Personal trainer Bob Harper is well-known for whipping his teams into shape on NBC’s hit reality show The Biggest Loser, beginning its 13th season this fall. His motivational style has earned him a wide following, not only with viewers, but also with scores of fitness enthusiasts who can’t get enough of his popular daily group fitness classes in Los Angeles, and a long line of A-list celebs who keep him booked with private training sessions.
Harper believes that the power to change comes from within, and stresses the importance of self-acceptance, the philosophy behind his DVD series, “Bob Harper: Inside Out Method,” a high performance, results-centered training program that integrates mind, body, and spiritual fitness. Similarly, his book Are You Ready! aims to get at the root of negative thought patterns and destructive behaviors, replacing both with a clear way to build self-worth and confidence.
True to his philosophy, Harper isn’t content to rest on his success, but keeps pushing himself to do more. His new DVD, “Ultimate Cardio Body,” provides a high-intensity exercise program similar to that followed by contestants on The Biggest Loser. His latest book, The Skinny Rules, offers safe, healthy ways to shed the pounds. And for those who want to maximize their weight loss results, he’s even endorsing a line of supplements. Recently, he sat down with Amazing Wellness to talk about his latest endeavors, his own fitness and diet regimen, and his secrets to staying motivated.
What inspired you to become a personal trainer?
I grew up on a farm so I was always pretty active, but it wasn’t until later in life that fitness became the primary focus for me. When I started working out in a gym in my 20s, I really liked the feeling there. Seeing trainers working one on one with people was something that really interested me, so I decided to pursue it.
How do you motivate your clients and contestants on The Biggest Loser?
I really try to make working out fun and give them an active role in their lifestyle change. It’s all about showing them a new way of living and having the results speak for themselves. Nothing is more motivating than feeling stronger, getting leaner, and most of all feeling better!
What do you do to stay in shape yourself?
I’m obsessed with CrossFit [a program that combines intense movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, and weightlifting] and do that type of workout six days a week with one day of rest.
You were a vegetarian and vegan for more than three years, and now eat animal products. What made you go back to eating meat?
I felt like my body needed animal protein because I saw a decline in my performance in the gym. I still recommend that people eat plenty of fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies.
So what does your typical daily diet look like?
My diet consists of front-loading my carbs in the morning with a bowl of oatmeal, and then I get the rest of my nutrition from animal protein, veggies, little starch, very low sugar, and plenty of nuts and fat.
How does your supplement line help jump-start weight loss?
The key ingredient in The Smart 7-Day Cleanse is senna, an herb which works with the body’s natural elimination process to gently detoxify and flush the system of digestive waste.
The Smart Weight Loss Starter Kit includes a daytime formula, which contains naturally sourced caffeine to provide increased energy during the day, and an evening formula, which is caffeine-free.
Bob Harper’s Smart Weight Loss features the ingredients in the daytime formula that can be found in the kit. The formula is vegan-friendly and gluten-free, and includes key weight-loss ingredients that have been clinically proven to be effective in clinical studies.
The path to successful weight loss can be confusing when you don’t know where to start. These supplements help equip you with the tools to start you on your weight-loss journey.
What is your favorite way to unwind?
Working out is one way that I unwind, and I also love photography so I like to take a lot of pictures.
What dietary supplements are essential to your daily regimen?
My daily multivitamin, flaxseed oil, and fish oil.
What is your favorite food?
Right now I love a piece of grass-fed filet with grilled asparagus—yum!
Do you have a guilty-pleasure food?
I love nachos for a guilty pleasure.
What motivates and inspires you to do what you do?
I absolutely love what I do, and when I see someone’s light go on in regard to changing bad habits, it makes me so happy. I feel like I will be doing this type of work for my entire career.
COMMIT TO BE FIT!
Commit to a weight loss or fitness plan and surround yourself with a virtual support team at facebook.com/THEVITAMINSHOPPE, where you can select a healthy goal on the “Commit To” tab. Plus, join the Commit to Be Fit Summer Sweepstakes and enter to win a prize pack full of products! Every 2-3 weeks through August, a new prize will be unlocked.
Bob Harper’s SMART Tips
Here are Harper’s 5 rules to live by to shed pounds and keep them off, from his new book, The Skinny Rules.
Make it your pre-meal policy to drink a large glass of water prior to every meal. Prepare yourself for a good start to the next day by putting a large glass of water on your nightstand, and drink it first thing in the morning.
Enjoy a cup (or two) of black coffee or espresso! Research shows that drinking black coffee each day is associated with lower rates of diabetes, clearer thinking, and more robust anti-inflammatory gene expression. It will help suppress appetite and increase calorie burning. Limit consumption to two cups per day.
There are few foods in life that you should consume every single day. Apples and berries are two foods that should be eaten daily, as these fruits are rich in phytochemicals which help out your metabolism and act as powerful natural anti-inflammatories. Even better, they help lower bad cholesterol.
Although this is tough, try your best not to consume any carbohydrates after lunch. Snack on fiber, vegetables, fresh fruit, or protein instead of hitting the carbs. Remember to eat lean and green (especially in the evenings).
Get adequate sleep. Believe it or not, sleep is an ingredient in your weight-loss diet. Avoid alcohol consumption after 8 p.m. Commonly, people think that alcohol aids the sleep process; however, alcohol is a form of sugar, and sugar destabilizes the low metabolic state needed to sustain sleep.