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How Jeff the Doctor, Engineer, and Startup Junkie finally put himself first: A success story

Today, I’ve a special type of success story for you.

It’s possibly the finest instance I’ve ever seen for “just knowing what to do” isn’t sufficient with regards to getting wholesome!

Meet Jeff (hey, that’s me subsequent to him!):

We met a couple of years again at Camp NF, considered one of our in-person occasions again in 2016 – he’s considered one of the most completed folks I do know (he began MED SCHOOL at age 16). However, even for a man as good as he’s, he struggled with really getting constant wholesome outcomes and getting out of his personal manner for years.

Over the previous few years, as Jeff’s startup life acquired busier, his well being took extra and extra of a backseat:

  • Jeff has based a number of start-ups and is at the moment operating one.
  • His schedule, each for journey and consuming, is totally erratic.
  • He spent most weekends of 2018 on airplanes, flying red-eye flights.
  • He stored chasing the subsequent fad, altering his thoughts each different day.

And his mind wouldn’t decelerate! Jeff actually struggled with “analysis by paralysis,” excited about figuring out far more than he really labored out.

If this sounds such as you and your mind, possibly you may relate?

It took Jeff partnering with Jim, our lead coach in the NF Coaching Program, for the previous yr to decelerate lengthy sufficient to begin to see outcomes that may stick.

And slowing down isn’t simple for this man.

Jeff’s mind is at all times going 1,000,000 miles an hour, he virtually lives on airplanes and red-eye flights, has an excellent diverse consuming and exercise schedule, and no day is the identical for him due to his entrepreneurial profession!

I’m actually proud that Jeff is considered one of our 1-on-1 coaching clients, and that we had been capable of get him the outcomes that had eluded him for the majority of his life as much as that time.

I really like that whilst a busy entrepreneur, he’s seeing the “return on investment” of investing in himself with teaching and caring for his personal well being! If this sounds such as you, we’d love to listen to how we may probably provide help to at Nerd Fitness Coaching – merely click on the button under to be taught extra!

I’ve chopped this interview into a number of sections, so be at liberty to select the sections that you just’re most concerned with!

How Jeff managed to get his personal mind out of the manner…

Readers of Nerd Fitness are typically on the smarter aspect of common.

Like you. You good particular person you.

Jeff is on a special stage:

  • He skipped highschool and began school at 13.
  • He started med college at 16.
  • He grew to become the second youngest US physician on report at age 20.
  • After his fellowship, he acquired an MBA from UCLA.
  • He studied machine studying in Scotland.
  • He’s now operating a startup in Berkeley, CA.

Now, I don’t share all the above to brag about Jeff (and he wouldn’t both!). I’m sharing it as a result of I wish to paint the image that this a really brilliant, pushed, hardworking dude.

Okay, he additionally places the NERD in Nerd Fitness.

In my emails again and forth with Jeff to share this story with you right now, I stored pondering two issues:

  • This man is gonna take over the planet at some point, so I’m glad he likes Team Nerd Fitness!
  • I can completely see why he struggled with getting in form in the previous!

So that is what I wished to ask him about.

STEVE: You have tried and executed many alternative train routines, weight loss plan methods, and all the pieces in between. What has your life been like in that point?

JEFF: In 2014 and 2015, I joined an novice gymnastics membership and actually loved the expertise.

Unfortunately, after I doubled the variety of in a single day shifts labored to 200+ nights a yr, I developed recurrent higher again/shoulder points (an excessive amount of radiology work + muscle hypertrophy from gymnastics) I finished going to gymnastics altogether, and issues deteriorated rapidly.

Left to my very own gadgets in 2016 and 2017, I barely labored out in any respect, and barely caught to any weight loss plan. This is how I gained 20-odd kilos throughout these years.

STEVE: You’re a physician and engineer, you’ve got an MBA, and have began a number of startups. You get bloodwork executed frequently, and you recognize your well being and health data inside and out.

Why do you suppose you weren’t capable of crack the code earlier with regards to your well being and health? You had all the data and instruments you wanted proper?

JEFF: I don’t suppose doctoring, tech, or smarts essentially assist in the pursuit of well being. On a aspect be aware, there are many totally different sorts of smarts, and the sort I’ve is unquestionably restricted to very particular purposes

Actually, every of those in all probability works towards you, all issues thought-about. It’s kinda like after we say, “Doctors make the worst patients.”

To get (and keep) in form, I believe it comes right down to:

  • Consistency, day in and day trip.
  • Enjoying one thing about figuring out.
  • Building a set of habits that you just return to instinctively when life will get busy.
  • Being surrounded by a assist community of individuals and environments that provide help to get and keep in form.
  • Sufficient sleep, and the apply of de-stressing ultimately.

Unfortunately, these are the 5 issues I really feel like I’ve to battle every day:

  1. Thinking an excessive amount of as a substitute of appearing.
  2. Not really having fun with figuring out. I don’t get the endorphin rush in any respect. Trying totally different sports activities and group actions helps, however even getting again to a sport I really like like gymnastics has been remarkably troublesome mentally. I’ve additionally discovered the extra I goal to do HIIT, the extra I subconsciously keep away from cardio altogether.
  3. Rarely sticking with one thing lengthy sufficient to construct a set of habits.
  4. Spending nearly each weekend in the airport & on red-eye flights, flipping between evening and day shifts each different week, having fully variable meal & exercise schedules, and heaps & numerous conferences.
  5. Usually not getting sufficient sleep, and not making the time to meditate or de-stress a lot both.

Fortunately, I’ve managed to have some success holding the demons at bay in 2018 – as you noticed in the photographs above, and it’s how I ended up the place I’m right now.

How Jeff Lost 30 Pounds By Focusing on his Diet

With Jeff’s mind being extremely analytical you may wager he was loopy detailed along with his monitoring, his meals, and his metrics. You’ll see a few of these specifics under,

(Note: when you’re anyone with 50-100+ kilos to lose, don’t get misplaced in the specifics under! Check out a story like Leslie (100+ pounds lost) or Anthony (200 pounds lost)!)

STEVE: You began working with Jim from NF Coaching again in January – And since then you definitely’ve reworked fairly dramatically, shedding 30+ kilos even whereas working and touring like loopy.

Can you get into the particulars? What methods labored for you?

JEFF: I began the yr on a low-fat paleo-ish diet for the first six months (numerous floor meat, sauteed kale, and often some oatmeal in the morning).

Because I journey loads, and flip days and nights working, my weight loss plan diverse fairly dramatically.

That acquired me from simply over 195 lbs (“before”) right down to about 170-175 lbs.

I hovered there for months and months.

In June, the weight had been hovering for a couple of month, and I made a decision to attempt to full-blown Keto.

I measured each meal to 25g of fats, 21g of protein, and practically 0 carbs. I stayed in the 5 – 15g / day carb vary, and entered ketosis instantly.

Keto didn’t actually work for me physiologically.

My weight was remarkably secure everyday whereas on Keto, proper round the 168 – 170 vary over 2 months.

At the finish of August, I acquired a follow-up ldl cholesterol/lipid panel simply to examine the place issues had been at — and it seems I’m in the small subset of individuals whose ldl cholesterol spikes to ridiculous ranges on Keto [studies have shown there’s a subset of people with cholesterol levels very sensitive to diet].

I finished Keto instantly and went again on low-fat Paleo, which acquired me again to the weight hovering round 170.

I went on a trip to Greece for the first time in September, the place I gained 5 kilos (from consuming much more than I ought to).

STEVE: I hear ya man. Keto doesn’t agree with me both, however I do know it really works for some! So inform me what occurred particularly. So I’m glad you discovered low-fat Paleo-ish to give you the results you want. That’s what I’m doing too.

So what acquired you over that last 10-pound hurdle?

JEFF: I hoped to have the ability to do a photoshoot (an enormous aim I had set at the starting of the yr) in November, however the scale wasn’t budging in October and I used to be out of time!

I had a colleague who actually advised I take a look at intermittent fasting. I’d by no means thought-about it severely earlier than. The considered not consuming for these lengthy intervals, after being so used to consuming each 2 1/2 – 3 hours each single day, wasn’t interesting.

I remembered that you just’d written a put up on IF, so went again and learn it via, and determined to offer it a shot:

  • Started a 16/8 quick/feast protocol (1700 energy a day, fastidiously measured).
  • Moved to 18/6 the subsequent day.
  • Move to 19/5.
  • Eventually did 20/4 for a couple of days
  • Went again to 18/6.

It labored wonders — my weight began happening once more.

I’m really unsure whether or not I like IF but – nevertheless it works awesomely for me – there’s a disconnect between how nicely one thing works vs. whether or not I really get pleasure from it! Haha.

Here’s why I prefer it: I’m extra productive when not consuming, present up on time to exercises, and save time by not prepping and consuming six meals a day.

But we’ll see. Right now it’s working for me. And it allowed me to hit my aim on time!


STEVE: As a loopy however lazy fan of intermittent fasting, I hear ya man – it helps me make fewer selections every day, much less clean-up, much less work!

Clearly, you put an enormous emphasis in your diet, however what about your exercises?

JEFF: Workout-wise, issues have diverse loads.

I nonetheless haven’t been again to gymnastics this yr, however have been via all types of train routines.

To title a couple of:

  • Scheduled exercises
  • Unscheduled exercises
  • Mini-workouts at house
  • Assault bike sprints
  • Rings & small rope climb at house
  • A few BJJ and Aikido courses

I don’t know find out how to do issues half-assed, so I even kicked off New Year’s final yr (previous to working with Jim) in Thailand for six days at a weight reduction/health & Muay Thai bootcamp [Gym Bangarang] in Chiang Mai.

Due to my loopy journey schedule, my exercise schedule has been hit and miss. That’s okay although.

So I attempted all of that, however there’s been one fixed over the previous twelve months…

Jeff’s Experience with Trainers and NF Coaching

STEVE: Over the previous few years, you’ve skilled with a dozen trainers, a lot of them IN particular person. I’m curious: what was it about the NF Online Coaching program specifically that appealed to you?

JEFF: The largest factor about the NF Coaching program is its persistent world accountability.

As lengthy as you retain your coach up to date, he/she sees the whole sweep of your diet & fitness-related life (in addition to most all the pieces else that’s occurring in your life), and so they’re by far the best-equipped particular person to get you off your ass and consuming proper / figuring out.

Working with some other trainers in years previous, the coaching and accountability normally ended as quickly as the one-hour coaching session was over.

Occasionally somebody may assist put collectively a meals plan, however most in-person trainers are far too busy to maintain observe of all their shoppers over the course of the week, the month, and the yr to assist them maintain themselves accountable.

STEVE: What else do you get out of NF teaching and working with a coach like Jim?

JEFF: I began working with Jim in early 2018, and right here’s what I get pleasure from the most:

Jim supplies accountability, will get me to trace my progress, and a constant reminder that I should be doing one thing:

  • Watching and monitoring every factor I eat.
  • Getting a exercise in every time doable.
  • Replying to messages in the app.
  • Uploading meals photographs.

I do my finest to trace weights, reps, and units on exercises, I typically dump weeks of my meal photographs into the NF teaching app abruptly (I common a couple of 2/3 success charge on taking meals photographs), and I’ve been fairly slack about taking interval follow-up photographs and measurements these days.

Jim at all times adjusts accordingly.

He’s nice at offering a bit of additional slack, particularly throughout robust weeks, and not being too important – besides when he thinks I want a push – and he’s normally proper!

Here’s the different factor I really like:

The probability to share the ups and downs, to rejoice the triumphs and assist me make it over the hurdles, a continuing social bond in the midst of unending work and an ever-shifting schedule.

At Camp, I actually appreciated that Nerd Fitness was working exhausting to alter folks’s lives.

So regardless of the place NF went – whether or not you ever determined to do one other Camp, or launch a 1:1 teaching program, or construct up NF Academy – I dedicated to staying concerned: to assist out folks in the NF group the place doable, be a part of the NF Academy and Coaching program and share NF with acquaintances and pals.

STEVE: What would you say to anyone contemplating NF Coaching?

JEFF: It works the place all the different trainers and health applications fail. The NF Coaching program meets you proper the place you’re at, holding you accountable, offering tons of encouragement, and customizing your meals and exercise plans particularly to you.

It’s modified my life, and it may change yours too.



Every day, we’re confronted with a problem:

  • The manner we WANT issues to be, in an ideal world.
  • The manner issues really are.

The downside arises when folks optimize their lives and assume that they’ll have issues how they need:

  • Of course I’ll have time to cook dinner a tremendous meal every day.
  • Of course I”ll have 90 minutes to work out.
  • Of course I’ll begin batch cooking and take up Yoga.

Reality paints a really totally different image, and THAT’S what it’s essential plan for!

Jeff had well being and health targets, and additionally a loopy hectic way of life with ungodly quantities of journey. Rather than beating himself up for this, he accepts that is his present actuality and asks “Okay, how can I do the best I can under these circumstances?”

By accepting that issues could be loopy, it allowed him to have GOOD success, however not fully take over his life (the startup has already executed that!).

Because Jeff knew his exercise schedule and entry to a health club could be restricted, he took the subsequent massive step:


Over the previous yr, Jeff has dropped important body fat even with inconsistent or nonexistent train. How does that work?

Simple: diet is 90% of the weight reduction equation.

And for Jeff, to get right down to “I want to see my abs” ranges of physique fats, diet turns into 95% of the battle.

Sure, making small modifications like “focusing on real food” and “eating more vegetables” can definitely assist an obese particular person reduce weight sustainably in the starting, however the nearer you get to 10% physique fats, the extra strict and disciplined it’s essential turn into.

As they are saying: abs aren’t made in the health club, they’re made in the kitchen.

Fortunately, Jeff was CRAZY centered on his meals monitoring, and used metrics to ensure he was hitting his caloric targets every day:

  • He centered on a Paleo-ish dietary technique to lose the first 15-20 kilos.
  • He tried the Keto Diet, however a ldl cholesterol take a look at revealed his physique wasn’t a fan of being in ketosis. Good factor he acquired that take a look at executed!
  • He included Intermittent Fasting with strict calorie monitoring to lose the last 10 kilos earlier than his photoshoot.

He knew right down to the carb what he was consuming on most days every time doable. Although folks which are in tip-top form need you to suppose it’s easy, the actual story is usually much more strict and disciplined – why? Because no one needs to listen to about counting energy and weighing their meals: they only wish to be advised it’s simple.

If you wish to get to a low physique fats share, that’s what it’s going to take. And it’s going to take for much longer than you anticipated. For Jeff, that’s what it took. And it WORKED.


What do you do when you recognize what must be executed, however life will get so busy you usually overlook to do it? You recruit an accountability buddy. In Jeff’s case, it was Jim, his coach. This man:

It’s wonderful {that a} single textual content from a buddy every day asking you when you did a specific behavior is usually sufficient to start out a behavior constructing course of.

In Jeff’s case, it was Jim’s fixed assist, typically robust love, and mild nudging that acquired Jeff to be extra diligent and dedicated to the targets he knew he wished to succeed in.


Jeff put most of his give attention to his day by day habits (habits change), however he discovered that solely took him thus far – as a start-up founder and overachiever, he discovered that setting massive targets in the future with particular deadlines actually helped him buckle down and get severe:

“One factor that does sorta work (that my different coach/buddy Alan and I had been chatting about earlier right now) is having an enormous aim and a particular deadline.

For me in October, realizing the photoshoot was 4 weeks away acquired me to buckle down and do wonders with a diet plan, exercise routine, and last week of prep. In the month since, with the hectic journeys afterward, and the lack of a well-defined or particularly timed aim, I’ve rebounded by 7 kilos.”

Looks prefer it’s time to set a brand new massive aim and work out a timeline! : )


I requested Jeff about his funding of teaching, and his reply stunned me:

“From my funky perspective, it’s not an costly funding in any respect when you consider the worth. I are inclined to worth folks, relationships and shared experiences excess of cash.

I could strive and leap round plenty of various things for diet/health/ private enchancment, however the place it involves folks and interpersonal relationships, after I determine to decide to somebody or to a friendship, I accomplish that wholeheartedly and with out reservation — and I keep dedicated long-term : )”

Life is all about relationships, one thing I believe us nerds can actually wrestle with on this day and age. So for Jeff, not simply investing in teaching, however investing in relationships along with his pals is actually, actually essential. He despatched me dozens of candid photographs from the previous yr, and a lot of them embrace massive teams of pals doing wonderful actions.

I’ve NO doubt that these pals are the “constant” in Jeff’s hectic way of life, which assist maintain him grounded whereas all the pieces else is transferring and altering at breakneck tempo.

How to Get Results Like Jeff

I’m actually happy with what Jeff has completed over the previous yr. It’s been AMAZING to listen to his aspect of the story, as I’ve been following it from the different aspect (via his coach Jim).

If you’re anyone who goes ALL IN and stops, when you’re anyone who can’t appear to get any progress to stay, or when you’re anyone that spends extra time pondering than doing, you’re in the proper place!

Here’s find out how to see outcomes like Jeff:

  • Less pondering, extra doing: Your mind will speak you into or out of something. Act as when you already made the resolution, and course appropriate alongside the manner.
  • Pick a dietary technique, and observe it! This is a lifelong journey, so that you’re not gonna get ends in every week. Stick with it. Track your energy, take photographs and measurements, and see how your physique transforms.
  • Know that diet is 90% of the battle. Don’t have time to train incessantly? No downside. You should eat day by day, proper? So put ALL of your focus there. Here’s our Guide on Healthy Eating.
  • Be accountable to anyone else. This may very well be a buddy who texts you every morning: “Did you work out yesterday?” Or a co-worker that you just examine in with every morning. In Jeff’s case, it’s his NF Coach, Jim.
  • Invest in relationships. Jeff’s life is chaotic, and one’s health journey is usually a lone-wolf exercise. Jeff has prioritized the relationships and friendships in his life, and it has helped maintain him sane regardless of a busy way of life!

If you may relate to Jeff (do you journey loads? Is your life tremendous busy? Are you struggling to get outcomes), you’re in the proper place!

Depending in your present scenario, our 1-on-1 NF Coaching Program is likely to be the droids answer you’re searching for. You can be taught extra by clicking on the field under and scheduling a name with our workforce!

Here’s what I’d need you to remove from Jeff’s Story:

  • Accountability is all the pieces. Have anyone aside from you invested in your success.
  • Want to reduce weight? Focus on diet and monitoring!

If you do these two issues, I can nearly assure you’ll be more healthy 12 months from now than you’re at the moment, and I’ll be sharing your story subsequent yr!


PS: Do you’ve got a Nerd Fitness success story of your personal? Email us at contact(at)NerdFitness(dot)com and tell us so we will share your journey with the galaxy!



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