Catching Up with fit2fat2fit’s Drew Manning (the 2019 Edition)

(Photo courtesy of Drew Manning)

By: Jacob Elyachar,

I am so delighted to welcome back my friend and fitness entrepreneur Drew Manning to Jake’s Take.

It has been three years since we last sat down for A Conversation. Since our last interview, Drew reinvented his career as a strong advocate for the ketogenic diet and just like Fit2Fat2Fit, he inspired countless people to transform their lives for the better by implementing the diet.  Drew hopes to expand those transformations in a new book called Complete Keto: A Guide to Transforming Your Mind and Your Body for Life. He also launched the weekly podcast, The Fit2Fat2Fit Experience.  On the podcast, Drew went candid about popular health and fitness trends and sat down for conversations with a plethora of industry experts.

In this edition of Catching Up, Drew opened up about his new book, The Fit2Fat2Fit Experience, and he revealed his favorite peers in the fitness industry.

Jacob Elyachar: How have you grown as a fitness entrepreneur since we last sat down for a conversation?

Drew Manning: I had season two of my TV show, which came and went by the way. It was success, but for whatever reasons they (A&E Network executives) finished after season two. They did not ever tell me why.  Since then, my brand has totally taken off. For the past two years or so, I changed some things in the structure of my business. I have a whole new marketing team that helps me with sales funnels, Facebook ads, and e-mail campaigns. Those items have taken my business to a whole other level.  I have also become known as the Keto Guy. My 60-day Keto program has been downloaded over 300,000 times.  I went on The Doctor Oz Show to talk about the ketogenic diet and it has exploded in popularity.

Jacob Elyachar: You are a very strong advocate for the Keto Diet. In your humble opinion, what makes this diet stand out against other popular diets?

Drew Manning: Believe it or not, the ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s. When it was first discovered to help children with epilepsy, the diet helped get rid of their seizures, so it has been remarkable from that sense. The thing that’s so interesting about the ketogenic diet is yeah, you could use it for weight loss and fat loss like any other diet out there. But, the cool thing about it is that you are in an entirely different metabolic state when you are in ketosis. Your body is running off of a different type of an alternative fuel source that is known as fat. Our body breaks down fat, and in turn, it converts into ketones. Ketones are that alternative fuel source to glucose, which is what we usually use when we eat carbohydrates. You are in an entirely different metabolic state where you are burning fat as fuel. There are so many other therapeutic applications with newer research coming out on how the keto diet helps out with several medical conditions. The studies claim that the keto diet helps out Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, certain forms of cancer, traumatic brain injury, brain toxicity, and epilepsy. There is all this new scientific research that gives the keto diet these legs that are different than just another diet to lose weight.

(Cover property of Penguin Random House)

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about your new book, Complete Keto: A Guide to Transforming Your Mind and Your Body for Life. How long did it take you to write this book? What can my readers learn from this book?

Drew Manning: Great question, Jacob. The actual writing process was a long hard six months and I know that does not sound like a long period of time, but there is so much work. Between writing drafts and sending it to the publisher to receiving their edits. Then, I re-wrote it and send it back to get their edits again.  What makes Complete Keto different than any other keto book out there is I took the mental and emotional lessons that I learned from Fit2Fat2Fit and I incorporated them into a ketogenic approach with Complete Keto. I had also taken the things that I have learned from my divorce on personal development, happiness, and fulfillment and added that into a ketogenic program, so there is a 30-day keto program that has meal plans and recipes and workouts. All the keto one on one science that you need to know, all those physical tools that you need to be successful on the ketogenic diet, but I have also implemented tips and hacks on the mental, emotional, spiritual side to help you with a complete transformation and that is why I called it Complete Keto.

Jacob Elyachar:  What were some of the challenges that you faced throughout the career? How did you overcome those obstacles?

Drew Manning:  There are so many obstacles. One was navigating the waters of reinventing my brand if you will.  Fit2Fat2Fit will always what I will be known as at the core. But then to come into the keto space of being recognized as an influential keto expert, taught me how to shift in the industry because it is very versatile. Like fitness and health are always changing, constantly moving, what’s the next big thing. For me, it was just being able to adapt to that new environment of, “Okay, now I am a keto expert now how do I teach people to do keto the right way?” I had to put a lot of time and effort into researching, talking to experts, doctors, and scientists, reading the latest books, listen to the newest podcast, looking at the most recent research on how to do this diet the right way. Some other obstacles were writing the book. It was so challenging. I am a single dad, and I prioritize my time with my daughters, and there were times when I had to sacrifice family time to meet deadlines. That’s just the life of an entrepreneur, anybody that works long, hard hours. That was hard too, man. Just adjusting to that and finding that balance of like, you know, how much am I willing to personal time am I willing to give up to fulfill this goal? I knew that it was temporary to work and hustle and grind to, you know, lose some sleep a little bit during that process of writing the book, but it knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Luckily, we are almost there.

(Podcast cover property of Fit2Fat2Fit)

Jacob Elyachar: Your podcast, The Fit2Fat2Fit Experience, will celebrate its second anniversary. What have been some of your favorite interviews? Why did they stand out?

Drew Manning: On The Fit2Fat2Fit Experience, we talk a lot about keto, nutrition, health, and fitness. I also bring on doctors and experts as well. One of my most popular interviews was with Dr. Dominic D’Agostino. He is the doctor that went on The Joe Rogan Experience and he made keto popular. Dr. D’Agostino did the actual scientific research on the ketogenic diet.   To be honest with you,  the most popular podcast episode was episode 100.  If you have not listened to it and you do not mind me being vulnerable, raw, and honest with you guys about my story of what I went through with my divorce.  In this episode, I described how I got through my divorce, overcame certain obstacles, changed my perception of myself, and how I learned to love myself, my own story, and embrace vulnerability.  That was probably one of the biggest episodes that I have done. It is the most downloaded, it is still the most talked about. Another memorable podcast episode was when I talked to Christine Hassler.  I think she was the only one who almost made me cry. She’s a life coach and she pulled at the heartstrings.  That’s where I think people really struggle is not just physical change.  Because physical change is more of a mental and emotional journey then people think. They think that it is just going to be physical and they can just solve it by eating less and workout.  But, mentally and emotionally that is where people struggle the most and so those were a few that stuck out.

Jacob Elyachar: I did listen to episode 100 and it was probably one of the most moving podcast episodes I ever listened to.

Drew Manning: Thank you.

Jacob Elyachar: As someone who has followed you on your journey and as a longtime friend, I got to give you kudos for being brave and sharing your story with the world.

Drew Manning: I appreciate that Jacob. Yes, it is hard to come out and share your story with the world.  My purpose in sharing it was to help other people that have been through similar situations, because there are a lot of people that struggle in silence. Sometimes, it takes something like that to get the courage to embrace vulnerability and own your story, so thank you Jacob. I appreciate you listening to that.

Jacob Elyachar: Who are your favorite fitness trainers in your field? Why do they receive your stamp of approval?

Drew Manning: Three people stand out. First are Chris and Heidi Powell from Extreme Weight Loss. I have become good friends with them over the years and the thing about them is they really do come from a place of love, respect, and they really care about their clients.  These are two people who did not do what I did and get fat on purpose. But, they still have that empathy for people and I think it’s really cool to see someone like that. The other person is Shaun T.  People love his Insanity and Beachbody programs.  He has been a good friend of mine for a while now.  He and his husband became parents to twins and that’s cool to see their lives transformed. We are like minded because both of us talk about the mental and emotional sides of transformation and that is why I think I connect really well with him. They are not out to get anybody or cause drama. All three of them are team players and that is what I like about them.

Jacob Elyachar: If you had the chance to meet with people who are struggling with their fitness journey, what advice would you share with them?

Drew Manning: When it comes to health and fitness, it could be about the individual’s own self-worth. It is not about being skinny or ripped. That’s not for everybody. Not everyone wants to look that way. I think most people just want to be healthy and they want to be fit.  Yes, if they could take a pill and magically it turns them into a fitness God. We would love that, but I think for the most part, it comes down to someone’s self-worth.  What I would tell them is, you know, you are worth it. Whoever you are, you are worth it to continue to fight for your health. If you could just focus on the process and the habits and stay consistent with that and not define yourself by the results and not place your value on, “Oh, I am successful if I hit this weight or if I look this way.” Get rid of the results! Focus just on the process and realize that your version of healthy on your body is going to look different than my version of healthy and that’s okay. Do not get sucked into the myth, the lies that our society or culture puts on you to say, “Hey, you are not of any worth unless you look a certain way.” Do not buy into that mentality! It’s a myth, it’s false and it is just going to cause misery for a lot of people. You are worth it to continue to fight for your health and whatever that healthy looks like for you, that is okay.

For more information about Drew, visit his website

You can also connect with Drew on social media.  Visit his Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter & YouTube channels.

Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar