Many people know adorable Chef Michael Silverstein from his time on the 10th season of MasterChef which aired during the summer of 2019. The Washington D.C. mainstay did pretty well on the FOX series that included two individual win challenges before he and fellow contestant Liz Linn were sent packing on the July 11 episode.
Mike has not only stayed busy in the professional world since his time on the show but he’s also done a complete 180 on his health in the most positive of ways. He credits the popular Keto diet, which celebs like Jersey Shore hunk Vinny Guadagnino swear by, for losing 80 pounds!
In an exclusive interview we chat with Mike about how he was able to drop all that weight and look as good as he does today. He also dishes on his new cookbook and best Thanksgiving tips for anyone who is trying not to overly indulge on all the calorie-filled dishes.
You lost a whopping 80 pounds courtesy of Keto. Congrats! How did all of this begin for you?
Look, I love food! And still do. Cooking (and eating) is just a big part of my life, and as a chef, I’m always in the kitchen. However, when I hit 30 years old, I was over 300 lbs, and I knew I was losing control. I wanted to make a change, but had to find a way to do it where I could still eat all the good foods in my life. I liked the idea of the Keto diet because I could still have all the meat and cheese I wanted, and this is really how it began for me.
Keto just made the most sense for the way I like to eat. And it really worked for me, and still does. It’s not a diet that requires a ton of restriction or counting calories, so I really found my “home” in Keto. But what really surprised me wasn’t the weight loss, it was how the low-carb diet made me feel. I feel so much more energy on Keto, my mood is improved, and I just feel better overall, and that’s why I’m sticking to it long-term. I came for the weight loss, but stayed for the whole body benefits.
Some are saying that Keto is a trend and won’t be around forever. Do you disagree with that and why?
I do agree that the Keto diet is “hot” right now, and will likely be replaced by another fad diet as a trend. But i completely disagree that Keto won’t be around forever. We are just scratching the surface on understanding all the whole health benefits of Keto beyond just weight loss. It’s being used in all sorts of medical treatments around the world for immune diseases, diabetes, epilepsy, cancer treatment, and so much more.
The metabolic state of Ketosis is extremely powerful, and it is much more than just a weight loss tool. I firmly believe that the Keto lifestyle has only just begun, and I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon. Reducing our sugar and flour intake is something that would benefit nearly all of us, and is a trend toward a healthier way of eating that is only going to continue spreading as the scientific community continues to prove it’s benefits.
Was your partner a big source of inspiration for you dropping the pounds?
Absolutely not – I did that for myself, and myself only! I decided to love myself enough to get healthy. And I’d encourage anyone reading this to find someone who loves you exactly the way you are. My partner loved me exactly the same at my heaviest and my most slim, and I love him that much more for it! That said, pushing my career forward has been completely inspired by him. He encourages me every day to be my best self, to take risks, and allows me the space to do what I love. I wouldn’t have gotten on to MasterChef, nor started an Instagram, nor written my cookbook, had he not encouraged and supported me wholeheartedly. I owe it all to him.
Tell us all about your cookbook ‘New Keto Cooking’ that comes out on December 8.
My cookbook really takes a ‘new’ approach to Keto. It’s full of restaurant-quality food that anyone, at any skill level, can make at home with simple ingredients. The recipes are designed to be rich and delicious, and avoids foods that feel like “diet food”.
These are recipes that anyone will enjoy, whether Keto or not. I put so much thought into every dish, and this book really is my baby. Every word, recipe, and photograph I did myself, and I really put my whole heart and soul onto every page. Even if you aren’t living a low-carb lifestyle, the recipes in my book are just yummy!
Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. What is your best advice for those out there who want to indulge but are trying to lose weight themselves?
First of all, Thanksgiving is not a holiday for dieting. It’s about spending time with our loved ones and eating the best comfort food of the year. So make sure you do that! That said, you can make a few small changes to your Thanksgiving table that can make a difference.
For instance, you can make candied yams with butternut squash instead of sweet potato, and it’s just as good (and vastly more healthy!). I have a recipe in my Holiday eBook for exactly how to do it. In fact, if you pre-order my cookbook on Amazon, you will get my Holiday eBook for free, which has a ton of recipes for Thanksgiving that are just a little bit better for you, and just as tasty. Go to www.chef-michael.com/cookbook for details on how to order the book and claim your free holiday eBook.