Ex-Vegan Bob Harper Talks Paleo-Style Low-Carb Weight Loss Diet And Animal Protein Power: Update

Famed as The Biggest Loser trainer with longevity, Bob Harper is candid about what it takes for weight loss success. But just what does the king of fitness eat each day away from the cameras? Harper visited the Rachael Ray show on to reveal the skinny. UPDATE: Get his recipe for spaghetti squash casserole below: It's worth its weight in gold!

Bob emphasizes the importance of eating enough protein and fat to curb cravings. By automating your meals, you can avoid temptations such as the aroma of fresh-fried doughnuts wafting from that bakery, says Bob.

"I am a creature of habit; I eat the same thing over and over again," he says of following his own advice.

For a Paleo-style breakfast, Harper recommends protein, non-starchy carbohydrates in the form of vegetables and fat. His version of that meal consists of scrambled eggs with zucchini and salsa.

"I like to roast my vegetables a lot, that's what I did with my zucchini. I hit protein, fat and carbs every single time I eat," says Bob.

And he disdains the trend in egg-white omelets.

[I eat the] whole egg, because I want to get the fat, right? I want to get the protein and the fat. However, if I want more volume…I'll bump it up with extra egg whites. Always two eggs, maybe three, but I'll stick with the two and then I'll go to like four egg whites, so it's like still yellow.
Harper also bypasses temptation by taking portable snacks wherever he goes. Those foods include fruit, nut butters, and protein shakes.

As for dinner? Bob loves his Paleo-style low carb dinner that emphasizes protein and non-starchy veggies, he emphasized.

Dinner is one of my favorite ones…I have a huge salad with chicken, and that's what I eat. I do a chicken – I do it from rotisserie a lot of times, and I strip it off, throw it in there. I wish you could see how big this salad is!
Why did Harper end his vegan diet and decide to include animal protein in his daily food plan? An advocate of CrossFit, Bob told the Los Angeles Times that he felt his body needed animal protein for power. And he admitted that he felt guilty when he tried to hide the fact that he had switched from a plant-based diet to a low carb diet with foods such as eggs.
I found my performance was really lacking in the gym. I just felt better and I felt stronger. In the beginning, I was quietly eating my egg whites in the morning. Oh my God, I felt so bad. I just couldn't help it. I just couldn't hide it any more. It works for me. Of course, I am a huge proponent of eating as many green vegetables as you can and going meatless once in a while.
Bob's not the only famous ex-vegan, as the Inquisitr reported. Both Anne Hathaway and former President Bill Clinton recently ended their vegan diets for low-carb Paleo-style plans.

Hathaway agrees with Harper that animal protein helps to boost energy.

"I just didn't feel good or healthy," said Anne about her former plant-based diet while consuming eggs and sausage at an interview.

And for Clinton, advice from his physician Dr. Mark Hyman convinced him to switch for weight loss benefits.

"It's hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch. I know a lot of fat vegans," said Dr. Hyman.


Try Bob Harper's Spaghetti Squash Casserole Recipe:


Olive Oil Spray

4 ounces ground white turkey

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 cup roasted veggies (I like red peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower)

1 cup cooked spaghetti squash

1/2 cup Marinara (recipe follows)

1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese

For the Marinara:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 28-ounce can low-sodium crushed tomatoes

1 bay leaf and 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil


Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Coat a small skillet with olive oil spray and heat over medium heat. Add the turkey and garlic. Sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, breaking the turkey into crumbles.

In a medium bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. When the turkey is done, add it to the bowl and toss to combine. Pour everything into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes.

For the Marinara: Heat the olive oil in a medium pot. Sauté the onion in the oil until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the broth, tomatoes and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaf, stir in the basil, and voila - delicious! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]