“Your blood pressure is high, and you've got become prediabetic,” said Kris Ronchetti's doctor. Kris clenched her jaw, glancing at her chart in the doctor's hands. A note caught her eye, and she squinted to read it. It said: “Morbidly obese.” Kris's breath caught; her mind started to race. I'm so heavy, I could actually die, she thought, shifting her 280-pound body uneasily.

The doctor began asking about her eating routine. “I had some success recently at Weight Watchers,” Kris whispered. The doctor nodded and replied: “It's an excellent start. But you might have better luck bringing your sugar recorded on a low-carb plan.” Kris nodded numbly. Given her history with diets, she wasn't optimistic.

Struggling to go into the car after her appointment, Kris stared at her belly grazing the controls. Pretty soon I won't fit, she realized. But give up carbs? Could she even do it? The truth was she'd been embracing food for comfort ever since her dad died when she was 10. She was the life of the party and successful in business, but during tough times – and she'd had a large amount of those lately as her marriage came undone – the cravings for chips, Cheetos, and cookies were relentless.

Kris sat for a long time, sadness settling over her. Finally, she looked at herself within the rearview mirror and said, “You're unhealthy and unhappy. You've blown your 50s and most of the 60s,” she said to herself. “Do you need to hit 70 like this? No way!”

She went home and Googled “low carb” and shortly found herself studying the keto diet. The greater she learned about the approach – which would involve trading the majority of the carbs she ate for fat-rich foods – the greater hope she felt. Apparently, all of the sweets and starch she'd been eating kept her blood sugar and insulin high, triggering cravings and preventing fat burn. Eating keto meant she wouldn't offer her body foods to make blood sugar levels, so hunger would dwindle as fat burning soared. I can make keto bread and cookies, she thought. I might have fun with this particular.

Better Every Day

Kris got started making meals from keto groceries she already had on hand – a cheesy scramble with bacon, tuna salad, a bun-less burger. Everything was tasty and incredibly filling. As she drifted off that night, she realized she'd been so satisfied, she didn't have her usual evening carb cravings.

The next day was very similar – though she did feel a bit sleepy. She'd heard her nephew Brian seemed to be while using keto diet, so she called him. “I read you receive tired whenever your body is first starting to lose more fat,” he said. Kris smiled. “I guess it's a good type of tired then,” she said.

And Kris still had enough energy to start experimenting with new recipes – like a lasagna with zucchini noodles, and crackers made with cheese. Yum, she thought as she sampled them. That first week, she was dropping about a pound a day, feeling better and better even while. Even her constant low back pain was fading. My body seems happier of computer was on Weight Watchers, she thought.

The Magic Ingredient – Coconut Oil

Kris kept reading increasingly more about keto as she went along, always on the lookout for new tips or ideas to enhance her results. And that's how she discovered coconut oil. “There are studies that show it will help burn stomach fat faster,” she told Brian. “I thought it could make everything taste like coconut, but the 'extra virgin' kind is mild and makes food delicious.” Kris started using it in dressings, sautés, and for baking. She even made keto fudge. Following a month, she glanced at her belly under the controls. It had been noticeably smaller and flatter!

As months passed, it got smaller and flatter still. Sure, her progress slowed at times. But Kris, when a size 24, was down to a 22, 20, 18. She automatically returned towards the plus-size department every time she needed new clothing – until a salesman finally said, “Sweetie, you need to start shopping the regular-size department.” Kris blinked back tears of disbelief.

At age 71, Kris reached a size 8 and is now 113 pounds lighter. “I have a little loose skin, but it is not bad – and my belly really flattened out,” she shares. “It's much better than it had been decades ago! And I feel so amazing.” Her health problems gone, Kris is full of energy. “I accustomed to read about people much like me and think, I wish I could do that. Now I will tell everyone the secret. Just take the initial step. This is the most essential thing. You don't even have to rush. I'm living proof it's rarely past too far to have your very best body ever!”

Why Coconut Oil + Keto Melts Fat

Go keto, and you'll replace the majority of the calories you'd normally get from carbs with calories from fat. The benefit? It prevents the body from making enough blood sugar levels to fuel itself. “Your system must then begin converting fat – pulled from fat cells and what you eat – into backup fuel called ketones,” explains University of Pittsburgh nutrition expert Joseph Maroon, M.D. Studies show ketone production makes fat burn about 900 percent faster than normal.

Coconut oil is one of the richest natural sources of medium chain triglycerides, or MCTs. MCTs are absorbed so quickly inside us, “it leads to a improvement in both ketone production and fat loss,” says Dr. Maroon. While experts aren't exactly sure why, MCTs seem to selectively target ab flab. A Columbia University study found that women given MCTs lost 600 percent more belly fat compared to those given essential olive oil. And keto dieters planning to consume a minimum of 2 Tbs. of coconut oil each day report dropping up to 12 pounds and 5 inches from their midsection a week!

Incorporating Coconut Oil With Keto

For belly-flattening weight loss like Kris, aim to eat a keto-style diet (with lots of healthy fat, an average sum of proteins and fewer than 20 grams of carbs a day) while incorporating Two to three Tbs. of coconut oil throughout the day. Kris loves meals such as the samples here. Always get a doctor's okay to test any new diet.

Breakfast: Eggs, any style, prepared in 1 Tbs. coconut oil with any low-carb extras you like, such as ham, feta, tomato and leftover cooked veggies.

Lunch: Mix 1/2 lb. ground beef, 1 Tbs. coconut oil and seasoning to taste. Cook to desired doneness. Serve inside a low-carb wrap with keto condiments.