The Keto Zone opens second location at Richland Mall

Les Kiser has opened a second location of The Keto Zone at the Richland Mall, including pizza, groceries, cupcakes, ice cream and more. (Photo11: Lou Whitmire/News Journal) ONTARIO – Hungry mall walkers who are looking for a healthier option won’t have to take too many steps.

The Keto Zone has been open for two weeks at the Richland Mall and Mansfield resident and owner Les Kiser said business is booming. After opening his first Keto Zone at 1321 Lexington Ave. in June 2018, many customers told him they wanted him to open a location in Ontario, Kiser said.

He said he’s proof that the foods he sells help people feel better and lose weight.

Kiser, also the head chef of The Keto Zone on Lexington Avenue, has more than 30 years of restaurant experience.

On Thursday, he celebrated a ribbon-cutting at the newest location, offering up samples of various pizzas from chicken bacon ranch to steak and cheese to BLT and taco pizzas.

The Keto diet emphasizes weight loss through fat-burning. Keto proponents say that by slashing carbohydrates from your diet, and instead filling up on fats, the body breaks down both dietary and stored body fat into substances called ketones.

Kiser said he believes "God put me here" after opening his first restaurant in June 2018, featuring low-carb meals prepared to go that are ketogenic and diabetic- and Atkins-friendly.

At the mall, surrounded by a crowd, Kiser thanked God for putting him in a place to help so many people.

More: Richland Public Health, restaurant inspections Feb. 6-11

Both of his Keto stores offer hot pizza and hot foods and frozen meals to go.

The menu includes entrees such as as lasagna, stuffed peppers, breaded and baked chicken, and zucchini spaghetti.

Kiser said he weighed 299 pounds more than two years ago and was able to lose the first 30 pounds — then learned about Keto and lost 55 more pounds.

"A friend of mine said go on Keto and I researched Keto and loved what I was reading," he said.

He began cooking this way at church, giving people food and everyone was always saying, ‘You should open a restaurant.’"

The friendly Mansfield man, 58, who in the past operated a train store on Lexington Avenue, said he now feels 30 years younger.

"Keto makes you feel good. It’s not just losing weight. That’s what it is all about," he said.

"Once you get past the first three weeks, it’s not even a diet anymore," Kiser said. "The more fat you eat, the more fat you lose, because you’re burning fat."

He now exercises too, and said he has a lot of energy.

"I used to be diabetic, no longer. Many other problems. I used to take 30 medications and I take zero and I haven’t for a year and a half," he said. "You can be on any diet here and this is just good, healthier eating because it’s not full of sugar, not full of carbs and definitely no regular flours.

"We have the best ice cream you can get. You can eat the whole pint for five carbs," Kiser said.

Oftentimes he tears up when he hears people’s stories about how Keto has changed their health and lives.

"It helps people so much. I could never leave. These people really need it," he said.

The store is open during mall hours in the food court.

lwhitmir@nncogannett.com

419-521-7223

Twitter: @LWhitmir

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