By Jason Knapfel – DietsInReview.com
Bob Harper, a Biggest Loser trainer and one of the world’s most famous fitness instructors, is a vegan. The long-time vegetarian took the vegan plunge for a reason that may shock you. Even though he is the picture of health, Bob Harper was shocked to learn at a routine physical three years ago that his cholesterol levels were high. Since he obviously exercised and ate well, it must have been a genetic predisposition.
This led Harper to look into plant-based diets. So he tried a vegan lifestyle, which means no meat, eggs, or dairy of any kind, to see if this would lower his cholesterol. Once he made the lifestyle change, his cholesterol levels dropped an amazing 100 points.
Addressing the impact that his new-found veganism made on his life, Harper tells Fitness Magazine the following:
“My body went through a major transition, but I can say as a vegan and now 45-years old, I feel better, stronger, and cleaner. This diet is a great fit for me. I’m not condemning animal eaters, but just showing there’s another option that’s out there.”
He’s a Vegan… But Not Strictly Speaking
Hell hath no fury like a vegan scorned. When word spread that Bob occasionally allows himself to eat eggs, cheese, or even meat, the Internet was abuzz with venom from fundamentalists who called him a hypocrite and even a detriment to their movement.
When asked by Star magazine if he had a cheat day, Bob responded, “I donít necessarily have a cheat day, but I do allow myself to indulge once in a while without beating myself up. The other day I broke down and had some pizza and it was so good!”
Harper is a vegan for health reasons, but he’s also an animal rights advocate who works with the organization Farm Sanctuary, an animal protection organization that promotes laws and policies that support animal welfare.
Obviously Harper isn’t too concerned about the minority of people who are angry at his slips or conscious occasional decisions to “cheat,” otherwise he wouldn’t Tweet to all the world when he indulges (“I woke up craving egg whites today so decided to have them….so crazy!! It’s been so long.”).
Harper’s advice to those who want to try being a vegan is pretty much the same as it is for everyone:
- Don’t skip breakfast, or you risk bringing your metabolism to a screeching halt.
- Don’t forget to snack. Some of Bob’s favorites are hummus, Greek yogurt with berries, and of course fresh fruits and vegetables.
- A simple vegan standby for Bob is the tasty and easy-to-prepare quinoa with black beans and salsa.
- Preparation is key. “No matter what diet you follow, eating right isn’t easy and takes planning,” says Harper.
Photo: Chris Haston/NBC