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Meet the Guru

New Year, New Life

Star trainer and best-selling author Bob Greene shares why weight loss isn't just about food.

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Quick Takes

What is your favorite
simple weeknight meal?

My favorite weeknight meal is a grilled piece of chicken or fish with two vegetables and a wonderful whole grain such as brown rice or quinoa.

What’s your favorite way to unwind?
Hiking in a place that has
drop-dead gorgeous views.

How do you start your day?
I start my day by having a cup of black coffee or green tea, something healthful and crunchy like a Wasa whole-grain cracker with Smart Balance peanut butter, and reflecting on what I need to do the rest of the day. Then I exercise.

Bob Greene wants you to live your best life. And as an exercise physiologist, certified personal trainer, best-selling author, and the man responsible for getting Oprah Winfrey into shape, Greene can show you how to do it. His best-selling book The Best Life Diet has helped more than a million people lose weight since it was first published in 2006. Now revised and updated, the book includes more meal plans and recipes, and more of Greene’s expert advice. Ultimately, Greene’s approach works from the inside out, showing people how to make lifestyle changes that go beyond weight loss alone.

What inspired you to write The Best Life Diet?
I’ve been inspired by the men and women I’ve worked with over the past 27 years who have lost weight and kept it off. They worked hard, they didn’t look for a gimmick that made the process “easy,” and they adopted exercise as an essential part of their day. All these people took a good, hard look at the way they lived their lives and made some profound self-discovery or tough decision that was a key to their long-term success. I know that the process can be a frustrating one, so I wanted to give people as much support as possible with advice about self-discovery, exercise, and eating.

What are the phases of The Best Life Diet and why do they work?
The three phases of The Best Life Diet are Phase 1) adopting a more active lifestyle, reorganizing your eating, and tossing out the six “problem” foods; Phase 2) increasing your level of activity and learning how to internally monitor physical hunger as opposed to emotional hunger; and Phase 3) fine-tuning your food choices and living the healthy life you’ve created for the rest of your life. The phases work because you renovate your life in manageable steps and work with your physiology, not against it.

Why is exercise integral to healthful weight loss?
When you look at the people that are successful at losing weight and keeping it off, they are active-plain and simple. Study after study confirms this.

Without exercise, you have to eat so carefully that there’s no room to be anything but perfect. How do you personally stay motivated?
I have built-in motivation to stay active and healthy-it’s my livelihood! But honestly, I would still live this way even if it wasn’t my job. I don’t feel as good when I don’t exercise and when I consume foods that make me feel sluggish and not at my best. What also drives me is the idea of having the best possible life for myself and my family. I’ve found my motivation level has only gotten stronger since the birth of my daughter two years ago. I want to be a wonderful example for her.

What is one piece of advice for healthful weight loss that everyone should know?
Don’t believe there’s a quick fix, and know that you must work for results, no different than any other area of your life. And in that work and earning your goals, you achieve what’s needed most: self-esteem.