TODAY | January 06, 2013
>>> every year, millions of americans make the resolution to lose weight . the tricky part is sticking to it. if you need some inspiration, our good friend, al roker is here. he dropped more than 100 pounds after gastric bypass surgery ten years ago. in his new memoir, never going back, he explains how he conquered the battle of the bulge . al reslint sat down with nbc's chief medical correspondent, dr. nancy schneider man.
>> reporter: ten years after undergoing gastric bypass surgery , al roker has finally shed the fat guy image. five years ago when his mother was sick in the hospital. his old habits came creeping back. he tournd junk food to cope with the pain. he gained 40 pounds. one thing you really drive home is that surgery is not the be all and end all?
>> it is just another tool in the tool box to lose weight . you could eat through a bypass.
>> and you have?
>> and i've done it.
>> here is what's happening in your neck of the woods.
>> reporter: it was from that moment on that al changed his diet for good. he went on a 28-day detox plan cutting out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and gluten. he lost 28 pounds in the first 28 days .
>> i think most people can lose the weight. it is keeping the weight off.
>> reporter: so how does he do it? al began a work-out routine called the slow method, exercise for 30 minutes three times a week.
>> i'm so happy.
>> reporter: al changed his diet to only whole, unprocessed foods high in protein and low in carbs.
>> i don't want to do points. i don't want to do this. i don't want to do that. just tell me what i've got to eat.
>> reporter: he has stuck to his new routine for the last four years and says he is never going back.
>> al, good morning. nice to have you on a sunday. when i introduced this segment, we talked about your inspiration. we have a lot of people offering advice on this show. you are not really offering advice but more or less what i did.
>> this is my path. everybody can find their own path. people said, well, you did a gastric bypass . that's a cheat tichl.s it is not how you get there but getting there and staying there. that's the hard part. the most advice i give is the people that love the people or those of us that suffer and struggle with our weight. back off. we don't need you nagging us. this isn't going to work and it is not going to happen for these folks that are suffering with their weight until they are ready for it. it is like almost any addiction.
>> this was your decision and driven in large part by the criticism you receive. you talk about overeating and you made a lot of excuses.
>> sure. i'm an emotional eater. i'm a stress eater. i eat when i'm happy. i eat when i'm sad. i have a problem with food. the only way to fight that is to eat less and exercise more. that's the bottom line.
>> is it like being an alcoholic? do you still get in a room full of food and you want to have a cheeseburger?
>> that's the difference between somebody who suffers from alcohol abuse or drug abuse as opposed to abusing food. you can go without drinking. you can go without doing drugs. you have to eat. you have to still deal with food. it's like always going in there as an alcoholic in a bar. you have to deal with it.
>> what's the pressure like? a lot of people lose weight and have their friends to deal with. you have the entire country watching you. they watched you lose this weight. do people root for you?
>> in the book, there are people who are sabateurs, my mom, you have to lose weight . would you like some cake? we equate food and love. you feel that pressure. mine is no different than the average person, because that's their world. their world is their friends, family, coworkers who know that they are trying to lose weight and are watching everything they put in their mouth.
>> you suffered a great deal of humiliation as you read this book. you get personal. you talk about an embarrassing episode at the white house . i won't get too graphic. you were going to be able to control your bowels.
>> was there a low moment that triggered the change.
>> i talk about my dad was dying of lung cancer . he said, look, we've gone around the block on this several times. you have to swear to me, you're going to lose weight , because i'm not going to be around to help you raise your kids. that brought me back. it was like, i can't lie to my dad who is dying. two months after he passed, i decided to go ahead and do the gastric bypass .
>> you did the gastric bypass . what was the level of commitment afterwards? was it an immediate change of lifestyle?
>> no. it took a while. you could still cheat in a sense because you have -- your body won't let you eat certain things and in only certain amounts. as i found out, eight years later when my mom got sick, i was able to cheat and gain 40 pounds back. that was when i finally said, i've got to change everything i'm doing. i have made exercise part of my life. i watch you. i have worked out. i watch you work out. it is an amazing thing. you have to be committed to doing this and saying that you're important enough to put yourself first, to not push back your work-out, to not change what you're eating because it is not convenient for other people.
>> it was fascinating to read that even on a road trip , you take the blender and all the things you want. i know, i fall off the rails the minute i leave town and go to a hotel.
>> that's my weekneakness. i have to be even more vigilant.
>> when you go out in public, do you hear people that say they miss the old al?
>> you were funnier when you were fat. you were smarter when you didn't open your mouth.
>> how do you take that?
>> people say what they want to say. i say, you know what, i'm sorry you feel that way but the good news is, that guy is never coming back, so hopefully, you are going to get used to me.
>> we like this guy, the happy and healthy al. the memoir is called "never goin' back."