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Thread: Has Al Roker gone Primal? Sure sounds like it! page

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    meeshar's Avatar
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    Smile Has Al Roker gone Primal? Sure sounds like it!

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    The gross story about him sharting in the White House soon after his gastric bypass has been in the news lately, but I found the rest of his story much more interesting--it sounds like after gaining weight post-bypass, Roker has gone Paleo or Primal, or something akin to it.

    "He embarked on a 28-day detox during which he cut out caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy and gluten. By the end of the four weeks, he had lost 28 pounds. In addition, he altered his diet permanently: Today he eats only whole, unprocessed foods that are high in protein and low in carbs. And he embarked on a “slow method” workout regime that involves three 30-minute exercise sessions each week. Strength training creates more lean body mass, which in turn burns more calories, Snyderman explained."

    Al Roker: I'm never going back to fat - TODAY Health

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    Sounds like he's had a consult with Dr. Eades.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
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    I have found Primal to be the best lifestyle for weight maintenance once the goal weight is reached. Now seems like regardless of the macros and calories (which are kind of self-regulating) I am consuming, as long as it's all in the context of no grains and no simple carb whole foods, I keep at the same weight and body comp.
    That's pretty amazing, considering I used to gain weight only by breathing.
    Good thing for Rocker for figuring this out.

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    the other videos that followed this one were also very good. I pulled the following interview with Robert Lustig on his new book

    TODAY Video Player - popup
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    the other videos that followed this one were also very good. I pulled the following interview with Robert Lustig on his new book

    TODAY Video Player - popup
    Would I be putting a grain-feed cow on a fad diet if I took it out of the feedlot and put it on pasture eating the grass nature intended?

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    They way it's described, without any reference to Diets, just as a process, makes it sound much more manageable, realistic, and appealing, I think, to new readers. I like that fads weren't mentiond at all, no hype about gluten-free diets or anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by namelesswonder View Post
    They way it's described, without any reference to Diets, just as a process, makes it sound much more manageable, realistic, and appealing, I think, to new readers. I like that fads weren't mentiond at all, no hype about gluten-free diets or anything.
    I agree, it sounds so much more realistic. I'm especially happy because Al Roker was at one point an unofficial spokesman for gastric bypass (as was Carnie Wilson) and I really hope that this will help other bypass patients consider a better way of eating. Carnie Wilson had a second weight loss surgery (a Lap-Band on top of her RNY pouch) but is still struggling, likely because she's still adhering to CW diets. Long-term success after WLS is an elusive thing that few attain, and I know this from experience. I hope Al Roker's story helps others out of the CW dieting mindset and into a sustainable lifestyle change. ::crosses fingers::

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    No, I'm pretty sure Al is NOT primal. There are quite a few hints in the Today Show story that point to him not being Primal:

    • No Primal would stay on gluten-free sugar free only for a "28-day detox." For us, that detox is forever.
    • No Primal struggles with keeping the weight off, as Al says he does.
    • Look at Al jogging in the t-shirt. Rolls of fat! Probably 45 pounds worth. After four years, I believe a Primal would have done better.
    • No Primal would have stopped to write a book about weight loss while he still had 45-50 extra pounds to lose. Al probably thinks he is done; a Primal would have kept going.
    • A Primal would have shouted his diet from the rooftops, almost proselytizing... come on, admit it, we've all done it. But Al never said Primal or Paleo or Caveman.
    • Nobody on the Today Show accused him of being nuts. That alone is proof.


    I looked up reviews of Al's book on Amazon. There are only 11 reviews so far, but all of the reviews are about "inspiration" and "recharge your willpower" and other CW diet psychobabble. Not one of the reviews mentions Paleo or Primal. If Al were Primal, it would have shown up in the reviews.

    If I were to guess, I would say that Al's diet is the usual version of Moderation Healthy CW. I would also guess that Al is at the "Insidious Weight Gain" point on Mark's Carbohydrate Curve. Enough that he won't balloon, but enough that he'll never lose those last pounds.
    5'0" female, 43 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Current weight: skinny-fat 106.5 lbs because of sugar cheating.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I aim for 80-90 g carb/day and advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

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    oxide's Avatar
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    Hmm.... the Lustig interview is very good. Unfortunately, the stress is all on sugar. Dr. Lustig briefly says that potato chips and French Fries are bad too, but then all the talk turns to sugar or corn syrup. Nobody seems to want to talk about the concept that ANY wheat or corn becomes sugar in the bloodstream too, in fact they are worse than sugar. No one is giving up entire food groups.

    It's a step in the right direction, but I think we're going to be stuck with healthy CW for a while.
    5'0" female, 43 years old. Started Primal October 31, 2011, at a skinny fat 111.5 lbs. Low weight: 99.5 lb on a fast. Current weight: skinny-fat 106.5 lbs because of sugar cheating.

    MY PRIMAL: I (try to) follow by-the-book primal as advocated by Mark Sisson, except for whey powder and a bit of cream. I aim for 80-90 g carb/day and advocate a two-month strict adjustment for newbies. But everybody is different and other need to tweak Primal to their own needs.

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    meeshar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oxide View Post
    No, I'm pretty sure Al is NOT primal. There are quite a few hints in the Today Show story that point to him not being Primal:

    • No Primal would stay on gluten-free sugar free only for a "28-day detox." For us, that detox is forever.
    • No Primal struggles with keeping the weight off, as Al says he does.
    • Look at Al jogging in the t-shirt. Rolls of fat! Probably 45 pounds worth. After four years, I believe a Primal would have done better.
    • No Primal would have stopped to write a book about weight loss while he still had 45-50 extra pounds to lose. Al probably thinks he is done; a Primal would have kept going.
    • A Primal would have shouted his diet from the rooftops, almost proselytizing... come on, admit it, we've all done it. But Al never said Primal or Paleo or Caveman.
    • Nobody on the Today Show accused him of being nuts. That alone is proof.


    I looked up reviews of Al's book on Amazon. There are only 11 reviews so far, but all of the reviews are about "inspiration" and "recharge your willpower" and other CW diet psychobabble. Not one of the reviews mentions Paleo or Primal. If Al were Primal, it would have shown up in the reviews.

    If I were to guess, I would say that Al's diet is the usual version of Moderation Healthy CW. I would also guess that Al is at the "Insidious Weight Gain" point on Mark's Carbohydrate Curve. Enough that he won't balloon, but enough that he'll never lose those last pounds.
    I feel silly for debating on an article (seeing as I don't know the man, haven't read his book, I only have what the article and video presented) but I did want to contest a few of your points.

    #1. It states in the article after mentioning the detox (which sounded a lot like whole30 to me): "In addition, he altered his diet permanently: Today he eats only whole, unprocessed foods that are high in protein and low in carbs." I haven't read his book (very tempted to now) but I found an article with a few of the recipes from his book, and aside from rice, they are definitely leaning toward Paleo/Primal, with few carbs and no wheat or processed foods.
    #2. That's a sweeping generalization. I do agree that after going Primal most people don't *struggle* against weight gain, but I know that I can and do sometimes gain even while eating Primal.
    #3. Al Roker used to weigh 340 lbs. The rapid weight loss associated with gastric bypass results in extremely loose skin. I'm not saying he's fit and trim and it's just skin, but he is never going to have washboard abs without visiting a plastic surgeon. I know this from personal experience.
    #4. I agree with you on this one, however I get the impression that this is more of a memoir about fighting obesity, with a few tips on what he's found that works (and is still working) for him. I still wouldn't have written it if I still had weight to lose though, so I agree on that point. It's not "Al Roker's Awesome Diet Plan" though, it's "Never Going Back".

    I agree that nobody on the Today show said he was nuts, big red flag there, lol. I don't agree that his diet is "CW Moderation" though from what I've read so far. And based on the "low carb" mention plus looking at the recipes, I don't agree that he's probably in the "insidious weight gain" part of the curve either.

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