"The Biggest Loser" star Bob Harper says diet has a greater impact on weight loss than exercise, dispelling the myth that you can out-exercise poor eating habits.
"It is all about your diet," Harper told Reuters. "I used to think a long time ago that you can beat everything you eat out of you, and it's just absolutely not the case."
It's a sentiment echoed by almost all fitness experts, who insist that no matter what type of diet a person follows, achieving a calorie deficit is what matters when it comes to weight loss.
However, Harper underscored that exercise plays a critical role in overall fitness. Bob is a fan of CrossFit, a strength and conditioning program that combines weightlifting, sprinting and body-weight exercises done at high intensity.
While many people think CrossFit is only for people who are already in shape, Harper says the program can help even morbidly overweight people slim down and tone up.
"I'm working with people who are 500 pounds and doing Crossfit on a regular basis," he said. "Crossfit just completely makes sense [as long as] you work at your level doing the things you can do with proper coaching."
Harper, who at 48 has the rippling physique of someone two decades younger, converted to a vegan diet a few years ago after a doctor's visit revealed he had high cholesterol due to a genetic predisposition. After following the plant-based diet for about a year, he slowly began incorporating animal proteins back into his diet.
"I found my performance was really lacking in the gym [on a vegan diet]," he told the L.A. Times in June 2013. "I just felt better and I felt stronger. In the beginning, I was quietly eating my egg whites in the morning. 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.”