Rocco DiSpirito reveals dieting and weight loss secrets in his new book, ‘The Negative Calorie Diet.’ The reality TV star and celebrity chef opens up about his new mission to help reverse the obesity trend, and why he has abandoned the kind of rich and caloric dishes that have made his cookbooks bestsellers.

Rocco DiSpirito

Photo: Rocco DiSpirito
Credit: PR Photos

The 49-year-old New York City-based chef rose to fame with an Italian-American cuisine as luscious as it was highly caloric. Indeed, it’s been his brand from day one. And over the years, he’s steadily inched towards the dieting and healthy cuisine niche. Now with his new book, ‘The Negative Calorie Diet’ he’s squarely in the niche.

In an in-depth interview with AM New York, he spoke about the evolution of his approach, from making “swaps” to imitate decadent foods — often using artificial sweeteners and other questionable ingredient — to literally starting from scratch with whole, natural unprocessed foods and making them flavorful in creative dishes.

Rocco DiSpirito told the publication, “Making healthy choices is on everyone’s mind now. There’s so much data that points to lifestyle disease and the results of poor eating choices. What people understand now is a local, natural, farm-to-table, whole foods lifestyle. Trying to make healthy choices is the new normal, versus trying to find the silver bullet, quick-fix swap.”

Now the new book may have a familiar name. It’s not a new concept and dieters have long sought out the “negative calorie foods.” One can Google that phrase and find a plethora of information. Typically we think of the likes of celery and carrots when we think “negative calories.”

But Rocco DiSpirito reveals there’s much more than what we might disparage as “diet food.” He says, “We used to preach same-in, same-out [calorie quantity], but there’s an alternative to that, which is the quality of the calorie. If the calorie is nutritionally-dense, fiber-dense, water-dense, it’s a calorie which will help you burn more fat. You will burn more fat than you consume — that’s the concept of the negative calorie diet.”

And he’s got a list of negative calorie foods that dieters are encouraged to eat in unlimited quantities. The list includes celery, yes, of course but also apples, almonds, citrus fruits and berries, as well as cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, cucumbers, mushrooms, as well as nightshades like eggplant and bell peppers.

Asked if he himself misses the old way of cooking, he said, “I’m a reformed butter-holic. I don’t miss the rich foods. I miss cooking without some of the restrictions or having to be in this specific set of parameters.”

He went on to reveal his own lifestyle and diet choices, saying, “I eat my own food, I rarely go out. When I go out I can eat anything and not really have to worry about what I’m consuming because most of the time I’m consuming nutritionally-dense, local, organic, healthy food.”

In an interview with Fox Business (video below), he opened up about the strong passion he has for helping people to lose weight and regain their health, saying, “The mission of my brand is to reverse obesity in America. The problem with food in America is that delicious and healthy don’t co-exist. But now I have figured out a way to make them not virtually exclusive.”

He also spoke of his own personal connection to this approach, and said, “I never guessed this was going to happen to me, you know the whole getting healthy thing, but the thing about me is that I’m willing to follow the path life takes me on.”

He went on to say, “I’m going to be fifty years old in nine months and I never felt as good as I do now. I’ve also never been in better shape. I literally feel like there is nothing that I couldn’t take on and do.”

And with that, he lends his voice and influence in the ever-growing multi-billion dollar dieting industry. The recipes and healthy cuisine — not to mention his celebrity status and the lure of “negative calorie foods” — will likely make this book yet another bestseller.

You can see Rocco DiSpirito’s full interview with AM New York — along with recipes from the Negative Calorie Diet book here, and watch the interview video below!