Bob Harper is heading back to The Biggest Loser as the host of the rebooted version of the show.
The fitness expert, who was a trainer on the show for 16 seasons before taking over as host for the last season in 2016, announced the news Friday morning on Today.
“The Biggest Loser is coming back!” Harper, 53, told host Sheinelle Jones. “We are so excited about this reboot … I mean, this show is going to be bigger and better than ever.”
Harper also addressed the criticism that the original show, which aired its last season in 2016, has received for its emphasis on weight loss and the extreme dieting often required to win. He said that they will focus more on helping the contestants after they go home.
“Whenever you talk about weight loss, it’s going to always be controversial, always,” he said. “But what we really want to do is, we’re trying to approach it in a completely different way. We want to help them while they’re on the show, and when they go home. The aftercare is going to be super important for them too, because you come on to our show and you’re learning so much, and then whenever it’s time to go home it can be a really hard adjustment.”
The change is likely an effort to reverse the trend among former Biggest Loser contestants who have re-gained the weight they lost after returning home. An expansive study published in 2016 found that most contestants had slowed metabolisms as a result of the weight loss methods on the show, and never recovered.
Harper emphasized that the reboot, which will air on USA next year, will be different, and that he comes from a new perspective after suffering a widowmaker heart attack in 2017.
“It’s been a big adjustment,” he said. “That’s why I’m so excited to come back on to the Biggest Loser, because I related to those contestants way more than I’d ever related to them because I went from being this CrossFitter, working out so hard every day, to not being able to walk around a city block without getting winded.”
Harper said that he was “back at square one” after he got out of the hospital.
“I really want to bring my recovery onto the show, because I know what they’re going through,” he said. “It is a struggle and you just do the best that you can, but I feel great.”
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