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Bob Harper had a “widow-maker” heart attack in 2017. It was surprising to just about everyone, as the then-52-year-old was supposedly the picture of healthy living. He had been a fitness trainer on the long-running, although problematic prime-time show, The Biggest Loser. He was even in the gym when he suffered a massive heart attack.
Now at 56, the television personality and author has come back into prime-time, this time as host of The Biggest Loser. His lifestyle has had a major overhaul since 2017 and we’re hopeful that his healthier lifestyle will show through in the reboot.
His book credits include The Skinny Rules, Jumpstart to Skinny, Skinny Meals, and The Super Carb Diet. There seems to be a theme in his titles. However, Harper has stated more recently in an email to The Washington Post that, “Skinny does not always equate to being healthy.”
Before his heart attack, Harper was eating a diet that minimized carbs. Speaking to Men’s Health, he explained, “Before I was eating high-protein, high-fat. I worked out really intensely. And I had this voracious appetite. [Now] I look at my protein, fat, and carbs. I tend to stay a little low fat. I stay away from red meat.”
Balance is key, Harper says. He even began practicing yoga and meditation after his heart attack. He told Eating Well, “I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for almost 30 years now, but I had to pivot my life and redefine the way that I ate and worked out.” He now eats a largely Mediterranean diet.
He continued, “I live on mostly fish, sometimes chicken, and lots of vegetables.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean Diet is a “heart-healthy” diet consisting of mostly “plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices.” Olive oil is used in moderation, and poultry and seafood are eaten occasionally. Red meat, sweets, and other processed foods are rarely eaten.
Harper recently shared one of his favorite heart-healthy recipes, his Chicken Taco Bowl on his Instagram. Subbing in nonfat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, low sodium seasoning, and salt-free tortilla chips, his taco bowl is heart-healthy and delicious. Other recipes to try include Harper’s BFF Rachel Ray’s Easy Greek Salad or Kelsey Nixon’s Mediterranean Chicken Stir-Fry.