Al Roker on Keeping Weight Off During the Holidays: ‘Every Day Is a Battle’

Al Roker has done one of the most difficult things anyone can accomplish, and that is lose weight, keep it off, and do it all in public. The Today Show weatherman has lost over 100 pounds since his gastric bypass surgery in 2002.

Al Roker
Al Roker | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Since then, Roker has kept the weight off, but not without an intentional daily effort. The holidays are no exception, with all the parties and get-togethers and their accompanying rich desserts, casseroles, cakes, and dinners.

Find out how the 65-year-old strategically deals with staying fit during the most delicious time of year, plus his favorite sweet potato casserole recipe. Everything in moderation!

Roker ushers in the holidays with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Roker’s presence at the New York City parade held every year on Thanksgiving Day is a tradition. He has helped to host the event since 1995 with hosts varying from former Today weatherman Willard Scott to Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira, Ann Curry, and now Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb.

Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, and Hoda Kotb hosting the 2018 92nd Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Left to right: ‘Today’ hosts Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, and Hoda Kotb at
the 2018 92nd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade | Eric Liebowitz/NBC

“Every year, it’s different in a sense,” Roker told OnTV last week, “whether it’s the weather or different balloons or different floats. It’s still one of those things where you come to it and you’re amazed that you’re a part of people’s holiday and people’s tradition. …”

“I grew up with this, and it never even entered my imagination that someday, I would be part of it.”

Roker’s weight struggle and the holidays

While even the most vigilant fitness buff may take it easy during the holidays, Roker has learned he simply can’t expect to slack off and maintain his weight loss. The Today star has developed some tips for enjoying himself during the holidays, while keeping control.

“My strategy is I don’t deprive myself,” he told the New York Daily News in 2014. “I have a spoonful of whatever it is I like and that’s that. I just can’t physically eat as much as I used to, sadly.”

“I feel good. You know, every day is a battle. You fight it every day. It’s an addiction. There’s no secret — it’s less food, more exercise.”

Roker also shared his strategy when ordering in a restaurant that helps him watch his portions.

“If we go to dinner I tell the waiter, ‘Take whatever it is, cut it in half, put the other half in a doggie bag and put the other half on my plate.'”

Roker’s favorite sweet potato casserole

Yet, as disciplined as Roker is, he realizes that life is for enjoyment as well and makes certain to enjoy those holiday dishes that he has loved for years. Including his mother’s sweet potato casserole.

He posted on the Today website last year about this beloved recipe.

“I don’t know where my mom came up with this recipe. I’ve heard of many versions of it from the South, but my mom wasn’t from the South! Somehow, though, it became a Thanksgiving staple for our family.”

Try Al Roker’s family sweet potato casserole recipe, found here.

Read more: Kelly Clarkson Eats This Each Day To Maintain Her Almost 40-Pound Weight Loss