Tosca Reno


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why Tosca is on a High-Fat Diet (For Now)

I asked my trainer, Rita Catolino, to clean up some confusion on the high-fat diet thing. Thanks for your unending support. This has been a crazy week! Rita, take it away...

Since releasing some of Tosca’s present diet plan to the public, I have been asked over and over why I have put Tosca on a high-fat diet. Here is a mini explanation, without getting too technical.

Our bodies use carbohydrates (like oats, potatoes, rice, and bread) as energy. The excess carbohydrate intake, that which is not used for energy, is unused calories and thus causes weight gain. Although I have many successful weight-loss clients on a bowl of oats every morning for breakfast, we noticed early on that Tosca was experiencing bloating and heaviness after eating her oats.

After more probing and questions, I decided to take grains out of her diet for the time being, allowing her to refuel from her workouts with sweet potatoes, squash or fruit. This may change in the near future, but so far so good.

Why the high fat you wonder? Well, when we restrict something such as carbohydrates, which provide energy, eventually our energy will fade, cravings will kick in and we will start feeling mentally drained (sound familiar?). Thus, we need to replace the lack of carbohydrates with something else- in this case, fats.

But don’t go running to your local grocery store for some bacon!

The fats in use are healthy fats - animal and plant based.  Egg yolks, fish oil, avocado, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil etc. will keep Tosca’s cognitive function going strong (she does have to work too!), as well as keep cravings at bay, provide energy for my grueling workouts and make sure her skin, hair, & nails stay healthy and strong. The higher fat intake allows the body to perform strongly under a high range of demands, while not using protein from lean muscle tissue.

We wouldn’t want to waste all of her hard-earned muscle!

For now, we will continue on this path until Tosca’s body stops producing positive changes.

- Coach Catolino


  1. Replies
    1. That's exactly what it sounds like! I'm so happy that people are starting to see how common sense that "diet" (read: lifestyle) is...We've all spent so long being afraid of fats (myself definitely included!) that we haven't realized how awful things like grains actually make us feel and perform!

      Stay strong, Tosca, and keep up all of the inspiring work.

  2. I'm so glad you have pointed this out. I find when I am on a lower carb higer fat diet that I have an abundance of energy and I lean out and gain muscle quickly. I am about to go back to this way of eating and this confirms it once again. There is nothing wrong with eating healthy fats I think people are so afraid of fat and if you do it right it is completely healthy. It all boils down to insulin response.

  3. Yep, sounds Paleo to me as well. Grok on, Tosca and Rita!
    I gave up grains a few months ago and have never felt better than since I switched to a high fat, low carb diet. Losing weight, no more cravings or sugar highs and lows, lots of energy and can go for hours without meals (if I have to), without feeling faint, crabby or otherwise yucky!

    Here is an excellent article on becoming fat-adapted, from Mark's Daily Apple:

    Best of luck to you both, in this journey!!!! I am cheering you on from the sidelines.



  4. Thanks for sharing, Tosca and Rita...makes sense!

  5. Nothing wrong with pastured bacon!

  6. I love it when my worlds collide! Tosca, PaleO, Primal, Grok, Mark--next I expect to see the Facebook IPMG group!

  7. I have experienced similar bloating and someone suggested it could be due to gluten intolerance. I went to the doctor and learned I had h-pylori. Medication round is done now, but still having issues. Next, check for celiac's.

    I wish you all the best, Tosca. I have found exercise and setting a "new normal" as a good therapy in dealing with devastating grief. More power to you on this difficult journey.

  8. Yes gluten is probably the culprit. I too suffered from bloating, cramping & gas after consumming my beloved oats. Now over a year later going totally gluten free cold turkey i am better than ever. There are gluten free oats out there that many Celiac's and gluten intolerant/sensitive people can eat with no issues! I get the Only Oats brand from Bulk Barn here in Canada.

    @Frustrated artist my dr said i didnt have a gluten issue and only did the blood test for celiac's which can be false positive (meaning that if you have it it can still show negative) and while he was in there for the scopes he decided not to test for it. I was diagnosed with IBS (Bull shit diagnoses...basically if they don't know whats wrong thats what they say it is).

    I decided to take my health and stomach issues in to my own hands and through a friend who is now a registered hollistic dietican did elimination diets to see what the culprit was...1 month dairy free and still issues...started my 1 month of gluten free a few days after testing dairy out and bringing it back in and after 2 days almost all symptoms were gone! And i haven't looked back...i have been gfree since and feel so much better and lost 10 lbs of bloat from eating something my body couldn't digest. I now say im gluten intolerant as i never got an officially diagnoses of celiac and would have to eat gluten for 3 months and then get tested again with scopes...which just isn't worth it to me. I know im intolerant and very sensitive...i get sick if my food touches wheat/rye/barley/malt. So even just the little amount i get sick is enough to not make me want to cheat ever.

    I already ate clean for years before going the transition wasn't too hard! Just had to change up the recipes/flours etc to make them gluten free...i already was accustomed to making my food from scratch!

    Hope you figure out what your issue is soon!!! Best of luck...and Tosca i would really try gluten free may be ok on them:)

  9. I too did this exact same thing because I was experiencing bloat after my oats! I LOVED how much energy I had and I definitely supplemented my muscles with lots of veggies, fruits, & yams! Don't fear the fat!! ;]

  10. Good luck with everything Tosca. I first started eliminating processed food after reading your first book, and then soon after started down the primal/paleo path. I am glad to see you are experimenting with some new ideas and hope your followers will delve into this way of nourishing their bodies with nutrient dense foods.

  11. This diet that Tosca is now on is PALEO - the diet that we as humans were always intended to eat.

  12. A high fat, low carb diet is what I find most successful type 1 diabetics (insulin dependent/juvenile diabetes) using. When I was diagnosed at 12 I was taught to eat 60 carbs for my three meals, plus three 15 carb snacks to "maintain" my blood sugar levels.

    But it never really made sense to me. Why eat mostly carbs, when carbs are what makes my blood sugars go haywire?

    I now strive to eat lower carb meals with higher fat content. This makes my blood sugars more stable since fat steadily raises blood sugar as opposed to the spike that carbs can create.

    Thanks for providing another great point in the fight for good nutrition, and keep up the great work.

  13. I recently (and quite by accident) went "grain-free" for a weekend and noticed I felt better.... already ate clean (thanks to Tosca's guidance!) and limited starchy carbs to oats in the a.m., Ezekiel bread and a rare yam or brown rice. I increased my good fat intake, primarily with unsalted dry roasted peanuts in the shell (quite frankly, I crave peanuts). I work out six days a week (cardio & training) and experienced absolutely no weight gain or stomach issues since this change.

    However after researching Paleo, I learned legumes are not allowed. Paleo seems to make sense for my well-being, but I crave the peanuts. Do I really have to give them up (and the occasional bean and string bean?)

    The other advice I need is, my legs are very fatigued (work out first thing in a.m.), most notably since going grain free. I guess I am not getting the carb to glucose stores required, and need to figure out a replacement. Does anyone have suggestions for me? My workouts are suffering….

    PS: What I found very interesting is since I increased my fat intake and lowered (good) carbs, my blood work came back within perfect range. (Despite eating so clean for years with a lower fat intake, my cholesterol was out of balance.... hmmmm!)


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