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Bob Harper Talks Apple Watch and Health and Fitness

We talked to the "Biggest Loser" trainer about fitness tech, how to drink and still lose weight, and his number one weight-loss tip.

No matter what your health and fitness goals, there's an app, tracker, or other tech tool out there that can help you reach them faster. It just so happens that some of them can take phone calls.

"I think that especially if we have a goal—I’m very goal oriented—having a tool is the best thing," says Bob Harper, celeb trainer and star of NBC's The Biggest Loser. "A long time ago on our show we used this thing—it was called a Body Bug—and people really responded to it," Harper recalls noting it was "clunky" and very early on in the fitness tech game. "Now, all of a sudden, the Apple Watch is just like that on steroids. It’s just giving us so much! Now everything is just on your wrist."

Harper has kept an Apple Watch on his wrist since it debuted. "I’m a watch guy. I love my watches—and since I got my Apple watch, I  haven’t worn any of my other ones. I’m obsessed with it," says Harper. 

Harper will be in New York City next Tuesday, August 4th at 6 p.m. to talk about the fitness/tech intersection—and more—at the Soho Apple store. But before he sits down with Apple's Director of Health & Fitness Technologies, Jay Blahnik, he talked to Men's Fitness about exactly what's so great about the Apple Watch, the upcoming season of The Biggest Loser, and his top exercise and diet tips. 

Men's Fitness: What’s more important: Diet or exercise?

Bob Harper: Diet!

MF: Do you think they emphasize diet enough on the show?

BH: No, I don’t, and that’s what I’m going to hope to change this season. Diet is 80% of having the body that you’re looking for. You can go to the gym for an hour a day, but it’s what you do in those other 23 hours that really counts. When I go into a coffee shop or something and I see somebody in their workout clothes, and they’re like eating a muffin and drinking a 500 calorie drink, I’m like, you have just wasted that hour in the gym!

MF: One of the buzziest topics out there now is this idea of healthy fat, and there’s all this new research saying that it’s gotten a bad rap over the years. Where do you stand?

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BH: People are so concerned about fat, [but] processed, non-fat foods are what’s really making them fat. Our bodies need [good healthy fat]—our brains need that! It’s great for your workouts. Don’t worry so much about your fat, worry about those carbs that you’re eating, those starchy, sugary carbs that aren’t doing anything but storing as fat in your body. I’m a Paleo guy, so I start my day off every day with one of those Bulletproof coffees with the ghee and the MCT oil, and that’s what I have every single morning.

MF: So speaking of Paleo, I know you’re a big proponent of CrossFit. What are the key things that you think CrossFit gets right?

BH: It’s all about functional training, it’s all about constantly varied movement. You’re not specializing in one thing, you’re doing many things. When I started doing CrossFit, I was a runner. I was a slow twitch fiber guy—I could go for a long time. I would take the spinning classes and all that. And CrossFit kicked my a** all over the place! I thought I was in shape, and I wasn’t, because I put myself in one lane.

So now, doing CrossFit for the years that I’ve been doing it, what I really like about it is that it’s about really overloading the body, doing high anaerobic movements, and for a shorter amount of time. So it’s actually put less stress on my body than when I was taking a boot camp class and running on the treadmill for all this time. I got so injured from doing that, and it’s like this has just really worked for my body. And I’m about to turn 50 and I feel like I’m in the best shape of my life.

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