Jack Dorsey's Diet - Sustainable or Dangerous?

When you’re the CEO of two giant 21st Century technocratic companies, what does your lifestyle look like? For many entrepreneurs, the goal of building a company that changes the world and changes your life - for the better - is the ultimate goal. Jack Dorsey, one of the founders of Twitter, and the current CEO, was recently interviewed for a podcast. In the interview he outlines what his typical day is like.

Egyptian cotton bedsheets. Barista brewed organic coffee. Fresh fruit smoothies. Personal trainer in the gym. Tesla ride to the office.

Nope. None of that. Instead his daily life reads like a character in a Dicken’s novel existence.

Ice baths at 5:30am. 5 mile walk to work on an empty stomach. Standing at a workstation all day. 5 mile walk home from work. And one meal a day.

Weekends? Lounging around on private yachts sipping champagne. Long, lazy lunches in fashionable vegan restaurants.

Nope. No meals. At all. And only water to drink.

Dorsey represents the nouveau riche in California. Wealthy. Relatively young. Powerful. Influential. But he’s presenting a lifestyle that’s not only prohibitive and unappealing to would-be entrepreneurs, it’s a lifestyle that’s downright dangerous.

Why I Don’t Believe Jack Dorsey’s Claims About His Diet

Dorsey is 42 years old. If he lived a sedentary life, ie. his only exercise was walking to and from his car each day, he would use 2,200 calories. But, according to his claims, he walks 10 miles per day. He also does High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). And he stands all day at work.

In my video above you’ll see me explain how Dorsey will be in a perpetual calorie deficit. This forces his body to use fat, and eventually muscle, to fuel itself. We’re talking the energy required by the brain to function. For the heart to pump blood. For the lungs to draw in air.

He eats just 5 meals per week.

For the past two years, I only have dinner. I usually eat around 6:30, and I eat until about 8:30 or 9:00 at the latest. And that’s when I can also drink wine, like red wine usually. But I’d wake up. I have about 28 ounces of water to 14-ounce mason jars, basically. And then, I have water all day long. I don’t have any–my vitamin is usually with dinner. Any other vitamins I would have are at dinner. I don’t have anything until around 6:30. And then, I usually eat a really big meal and I have a protein, whether it’d be fish, chicken, or some steak. I try to have a lot of greens in terms of salad, a big arugula salad, spinach. And then, I sometimes have asparagus or Brussels sprout or some other green vegetable. And then, I have mixed berries as a dessert, maybe some dark chocolate. Usually, I can find that everywhere I go. I try to eat at home as much as I can. Every now and then, I’m out on dinners with other friends or colleagues, but I can usually find anything on the menu that would resonate with what I want to do.


Not actually one of Dorsey’s meals…

Not actually one of Dorsey’s meals…

Even if those meals amounted to a total of 5000 consumed calories, he’s in a huge caloric deficit each day. It’s hard to imagine his body isn’t constantly in starvation mode. Daily. Even if he was completely sedentary, he’d be using around 3lbs of body fat per week as fuel. Factor in his 50 miles of walking per working week and his HIIT training, the guy is leading a lifestyle that is, not only questionable, completely unattainable.

Let’s ignore the fact the guy’s 42 and wears a nose ring. His lifestyle, if accurate, is prohibitive. Who, in their right mind, would want to emulate Jack Dorsey’s Dickensian daily routine?

But the concept of “biohacking” is growing in popularity in Silicone Valley. You only need to watch videos of Tim Ferris, author of the 4 Hour Work Week, to get an idea of what I’m talking about. Daily blood tests. Supplements galore. Extended fasting.

The health benefits of fasting are well documented. And it’s a practice more of us would benefit from. 16 hour intermittent fasts help me keep my weight under control. You’re essentially skipping a meal and creating an 8 hour eating window.

Sustainable. Easy to do. Beneficial. Not Dickensian.

For illustration purposes only…

For illustration purposes only…

Why Do Tech CEOs Present Unappealing Lifestyles?

Whenever you read the typical lifestyle of a tech CEO, it’s all early morning rises. HIIT workouts. Restricted calorie diets. Little sleep. On the go. All the time.

And while this lifestyle has it’s benefits and it probably accurately reflect what a tech CEO, do they really expect us to believe they don’t enjoy the fruits of their hard work? If you’re a successful, wealthy CEO, don’t you ever kick back on a yacht moored off St Tropez?

For many people, starting a business, growing a company, earning good money is to - one day - create that sort of lifestyle. But when we read of Dorsey’s lifestyle, it’s seems prohibitive, exclusive, unappealing and unsustainable.

But perhaps Dorsey’s got it right. Maybe he’ll live a long and healthy life into his centenary years.

Maybe I’m wrong in questioning Dorsey’s state of mind. However, he is the head of one of the most important tech companies of the 21st century. Wouldn’t it be better for all of us if he presented a way of life that’s less about “biohacking” and more about balance?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.