Vinny Guadagnino Has Convinced Mike 'The Situation' Sorrentino to Try the Keto Diet Post-Prison

"Before he went to prison, he was eating everything in sight," Guadagnino tells PEOPLE

The Keto Guido is spreading the wealth!

Jersey Shore‘s Vinny Guadagnino, who has been known on social media as the “Keto Guido” since adapting the high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb keto diet over four years ago, tells PEOPLE that he’s since influenced his friends and fellow castmates to give the trendy lifestyle a try.

“Mike was the first person to ever call me and ask me how the diet works and I got him onto the keto diet,” says Guadagnino, who released the new Keto Guido Cookbook on Tuesday.

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Guadagnino’s Jersey Shore cast mate, finished his eight-month prison sentence earlier this month after pleading guilty to one count of tax evasion. Guadagnino had talked him through keto prior to jail, but Sorrentino wasn’t exactly using that knowledge just yet.

“Before he went to prison, he was eating everything in sight,” laughs Guadagnino. “But he knew the principles of it and now he’s really applying it.”

DJ Pauly D, Mike and Lauren Sorrentino, and Vinny Guadagnino
DJ Pauly D, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, his wife Lauren and Vinny Guadagnino. Mike "The Situation"Sorrentino/Instagram

Shortly after his release, Sorrentino posted a photo with his wife enjoying a full spread of food. “Feast Mode,” he wrote at the time. Guadagnino says that kind of cheat meal is exactly why he loves the diet.

“Mike deserved that,” Guadagnino tells PEOPLE. “This diet is not — no pun intended — a prison sentence, where you can’t eat that stuff again. It’s basically, you work hard for most of the time and then reward yourself. And that, he did.”

And Sorrentino isn’t the only one who’s taken a hint from the Keto Guido.

“Jenny does it in her house all the time for her kids,” he says of Jenni “JWoww” Farley. “She understands that eating a sugar-free, grain-free life is healthier for them. So I always put her onto different products and stuff.”

Guadagnino, who lost 50 lbs. on the diet, advocates for it in his new book by emphasizing how it’s not just about eating low-carb, but also about embracing “real food.”

“If a nutritionist was to go through my book, all they would see is meals being made with real food, that are not processed,” he says. “That’s all you would see.”

Inside there are 100 keto-friendly recipes, many of which are healthy spins on Guadagnino’s favorite Italian dishes, like almond-flour pizza.

“Pizza is my favorite food on earth and I admit it, it’s the best tasting thing in the world—but it comes with a cost,” he says. “So I miss it all and I wish I could eat pizza every day, but I’d rather make this sacrifice.”

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