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Exclusive: Bob Harper shares fitness tips at Self Magazine's Workout in the Park

SELF Magazine's Fitness Festival Returns to New York City.
SELF Magazine's Fitness Festival Returns to New York City.
Self Magazine, used with permission

Yesterday on May 10, 2014, Examiner.com was on the scene for a fabulous fitness event in Central Park. Bob Harper of "The Biggest Loser" fame and CRUNCH instructors led attendees in some fun exercises. The event was presented by Self Magazine and guests also enjoyed samples from Garnier, Reebok, Athleta, Victoria's Secret’s Sport, Aquaçai, Bai, Ban, Health Warrior, Emmy's Organics, Fitbit, GoGo squeeZ, KIND Healthy Snacks, popchips and Truvia. Read our exclusive interview with Bob below:

Do you have any tips or tricks for staying on track for a healthy lifestyle?

I think it's important to have those "cheat meals" because they're a tool to keep you motivated, but you can't go crazy with those, and a day turns into three days into a week because then you just fall off track. You have to realize if you're going to live a healthy lifestyle, it's a 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the time, you're eating wisely 20 percent you get to do whatever it is you want. Same with exercise. I'm a big exercise guy. I want to be able to go do whatever you want. Get your workout in, but taking days off is important for your body because your body needs time to heal. When you're working out, your body's getting broken from working out. So you need that recovery time full of nutrition to build your body back up in the right way. When you talk about what keeps people motivated, that's the million dollar question. I say to people, you got to find something you love to do, find something you look forward to do, when it comes to eating, that's why I wrote "Skinny Meals," I wanted to give people something healthy that are under 350 calories. It all works, but you have to find a way to implement it into your life. It gets boring, it gets monotonous, but that's just when you realize, "This is what my life is going to be like." Its easier to do it.

Do you have any recommendations or tips to keep portion control when it comes to junk food?

Yeah, you shouldn't be eating that shit. I think that unless it's your cheat meal there's no way to gauge how much crappy food I should be eating. I follow a zone method, protein, fat and carbs into every single meal. So I could theoretically get to a fast food place and zone out my food, but talk about little portions, it's going to be very small because those foods are nutrient deficient but high in calories. One of the biggest tips or tricks that I get people to do is: A) Don't drink your calories, if you eliminate calories from any kind of fluids, you're going to lose weight. B) To bulk up the foods you're eating with more vegetables, because no one is ever going to get fat from eating broccoli or asparagus. Bulk up your food that way because you get more food to eat and you feel more satisfied from the fiber in the foods.

What's your favorite type of workout?

I do crossfit. It's a metabolic conditioning, which is what I do, it's also strength training which I find is really important for all of us men and women as we get older, its the fountain of youth, I believe, so it's like being able to integrate more strength training into your workouts. To me, that's something I look forward to do, so that's what I do.

What are your thoughts of debunking the myth of women lifting weights become manly?

I think that bulking up, being in the Crossfit community, I see a lot of girls that are big strong girls, and they have to work so hard on building that kind of muscle on their bodies with the nutrition and the heavy weights. No girl is going to get bulky generally speaking, lifting 10 pound weights in their hands. It takes an effort and it takes a real plan to get that way.

Vivian Chen contributed reporting.