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Video: Bob Harper’s 6 ways to lose weight and keep it off

  1. Closed captioning of: Bob Harper’s 6 ways to lose weight and keep it off

    >> we're back at 8:37. this morning on "today's health," simple rules to losing weight . bob harper , the longtime trainer on nbc's hit show "the biggest loser" has helped countless contestants shed hundreds of pounds. now, he's put his advice into a new book called "the skinny

    rules: the simple nonnegotiable principles for getting to thin." bob, good to see you. welcome back.

    >> really nice to see you, two.

    >> two words in that title jump out at me. simple, nonnegotiable, not so simple.

    >> when i wrote this book. which by the way is out today, you can go to bobharper.com and get it. i wanted to show people sometimes rules are not meant to be liked they're meant to be followed.

    >> but nonnegotiable means they're very strict and a lot of people have a difficult time following that.

    >> well, i mean, we live in a day and age right now that we are really battling obesity and we have to have a set of rules to live by. it just -- i know that it worked for me with all my contestants throughout the seasons and it's like, i put them on the rules and it works.

    >> i want to get to some of the specific rules in a second. but before we do that, talk about this 80%, 20% idea.

    >> i love the idea that 80%, 20%, because if you and i are doing everything that we're supposed to be doing 80% of the time, then we have that 20% that we get to play with. there's a splurge meal that we get to have once a week that's going to kind of keep everyone on track.

    >> and that's because most people have a very difficult time following something 100% of the time.

    >> i think that 100% of the time is for just a really small percentage of people that know how to live that very athletic, crazy mental toy. and it's like i admire it. but i can't do that.

    >> let's get to the simple rules . one of the things you want people to do to lose weight , drink a large glass of water before every meal, no excuses.

    >> no excuse on that. want you to drink a big, huge glass of waters soon as you get up in the morning, too. going to help your digestive system and your metabolism.

    >> you go with the eight glasses a day?

    >> i want you to have eight to twelve and it's going to be great for your skin, too.

    >> all right, eat protein at every meal. what form should it take?

    >> every single kind of protein that you want. that you can have. there's salmon, pork, chicken, eggs, i have eggs always in my refrigerator. i need things to be quick and easy.

    >> you like this one a lot. you say people should eat berries and apples every single day.

    >> antioxidants and fiber. the more fiber i can get you to eat the more satisfied your body is going to be and the less likely you'll be able to overeat.

    >> all right. and here's a very important one, one day a week, you make that a meatless day. you're talking about not just red meat . you're talking about --

    >> no animal protein whatsoever. i get people to really focus on having more fruit and vegetables. it's really important. vegetables, you're never going to gain weight, matt, eating vegetables. the sky is the limit. don't count the calories. have them any way that you like them.

    >> do you find that people are satisfied? is that a hard one for people to follow.

    >> yeah but there's so many rules, the last one we're going to be talking about, going to bed hungry. hardest rule in the book.

    >> let's talk about that. it happens to me. i get to the end of the day , i'm hungry. i don't want to get in bed hungry because i think i'm going to toss and turn all night. i have a snack right at the end of the day .

    >> what i have to do is so many people is get them on a routine and the routine is about three hours, at least three hours before you go to bed i don't want you to have any food in your system. you're going to get up in the morning. you will actually have a more sound sleep, you'll get up in the morning and let me tell you, you'll be ready to eat. you'll be ready for that breakfast.

    >> as long as you don't jump in and have eggs and bacon and hash browns and things like that. and plan one splurge meal every week.

    >> hugely important. you have that meal, and you will stay on track. you'll be more likely to keep all this up.

    >> bob harper . and you've had success, so clearly if people follow these rules hopefully they will, as well. the book is "the skinny rules." you can find bob's recipes on

TODAY recipes
updated 5/15/2012 8:14:40 AM ET 2012-05-15T12:14:40

Recipe: Banana-nut cinnamon muffins

  • 1 small extra- ripe banana
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 8 large egg whites
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Mash the banana in a small bowl with a fork.

3. Mix all ingredients except the walnuts in a food processor or blender.

4. Fold the walnuts into the batter.

5. Line 4 of the cups in a 6- cup muffin pan with paper liners.

Divide the mixture among the lined muffin cups.

6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until done. (A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.)


Nutrition information per serving: 343 calories, 24g protein, 47g carbs, 7.6g fat

Serving Size

Makes 4 muffins, 2 servings

Recipe: Spicy quinoa paella

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup diced zucchini
  • 4 ounces chicken, cubed
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup low- sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1. Heat a skillet over medium- high heat. Coat with olive oil spray.

2. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell pepper for 4 to 5 minutes, until tender.

3. Stir in the pepper flakes, oregano, coriander, and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add the chicken and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook all sides.

5. Add the quinoa and allow it to toast for 2 minutes.

6. Pour in the broth, lower the heat, and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is cooked through and the broth is absorbed.

7. Add the spinach and stir in until wilted.


Nutrition information: 363 calories, 5g protein, 45g carbs, 5g fat

Serving Size

Makes 4 muffins, 2 servings

Recipe: Seared pork with lemon and thyme sauce

  • Olive oil spray
  • 4 ounces thinly cut pork loin chop
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low- sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced

1. Heat a skillet over medium- high heat and lightly spray with olive oil.

2. Season the loin with cracked pepper. Place in the skillet and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Add the broth, lemon juice, thyme, and garlic to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Simmer until sauce reduces slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add the pork to the sauce and cook until no longer pink, 2 to 3 more minutes.


Nutrition information: 235 calories, 33.7g protein, 2g carbs, 9.5g fat

Recipe: Wild salmon with lmeon herb oil and roasted tomatoes

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • 5 ounces wild salmon fillet
  • 1 cup Roasted Tomatoes

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Spray a sheet of foil with olive oil.

2. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and basil together in a small bowl.

3. Put the fish on the foil and coat with the lemon- herb oil. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the fish flakes when probed with a fork.

4. Serve with roasted tomatoes.


Nutrition information: 338 calories, 32g protein, 16g carbs, 12g fat

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