The fact that billionaires can afford expensive personal chefs or high-end healthy food doesn’t mean they favor healthy eating. While some are experimenting with the latest health trends like paleo diets and veganism, there are other tech billionaires who like to eat chocolate for breakfast or give up eating altogether for days at a time.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, estimates that he drinks 20 cups of tea a day.
«I’m not sure I would have survived without English Breakfast tea,» he told the Daily Mail in 2016. Branson starts his day with fruit salad and granola for breakfast. Sometimes the billionaire eats smoked fish, similar to herring, instead.
Branson lives on his private Caribbean island of Necker. The billionaire fills his days with exercise, time with his family and business meetings, which he prefers to schedule «at lunchtime» to «lift his spirits.»
For dinner, he said, he prefers to have group get-togethers «where stories are shared and ideas are generated.» Branson said he goes to bed around 11 p.m. and sleeps for about six hours.
Amazon co-founder Jeff Bezos said he likes to take his time in the morning and eat a healthy breakfast.
Earlier this year, Bezos’ fiancée Lauren Sanchez revealed that Bezos makes pancakes every Sunday morning. «He pulls out a Betty Crocker cookbook every time, and I’m like, ‘OK, you’re the smartest person in the world, why haven’t you memorized the recipe yet?»‘» — Sanchez told The Wall Street Journal.
Bezos is also «extremely dedicated to working out» with his personal trainer Wes Okerson, she said.
When he’s not eating Sunday pancakes, his breakfast choices can be eccentric. According to D Magazine, during a 2014 meeting with a small e-commerce company that was eventually acquired by Amazon, Bezos ordered a breakfast of Mediterranean octopus with potatoes, bacon, green garlic yogurt and a poached egg. «You’re the octopus I’m going to eat for breakfast,» Bezos told his interviewees. «When I look at the menu, you’re something I don’t understand, something I’ve never eaten. I need octopus for breakfast.»
Microsoft founder Bill Gates likes Diet Coke so much he drinks three or four cans a day.
Earlier this year, Michelin-starred chef Jordi Cruz revealed that Gates once reserved his entire restaurant for two days and ordered only Diet Coke.
Gates’ eating habits aren’t much better than those of other billionaires. He eats cocoa puffs for breakfast. Although his ex-wife Melinda Gates has said in the past that he refuses to eat at all. He also apparently loves cheeseburgers. In a Reddit AMA in 2016, Gates replied, «Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger,» when asked about his favorite sandwich.
In the Netflix series Inside Bill’s Brain, Gates talked about his love for the powdered drink Tang.
Steve Jobs was known for his peculiar food preferences. According to Walter Isaacson’s biography, the Apple co-founder would sometimes eat only one or two foods at a time for weeks at a time.
At one point his diet consisted solely of carrots and apples. At one point in time he was a «fructurian» and ate only fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains. Jobs told Isaacson that he «renounced meat» when he was a freshman at Reed College and later gave up grains and dairy. Jobs apparently thought that because of his vegan diet, no odor emanated from his body. The Apple co-founder believed he didn’t need to use deodorant or shower regularly, according to Isaacson’s book. Jobs would sometimes starve himself for days at a time, which he said made him feel euphoric.
In 2003, when Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he tried to cure himself through diet, eating lots of fruit juices and carrots. Five years later, he reintroduced fish and other proteins back into his diet after having part of his pancreas removed. But by the time of his death in 2011, the Apple co-founder was on a liquid diet.
Tesla CEO Ilon Musk doesn’t have the healthiest diet. «If there was a way to not eat to work out more, I wouldn’t eat,» Musk said.
Musk used to skip breakfast — or eat a Mars bar or donut — to start his day. «I try to cut back on sweets, and I should have an omelet and coffee,» Musk said in 2017. But he doesn’t seem to have curbed the habit much. Earlier this year, the billionaire revealed on X that he eats a donut every morning. «I prefer to eat good food and live a shorter life,» Musk said in 2020.
Lunch is as inconsequential a meal for Musk as breakfast. The billionaire said that whatever his assistant brings him during meetings, he «absorbs it in five minutes.»
Instead, Musk focuses on dinner. In a Reddit AMA in 2015, Musk said his favorite cuisine is French and barbecue. Like Gates, Musk seems to be a fan of Diet Coke. In 2022, he wrote on X that he doesn’t care if Diet Coke «shortens life expectancy.»
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has experimented with different types of diets.
In 2011, he set himself a «personal challenge» to only eat meat from animals he had killed. His «kill what you eat» diet included goats, pigs, chickens and lobster. Zuckerberg wasn’t shy about sharing his loot with friends and house guests.
He once hosted Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and treated him to a slaughtered goat, Dorsey told Rolling Stone magazine. Dorsey said he remembers that the meat was served cold, so he limited himself to a salad for dinner.
In 2012, the former Twitter CEO revealed that his daily breakfast at the time consisted of two hard-boiled eggs with soy sauce. Dorsey was also into popular diet fads. He was a vegan, but too much beta-carotene (an orange pigment found in carrots) caused his skin to turn orange. So by 2013, he switched to the paleo diet, a hunter-gatherer regimen that prohibits refined sugar, grains, and processed foods.
In 2019, Dorsey said he eats only once a day during the work week and then fasts all weekend, following a dietary trend popular in Silicon Valley at the time called «intermittent fasting.» The Twitter co-founder said it helps him focus. By 2020, however, Dorsey said he was eating seven times a week — only dinner.
Back in 2015, Warren Buffett told Fortune that he is «one-quarter Coca-Cola,» adding that he drinks five servings a day.
Although he usually eats the first can with «potato stix,» he sometimes replaces it with ice cream. Buffett jokingly said he eats «like a six-year-old» because actuarial tables show that six-year-olds have the lowest mortality rate, Fortune notes. Bill Gates, a friend of Buffett’s, noted that his fellow billionaire eats mostly McDonald’s hamburgers and Oreo cookies.