For viewers who criticized “The Biggest Loser” as a product of the unhealthy marriage of reality TV and at-all-costs weight loss, Bob Harper hears you.
“We’re really focusing on the after-care with the reboot,” the 54-year-old personal trainer told Page Six at the NBCUniversal New York Press Junket on Thursday. “Not only with a gym membership but a nutritionist and a support group.”
The heavily tattooed Harper returned to the show after a heart attack nearly three years ago, and he’s stressing how both he and the show have mellowed out.
“We want to give you all the tools you need because what I’ve learned in this business is that, no matter how you lose weight, fast or slow, 80 percent of people gain their weight back. Those are the cold hard facts. So it’s about accountability, it’s about changing your life.”
Harper hasn’t chilled out that much, though — he still emphasizes a “no days off” approach to health.
“Keeping [weight] off is so difficult because you’ve got to keep doing it, every single day … I knew I had to be here today. I had to get up really early and do my workout before [I came here] because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to. I didn’t want to, I wanted to lie in bed with my dogs,” he said.
Harper’s personal life has evolved along with his outlook. He got engaged to longtime boyfriend Anton Gutierrez in June 2019, and says while shooting the newest season of “Biggest Loser” in Santa Fe has been distracting him from his nuptials — the pair haven’t set a date yet — he wants to keep things low-key.
“You know what sounds great? Eloping — just like eloping and having a party. I’m not going to walk down some aisle, you know. I’m not going to do that,” he told us.
Also changing is Harper’s diet, which has moved from an Atkins-adjacent high-fat, high-protein approach to “more plant-based, low-fat” following his health scare. “I haven’t cut out meat completely, but I don’t have as much, especially red meat. I really miss it. I will say whenever my fiancé is eating a burger, I really enjoy kissing him even more.”
And while Harper doesn’t have an explicit statement on former “Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels‘ controversial comments on Lizzo, his diplomatic comment does reflect a progression from the “Biggest Loser” of old: “Her weight is none of my business unless she hires me.”
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