If catching the latest episode of Serial is as far as you have waded into the world of podcasts, you’re missing out. Podcasts are a (mostly) free fount of information and entertainment on almost any topic. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be pointing you toward some of the best health and wellness options for your listening pleasure. Download away and take them on your next run or just use them to pass the time when you’re stuck in Atlanta traffic. There are nutrition podcasts, podcasts from celebrity trainers, and mental health podcasts — and we’ll get to those — but sometimes, particularly at the beginning of your fitness or weight loss journey, it helps to hear from people who have persevered and conquered the tough challenges. That’s why we’re starting with three hosts who understand the struggles of being in bad shape… because they’ve lived them. The three podcasters featured here have lost a combined 300 pounds through healthy lifestyle choices and are as inspirational as they are informative.
Host: Rich Roll is the author of Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself, which describes his transformation from 210-pound couch potato to 160-pound vegan powerhouse ultra marathoner at the age of 40. In 2010, he completed the Epic5 Challenge by completing five (yes, FIVE) Ironman triathlons in under a week.
Podcast: Rich does long-form interviews (most episodes are between 90 minutes and 2+ hours) to provide listeners with advice and tips from top experts on nutrition, fitness, health, creativity, spirituality, and more.
Popular episode: In the description of Episode #109, “On Letting Go of Perfectionism and Why We Should ‘Lean In’ to Positive Change” featuring author Kathy Freston, Rich says, “When I began the process of repairing my health, I made a million mistakes. Slipped up countless times. And when I committed to getting fit, Ultraman didn’t even qualify as a fantasy because I had never heard of it. I just wanted to be able to run a mile. Goals and success came later.” It’s this sort of straight-talk that makes Rich’s podcast the perfect listen for those who need to feel less alone in their struggles.
Host: Dave Asprey, author of The Bulletproof Diet and founder of Bulletproof Coffee, has, according to his bio, “lost 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise, used techniques to upgrade his brain by more than 20 IQ points, and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently in less time.” Boom!
Podcast: Bulletproof Radio is about more than being healthy; it’s about being something close to invincible, about being “better at everything,” about hacking the human body in weird and interesting ways. According to the description, “It distills the knowledge of more than 120 world-class MDs, biochemists, Olympic nutritionists, meditation experts, and more than $250,000 spent on personal self-experiments.” That is serious, well-researched stuff.
Sample episode: In episode #197, Abel James, author of The Wild Diet, discusses the ideal body fat percentage, food labeling secrets, and whether there are beaver butts in our food.
Host: Heather Robertson lost 170 pounds over the course of five years, going from 313 pounds down to a healthy weight via slow, sustainable means after years of false starts, extreme diets, and binge eating.
Podcast: Heather’s podcast combines tips for healthy living, advice from experts, and inspiring weight loss stories from others who successfully lost a large amount of weight without fad diets, pills, or other unsafe methods.
Popular episode: Episode 100, “How Small Changes Lead to Big Results,” features advice on maintenance and overcoming fear from “Fat Mom to Fit Mom” blogger Elizabeth, who lost 150 pounds and became a half-marathoner.