Tackling Your Diet Lean Tech Startup Style

Wednesday 10th May

By Joel Burgess

Joel is the founder and CEO of Nutrifix, a personal nutrition app that makes eating healthy easy. Utilising location-based tracking, Nutrifix will locate a meal tailored to your nutritional needs to buy, have delivered or a recipe to make. See it as your very own personal nutritionist, on the go.

We all know exercise and healthy eating is good for our bodies. What we also have to remember is the benefits both will have in business. In fact, Richard Branson’s number one productivity tip is to keep fit and exercise. Exercise and healthy eating will increase your energy levels, improve your sleep and focus, all essential elements to a successful business. JOEL BURGESS, Founder and CEO of Nutrifix gives us some tops tips for bossing your health regime.

As the founder of a growing Food Tech startup, I know all too well how hard it is to find time to exercise, however just like Richard Branson, I have made it a priority and a non-negotiable in my day.

Having been involved in the health and fitness industry, I believe a big reason why big goals to get fit and lose weight often fail, is that people try and change everything all at once. Whilst I’m a big believer in setting big health goals – much like business, these goals need to be broken down into small actionable steps. There are a number of reasons why this works for health, just as much as for business. Here I give some top tips on how to master your health regime tech startup style. The quick answer? Test and learn in short, measurable bursts.

Set short term goals to stay motivated

There are so many factors that will determine the most effective diet for you. Your body type, fitness levels, diet history, culture and age to name just a few. Everyone is uniquely different and there is no perfect diet so what works for one person may not work for you.

As a result, the best way of determining the most effective diet is to test. And as we know from tech, tests run over a short 2-week sprint are most effective and manageable. So why limit this to software development!

Setting two-week goals and tests is far more achievable than goals that run over months. Two weeks is a short enough period of time that you can try almost anything and measure your progress and success. And when you reach your goal or finish your test, you may surprise yourself at just how easy it was. And on to the next!

Surprise your body

We’ve all been there – having set ourselves huge weight loss goals we throw the kitchen sink at it. We cut calories and carbs, run 7 times a week and when we reach our weight goal, what next?! Having used every weight loss tool in our armoury we run out, motivation wanes and the weight flies back on.

Our bodies are incredibly clever and adapt quickly to our diet and exercise routine. As a result weight loss is not linear and another reason why surprising your body every 2 to 3 weeks with something new works.

Gain a better understanding of your body

By freshening things up every few weeks you also get to know your body a lot better. We all react differently to food and exercise due to our varying genetic makeup.

Ever wonder why some people can eat mountains of pasta and not put on weight whereas all you need to do to gain weight is lick a prune? This could be down to your genes. Nutrigenomics is the study of how genes and nutrients interact and a correlation has recently been discovered between obesity and a person’s ability to make Amylase, an enzyme in your saliva that helps you break down carbs. People with fewer of this gene may not tolerate carbs well and the presence and quantity of this gene in any one person could be linked back to their ancestry. If your ancestors traditionally ate a diet high in starch – well you’re probably in luck as you’re likely to have more Amylase!

Information is power so working out how well your body tolerates carbs could transform the way you incorporate your diet into your health regime, affecting feelings of fatigue, loss of concentration and weight loss. A popular and relatively easy test is a two-week carb tolerance test, which you can find out more about here.

Running profile - nutrifix

So how to start?

I run my health goals in a very similar way to my business. I set myself a 1-year goal, and then break that down into 90-day goals and 2-week tests. For example, one of my 1-year goals is to row 2km sub 6.20min and run a sub 20min 5km (whilst this may not sound hard to some – I’m 105kg and not a natural runner).

One of my goals in the next 90 days is to improve my mobility and become injury free, as this will help me achieve my 1-year goal – whilst not immediately improving my running or rowing time. And finally, a 2-week test I am about to start is to try hot yoga 3 times a week.

I would also advise writing your health regime plans down and telling someone close to you to encourage you to stick at it. Even better, enrol a friend as an exercise partner in crime as tackling a challenge is always easier with someone – a good team is the secret to both a successful business and exercise regime. Best of luck!


Find out more about Nutrifix:


Piping hot Food Tech news, delivered to your inbox!

Subscribe to our mailing list for all the latest news from the Food Tech space. Never miss out on updates on our monthly Food Tech Wednesdays meetups and our next Food Tech Week.