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Healthy Women's World

The 5-Factor Diet

What is it?

This simple diet, created by personal trainer Harley Pasternak, is designed to last five weeks. It consists of five small meals a day, combined with 25 mins of exercise broken down into five five-minute bursts.
Pasternak created the 5 Factor Diet with Hollywood actors in mind - the simple meals are designed to be rustled up on set and the short exercises can be done between takes.
You also get one cheat day every week so you can eat whatever you want!

How does it work?

Eating regularly will keep you feeling full and stave off dangerous hunger pangs. Each meal contains up to 300 calories and on top of that, you're also allowed two snacks of around 200 calories each.
The meals are made up mostly of low-fat protein, such as chicken or fish, and healthy carbohydrates, such as brown rice, beans or pulses. Olive or rapeseed oil are also allowed as these are full of essential fatty acid.
The combination of a low-calorie and low-fat diet will help you lose weight and because the exercise is broken up into little chunks, there's no excuse not to fit it into your day.

Who is the 5-Factor diet good for?

People with big appetites - five meals a day should keep grazers happy. Busy people who struggle to fit in a whole gym session.

What are the drawbacks?

If you work full time, you may struggle to fit in five meals a day, even if they are easy to prepare.

What do you do?

People who sign up to the 5 Factor Diet will receive hundreds of recipe ideas for each of their five daily meals. Each meal only needs five ingredients and supposedly takes five mins to prepare. You also receive an online weight tracker, a customised fitness plan and daily inspiration emails.
For five weeks, you eat five meals a day plus two snacks and do 25 mins of exercise. Then one day a week, you get to cheat and eat what you like. Pasternak believes that denying yourself your favourite foods will only lead to failure and that controlled cheating will actually help you reach your goals!
Add to this the short bursts of exercise you'll be told to do and you should start shifting those pounds.

A typical day on the 5-Factor diet

Fat-free yogurt, oatmeal with strawberries.

Morning snack
Hard-boiled egg with tuna

Curried chicken salad

Afternoon snack
Sausages with roasted cherry tomatoes and mustard

Chicken and veg stir-fry with brown rice and pak choi (cabbage).

Find out more:

You can buy Harley Pasternak's book 'The 5 Factor Diet - Get the body you want in just 5 weeks' at Amazon - More than 100 pages of low-calorie-if not particularly imaginative-recipes are included (such as Chicken and Rice Miso Soup and Roast Beef with Carrot-Pear Slaw), each of which include five ingredients and take five minutes to prepare.
or visit

Harley Pasternak - 5 factor diet

The Diet and Fitness Secret of Hollywood's A-List

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