Biggest Loser

Bob Harper on the One Food You Should Eat and Why Happy Hour Is So Wrong

Oct. 14, 2013 at 5:53 PM ET

Bob Harper
NBCUniversal /
Bob Harper

iVillage caught up with Bob Harper to find out what we can expect to see on season 15 of The Biggest Loser -- and to ask about some of his most important skinny rules.

iVillage: What are some of the most exciting things we can expect to see on the new season of The Biggest Loser?
This season is all about second chances. You are going to see a great group of people that were carefully handpicked by the trainers to get that second chance for a life they always wanted, but didn't know how to get. We also have Ruben Studdard on our show this season, as well as Olympian Holley Mangold. We have a great cast this season.

iVillage: What advice do you have for someone who is new to exercise and totally intimidated by the gym?
I understand someone being intimidated when they first go to the gym, but once you get in the doors and start to acclimate to the surroundings, that intimidation will turn into motivation. We all have to start somewhere -- when you start to change that mentality, everything will fall into place.

iVillage: What about staying motivated to stick to a diet and exercise plan, especially after hitting a weight-loss plateau?
That is the million dollar question! It is so easy to start something, but it is very difficult to stay motivated because, let's face it, it could get boring or monotonous. People must realize that to keep the motivation, you must really find something that you enjoy doing and when it comes to your diet, you have to find a way to eat wisely, consistently. When it comes to a healthy lifestyle, the key word to success is consistency.

iVillage: What’s the workout you’ve seen the most success with on The Biggest Loser?
It would have to be CrossFit. I have found great success with using this style of workout because it is constantly varied and you never get bored. You want to find a way to really challenge the body in a workout and keep your body "guessing" what is coming next. When you approach your workout like that, the word "plateau" will be a word that will not be in your vocabulary.

iVillage: How do you "break up" with a trainer who isn't getting you results?
You have to realize that it's just business. There are times that you outgrow your trainer and it's okay. I think communication is the key and you must say to yourself, "Am I getting what I need in these workouts?" If the answer is no, talk to your trainer about changing your program up, and if that doesn't work, it is probably time to move on and that's okay.

iVillage: If you could eliminate one food out of everyone's diet, what would it be?
That is a really tough question, but I immediately want to say that any foods with partially hydrogenated oil or high fructose corn syrup would be the first to go in the trash can. The American diet has suffered tremendously in the past two decades and we need to go back to eating real food that hasn't been overly processed. I'm all for moderation, but you have to have guidelines and some form of structure on what you eat and what you should stay away from.

iVillage: If you could add one food to everyone’s diet, what would it be?
Any and all green vegetables! We have got to start getting ourselves and our families to consume more veggies that aren't potatoes or corn.

iVillage: What’s your cheat food? How often do you allow yourself to indulge?
It changes, but I really love Italian food like pasta and pizza. I'm all for the 80-20 rule. You spend your week eating wisely 80 percent of the time and then you can "slack off" 20 percent of the time.

iVillage: What are your skinny rules when it comes to happy hour?
Stay away from happy hour. It's like a land mine for your diet.

iVillage: What about ordering a drink with dinner or another social occasion?
Think of it as your "carb" intake for your meal and choose wisely. Have one glass of wine or a vodka and soda.

iVillage: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten about working out and eating healthy that you try to pass on to contestants on The Biggest Loser?
The quote that I still live by for both myself and my contestants on The Biggest Loser is "Believe in yourself, Trust the Process, Change Forever." You have to be in your own corner and you have to find the motivation within yourself to really make a change. And when you do that, you will have that healthy life that you have always dreamed about.

The Biggest Loser airs Tuesdays at 8 ET/7 central on NBC

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