★FitStars: Bob Greene

bob-greene-585Ya’ll probably know Bob Greene best as Oprah’s personal trainer, but Mr. Greene is everywhere these days. He’s got books, a new workout DVD (which we’ll be reviewing tomorrow—woo hoo!), and a whole new line of popular Best Life foods. The man is busy.

We recently had the opportunity to chat with Bob about his new DVD and get the inside scoop on what Oprah is really like. Read on for his best weight-loss advice and his thoughts on Oprah’s very public weight struggle.

  • FBG: Why did you decide to create the Total Body Makeover DVD?
  • BG: I had always viewed TV as something that prevented us from being more active. In addition, many of the original TV/DVD workouts were not vigorous or even complete enough for my taste. So for many years, I avoided doing a workout on DVD (or VHS in the old days!). I started viewing workouts in front of the TV differently when I saw the potential of some of the interactive formats. I thought of ways to make a complete and challenging workout on DVD. Thus, the inspiration for the Total Body Makeover DVD.
  • FBG: How is your DVD different than other workout DVDs on the market?
  • BG: This workout is different from many of the other DVDs in that it addresses not only the exercise component but also the eating, as well as some of the emotional challenges of changing your workout and eating habits. In short, it gives you a complete lifestyle plan. In addition, I wanted to address all of the components of a well-rounded program, such as cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and balance.
  • FBG: Does the DVD work in conjunction with the Best Life diet?
  • BG: Yes, the DVD works very well with the Best Life diet, and it is supported by information found on thebestlife.com.
  • FBG: You’ve long been Oprah’s trainer and have helped real women make lifestyle changes. What are your thoughts on shows like The Biggest Loser and others that show dramatic weight-loss?
  • BG: While apparently very popular as entertainment, reality shows that feature dramatics employ techniques that are not realistic and sometimes not sound, and they often send the wrong messages.
  • FBG: Oprah has been very open about her battle with weight and emotional eating. How have you helped her to get back on track? And, in your opinion, what’s holding her back?
  • BG: Oprah is on track after experiencing several health challenges. She has since been cleared to exercise and is back being active on a regular basis. Her big challenge, as she has stated in various ways, is that she uses food for everything from comforting herself to expressing happiness, sadness, disappointment and virtually all human emotions. This is in addition to not putting herself first on the “list.” Work often comes before her health and fitness, as do other people, charitable efforts, etc. I think this is improving and will continue to improve as the final year of her show is just ahead.
  • FBG: If someone wants to lose weight, what’s the first step he or she should take?
  • BG: The first step someone should take is to know exactly why they want to lose weight. Hopefully that is not a surface type of emotion such as, “I want to get ready for my reunion” or simply look better. The reason should be more along the lines of, “I want to lead a better, healthier life.” Next, they need an active lifestyle. The final step is to gradually improve their eating choices and reduce calorie intake gradually.
  • FBG: What’s the biggest mistake you see people making when it comes to working out or eating right?
  • BG: The biggest mistake people make is addressing only one or the other of the things they need to do. Namely, exercise, eating in moderation and looking at the emotional reasons they haven’t done those two things in the past.
  • FBG: What is a good food plan for people with thyroid issues like Oprah?
  • BG: There are many types of thyroid conditions, and it is important to know what type and the underlying cause in order to answer this question. It’s very important to consult your physician.
  • FBG:What’s your typical workout schedule?
  • BG: I do at least one hour of cardio every day. I usually run for the hour. Twice a week I take a 90-minute bike ride. I strength train four days a week.
  • FBG: What’s your usual diet?
  • BG: I follow, almost to the letter, the Best Life Diet.
  • FBG: What’s Oprah really like?
  • BG: The nice thing about answering this question is that she is herself on air (like no one else I know). What you see is what you get. She often disarms people with how down to earth she is.
  • FBG: If you could tell all the women in the world one thing about living a healthy life, what would it be?
  • BG: The best advice I can give is to know the life you want, know that you deserve it, and go after it with a passion.

Good advice. A big thanks to Bob for taking the time to talk with us! Stay tuned to tomorrow when we review his new workout DVD and give away a massive Bob Greene goodie bag! —Jenn

FTC disclosure: We often receive products from companies to review. All thoughts and opinions are always entirely our own. Unless otherwise stated, we have received no compensation for our review and the content is purely editorial. Affiliate links may be included. If you purchase something through one of those links we may receive a small commission. Thanks for your support!


  1. Stephanie says:

    His last statement is the best. What a powerful idea.

  2. This was quite interesting. I did not know everything that you wrote here before until now. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Great blog, this could be the best blog I ever visited this month. Never stop to write something useful dude!.


    THANK YOU BOB GREENE FOR CHANGING MY LIFE. I got your book here in South Africa “TOTAL BODY MAKEOVER” Accelerated program of Exercise and Nutrition. I thought yeah nice sales pitch. It happened exactly like that. I’d given myself 6 months to achieve my goal. Had implemented all 5 nutrition rules. Drinking water was the last. Soon I was taking in 3 liters a day without thinking about it. Within 12wks I had lost 14kg and shrunk 10 dress sizes. I was running a guesthouse then and breakfast was from 6H30 . I realised I would have to give up sleep time to get fit .Did not even fill in the personal declaration. My mind was made up. On 4th Jan ’07 at age 58 I started my life changing process. Up at 3H30 each morning 7 days a week for 12wks – scared if I left off one morning would I get up for the next?
    Alternating mornings: one was floor : stretching abs – some glutes for 1hr + 1hr in our 12m poo.l 10 laps increased to 100 and 200 over weekends . Next morning 60 reps of each weights exercise -started with 21/2 kg and 4 kg and worked up to 4kg and 5kg + 1 hr in pool. Having dieted for 40 yrs with same heartache each time I was not going there again. I’d conquered emotional eating by then by only eating for hunger. Ate Min carbs no sugar and fat – lots of veg and fruit. Joined Virgin Active Gym to do fitness test – result good to excellent at 58. Then started Spinning for the first time. Have since taken this so much further – it’s now a passion – did Spinning International’s Instructor course here in Johannesburg
    with Anthony Bishop a Master of the Sport. He must have recognised my passion and encouraged me to teach. At 64 yrs of age I am a Spinning Instructor and teaching at a beautiful new Gym. I maintain if you love music and Spinning being an Instructor is as good as it gets. My partner has appointed a manager in my place freeing me to chase my dream. Kindly come back to me on my personal email – I can send you pics – cannot believe where I am today. How I wish you had written that book 20yrs ago. Have told how many about your book – when they see me. Still believe the biggest battle is between the ears. Now 5years on my weight is the same OFTEN less – I spin with a heart rate monitor and by keeping my maximum heart rate to under 80% I burn body fat for fuel and can eat anything but don’t. Still grilll and steam and pull off chicken skins. THANK YOU BOB ! GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK . YOU ARE INSPIRING PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD. I WANTED YOU TO KNOW I HAVE A BIO AGE OF 47 AND WILL BE 65 IN JAN ’14. EXERCISING IS JUST WIN WIN WIN AND HAS BOUGHT ME TIME. WARMEST REGARDS LAURIENNE YATES laurienneyates@gmail.com

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