Since September 2018, Al Roker, 64, has been on the keto diet and the results have been phenomenal. The high-fat, low-carb program – which has earned praise from such celebs as LeBron James, Vanessa Hudgens, and both Kourtney and Kim Kardashian – has helped the once rotund Today show weather forecaster shed some major weight. “I’ve lost about forty pounds,” Al said on the March 4 episode of Today, much to the amazement of Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb. On top of that, his cholesterol levels – a common concern with the keto diet – are fine and dandy.
“Yeah, my cholesterol, just had it checked out a few weeks ago, everything’s good,” he said. When Savannah, who was once on the diet (“You and I were keto partners for a while, and then I broke up with keto”) said that she struggled with sweets, Al had a suggestion. “You know what I do? I have two pieces of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate every night right before I go to bed. Or sometimes, if we’re out to dinner, I ask them to bring be a bowl of whipped cream.” If that doesn’t sound too outlandish, Al shares his meal plan on Instagram, including “meatza,” aka a dough-less pizza.
At his heaviest, Al Roker weighed 340 pounds, according to Good Housekeeping. His weight got that high because of a combination of “not feeling worthy,” he said in 2013, along with being worried he “wasn’t as good as he thought he was,” and that he just “really liked food.” However, as he wrote in his memoir, Never Goin’ Back: Winning The Weight Loss Battle For Good, Al made a promise to his dying father, Albert Lincoln Roker, Sr., that he’d drop the weight. “I don’t know if you’ve ever had to make a deathbed promise to someone you love, but if you have, you know the kind of guilt and massive responsibility I felt in that moment.”
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 4, 2019
Al underwent gastric bypass surgery in 2002, and though he lost more than 100 pounds, he revealed in a 2013 interview that it had unexpected – and embarrassing – consequences. “I probably went off and ate something I wasn’t supposed, and as I’m walking to the [White House] press room, I realized, ‘I have to pass a little gas here,’ ” he began. “And I thought, ‘Who’s going to know?’ Only, a little something extra came out… I pooped my pants.”
When his mother was hospitalized in 2011, he slipped off his diet and gained up to 40 pounds. “I consoled myself with food. I got blindsided and, I think, to a certain extent, I got cocky.” Thankfully, he’s been able to shed the weight, thanks to keto. The diet aims to have a person get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates, according to WebMD. When a person eats less than 50 grams of carb a day, the body breaks down protein and fat for energy – putting a person into ketosis. When done right, it can help a person lose weight, though WebMD notes that it’s a “short term” diet focused on weight loss than the pursuit of health benefits.