New Details About Al Roker's Keto Weight Loss — Including The Before And After Pics

Photo: Instagram
New Details About Al Roker's Keto Weight Loss — Including The Before and After Pics

Al Roker reveals he's dropped 40 pounds on the keto diet — see the before and after pics!

Since September, TODAY co-anchor and weather and feature anchor Al Roker has lost 40 pounds. How did he lose the weight?

Roker has been following the ketogenic or keto diet. He’s talked openly about embracing the keto diet and he often shares recipes of keto-friendly dishes on Instagram.

So what is the keto diet and why does Roker support it? Here are the details of Al Roker's keto weight-loss journey, including the before and after pics.

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1. What is the keto diet?

The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet where the body turns fat into ketones for use as energy. Essentially the diet involves eating foods that are low in carbs and high in healthy fats such as those found in avocado, fatty fish, nuts and seeds, butter and cream and cheese. The keto diet shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. 

The TV personality also discussed whether he's been able to keep his cholesterol numbers healthy while sticking to the diet. 

“My cholesterol — just had them checked a couple of weeks ago. Everything’s good.”

2. His beef with Jillian Michaels.

Roker has openly supported the trendy diet and has also defended it against critics. Trainer and fitness guru Jillian Michaels recently slammed the keto diet, saying it’s “a bad plan” for people who want to lose weight and get healthy, and she can’t understand why anyone would want to do it. Instead, Jillian recommended to Women’s Health Magazine to exercise, limit processed sugars and grains, and keep an eye on calories.    

Michaels’ comments prompted a strong response from some fellow celebrities, who defended the trendy yet controversial diet.

In January, the 64-year-old star responded, “What works for you, works for you. There’s science on both sides that says it’s not a great idea and science that says it is a great idea.”

He added, “I think it’s up to people, with their doctor, with their medical professional (to make their own decision).”

On January 10, he shared his thoughts on Twitter: "So @JillianMichaels says #Keto is a bad idea. This from a woman who promoted on camera bullying, deprivation, manipulation and more weekly in the name of weight loss. Now those sound like bad ideas." 

Michaels responded by sending him a personal video on Twitter asking him to read her book, noting “nutrition is about way more than weight loss.”

3. He lost 10 pounds in two weeks.

Roker said he lost 10 pounds in the first two weeks of being on the diet. He told PEOPLE the most difficult part of the diet was avoiding carbs like bread. 

“The toughest part is not eating bread,” Roker said. “Last weekend I was in Paris to drop my daughter off at school for her sophomore year. I think it’s the first time in 35 years going to Paris, but I did not have any croissant or any bread.”

Roker has admitted he occasionally gives in to his cravings as the diet is quite restrictive. In December, he confessed that he “fell off the keto wagon” at the NBC Nightly News Christmas party.

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4. His cholesterol has improved.

Since starting the keto diet in September 2018, Roker’s cholesterol and blood pressure readings have improved.

“I started September 1. I’ve been checking my blood work and vitals every month, and my cholesterol got better — it was good to begin with. My blood pressure is great,” he said on the Today show. 

5. He grew up loving food.

Roker said he grew up loving food, coming from a family of six siblings. His father was a bus driver and his mother had to find creative ways to feed her children on a low budget so he didn’t always eat the healthiest.

When he married his wife, Deborah Roberts, in 1995, Roker said he felt pressure due to their notable differences in weight. His wife became frustrated when it seemed he didn’t care enough about his health to make a change.

In 2011, Roker knew he had to lose the weight for the sake of his family and himself. Before his father died, he made Roker promise him that he’d drop the weight. He knew that after making a promise like that he couldn’t let his father down.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love, but if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment,” he told Good Housekeeping.

6. He’s struggled with his weight.

In 2013, he was happy with his weight once again.

“I’m thrilled about where I am,” Roker said. “Life is terrific; I wouldn’t trade it for a moment. But you always wonder where you would be if ‘x’ hadn’t happened. I’m thrilled that I’ve finally got to this place at 58 years old. I finally got it figured out. I feel good about it.”

He wrote about his weight-loss journey in his book, "Never Goin' Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle For Good."  

7. He had gastric bypass surgery.

In 2002, Roker was his heaviest weighing in at 340 pounds. That’s when he decided to undergo gastric bypass surgery. He slimmed down to 190 pounds.

But after he shed the weight, his old habits returned. When his mother was hospitalized, Roker turned to junk food for solace and regained 40 pounds: proof that it’s possible to “eat through a bypass,” he told Today at the time.

“I went back,” Roker told Today’s chief medical editor, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, in a recorded segment that preceded his live interview with Lauer. “And I hated it. I know what I have to do now to keep that from happening again.”

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Maria Lianos-Carbone is author of "Oh Baby! A Mom's Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year" and publisher of amotherworld.com.

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