The Eat Clean Diet Recharged

By Jim F


Author Tosca Reno is set to release a follow up to the Eat Clean Diet. The Eat Clean Diet is all about eating un-processed, whole foods and eschewing pre-packaged and processed sugar and fat-laden foods. The diet has reportedly been quite popular among the celebrity set, and Reno herself is a well known as an Oxygen magazine columnist.

So whats the Eat Clean Diet Recharged all about?The new book immediately puts me in mind of the South Beach Diet Supercharged – but only in name. Eat Clean Recharged adds over 100 extra pages (and 50 more recipes) and takes a wider look at women’s health.

To be honest it’s hard to keep the cynicism at bay when authors turn a single book into a series. The Eat Clean ‘series’ also includes: Eat Clean Diet for Men, Eat Clean Diet for Family and Kids, Eat Clean Cookbook, and workout, and workout journal and so on… It seems that in the busy diet book market, the only way to make a splash is to published revised editions.

The Eat Clean Diet is strict: “clean” meals must be eaten 5-6 times per day. Every day. Yes, this is a way to change your physique, but from my observation few have the willpower to do such a thing – for any sustained period of time.

Books aimed at women seem to come with a double standard. On the one hand it’s all about becoming stronger and fitter, yet, dig deeper, and you’ll find a message that’s more about what you look like. Reno has a section on breast augmentation:

“Nicely implanted breasts have the effect of creating a beautifully balanced physique, which is pretty close to the human ideal of a perfect body shape

A “perfect” body shape that is impossible without surgical enhancement. So, if you lose all the weight (and the weight will drop off from ALL over your body) – you’re not really good enough until you spend $$multi-thousands on surgical enhancement.

I’m tired of this message.


  1. Dani

    Hi Jim, would you be able to credit the quote from Tosca Reno (on breast augmentation) with publication details – dates, issue number, page number – please, so I can reference it in an academic paper? Many thanks, Dani

    • Jim F

      Page 214, Eat Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno, published 2009 by Ballantine Books.

  2. Melissa

    The Eat Clean Diet, is not a diet it is a lifestyle. How someone allowed this woman to become a millionaire like this is beyond me. Maybe it’s cuz she is married to the publisher, who knows. All I do know is Tosca is annoying. Very annoying. Too much advertising for her books, her ‘diet’ is simply a healthy eaters way of life yet she claims she created this mess. Not.
    Any woman who pushes health yet tells you that breast implants are a good idea is an idiot. Simple and plain. Sure cutting open your body and throwing some bags of silicone in there sounds really great. Idiot. I am serious. Who buys this junk and who supports this hypocrite?
    Tosca is too annoying to deal with and she makes me want to cancel my Oxygen subscription at times.
    Anyone who tells you to eat MEAT this day in age is steering you in the wrong direction. Sure you may lose weight with this book but what about cancer, heart disease, stroke, dementia and everything else that comes along with eating meat?
    Tosa is making a killing off of the clueless and it makes me very upset.

  3. jenners

    I was thrilled to read your “cynical” review of this perky selection from the Tosca collection. Tosca’s empire and media blitz are annoying to me as well: Clean eating is such a simple concept, and it’s certainly not one she invented. (This isn’t to say I’m not glad for the people who credit her for their success in eating more healthful food.)

    Eating clean is a philosophy initiated by anti-establishment types such as hippies, who wanted to return to natural, whole foods and reject the processed comestibles “The Man” put up for sale. (They also never would have paid to have foreign matter stitched into their bodies or have competed in “fitness” contests to begin with, but that is beside the point.)

    I am glad she addressed her obvious breast implants and pursuit of the “perfect” body but am also distressed that she has become a “role model” for many women who lead different lives, ones that are not directed toward perfection that is partially achieved through elective, expensive surgery.

  4. LadyMissTella

    I think you are taking Reno’s message out of context. She is a fitness model/competitor who was formerly overweight. Do you know what average to large sized breasts look like after losing that much weight and having babies? Not the cute little “itty bitties” you refer to. I say if it makes her happy and more comfortable, why should we criticize? At least she spoke honestly.

  5. Kay

    You failed to mention that her main reason for getting the implants were to look more balanced for body building competition. You also fail to mention that she makes NO apologies, explanations or excuses for liking her augmentations. This is the only “diet” (not really a diet.. it’s a lifestyle change)that has ever actually worked for me. There is a TON of good advice in this book. There is no “message” about body image. She likes her boobs. Period. If you don’t like augmentations, then dont have one.

  6. Tami

    I think the important thing is finding what works for you. The Eat-Clean diet may work for some, and not others.
    As far as the other thing goes – I guess if that’s what Tosca felt like she needed to – then that’s her decision. As far as advocating that as the perfect body shape – well I guess we all have an opinion about that as well – and we all have the right to express that opinion.
    I think we all want to be more healthy, more fit. Most of us are unhappy with some aspect of our looks. It’s a personal journey we’re all on – Tosca just has a more public forum than most of us.
    Anyway – kudos to those who work hard at getting and staying fit and healthy – and finding THEIR ideal body shape in whatever way they find works for them!

  7. Tina

    Out of everything that was written in this book the article points out the breast implants paragraph?? Tosca is not promoting breast implants, she simply explained why she chose to get the implants. And she goes on to explain if you are going to be a figure model, you will be judged as having a proportioned body. May figure models have implants. You cannot have such a low body fat and natural breasts. You will lose the fat in your breasts. Most women are shocked when they lose all their breast during major weight loss. She was just being honest.

    I found this article poorly written, very biased, judgemental and personal to the writer. Wish the author stuck to the facts of the book.

  8. ryan

    I didnt find Tosca’s discussion on breast enhancements, tummy tucks, or lipo offensive at all.. She is a FITNESS model, of course these are things she is going to discuss, and for people who have 100+ pounds to loose, its unrealistic for them to think that when its all done and over with they are going to look like Tosca in the end. However, for people who are considering plastic surgery at the end of their weight loss journey, whats the problem with her being upfront about what she did?? I also think the quote sited in the review was taken a little out of context, since she was discussing her own journey with breast implants and never suggested everyone who reads the book should jump on the plastic surgery band wagon.

    I personally do not find Tosca’s body desirable for myself, her body is beautiful, but I prefer a little cushion and curves, I use the eat clean diet to get a healthy lean body… I dropped a cup size when I lost weight, but her comments did not make me think I needed to run out and spend thousands of dollars on breasts. She was discussing her decisions, and if your self esteem is so low that you think you have to have HER body or a celebs body to be perfect then maybe your money would be better spend on therapy sessions rather than a book on a healthy lifestyle.

    My interest in ECD is having a healthy body– Since I started eating clean, I have so much more energy, I am so much happier, and I love my new body.. every inch, pound and curve of it, and if I have a week where I am dropping too much weight, I adjust my eating and work out scedule– but its all still clean! My body is perfect for me, and thats all I can ask for!

  9. Susan

    Bravo, Mike! Thanks for putting into words exactly what I was thinking as I read Amy’s comment!

  10. Barry

    There is simply no need to “eat clean” in order to get lean or be healthy.

    Why worry about what NOT to eat and instead focus on what to be sure and eat?

    Make sure your diet has lots of fruits and vegetables. Make sure you eat dark skinned berries, walnuts, and yogurt.

    And, enjoy pizza, ice cream, sugar, white bread, whatever.

    My last blood work was a month ago and my numbers were impeccable. My HDL was 60!

    I eat “un-clean” food all the time. And, I eat lots of nutritious healthy food as well. AND, I exercise by LIFTING WEIGHTS. Not by doing cardio which for the most part is a waste of time.

  11. Heather

    As I said above, The Eat Clean Diet worked for me too– and nothing else ever had. I have lost weight and improved my marathon (26.2) performance… It’s been awesome.

    And I totally want a breast lift when I’m finished having/nursing children. I’m only 24 but breastfeeding has been hard on them, and I want them how they were before I had kids, to what I’m used to and comfortable with. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that… and while people can make the decision for themselves, it’s senseless to decry another person’s choice that doesn’t hurt them at all!

  12. Mike Howard

    Hi Amy,

    A couple of quick points as I have about 4 minutes…

    1. Congrats on your life change – I’m glad the advice of the book has worked for you.
    2. I would not have surgery on my junk EVER I don’t care how “deflated” it may look.
    3. To your comment; “Judges would not take into account events such as pregnancy, breast feeding, and weight loss/gain and would doc points for not having a symmetrical, full chest.”

    Do you not see an inherent issue in that to begin with? Implants are justified because some judges of a physique contest require a “symmetrical, full chest”. I’ll say it again – what kind of message does that send? That women must conform to some ideal set by a select few (in this case the fitness judges). Does being “chesty” make her more fit?

    So while it may be out of place for me as a guy to make such comments, I can tell you that I have a little girl of my own and I hope she NEVER EVER reads (or more aptly) buys in to this kind of crap.

  13. J. Foster

    Thanks for your comments and thoughtful discussion.

    As to the question of “Imagine a part of your body (and I don’t think I need to specify a certain part) deflated after a certain number of years and surgery was the only option to correct this”

    Well, I have known of guys who have gone running in very tight shorts (like cycle pants) and have stuffed socks down their front. Shouts “insecurity” at every step.

    A man’s worth is not measured by the size of his tool…

  14. J. Foster

    It’s easy to invest your self-worth in bodily appendages – yet in the end: Gravity always wins…

    I think it would be better to grow wiser and not have your happiness determined by the petulant beauty standards of the day.

  15. J. Foster

    “I am critical of those that advocate it alongside messages of positive body image.”

    The quote I listed was pulled directly from the book, but I’m not sure if she was advocating necessarily… more like polite encouragement?

  16. FitJerk - Flawless Fitness Blog

    They aren’t implementing it because they lack will power, the self respect and/or any ounce of motivation which results in people giving into their destructive habits. Pulling into the Drive-Thru window just happens to be one of them.

    But, if paying a certain amount of $ for a product (book, dvds, etc) is what it TAKES to change that, then so be it. Looks like you needed that push, and it happened to work. Good.

    50% of the time, the people I help KNEW what to do. They weren’t idiots. But at the end, admitted that they just needed me to give them a swift kick in the a$$ so they can get things DONE.

    Her “clean diet” is NOT anything revolutionary… the concept behind it has been around for a while now.

  17. Jody - Fit at 52

    Ryan, I loved your answer! I am a big Oxygen Women’s Fitness magazine fan so I know all about Tosca. Yes, she & the magazine preach this… and yes, it is about eating clean whole foods & mini meals. I think some people need this in a book. At least it is not a book with craziness diets in it. I do find the recipes too involved for a non-cook like me. How about a 5-7 ingredient, easy to cook meal book! Oops, I might have given them their next book!

    I am fit at 52!!! Oxygen, how about putting me on your cover! I am older than Tosca! 🙂 I know, the camera likes her better….

    PS: With my lower body fat.. well, if I had the $, I would get a bit more.. not huge though! Also, to another reader’s comment, I have step daughters that have had quite a few kids & it takes it’s toll on the bod & especially the breast with breast feeding. They would get some work if they had the $ too.

  18. Ryan Englebert

    Very interesting takes from everyone..

    The bottom line is EVERYONE is different, what works for one person may not work for another.. We as individuals need to do what is best for our own particular body size and structure.. I totally agree Melanie, the perfect body completely depends on “whose perfect body” it is we are talking about.

    Live life, enjoy life, eat healthy, get your exercise in, and surround yourself with a supporting cast that understands YOU and what YOU are trying to accomplish..
    🙂 CHEERS

  19. Amy

    Okay reading your review and the accompanying comments made me so upset there was steam coming out of my ears.
    First, let me preface this by saying that on the Eat-Clean Diet program, I’ve lost almost 45lbs, toned my muscles, and feel so much more self-confident about my appearance. No diet is easy and while some may think eating 5-6 smaller meals a day is too demanding, I would say get up off your lazy butt! If losing weight was easy and there was a simple way to do it, no one would be overweight and we wouldn’t have an obesity epidemic in this country!
    After 2 children and my weight going up and down on the scale, my breasts are definitely not what they used to be. While I would never enhance what I have, I would possibly consider a lift to re-create what I used to have. I find the comments from the men about breast implants completely ridiculous because they do not know how it feels to walk around all day, knowing that there is no quick fix to make a part of your body close to what it used to be. Imagine a part of your body (and I don’t think I need to specify a certain part) deflated after a certain number of years and surgery was the only option to correct this. I doubt many men would shy away from surgery to help re-create what they used to have.
    I have Tosca’s new Eat-Clean Diet Recharged book and when I read your excerpt I had to go back and re-read the section on breast implants. While I agree that “the human ideal of a perfect body shape” is subjective, we must all be aware by now what the dominant ‘ideal body shape’ is portrayed in movies, television, and the media; and this is what I think she meant by this statement. While she now has such a great physique, she also at one point weighed over 200 pounds and developed the ECD program after she lost the weight and started participating in fitness competitions. In fact, she says at the beginning of the section that she had the surgery b/c after 3 kids, breast feeding, and weight loss, her breasts were not as physique contest-ready as they should be. Judges would not take into account events such as pregnancy, breast feeding, and weight loss/gain and would doc points for not having a symmetrical, full chest. Furthermore, after she retired from bodybuilding/fitness competitions, she had a breast REDUCTION, making hers the same size they were before she had children. She also says that if she had to or was willing to go through it all again, she would have them reduced even further.
    While some may not think her comments in this section of the book that appropriate, I applaud her for tackling a usually sticky topic between real women because she has addressed questions some of us can barely muster up the confidence to ask.
    Oh yes, and if the book is all common sense ‘we should already be implementing’ why isn’t the whole country doing it then instead of trucking through a fast-food drive-thru. I needed her push to do what I did and I’m sure a lot of others do as well!

  20. O.

    hmmm… whole foods and breast implants? No contradiction there!

  21. Incredulous

    I got rid of my copy of the Eat Clean Diet. Sure, eating real food just makes good sense, but otherwise the book seemed like a lesson in OCD. Talk about teaching people to be obsessive about food
    – don’t forget to pack that cooler! It also gave me the impression that the real purpose is to stroke Ms. Reno’s ego.

    Does the Venice Beach set have any real clue what a normal/ideal female figure looks like? Come on, oversized impants just scream insecurity, shallowness, and high maintenance. These folks are deluded. I doubt that those who truly have a need (and yes, that’s for each to discern on her own) are opting for the vanity bazookas.

  22. Melanie Thomassian

    “Pretty close to the human ideal of a perfect body shape” — says who? How would she know what the “perfect body shape” is?? Isn’t the perfect body shape different things to different people?

    Jim, there are certainly some double standards going on here, in my opinion at least!

  23. Mike Howard

    Couple of thing;

    1. Spectra – strong, strong post!

    2. “Eating clean” seems to be the elusive buzzword du-jour in the diet book world. If you want to eat clean – wash your food!

    3. It’s hard for me to take somebody seriously who preaches positive body image in one breath while advocating breast implants in the next. Perhaps it’s a justification for her own choice? (I could be wrong here – click on the link if you are curious).

    Just an aside – I’m not judging one’s choice to have surgical enhancements – I am critical of those that advocate it alongside messages of positive body image.

  24. Spectra

    While I do agree with any book that promotes avoiding processed foods and incorporating whole, raw foods into your diet, I simply can’t believe that they’re actually promoting breast implants. I am small-chested and I love my itty bitty titties—I only need one sports bra, I can jump rope without smacking myself in the face with them, and they’re mine. I will never get a major operation just to have the “ideal” female body. Gimme a break.

  25. cari from ditch diets

    I’m tired of this message about body perfection too and as for the ‘eating clean’series – well I have to applaud anything that sounds like a sensible approach and getting away from processed foods is something I agree with.

  26. Heather

    The Eat Clean Diet is what finally got the weight off.

    (I was 165 lb from age 14 until shortly before turning 24 despite being a marathon runner, and doing weights, and trying to count Calories. In less than 3/4 a year, I went down to 130 lb and size 2.)

    It seemed so silly and fluffy when I got it, but the message… oh once I gave it a try it WORKED. I buy every book in the series now… Will probably get this one, too! (The Family and Kids one had helpful additional recipes and ideas for those of us with kids we want to be just as healthy while maintaining a positive self image)