The 5-Factor Diet

The 5-Factor Diet

by Harley Pasternak M.Sc., Myatt Murphy


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From the bestselling author of The Body Reset Diet

Having helped shaped some of today’s hottest bodies, one of America’s most sought-after diet and fitness experts, Harley Pasternak, here shares his revolutionary five-week program that will help you lose weight and get fit without feeling hungry or deprived. One of the easiest programs to follow, the 5-Factor Diet incorporates

• 5 meals a day with 5 core ingredients in each recipe
• 5-minute meal prep for more than 100 recipes
• 5 short workouts a week

Complete with delicious and quick meal ideas, easy-to-follow shopping lists, and detailed workout photos and instructions, The 5-Factor Diet is the key to your health and happiness!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345513496
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/24/2009
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 259,103
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Harley Pasternak, M.Sc., has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tyra Banks Show, Access Hollywood, Extra, VH1, E!, and many times on the Today show. He holds a Masters of Science in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences and an honors degree in kinesiology. He is also certified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

Myatt Murphy is a writer and ghostwriter for both books and magazines. He lives in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Read an Excerpt


This book took me 15 years to write. Not really 15 years of writing … more like a decade and a half of evolution. The 5-Factor evolution started when I was a “husky” teenager (“husky” is simply a kinder way of saying overweight). I bought every diet book, fitness magazine, and exotic weight loss pill, powder, and bar! I tried weight training, step aerobics classes, Pilates, and yoga. I experimented with diets such as Pritikin, Body For Life, and the Zone. I became interested in exercise and nutrition as a way to make me look and feel better. However, it wasn’t until both of my younger brothers were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that I became interested in the science of food and how it affects our bodies. I spent eight years in university studying metabolism, biochemistry, nutrition, and physiology. I call this period my “nerd years.” While I was in graduate school, the 5-Factor evolution continued as I began to work as a nutrition scientist for the Canadian Department of National Defense. I learned a great deal about research. Not only did I perform my own nutrition studies (breaking many test tubes in the process), but I also learned how to assess existing nutrition research. Equipped with studies that could definitively support or refute popular diet info, I began to question many dietary practices. I thought more critically about claims I heard about popular diet programs and weight loss supplements. I reread all the diet books I had previously treated as gospel and underlined all of the “facts” the books used to support their claims. I then set out to find the research these claims were based on. To my chagrin, I realized most diets and weight loss strategies are quick-fix programs based on half-truths and fl at-out fabrications. I knew there had to be a way of eating healthy that would also be realistic. I wanted a program based on real truth, real science, and real people’s lifestyles, a sensible system that would promote fat loss and enjoyment. My 5-Factor evolution continued as my nutrition and fitness practice grew. I developed and refined my nutrition plan and applied it to clients with amazing results. My program garnered the attention of actors who wanted to tone up for upcoming roles. Nineteen films, nine television shows, and more than 50 actor and musician clients later, my 5-Factor Diet has helped the likes of Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Mandy Moore, Eva Mendes, Rachel Weisz, Rick Fox, John Mayer, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Dorff , Robert Downey Jr., and Benjamin Bratt. In 2005 my first book, 5-Factor Fitness, hit the top of two bestseller lists. Though 5-Factor Fitness was primarily an exercise plan, it contained a brief introduction to the 5-Factor Diet and offered a number of quick 5-Factor recipes. I received more than 5,000 emails from people who had purchased 5-Factor Fitness and had shed anywhere from 5 to 87 pounds! Nearly all of them requested more 5-Factor recipes and wanted to know more about the 5-Factor Diet. So, with great pride, I present you with the last diet book you will ever purchase. Welcome to The 5-Factor Diet.
Harley Pasternak, M.Sc.

Chapter One

A Fresh Start

We’ve met before. I don’t know your name or where you live, but it’s safe to say that I do know you–and I know why you’re reading this book. You’re not happy with your body.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds, firm up, or improve your health so you can live a longer life; all of these goals start with eating right. Most likely you’ve already tried some–it probably seems like all–of the different diets that are popular today. It’s likely that you even lost some weight. But if you’re like most people, you gained some or all of it back.

Or worse, you regained it all plus a few extra pounds. You’re sick and tired of fighting the “fat war,” running caloric calculations in your head and denying yourself entire food groups. You’re fed up with weighing your food at every meal, scrimping on portions, and eating tasteless diet foods while salivating over the cooking shows on TV–all in an effort to look as lean, fit, and glamorous as the movie stars you admire on the big screen. Well, I have some news for you. Television actors and movie stars don’t make the same mistakes that you have. And with the 5-Factor Diet, you won’t make those mistakes ever again. Absolutely anyone can get into better shape quickly–the harder part, of course, is staying that way. 5-Factor can help.


When my first book, 5-Factor Fitness, became an overnight success in 2005, I was proud that the system I’ve been using for years with my Hollywood clients was finally available to everyone. In the book I outlined a 5-week program to jump-start readers to a better body and healthier lifestyle, focusing primarily on fitness and exercise. Since the book was published, I’ve been overwhelmed with requests from readers like you asking for more information on diet and nutrition. The sheer volume of letters I’ve received has made it clear to me that people want to know more about the nutritional plan I use with my clients–particularly the 5-minute meals that are part of my program–and how to incorporate it into their day-to-day lives. The 5-Factor Diet book you’re holding is my new nutritional bible, a complete guide to the simple yet extraordinarily effective diet program I’ve used for years with my celebrity clients to get them–and keep them–in great shape. My 5-Factor Diet stands alone as a nutritional program that is simple yet comprehensive. More important, it actually works. Having this book on your shelf will be like having your very own round-the-clock personal nutritionist and chef on hand. It’s the result of my many years of education and experience in the weight loss industry, with proven results you can see anytime one of my celebrity clients makes a movie, strolls down the red carpet, or poses for a magazine. The 5-Factor Diet is not just another diet book. I promise, this will be the last diet book you’ll ever need.


So why do I call my program the 5-Factor Diet? That’s easy! Or, I should say, it’s to make things easier for you. Every nutritional and exercise principle I’m about to teach you breaks down into five easy-to-remember points:
• The 5-Factor Diet is a 5-week diet plan.
• There are 5 types of food you should eat in every meal.
• The Diet incorporates a 5-phase 5-Factor Hollywood Workout.
• My exercise routine, like my diet, is simple: 5 workouts a week, each consisting of five 5-minute phases.
• To follow my diet, you’ll want to try some of my 100-plus 5-Factor recipes, which require only 5 (or fewer) main ingredients. Each delicious recipe can be prepared in 5 minutes or less. (That doesn’t count cooking time, of course; I said delicious, not miraculous!) I promise: If you can count to 5, the 5-Factor Diet will be the easiest diet you’ll ever use to lose.


Before I get into detail about the simplicity and effectiveness of the 5-Factor Diet–and teach you the scientific basis for it–I want to talk to you about all the fad diets you may have tried in the past. Because you can’t move forward without figuring out why you’ve been falling backward, it’s important to understand why every other diet has ultimately failed you. Turn the page to fi nally break yourself of the yo-yo diet cycle forever.

Customer Reviews

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5-factor Diet 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i read the book, most of the chapters were repeat repeat repeat....could have said the same thing in less than half of the book....maybe he thot we were dumb and could not comphrend what he was saying or maybe he did really have that much to say and needed more fluff to sell his was frustrating and irritating to read and read and read the same thing over and over and over....what a waste on the purchase of the book (?) a pamphlet would have been so much more not well spent
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a reader of several health publications, I found this book to basically be "a little of this, a little of that". I did not find it worth the purchase price and saw no reason to keep it. There wasn't very much new in it to justify it taking up space on my shelf, so I returned it. One of my friends bought it and liked it for a few of the snack ideas. For me, they were not anything that appealed to me; others were items that I already had heard about, so I did return it to the store. I guess the one plus is that it is very simply written and a quick, easy "read".
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think the book makes alot of since but is a little impractical for the average Joe or Jolene. Some of the recipes actually have way more than 5 ingredients (ok, thats fine). Almost EVERY recipe will take you over 5 min to prepare Then Cook (ok fine again) but I personally cannot eat as much as he wants me to eat at every meal. I know thats a weird problem to have but there is simply too much to eat for it to work for me. He does explain how the food works in your body well and breaks everything down for us simple folk which will still help me in the long run and also has great workout ideas (but there again you DO NEED SOME type of workout items) he had said none needed I believe. Overall, great book and I would reccommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great book. Why? Because it is easy to follow and understand. However, I did read it 2 times. Once before, and once AFTER reading 'Build Your Mind, Your Body Will Follow'. This is a fitness-motivation book that makes understanding yourself and how you should be motivated so much clearer, that ANY book or diet becomes SO MUCH easier to follow. Go read it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was so easy to read, and even though you need to have 5 meals a day, they only take 5 minutes! I think in the end, I actually saved time.
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nursebarber More than 1 year ago
this diet program has a good premise but is very expensive as the 5 meals utilize totally different ingredients...i have a fully stocked kitchen and it was husband and i only followed it for 2 makes sense that harley cooks and prepares for his is the only way it would work for us common folk
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