After trying "every diet in the book," the "Jersey Shore" star decided he was tired of searching for his next quick fix, all the while "carrying around 50 extra pounds."
Vinny Guadagnino went from reality TV's boy next door to Instagram's "Keto Guido" with a residency at Chippendales, and we're all better for it.
If you've seen even a minute of MTV's "Jersey Shore" and revival series "Jersey Shore: Family Vacation," you know that was no easy task for the boy who was raised on his mother's Italian cooking and all the alcohol in Seaside Heights.
But after trying "every diet in the book," the Staten Island native decided he was tired of searching for his next quick fix, all the while "carrying around 50 extra pounds." He heard an episode of Adam Carolla's podcast, during which Vinny's now-friend, fitness expert Vinnie Tortorich, spoke about the benefits of a high-fat diet. It was a concept foreign to Guadagnino, because much like the rest of us, he always thought fat was bad.
"I would lose weight for whatever stupid cleanse or 30-day program that I would do, and then after that, I would just go back to eating a high-carb diet because I always thought that fat was unhealthy for me," the 31-year-old reality star told TooFab. "So I would eat a high-carb, low-fat diet, and I would be fat. I would be unhealthy."
Once Vinny with a Y heard Vinnie with an IE say he could eat bacon, whole eggs and butter and not be overweight, his life was forever changed.
"Until I started making this shift, this big paradigm shift in my life in general, that's when I gravitated more toward keto and dove more into the research, learned more recipes, became who I am today," Guadagnino said, asking us to "keep in mind that this was five years ago, so it wasn't as big as it is today."
The ketogenic diet is by definition a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates for fuel. With only fat to burn, the liver produces chemicals called ketones, which makes way for the metabolic process known as ketosis. The keto diet aims to induce ketosis in order to burn more fat. And while Vinny strives to be in ketosis several times a week, he's not always so strict.
"My general way of life is a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet," he explained. "Natural, whole foods -- not processed. A lot of vegetables." While not considered keto, Vinny also sometimes incorporates almond flour and grain-free tortillas into his diet "because it's easier on my gut." And yes, he does "sprinkle little treat days in between" but tries hard to steer clear of sugar.
"Our world is completely monopolized and controlled by the sugar industry," he said. "Everywhere you go, there's sugar in everything. Every 'healthy' restaurant, 'healthy' salad bar. Everywhere you go, they're either cooking with sugar or putting flour in things, vegetable oil and unhealthy corn oils. So I started cooking at home. I started making my own dishes. But I'm not gonna lie, I would give a lot of recipes to my mom because she's a master cook, so between the two of us, we'd be like, 'Okay, guess we're making this kind of pizza tonight! Guess we're making these chicken cutlets!'"
Vinny's endearingly overbearing mother, Paola Guadagnino, has popped up on more than one episode of "Jersey Shore" to whip up an impressive display of homemade pasta, sauce, cutlets, meatballs, you name it. So we were shocked to learn that not only has she been supportive of Vin's lifestyle change, she's actually tailored some of her favorite dishes to reflect the ideals of the keto diet. Vinny was proud to let us know she even wrote the foreword of his new cookbook, "The Keto Guido Cookbook."
"You can trust and believe my mom is the one behind all the things that I'm doing," he gushed. "Because even though she's not the one directly making the recipes, she's influenced me. I learn everything from her Sicilian-Italian flare."
Vinny's high-fat lifestyle made way for a viral nickname and subsequent Instagram account, which inspired the self-proclaimed "foodie" to share his recipes in a "more formal" manner.
"My Instagram following on the Keto Guido page kept growing, and I wanted to share this lifestyle with people," he told us. "My page has become a little bit of an informal cookbook as it is, so I wanted something a little more formal. The first part of [my cookbook] is basically what keto is and how to apply it to your life, and then the second part is all the different recipes that you can learn and play around with."
In addition to his keto-based diet, Vinny also practices intermittent fasting and exercises on a regular basis. "These three things I think will triple your results," he insisted. And by the looks of it, he's right.
"The Keto Guido Cookbook" is available now where all books are sold.