The Rev. Al Sharptontook on Donald Trump over his visit to a black church in Detroit recently. And one thing was clear from that interview, that, politics aside, Sharpton has maintained his whopping 176-pound weight loss. In 2014, Sharpton lost half his body weight with some controversialmethods including a strict no-carb, vegan diet. So getting the weight off is the easy part, but keeping it off is tons harder. Here's what worked then for Sharpton and here's what works now.

Al Sharpton shed pounds with controversial diet

As with many diet zealots, Sharpton began with a super restrictive no-carb plusvegan diet.

As carbohydrates are one of the few things a vegan can eat, Sharpton was basically depriving himself of everything but vegetables and not all of those. He cut out red meat, starch, eggs, dairy, sugar and processed foods. Later, after getting the bulk of the weight off, Sharpton added eggs and bread for a low-carbovo-vegetarianketogenic type diet. This diet is actually getting more popular as people are finding health benefits from eating eggs for protein and whole grains over gluten-free.

Doctors dissed Sharpton's carb-free diet

Bread gets a bad rap (pun intended) these days. That's because there's a lot of confusion about gluten, sugar, and the role of carbohydrates in weight loss. Celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito decries gluten.

Sugary, high-glycemic carbs are linked to obesity and diabetes. But Sharpton's doctors actually warned him off a no-carb diet, so he added whole grain bread to his routine. Physicians said the body needs good carbs for energy. Good carbs would be unprocessed whole grains, fruits, and plant starches. So unless you are gluten intolerant (and few people are) medical wisdom says don't avoid it.

whole grains, bread, and starch is good for you. Sharpton avoids empty "junk carbs" like refined sugar, baked goods, fruit juice (highly sugared), sweets, and salty processed snacks.

Routine diet lost weight

Probably the most challenging part of Sharpton's diet is that he eats exactly the same low-carb diet every day. This meal plan has benefits.

It cuts out the guesswork and eliminates calorie counting. The goal is to change the relationship with food so that it is just a source of nourishment, not a friend, ally, or companion. The difficulty with this approach is the monotony. Sharpton may have mixed it up a bit since his big weight loss, but not so much that he's gained much weight back. He's proved that ovo-vegetarian may be better than vegan for weight loss and that low-carb is better than no-carb.