know, there’s always going to be haters, but, you know, like you said with social media nowadays, things get out there so much quicker and it’s talked about, you know, um, uh, so much more than that than in maybe in the past. And so I love that transparency and I think that’s awesome. I think that’s why you guys are at the forefront and why you guys have stayed relevant. I mean, you’re doing music video releases now when you release a
protein bar flavor, virtual reality. Yeah.
Um, expos or a set up at an expo, you know, at the Olympia. I thought that was awesome. I’m like, no one’s really doing these things, you know, and you’re creating a movement. You’re building this brand. Um, I remember when, when I knew that you guys were relevant. I think it was that while you guys were already relevant, but I remember Jada Pinkett Smith was getting interviewed in a magazine and they asked her what her favorite snacks were and she’s like, Oh, a quest bar. And it’s like, man, you got will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith and you got celebrities eating these bars. You know, so I love what you guys do. Um, I kind of want to shift gears and talk about ketosis, right? Cause I know you guys are kind of at the forefront of that too. Um, how did that get started with you? Cause I know I talked to Ron about this and maybe he is one who has been doing it for a while. Um, but tell me how that transferred over to you and then you guys created this Quito movement within quest and then if you can talk about any, um, uh, what’s the word I’m looking for? Um, kickback with, you know, people against ketosis cause you guys are approaching company, but then now you’re, you’re doing, you know, this fat movement. So if that’s not too much,
Oh man, let’s get into all of it. Um, so yeah, this started three years ago when, uh, Peter Attia and Dominic D’Agostino came into our offices and basically said, you guys need to rethink fat. Cause at the time we were all high protein all the time. Personally in my life, I was essentially doing rabbit starvation. If you’ve ever heard of that trappers back in the day, in the winter they would be eating rabbit meat, but it was so lean that they’d still starve to death because they were only getting protein. Now, I didn’t quite get to that point, but I, I would get at least 85% of my calories were from protein. So, and, and I thought, man, this is working amazingly. I’ve literally never leaner. I’m shredded. This is awesome. I look great. Um, but I didn’t feel great and my joints hurt all the time.
I lived in a constant state of being hangry as hell. And here, here’s the problem and this is identity is so like you have to be careful man. What you allow to become your identity. So here is a piece of identity that sometimes serves me and sometimes doesn’t like I have an insane ability to suffer. And that’s what led me to do eight and a half years money, even though I was completely miserable, my threshold to suffer was just unimaginable. And then the same thing with diet. So I used to be 60 pounds heavier. I lost the 60 pounds essentially through um, just whittling my calories down to protein and roughly 15 to 1600 calories a day. And I got shredded man, don’t, let’s, let’s not get it twisted. Now I got a, but at the end of the day I was losing muscle mass because I was just, my calories are so low, so I was lean, but I started to look a little wirey, a little bit scrawny.
Um, and I had my joints hurt all the time and I had really bad wrist problems for about 15 years. Really bad to where I was icing every night. I wrote a whole blog article, I won’t go into a ton of detail, but if somebody wants to check it out, a quest nutrition’s a blog. I broke down the whole story, but it was, it was a real part of my life for 15 years and caused me a lot of distress and pain and icing and all this pain. Um, and then you get Peter and Dominic come in talking about how fats amazing and it not only can it help with hunger loss, um, inflammation might have anticancer properties. I’m like, they make this sound like the fountain of youth, right? So it’s like, is this like Ponce on here coming in here telling me that they’ve found some magical health silver bullet?
So honestly, for the first year I didn’t really take it seriously. I didn’t think much about it. Um, Ron being the one that’s really at the cutting edge of this stuff was like, no, this, this changed us. He’s like, I’m telling you like this is going to be deal. These guys are really, really sharp. We need to look more into this. And so he really started exploring heavily. And after about a year of hearing him talk about it and him winning articles and research and stuff, I was like, this is interesting. And so we were really in the beginning, and this has really taken off in quest. We were looking at it from an anticancer perspective. There’s this thing called the Warburg hypothesis. Um, which goes like this, the mutation that every cancer cell shares, not even really a mutation, but the damage to the cell that they all share is they go from um, doing traditional, um, ATP creation in the presence of oxygen to even though they still have oxygen, they flip over into fermentation and something damages the mitochondria so that they go into this ferment of state.
And if that’s true, it requires glucose for it to stay in that state of fermenting. And so Warburg, this is back in 1926 he said, well, should be able to dietarily starve the body of, um, glucose by lowering your protein and your carbohydrate intake very, very low and taking your fat way high. And if you did that, you should in essence be able to starve the cancer because it can’t stay in that state, um, without the presence of glucose. And so we’re looking at that going, wow, like could it really be that simple? And so, um, you know, this is a, we could do a whole podcast keto pet sanctuary and all the research dollars that we’re throwing at, um, cancer and ketogenics and I will just say this, the directional information, it’s science, it’s way too early to call. Um, but directionally it is so interesting.
We’ve done the human clinical trials and looking at its impact on breast cancer. I mean, it’s going to take years to really figure this stuff out and I hope your listeners go start researching online. It is utterly fascinating what’s happening in this area of research. So anyway, if it really helps with cancer, I’m thinking, well man, I want to try this just cause I’m a longevity freak, right? I want to live forever. Um, so I go into, uh, what we call, um, uh, therapeutic ketosis state. So I’m doing a four to one diet after a three day fast. And so for those that aren’t ultra familiar with ketogenics, um, that means that I’m for every combined gram of protein carbohydrate that I’m eating, I’m eating four grams of fat. Now anybody that’s following you, I’m sure they already know that, but will, you know, put that out there.
Um, that’s brutally difficult to stay in that diet. I ended up getting keto flu is a total nightmare. Um, and but in all of that I was like, my wrists feel amazing. It’s like this is so weird. And I kept telling Ron, dude, this is like taking a drug. Like my wrists don’t feel a little better. They feel transformed. And so that began my journey, high-fat. And so I stopped doing ketosis because it had been so brutal cause I did it wrong. Let’s vary that. Uh, I did all kinds of wrong, uh, but stayed high fat for a year and my risk stayed fantastic. And then after another year of, of doing that, so now this is two years after Dominic and Peter were here. Um, I just, the more we talk about it, the more research out of keto pet sanctuary, the more I’m interested just to start steering by my blood and I really want to see what effect does it have on hunger, what effect does it have on fat loss?
And so I decided I’m, I’m gonna go ketosis by its sort of scientific definition, meaning I’m going to be 0.5 millimoles or more of ketone present in my blood. And so I started living at essentially a two to one ratio all day, every day, seven days a week, no cheating whatsoever for just months and months and months at a time. And I have never ever, ever in my life felt better. And the reason is it, and I’m sure you’ve preached endlessly about this, it changes your relationship to hunger. And I don’t know how to explain it. And people kept telling me like, Oh, if you go keto, like you’re not as hungry. And um, I was like, wow, that just, I don’t understand like hunger to me as a function of calorie. Like, what does it have to do with, um, you know, the, the fat, like it just didn’t make sense.
And then once you realize, cause I had never truly stopped burning glucose because I had so much protein. So even though I had high fat, I didn’t have low protein. So when I finally switched over and I lowered my protein, took my fat up, then I was like, Oh my God, this is a different way to live. So, and now full disclosure, I punched in and out of it. So I do three days a week on KIDO. I do four days a week on protein. That’s usually based around, um, working out. So I typically work out five days a week. And the only reason on that day I don’t do Quito or I don’t do protein is because, um, I actually start to feel the inflammation in my joints just from protein up and, and my diet is Uber clean. So even when I’m eating protein, it’s clean protein. I’m not like I’m, you know, out there eating cakes and pies and stuff. But now that I know how good it can’t feed, um, when I do protein for more than four days in a row, then I do start to get a little joint pain. So I back off and do a four, three split and it’s magical.
That’s awesome man. Well, thank you so much for talking about it and I, you know, obviously I’m a huge fan of it and I do try and, uh, get it across to my followers. You know, your, your, your everyday average American, you know, middle America type person to understand what this is. It’s not just about weight loss or fat loss or being shredded. There’s so much more to this diet than, than just that, right? It reduced inflammation, you know, cognitive improvement, cognitive function, mental clarity, focus. Like that’s the reason I kind of bought into it was for that purpose. Right. Um, and so there’s so many other benefits and like you said, we could probably talk about this forever, but I like what you guys have done with taking what you did with the protein bars and implementing that with your keto products, which I kind of want to, uh, you know, showcase here a little bit.
That’s okay because here’s the thing is went on the keto diet, adding fats, your foods, the food tastes great. You know, like when you go high protein, low carb, it’s hard sometimes to make foods tastes good. Um, but the thing on the keto diet is, you know, you’re adding things like butter or coconut oil or, or full fat cheeses to food. And I even introduced it to my buddy recently and like, here, let me make you some broccoli and cauliflower. We’ll throw in some grass fed butter, some high quality full-fat cheese and add salt to it. And he’s like, dude, seriously, this is what I can eat. I’m like, yeah, part of it, but I mean, those are the types of foods. And so your products, and I want you to talk about them. They taste amazing. First of all, and then maybe let you talk about what you guys have created and what you foresee coming in the future.
Yeah, Quito is in certainly for my own life. Um, is, is critical and it’s critical for the reasons that you just mentioned. And I’ll tell a story that is almost certainly going to get me in trouble, but I am, I’m one of those people, man. I’m, I’m newly converted and it’s had such a big impact on my life. Like it’s really impacted my life. I feel better. My joints. I used to have to ice my wrists every night for 15 years. Um, and so to not have to do that stuff anymore, I just feel compelled to tell people. So anyway, I was sitting with two doctors and they said, um, we, cause they’re doctors that are doing the cancer trial for us and they’re like, maybe it helps the cancer. Maybe it doesn’t, but I know that it helps with diabetes. And they were like, this is such an amazing way to help a diet, a type two diabetic, um, completely reverse their symptoms.
They’re like, this is unbelievable. And we have to tell more people. And, and when you talk about, it’s not just for people in the health and fitness community, it’s, you know, for a much wider audience than that. Dude, I totally agree. And it’s like anybody that is interested in longevity, anybody that’s interested in just higher level of performance right now today body. And like you said, cognitively, I’ll just say this, the NFL is looking at ketogenics because of its protective abilities with concussive trauma. Um, I will say the research shows that there’s potentially a, you have to couch everything when you’re a brand, but Hey, I’d buy all your lists. There’s one day if you ever see me on the street, I will tell you exactly how I feel about this stuff. Um, but the NFL is looking at it. U S military is looking at it.
I mean there, there is a governmental agency that contacted us. Dude, I wish I could tell you who, it’s unbelievable cause they’re like this. Their take on this is basically, this is as close to a drug as we’ve ever seen. This is incredible. Like, we want to research further and dude it, Whoa, there’s a lot of really interesting people looking at the effects of ketogenics is really, really cool. So anyway, the products that we’ve made, um, to your point about getting this to middle America, um, they, their peanut butter cups, they’re um, chocolate bars, um, and, and full frozen meals. But we have things like, um, if you think of a Cheez-It we have those, but made out of fat dude, it’s crazy.
Better than Cheez-Its. I’ve told every single person these are way better than Cheez-Its in they, they believe me once they try it. So it’s so true.
I mean, there’s just a, an incredible bevy of products that are all the kinds of foods that you wish you could be eating. And we’ve made them out of fat. So, and we’ve got some cookies in development that are KIDO. We’ve got brownies, we’ve got all kinds of stuff. And then on quest kito.com we actually have frozen meals so that you can eat two to one. And then we have some desserts that are higher than that. We have a cinnamon roll that is on believable. It’s ridiculous and it’s almost pure fat. It’s crazy.
I know. This seems like, I remember when I first learned about this, I’m like, this just seems backwards, is this, it seems too good to be true, but trust me, you guys, you need to research at least the keto diet, understand it first before you dive into it. But I promise you all these things that he’s talking about are real. And until you experience it, you won’t really know. So that’s why I recommend people, you know, jumping on for at least 30 days of strict staying, you know, consistent, uh, being in ketosis to really, you know, uh, feel the benefits rather than just, Oh, I felt horrible for two days. You know, like you said you had horrible first, you know, but there’s, there’s now there’s ways and there’s coaches out there to teach you how to do it right. Cause we’ve probably, most of us have done it wrong, at least one time in our lives when we first started, like I did.
Um, but there’s a right way and wrong way to do it. So, um, the, the goal here is to make this more mainstream, to get it out there to your, your everyday average American that doesn’t really understand nutrition. Um, but I, I’m glad that we have people like you, Tom and companies like quest, you know, being at the forefront, uh, with this movement. Um, we’re, we’re, we’re running out of time, but I have a last, a few questions I want to ask you that are just really quick. Um, and then we’ll, we’ll share all your information where people can get ahold of you. Okay. With insight quest, you’ve interviewed some amazing people on there, right? I mean like sugar Ray, Leonard, Tim Ferriss, Chris angel, Tony Robbins, AIG, hot, Jim Kwik, Russell Simmons, et cetera, a bunch of people. What is, what are the one or two things that you’ve learned most from interviewing these great minds?
The, the number one thing, man, and this is so true and I’m so glad that I’ve heard it from so many amazing people. Is it, it, it is all about grit. It’s all about perseverance, sticking through, like being willing to outwork people and to just keep pushing forward. Like it’s not going to happen easily. And no matter what you’re trying to accomplish, like being a parent isn’t easy, right? So building a business is not easy. Building a physique is not easy. Like all of those things are going to be hard. So if the only guarantee that anyone can make you in life is that it’s going to be hard, whatever you’re trying to do, then the one talent or skill that you should be working to cultivate in yourself is perseverance. And just hearing them because none of them are saying like, Oh, I’m super smart dude.
Like this is all happened for me cause I’m smarter than you. You know, it’s like, that’s not what they say. And a lot of times they felt, I just had Steve Aoki on the show yesterday, the world’s famous DJ. I mean this guy’s amazing and his whole thing is I never fit in. Like I, um, I just couldn’t seem to win at anything. And then finally he finds this hardcore DIY community of straight edge kids. And he said, a big part of that community is self-help. He’s like, if you listen to that, like scream, rock, heavy metal, all that stuff, it’s all about get out of bed, go do something. You know? And I was like, that’s so true. So even you know him who’s built his life in sort of mainstream music is, it’s all about having that his roots in something that was about building his mind and about making different choices and about pushing himself to be more and do more. And um, yeah, that’s it.
Cool man. I appreciate that. Um, okay, next question. What is your favorite cheat meal? You said you do enjoy cheat meal every now and then. What is your cheat meal?
I’ve got a thing for fried food man. Big way. So my, my favorite meal, and this is a bit of a cheat, but it’s true. And so hopefully that gets me some points. My wife and I have posted up at a buffet in Vegas for nine hours. Whoa. Nine hours away. And we’ve done it multiple times now. People don’t believe us. And then we’ll take them to the buffet. And the waitress will be like, Hey guys, you’re back. So yeah, we’re, we are marathon buffet eaters. It is unbelievable. It’s such a great experience. The first of all, my wife and I are just obsessed with each other. Um, and so we’ll, we’ll sit there and talk and go. We’ll FIM our rounds. So we’ll start with like meat and cheese and then we might move to Italian and then we might move to Chinese and we just make our way through that whole damn buffet.
Oh wow. Well then, Oh go ahead.
Then we end with a dessert round, but then, and this is weird, then we go for our very last round, which is more of whatever you like the most. So sometimes it might be more dessert. Other times we go from sweet, right back to savory,
get a little crazy. Wow man, you’re making me hungry here. I have to, the next time I’m in Vegas and you guys are there, I’m going to see you guys do this film. I’m going to film the whole nine hours.
And for anybody listening, that’s a buffet fan. Let me tell you that I’m the one at Caesar’s palace. Baka NOL is, is unbeatable.
Okay. I will put that in the show notes. Um, okay. Your family, you said your family is, uh, you come from a family of more morbidly obese. How are they doing now? Do they eat products? Um, are you there the, they allow you to help them or where are they at?
Yeah, this is such a potent question. So my sisters, since we launched the company, she’s lost over 120 pounds. It is an unbelievable transformation. And she’ll tell you, I mean cause look, that’s her transformation, right? As much as we’ve made products, at the end of the day, she’s made the right choices and has now started working out and all that. And she summed it up best. She said you guys were the first ones that didn’t tell me to eat less and exercise more. You did the hard work and making something I wanted to eat anyway. Good for me. And so she just supplemented. So instead of eating a bag of M and ms, she would eat one of our protein bars. And that small change started that virtuous cycle where she started to feel better, she started to look better. So she started to make better choices and then that led to the gym and eating even better.
And you know, so that, that’s been super powerful and, and is a reminder of the amount that we’ve already accomplished. And then there’s my mom who’s just a beautiful human being, but she hasn’t lost a gram and continues to struggle profoundly. And it’s a reminder that as far as we’ve come, we still have a long way to go. And that, that’s sort of the yin yang of where we’re at as a company, is being excited by the accomplishments that we do have and remembering that we’re so far from our goal of ending metabolic disease that we just have to stay focused and stay at it.
Yeah. No, thank you for sharing that. I appreciate that. Um, you know, I have, I have some siblings that are overweight as well and people ask me all the time like, Oh, well, you know, they’re so lucky to have you to get them to change. I’m like, it doesn’t work that way. You know, just cause I’m in the health and fitness industry doesn’t mean those around me are look like me. Does that make sense? So I appreciate you sharing that. Um, okay, last question. You said that at one point in time you gained 60 pounds already or you, you were up 60 pounds and you were able to lose it. You got shredded. Would you ever do a fit to fat to fit journey, Quito style?
That’s interesting. Um, if I had like, if I felt like it was really gonna do, um, something for me in terms of any metabolic disease, then I would, uh, but right now I think it would serve me better to point to you the master of fits if that’s a fit cause. Cause you know, I feel like you’ve done such an amazing job of showing people the proof in the pudding of, you know, what it takes to do that, that you understand both sides of the equation. I just don’t know that I would be able to have the kind of impact that you’ve had.
Yeah. I know. I don’t, I don’t blame you. A lot of people, most everyone says no, especially, I mean there’s people on the show, right? The TV show, season one, season two that are doing this and all of them, every single one of them. It’s way harder than they ever imagined it would be. And so I know that. And so I don’t, I wouldn’t ever push it on someone to do, I don’t think it’s for everybody, but I don’t know if I would do it again. I’ve been thinking about it, honestly, man, like doing this with a keto approach to it. But it scares me. I think I learned what I needed to learn the first time. The only reason I’m gonna do it the second time is to show people the power of ketosis in a way to see if, but at the same time, and it was so hard, I don’t know if I could put my body and my mind and my spirit back in that place. It was, it was that hard. So we’ll see. To be continued to maybe, maybe in the future. So, um, Tom working people contact you and get ahold of you or follow you on social media.
Yeah man. Please do at Tom. Bill you hopefully the spelling of my name will be in the show notes is it’s not. Um, and then uh, inside quest.com those are the, those are the places you can find me. I’m super active socially, so if you want to connect, hit me up. Um, every ounce of anything, anywhere that says it’s from me is actually from me. I don’t have ghost writers. Um, so that, that’s all me baby.
That’s awesome. And you guys, he is true to his word. He does. He is active on social media. I remember there was a guy on Twitter commenting multiple times per day to both of us and Tom was always responding just to some rant, you know, a random follower that was talking about his weight loss journey and Tom was always there and you know, I’m sure he appreciated that. So thank you Tom. Appreciate it.
Yeah, for sure. And thank you for all the you do dude, you were killing it. It has been an honor to have you as a part of the quest family for so long. Dude, you are fully legit. We are huge supporters here. It’s, it’s incredible what you’re doing.
Well thank you and I appreciate all
the support throughout all the years man. And here’s to many more years. So. Alright Tom, hopefully I’ll see you soon in LA. All right, take care. Take care. Bye.
What’s up everyone? Hopefully you guys enjoyed this episode with Tom. Bill you from quest nutrition. I know, I enjoyed it a lot. Learn so many valuable things. Go check him out on social media. He’s great. That’s a good company to know. And, um, I really appreciate any and all feedback that I get from you guys. If you want me to have different guests on, just reach out to me on social media or email email@example.com and please stay in touch. Uh, sign up for my newsletter. I have a lot of interesting things coming up in the future. Um, a lot of exciting things I think you guys will be pleased to hear about. So, uh, stay in the know, sign up for my newsletter. Follow me on social media love. You guys will see us back here for another episode on the 55 to fit experience.