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.
“My strategy is I don’t deprive myself,” Al told the Daily News. “I have a spoonful of whatever it is I like and that’s that.”
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, 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.”
Roker’s weight has fluctuated since then, but he’s determined to never regain too much. While Roker is thrilled with the results of his weight loss surgery, he admitted it had its drawbacks. Shortly after getting gastric bypass, Al suffered an embarrassing gastrointestinal incident during a White House press conference.
I probably went off and ate something I wasn’t supposed to. And as I’m walking to the press room, [I’m thinking] well, I gotta pass a little gas here. I’m walking by myself. Who’s gonna know?
Only a little something extra came out. I pooped my pants. I threw out the underwear and went commando.”
Roker joins a growing number of celebrities who have dramatic amounts of weight following bariatric weight loss surgery. “MasterChef” star Graham Elliot lost 150 pounds after getting gastric sleeve surgery. He recently completed the Chicago Marathon.
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.”