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Al Roker explains why the keto diet works for him

The TODAY meteorologist had a response to critical comments about the popular diet by celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels.
/ Source: TODAY

Al Roker explained on TODAY Friday why the ketogenic diet has worked for him in the wake of critical comments about the popular regimen by celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels.

Al, who began the diet in September, said the decision to try keto should be an individual choice.

"My point is, what works for you, works for you,'' he said. "There's science on both sides that says it's not a great idea and science that says it is a great idea.

"I think it's up to people, with their doctor, with their medical professional (to make their own decision)."

Al addressed his approach to the keto diet after Michaels criticized it in a video for "Women's Health" magazine.

"I don’t understand,'' she said. "Like, why would anyone think this is a good idea?"

The ratio of fat to carbs and protein is 4:1 in the keto diet, with a goal of burning fat for energy rather than carbohydrates in order to lose weight.

"Your cells, your macro molecules, are literally made up of protein, fat, carbohydrates, nucleic acids,'' she said. "When you do not eat one of the three macro nutrients — those three things I just mentioned — you’re starving yourselves."

Al responded with some harsh words for the former "Biggest Loser" trainer on Twitter Thursday.

He said on Friday that Michaels responded to his tweet with an email, but he didn't want to divulge her message because it was private. He did note that his health has been great since embarking on the diet.

"I've been checking blood work and vitals every month, and my cholesterol has gotten better,'' he said. "It was good to begin with. My blood pressure is great."

Al has embraced the keto lifestyle, including sharing his recipe for keto-approved muffins with Savannah Guthrie after the TODAY anchor turned him on to the diet.

Savannah spoke about her experience with Dr. Mehmet Oz on his show in November, saying she had less energy to work out due to the reduced carbohydrates but that her brain felt sharper throughout the day.

"In some ways you have to deprive yourself,'' Savannah said. "No carbs whatsoever, and that's really restrictive, but it's opened up some things that I would never let myself eat a lot of, such as cheese and bacon, so I like that."

Interested in trying the keto diet? Here is a quick explainer on getting started, and here is an account from a woman who tried it for 30 days.