The Eat-Clean Diet: Fast Fat-Loss That Lasts Forever! sounded to me like a perfect diet book. Before I even saw the book I googled author Tosca Reno, who at 46 is a fitness model, writes a column for Oxygen magazine, has written several books, and looks fabulous. Reno's story is remarkable.
Born in Ontario, Reno was raised in a healthy eating home. Lots of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables – very little sugar and processed foods. She was fine through high school, but found in college that the more that was going on in her life the worse her eating habits became, and they stayed that way through the birth of her three daughters. Suddenly at 40 Reno weighed over 200 pounds and needed to get her life back under control. So she began Eating Clean and exercising, lost the weight, and as she puts it, "I got the body I thought only "Hard Bodies" could own."
This sounds good so far, and the claims on the book's cover sound even better: "Fast FAT LOSS that lasts forever!" "Never go hungry." "Eat the foods you LOVE!" And my personal favorite, "The ONLY sure way to FAST HEALTHY FAT LOSS!"
Laid out like a magazine with lots of bright color, sidebars, and photos, I found The Eat-Clean Diet very appealing until I really started reading. I am of the opinion that restrictive diets do not work, since most of us do not have the wherewithal to stick with such programs long term. I also believe that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat what we love in reasonable portions with a bit more balance. In other words, eat less!
Reno's plan focuses on fresh produce, fresh whole grains, fresh lean protein, lots of exercise, and supplements. While the diet is certainly not bad for you, it is not new and most people will find it restrictive. When I hear "Eat the Foods you LOVE!" I think pizza and ice cream, not flax seed, millet, and All-Bran®. And here in the Caribbean I cannot always get these foods. For two weeks we had no brown rice in the store, so it wasn't even an option.
Reno exercises five or six days per week with a lot of aggressive weight training. Again, most people do not want to do this. Exercise needs to happen, but again one needs to meet people where they are and allow them to slowly gain a comfort level with the gym and exercising. Regarding supplements, she advises such unproven additions as creatine and MSM, which I question the need for.
This diet obviously worked for Tosca Reno and she is her own best testimonial. But do not be tricked into thinking this is an easy-to-handle non-restrictive diet plan. Expect to be hunting down groceries, carrying food with you just in case there is no clean food available, constantly ordering "off the menu" in restaurants, and spending a lot on supplements.
And trust me as a fitness professional, there are other ways to healthy weight loss!