Al Roker maintains his 165-pound weight loss 12 years after gastric bypass surgery by following a portion-controlled, high-protein, low carb diet and exercising several days a week. The 5-foot-8 Roker, who once tipped the scales at 340 pounds, now weighs 175 pounds and has never felt better.
Roker, who has been an anchor on the Today Show since January 1996, misses eating huge portions like he used to, but can no longer physically consume as much as food as before. “I like quantity, but physically, I just don’t have the interest in the same amounts as I used to,” he said.
Roker said nothing will change until the overweight spouse decides that it’s time to get healthy. When he finally did (he has lost more than 100 pounds since undergoing gastric bypass surgery in 2002), he said he and Roberts began participating in healthy activities together.
“It’s not that we don’t love you; it’s not that we don’t care. It’s just that right now, we’re not prepared to deal with it for whatever reason, whether it’s emotionally or physically,” he wrote.
A recent study found that mixed-weight couples, in which the wife is overweight and the husband is not, experienced greater conflict than other couples, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Another recent study revealed that those in happy marriages may gain weight, while those in unhappy marriages tend to lose weight.
Roker, who slimmed down from 340 pounds to 190 pounds following his 2002 gastric bypass weight loss surgery, regained 40 pounds in 2008 when his mother was hospitalized. Overcome with grief and stress, Al, a self-professed food addict, turned to comfort foods and was unhappy when he gained weight. “I went back [to being fat again],” Al told the Today Show. “And I hated it.”
These days Roker keeps the excess pounds at bay by following a high-protein, low carb diet. Low carb diets promote rapid weight loss by forcing the body to burn fat for fuel in a state called ketosis, said Dr. Eric Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity.
Al also exercises several days a week, doing strength training, running and cycling workouts. Roker enjoys biking around Manhattan but said he’s annoyed by aggressive pedestrians who don’t look where they’re going.
“My biggest concern is the pedestrians,” said Roker. “They don’t look, they step off the curb without looking, they walk in the bike lanes. I’m not allowed to ride on the sidewalk, why are they walking in the bike lane?”
While Al ‘s weight still fluctuates a bit, especially during the holidays, he’s healthier and happier than ever. “I feel good,” said Roker, who’s married to TV journalist Deborah Roberts. “Every day is a battle. There’s no secret: It’s less food, more exercise.”