After a long absence of more than a decade, I recently returned to the highly pressurized,
intense world of being a head chef at a brand-new New York City restaurant. This can be a grueling process—long days and late nights working to create the perfect menu to satisfy and wow customers.
To get this eatery open and ready for the public, I spent months developing the entire menu. This was a long, painstaking process, but I loved it. I was definitely up for the challenge—it’s one of the things I missed most about heading up a restaurant. It was fun creating new dishes and experimenting with flavors. I was using everything I had ever learned—food development, menu creation, and overall kitchen management.
I was back in my element. Of course, this process required a lot of tasting. Sometimes, though, I wouldn’t just taste it, I’d scarf down the whole dish. This is both a perk and a curse. After all, some of the items that ended up on the menu were very rich and not dishes you’d eat daily if you wanted to stay trim and fit. And so gradually (and inevitably), I began filling out and putting on pounds—to the point that I started wearing baggy shirts and pants. Underneath, I knew I was getting big, and eventually I had to face the music.
One day I woke up, looked at my body in the mirror, and said to myself, “That’s it. Enough is enough.” I decided to lose that ugly pudge, and I needed to do it fast. Like everyone else, I had heard about the ketogenic diet. Needing to shed those pounds, I decided to dig deeper, reading and rummaging through all the resources I could find about keto. The ketogenic diet is essentially a fast-results plan for weight loss.
You drop pounds quickly—a lot of people have been known to lose up to 10 pounds the first week!—and feel good while on it. You lose inches of fat all over your body. You don’t have mood swings caused by spikes in blood sugar, and you rarely feel hungry. And you can eat foods that for many years you’ve been told not to eat—bacon, eggs, steak, butter, and other fatty foods—because fat, not sugar, is really the ideal fuel for the body. I remember thinking, what sort of diet magic is this? I can lose weight by eating fat? Cheese? Real cream? Steaks? Bacon? Really? And my most favorite food in the world—butter? What’s more, we chefs create and cook with all this stuff backstage in our restaurants all the time. And fat as fuel? I had a lot of that. It was like a dream come true. Count me in!
So I started a keto diet, with hopes of losing shedloads of weight. Initially, I did. But like all my friends, I started getting bored with it. The diet was very limited—no grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, and legumes like chickpeas and lentils. Eating the same things over and over gave me taste fatigue. I thought I’d eventually crack and wolf down a monster plate of spaghetti. Panic was slowly descending on me.
As a guy who is very good at consuming food, my philosophy is that eating should be enjoyable. Not temporarily enjoyable as in I-had-a-bad-day-so-I’m-going-to-pound-down-a-gallon-of-chocolate-chip-ice-cream. I mean the kind of enjoyable where you love your meals, you get to eat stuff like pizza, you don’t feel deprived, and your weight comes off faster than hubcaps stripped from a Lexus parked in a bad neighborhood.
So I wasn’t ready to give up.
I started pondering this whole keto-is-boring thing and thinking about how I could turn keto meals into comfort food at its tastiest, especially at a time when my own fat-burning flames needed some fanning. I decided to dust off some strategies that I had used years ago to transform America’s favorite comfort foods into deliciously healthy dishes all with zero bad carbs, zero bad fats, zero sugar, and maximum flavor. These strategies were partly the basis of my bestselling series of Now Eat This! books years ago when reducing fat and calories was topical.
Ketogenic diets needed the same big makeover—so that people could eat bread, pancakes, puddings, cookies, cakes with frosting, cheesecake, pizza, tacos, burgers, and more. And none of it could taste like cardboard!
I knew that’s what I needed to lose my extra pounds quickly and keep them off—and it’s what others needed as well.
The ketogenic diet is medically sound and effective, but any eating plan that feels restrictive cannot work long term. So while there are many books on the keto lifestyle on the market, I knew that no one with the culinary credentials I have or the skill for crafting flavorful dishes had attempted to make over Americans’ favorite comfort foods keto-style. I was up for the challenge!
I conjured up about eighty “keto comfort food recipes”—and a diet to go along with them. All the dishes I listed on pages 8 to 9 made the cut. So did the foods I grew up with. As an Italian-American, I love lasagna, spaghetti, and pasta galore. I created keto comfort food versions of these traditional dishes so I could once again enjoy the meals I grew up with. It didn’t even feel like keto dieting, and it sure wasn’t deprivation. Along with the recipes, I put all these keto comfort foods into a four-tiered food plan that guarantees you’ll stay with a keto diet right down to your target weight—and beyond. Best of all, it includes a maintenance plan called Keto Comfort Phasing that helps you keep that weight off. It’s all here. Once you get started, you won’t even know you’re on a diet, much less a keto diet! And you’ll be able to keep your weight off easily. This book is a completely new, unique, and revolutionary way to use keto dieting to burn fat and keep it off. Here’s a look at several of the key weight-control benefits you can expect, all while you enjoy what you are eating.
LOSE WEIGHT SUPER FAST.
Ketogenic diets, including my Keto Comfort Food Diet
, retrain the body to use fat as an energy source. When you restrict carbs in your diet, your body taps into fat stores and burns them for energy. As a result, it’s not unusual to lose up to a pound a day on this diet—as was proven in a test group of dieters who followed my plan.
GET A SLIMMER WAISTLINE.
Research into keto diets shows that they trim your waist circumference, otherwise known as belly fat—as well as hip fat—and so will the Keto Comfort Food Diet
. Dieters on my plan lost an average of one inch around their waist. Now that’s something to look forward to!
SAY GOOD-BYE TO HUNGER PANGS.
Studies on keto diets suggest that they reduce ghrelin, a hormone that makes you hungry. What’s more, in the fat burning state called “ketosis,” when the body is functioning on a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb diet, your appetite goes down, and cravings are a distant memory. Essentially, you can stay satisfied much longer with my eating plan.
These benefits and others are entirely possible, as long as you stay with it. To do that, you’ve got to prepare, eat, and enjoy all the delicious keto comfort foods I have for you here. I’ve taken all the foods you and I love—no matter how bad they might be for us—and turned them into keto comfort food versions that make it easy for you to blast away fat, lose inches, and drop pounds. As for me, I never had to cheat or fall off the wagon because I was eating these super delicious and super flavorful keto adaptations of my favorite foods. I achieved my weight-loss goal, and my baggy-clothes wardrobe became a casualty. And I got healthier. My blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood-sugar levels are in the normal ranges now. My mind remained sharp as a whip because the brain loves to run on ketone bodies, by-products of fat breakdown. My cravings disappeared, too. The higher level of fat in the diet kept me fuller for longer. I never turned “hangry” where I wanted to bite everyone’s head off. I’m not tempted by starchy foods, desserts, or sweets, either. I experienced boundless energy, which is a good thing because now that we’ve opened the restaurant my schedule is even more grueling than before!
The other good news is that I no longer have to obsess over the endless list of foods I “can’t” eat because I can now eat the food that I love. I buy all my food at regular grocery stores and farmers’ markets because I get to eat real food. I don’t have to purchase processed, packaged diet food that tastes and smells nasty. I want you to enjoy the wonderful dishes that fit within my real-foods, ketogenic way of eating. With them, you’ll drop amazing amounts of weight and inches in no time at all—fast results that will keep you motivated—while enjoying food that won’t make you feel deprived. I promise, this brand-new way of doing keto will also improve your health in spectacular ways.The Keto Comfort Food Diet
was definitely something that fit into my lifestyle almost seamlessly. And I know it can work for you, too.
Copyright © 2020 by Rocco DiSpirito. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.