“My whole perspective of life has completely changed,” the Biggest Loser personality, 51, tells PEOPLE exclusively.
Now Harper is sharing what he’s learned about his body and nutrition after discovering his heart attack was caused by a hereditary condition that was leading to high levels of a particle in his blood called Lipoprotein(a).
Harper has written his lessons down and is sharing them in his new book, The Super Carb Diet — and PEOPLE has the exclusive first look at the book’s cover.
“I’d been working on this book for a while. It was going to be me basically telling people what to eat because I like to tell people what to do. But it wasn’t until I had my heart attack that it took a slight turn because I had to really take my diet back to the drawing board,” says Harper, who worked with nutritionists and doctors to tweak his diet in recent months.
“I still really do believe that balancing the plate, putting carbs back on people’s plate, not fearing carbohydrates as we’ve all done for such a long time and it’s been really helpful,” adds Harper. “I think that carbs have gotten a bad wrap in recent years.”
In the book, Harper also opens up about everything he went through after the heart attack.
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“The little pun is don’t judge a book by its cover. I really thought that I was just the healthiest I could possibly be and I was doing everything right and it wasn’t until I realized the genetic issues I have and some of the choices I made when it came to my food and how I really needed to tweak that,” he says.
“I’ve been telling people, ‘Make sure you know what’s going on inside your body as much as you know what’s going on outside,’ ” he continues. “People that are so disciplined in regards to going to the gym and making proper food choices, you still need to go to the doctor and get checked out. Information is power more than anything now.”
The Super Carb Diet will be available for purchase on Dec. 26.