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Never Goin' Back: Winning the Weight-Loss Battle For Good

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  501 Ratings  ·  77 Reviews
Al Roker’s aha! moment came a decade ago. He was closing in on 350 pounds when he promised his dying father that he wasn’t going to keep living as he was. That led to his decision for a stomach bypass—and his life-changing drop to 190. But fifty of those pounds gradually crept back until he finally devised a plan, stuck to it, and got his life back.

Never Going Back is Rok
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published December 31st 2012 by NAL (first published December 1st 2012)
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Rating details
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Angela Risner
Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I haven't always been a fan of Al Roker on the Today show, but I feel as though this reveals him to be a very warm human being.

Al struggled with his weight most of his life. He would diet, lose weight, and then gain it back plus packing on more weight. Sound familiar? Yes, a lot of us have been there.

He made the decision to undergo weight-loss surgery and was able to lose over 150 lbs. However, he did end up regaining some and knew that
Julie Sousa
Mar 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Terrible. This book was so disappointing. Al Roker had the perfect platform to advocate for healthy eating, growing up with hard working parents, how he made it in his career. And he honestly fell so short, the book only skimmed the surface of his life. He never went into depth about much, except for the joking. He made (not funny) jokes about everything, it became tiresome and was a chore to finish the book.
Jan 06, 2013 rated it did not like it
Watching Al Roker on the Today show I have enjoyed his role in the group. He often plays the joker and engages the crowd as part of his wind-up to the weather forecast, but I have often felt that under his smiling facade, he wants to say something not so nice under his breath. This book shows more of the main behind the personality, but even here, he is on the defensive, and perhaps a little mean in the process.

I find I don't care for Roker's tone throughout this book. Comments about what sales
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an awesome quick read. I read an interview that Roker did with Parade magazine a few months ago. It was humurous and genuine and he offered strategies that he uses to keep the weight off.

The one that really caught my eye was weighing himself every day. I lost 43 pounds over the course of a year and have been battling with the scale, but I must admit when I started weighing myself daily it eased the pressure.

Before reading the article, I'd weigh myself once a week and be heartbroken if
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quick read. I've loved Al Roker as a weatherman and TV personality. It's nice to add him as a good author, too. Lots of funny stories about his life time effort to lose weight- pretty much the same stories/feelings that we all have in our constant diet battle. It was interesting for me to read it from a man's perspective (that was a first for me). My least favorite part of the book was the "cleanse" section- I skipped over some of that section. It felt too much like a hard sell.
Enjoyable book-
Elisabeth P.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I've just started watching the Today show within the last year, and it was interesting to read about the old Al I never knew. It focuses almost soley on his weight loss battle. It was a good read, and he gives lots of good tips. He says that you can't truly get healthy and stay healthy unless you do it for yourself.
Christine Norman
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diet
I read it for inspiration, but I'm keeping it for the recipes.
V.A. Trafton
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think we all can relate to starting and failing at diets no matter what the reason, but to stick with not regaining pounds lost takes courage, willpower, dedication and determination. Al Roker has displayed all of the above. Accomplishing such a great task changes one's life. You begin to feel better inside and out. You grasp life with a vengeance. You have a whole new outlook on things. Whatever underlying issues you may have in order to be successful you need to handle that first. His story ...more
Carolyn Moore Turner
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not a diet book, rather a story of Al's lifelong journey to weight loss and healthy living. And it will continue to be his journey; like he says, he's never going back. He does provide ideas for meals taken from his daily routine, and there are some recipes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his story.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining book. Sounds like you're watching him on TV!
Kimberly McGiverin
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love his candor and his menu/recipes.
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
In this book, Al talks about his childhood, his career, & his decision to lose weight & get healthy. Very insightful & interesting.
Christie Farrar
Mar 17, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bariatric
I suppose it would be helpful to maybe a select group of people... those who have never tried to diet, and have never learned "eat less, move more" and those coming from a place of privilege where they can afford to eat organic, grass fed lean proteins all the time.

Truth of the matter is, this was something between an autobiographical account of bypass surgery and hawking a few celebrity diets and exercise regimes -- this contained little to no actual information on bariatric surgery, and Al ha
Jan 05, 2013 rated it liked it
‘Never Going Back’ is segmented into different areas of Al’s life and his focus on his life struggle with weight loss. He first introduced his family background. His dad’s dedication to working hard for his family and his mom’s comfort food laid the foundation on Al’s hard-working attitude and his love for food. When Al’s father was on his dead bed about fifteen years ago, Roker Sr. pleaded to Al to do one thing for him – make a commitment to get his health and weight in check so he could live a ...more
Jan 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health
I liked Al Roker when he was heavy and I like him trim. He seems like the genuine deal -- straightforward, funny, competent, empathetic, bawdy. I like Never Goin' Back a lot. He sketches his fight with weight -- that is to say, with eating out of control. It takes courage to admit that publicly. And he describes his work to leave off that unhealthy eating and take on a healthy life.

He talks about his own choices for healthy eating and exercise without in the least proclaiming that this is what
John Mccullough
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a personal view of his struggle with weight. Like all "self help" books it is verbose and repetitious, but this just serves to pound the message into the reader; it reads well and all this is helpful. It includes many embarrassing incidents, from childhood bullying to daily insults to diarrhoea in the White House. On the positive side, helpful hints on how to deal with the situations, from the viewpoint of an adult - kids and spouses are dealt with in detail. Includes a few bad words, bu ...more
Mimi Jones
Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
The likable Al Roker talks about his lifelong weight problem and how he has overcome it for good, by means of a gastric bypass operation and a strict "cleansing" diet. The best parts of the book are the personal anecdotes, especially the opening when he tells of his deathbed promise to his beloved father that he would lose weight and be around for his own children.

How much of Roker's advice will be helpful to other obese people is debatable: gastric bypass is radical, expensive and dangerous, a
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
In his book, "Never Goin' Back", popular TV weatherman Al Roker does tell his life story, but does so in light of his weight. He shares about his struggle with being overweight for much of his life. However, when his father passed away, his dad had Al make a deathbed promise that he would lose the extra weight -- for good! For awhile, Mr. Roker notes, he had trouble trying to figure out how to do this. He recounts how he had tried just about every fad diet out there, only to lose the weight and ...more
Jun 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have watched the Today show so much, and I love Al Roker's great personality. His story was very similar to what I have read from Oprah's struggles with her weight. Emotional eating, wishing someone would have said something about getting fat, not wishing anyone said anything about being fat, etc. Both thought they were fine bc they were successful and wore designer clothes. Both in serious denial. Both finally kicked the habit (a few times) when they decided they were ready, and no sooner and ...more
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Al Roker does a great job writing this book! It is very humorous while discussing a very serious matter -- weight management! He gives practical and easy to follow advise as it pertains to the subject. My major "take-away" is that we must re-focus our thoughts from "dieting" to a "life-style change". I am VERY motivated to lose the remaining weight that I had been struggling with. There are meal plans and exercise recommendations as well as easy recipes! I would definitely recommend this book to ...more
Wm. A.
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've always enjoyed watching Al on the Today Show! He's appears to be a very candid and knowledgeable person. This read allowed me to see the battles he fought to overcome bad eating habits. Also, his family and upbringing was very interesting too. I never knew how he and Deborah became a couple but it shows the heart of a person reveals your true self. Thank you Al for sharing your amazing journey.
Jan 19, 2013 added it
Al Roker is indeed a public figure with alot to say! I wasn't aware of how many times he tried to lose weight or stick to a fitness regimen over the years! He is very funny and candid plus brutally honest!

For anyone who struggles with their weight or trying to like fitness, this may be a winner for you! Finally, the recipes he includes look easy and satisfying! This book will be a keeper on my shelves!
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Very good advice for anyone starting out on their weight loss journey. I realize Al had surgery, but the end message is still the same: Watch what you eat, keep track of it, exercise, don't let one cookie throw you off track, and don't expect miracles overnight. The story seemed a little jumbled at times, but as I said, the message is right on, and you're never going to have long-term success with weight loss without permanent lifestyle change.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Written with a ghost writer, so it's a quick and enjoyable read. I don't know much about Al Roker's professional life because I don't watch the morning news shows. But it was interesting to hear what he has to say about his weight gain/loss story. Recipes were very helpful and I copied several before returning the book to the library.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. Everybody know the ups and downs of Al Roker's weight. The book was like a conversation with a friend--i really like it until the end when he was plugging this cleanse. I really don't know how he could be obsessed with fatty sugary food--then be content with this cleanse diet. But it's a quick read--the recipes are no brainers--very boring.
Michael Holtz
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book. Al presents a candid and often funny telling of his struggles to lose weight and be healthy. The "news" that he pooped his pants at the White House was a week late, given the amount of time between when the book was released and the story hitting TMZ. Still, as someone who has long struggled to be healthy, I appreciate the unflinching portrayal.
Don McNay
the best book written by a man who has done weight loss surgery.

candid, insightful, entertaining and Roker is a first class role model who has kept the weight off for over a decade. I list it as "must read" in the bibliography of my book.
-Don McNay, author of Brand New Man: My Weight Loss Journey, which will be released on February 27, 2916
I felt like Al Roker was speaking directly to me as I read this. He has a very conversational style of writing that makes it very interesting and entertaining to read. He has had a lifelong struggle with his weight and this book explores that tough journey. Al totally changed his lifestyle and way of eating which shows in his current physique. Many interesting insights and recipes.
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is a good, not great, book about Al Roker's weight loss journey. I wish he had spent more time talking about the mental steps he goes through each day to make himself make the right choices. Instead, it felt like that part was brushed aside. The last chapter of the book comes closest to the best part of the advice. It was okay, but I'd probably pick a different book for motivation.
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Al Roker writes a heartfelt and sometimes humorous memoir about his lifelong struggle to control his weight--which at times skyrocketed to 340 pounds! Anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle will be inspired by Al's story. An added bonus at the end of the book are some of Al's favorite recipes.
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Albert Lincoln "Al" Roker, Jr. is an American television meteorologist as well as an actor and book author. He is best known as being the weather anchor on NBC's Today
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