Eat-Clean Diet


The Eat-Clean diet is based on the personal experiences of Oxygen Magazine columnist Tosca Reno.  Once weighing in at over 200 lbs. and lacking in energy, Reno decided to chronicle her approach and journey of weight loss in her book, Eat Clean Diet.  Two years later, she followed up with her Eat Clean Diet Recharged bestseller. 

Reno believes there is a beautiful body formula.  A beautiful body is the result of good nutrition (80%), training (10%), and genes (10%).   For Reno, achieving that beautiful body means learning to control the parts of the formula we can, i.e. eating the way nature intended, and exercising regularly.   To that end, she created the Eat-Clean Diet and incorporated those essential elements.


By eating a diet rich in natural, whole foods and following a regimen of consistent exercise, you can achieve long-term sustainable weight loss.


A diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats will assist in maintaining stable blood-sugar levels and ensuring proper nutrition, coupled with a program of daily exercise (at least 30 minutes) will help you either shed the pounds or maintain your current weight. 

Program Overview

Under the Eat-Clean Diet, which Reno and supporters argue isn’t a diet but a lifestyle, participants eat foods that are natural, unprocessed, and whole.  Emphasis is placed more on the quality of food eaten and less on counting calories.  Participants partake of six small meals a day, averaging between 300 and 400 calories each.  Each meal is composed of clean foods and contains complex carbohydrates and protein.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are the foundation of this approach.  Added to that base, are complex carbohydrates such as legumes (brown rice and oats), lean proteins (chicken breast, turkey, and fish), and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, and raw nuts).  

Foods to avoid like the plague include processed foods, refined grains, sugar, foods containing saturated and trans fats, and alcohol.  

Plan Strengths

If you are not a fan of calorie counting or dealing with pre-packaged foods, then this diet would likely appeal.  Unlike some other plans, which call for certain food groups to be eliminated, the diet encourages a balanced intake of all food groups.  The consumption of whole, unprocessed foods is definitely a healthy way to eat, and the stress placed on the importance of daily exercising is a positive approach to sustainable weight loss.  Sure, weight loss may occur more slowly, as counting calories is not big on this program’s agenda, but over the long term, the weight will likely stay off because of this more healthy approach.  

Given the variety of foods available, people suffering from specific allergies can still participate without feeling deprived.  The same applies to vegetarians as well.

Exercise is an important part of this plan’s overall approach, and participants are encouraged to increase their level of activity as much as possible.  A weight-training program for a minimum of 30 minutes on 3 days each week is also highly recommended.  

Plan Weaknesses

One of the major criticisms leveled against the Eat Clean Diet is that the approach is too stringent and requires a tremendous amount of discipline.  Very little variation or straying off the proverbial path is allowed.  In fact, participants are only allowed one “cheat meal” a week.  This dramatic overhaul of both lifestyle and diet is often too much for some individuals looking for a more gradual and friendly approach to weight loss.  

Some critics also take issue with Reno’s recommendation to remove all saturated fat intake, especially when there is some evidence to suggest that these fats do play an important role in our diets.  Her further advice to add ten rather expensive supplements, which she believes are a necessary part of the approach, has some calling foul, given no scientific support regarding their effectiveness is available and therefore does not warrant the added cost.      


High marks go to the Eat Clean Diet for the high nutritional quality of its program and its emphasis on the importance of daily exercise.  The diet’s approach is, for the most part, sound, but its rigidity and inflexibility may prove challenging for many who may lack the high level of discipline needed to undertake the program.  

The information provided here is for educational or informational purposes only.  Dave DePew does not endorse any of the programs/services reviewed here.  

Additional Resources

Eat Clean Diet Official Website,

The Eat Clean Diet, Diet Blog, Review:  Eat Clean Diet,,