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Interview with Tosca Reno


Tosca Reno is a best selling author and mother of three who in her 20s used to weighed over 200 pounds.  She is a wonderful inspiration to the fitness and health world, and through eating clean and fitness she completely transformed her body and her life at age 40 and even became a swim suit model. She's 50, she's fit, she's buff, and she's got some amazing recipes in her best selling Eat Clean Diet Cookbook.

Tosca graciously answers some questions concerning some common misconceptions, worries, and fears about beginning a healthy lifestyle.

Tosca Reno, from her Eat Clean Diet Website
Photo By: Paul Buceto

1) A lot of us (especially us ladies) who aren't accustomed to going to the gym seem to be pretty intimated by it at first.  How do you suggest overcoming such intimidation and fear?

Many women are intimidated by the gym because it’s a public place and they think that everyone is going to be looking at them and more specifically, judging them. This usually isn’t true – most people are at the gym for the same reason you are: to get fit! And the reality is they are far more interested in looking at themselves than at you! If you are a newcomer to the gym, I suggest booking a couple of sessions with a personal trainer who can show you how to use and make the most of the weight machines and your time in the gym. Just knowing what to do while you are there will give you the confidence to get on with your program and not worry about what others are thinking. Also remember that you may well be a source of inspiration for someone else who is just beginning or thinking about lifting weights.  This can be enormously empowering for you to consider as you pick up the dumbbells.

2) What are the benefits of having a regular lifting routine vs. mostly just cardio?

Being a “cardio queen” is good for initial fat loss but it won’t help you in the long run. A regular and challenging lifting routine will not only rev up your metabolism and help you burn more fat, but it is also the key factor if you want to reshape your body. After I lost weight I was thin but still had saggy bits. Training helped me turn my entire body into lean, hard muscle, and helped me shape my body in ways I hadn't thought possible. I never had a butt -- even my mother used to make fun of my flat rear-end -- until I began training with weights. Now I have a high, round, perky rear end that even made it on the cover of Oxygen's Glutes issue.

3) A common concern of lifting for girls can be summed up in something like, "But I'm afraid of getting bulky, I just want to be skinny".  What is your response to that?

That is a common misconception many women have about weight training. The truth is that women’s bodies aren’t meant to grow big and bulky muscles without the help of recreational steroids or plenty of testosterone (which most of us gals don’t have in abundance). Don’t be afraid of lifting heavy – I press 500 pounds and my legs are leaner than ever before!

4) For someone who has a desire to start eating clean and getting active but doesn't know where to start, what advice would you give them?

The best thing you can do right away is go through your kitchen and throw away anything that isn’t Clean – that means all processed products or products with more than a couple of ingredients, and anything with added sugar including white bread, white pasta, white rice (see a trend?), candy, cookies, cakes, etc. Replace these items with lean meats, lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, canned beans and spices for seasoning. If you are new to exercise, ease yourself into a program gradually. Many people tell themselves they will start training everyday and burn out quickly. If you have a lot of weight to lose, start with a walk around the block. Each day, walk one driveway further until you’ve walked a mile, then two, then three. Get into the habit of lifting weights by using soup cans and water bottles during your commercial breaks. When shopping, park in the furthest spot away from the shopping center. Take the stairs. Do stretches or lunges on your lunch break. These little things really start to add up! Once you begin to incorporate movement into your daily routine, you’ll find you crave it more and more until it’s a priority.

 For more info: Visit Tosca's Eat Clean Diet website.