Top 7 Most Popular Weight-Loss Programs: The 5 Factor Diet

One of the most popular diet programs in recent memory was the brain-child of Canadian-born personal trainer Harley Pasternak, titled the 5-Factor Diet. During Harley’s tenure as a fitness coach and public speaker in Los Angeles, he worked with many of Hollywood’s elite and helped them stay in great shape. This led to the formula Harley wrote about in his 5-Factor Diet best-selling book.

Part of the reason the 5-Factor Diet is so admired is due to the celebrities Harley has worked with. Helping to literally shape the bodies of Hilary Duff, Katy Perry, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, Alicia Keys and Lady Gaga, millions rushed out to purchase the book in order to learn the plan firsthand.

The 5-Factor Diet is all about the 5 – that is the unifying principle of the entire plan. According to Pasternak, if you can live by the principle of 5 and follow the plan to the letter, you should be able to lose weight and stay in great shape.

How the 5-Factor Diet Works

The 5-Factor Diet plan works by introducing smaller meals to the body throughout the day and allowing the metabolism to stay constantly busy in burning the fuel. Individuals on the diet are to eat 5 meals per day, using 5 ingredients per meal. And as an added bonus, the meals only have 5 minutes of preparation time, meaning that they will not cut into your day, even if you are amongst the Hollywood elite and have a busy schedule.

The smaller, more frequent meals are also said to help keep your body’s insulin levels low so that less food in converted into fat. The plan, in addition to keeping your metabolism running high, also helps to improve your mood, reduce stress, help you sleep better, and more.

Of course, the 5-Factor Diet still preaches nutrition. Users cannot run out and eat at McDonald’s five times every day. Harley emphasizes proper nutrition and lays out a list of foods you should eat and why you should eat them.

He emphasizes protein in the book. For dieters, lean proteins can satisfy hunger without a large portion size or a high caloric count, and protein is not as efficiently converted to fat like carbohydrates are. Your meals throughout the day should include lean proteins.

Harley also makes it a point in the book to talk about avoiding bad carbohydrates. He preaches about low and moderated food items on the glycemic index. Staying with the sugar theme, Harley also suggests dieters avoid all beverages with sugar in them.

Healthy fats, like olive oil and peanut oil, are suggested over bad fats such as butter, milk, poultry skin, animal fats and oils containing high levels of saturated fats. Fiber is another big part of the diet, helping you to stay full and having a great overall effect on your body’s health by helping to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

The book comes complete with workout information as well. Dieters are urged to implement 5 weekly workouts into their regimen, going through 5 different phases: Phase 1: 5 minutes of cardio; phase 2: 5 minutes of upper strength training; phase 3: 5 minutes of lower strength training; phase 4: 5 minutes of core training; and phase 5: 5 minutes of cardio.

Pros and Cons of the 5-Factor Diet


  • The book is really affordable and it’s all-inclusive, giving you everything you need from recipes to workouts
  • The impressive list of Harley’s clientele is proof positive that the 5-Factor Diet can work for anyone
  • With quick preparation time for meals and a workout regimen only taking 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week, the 5-Factor Diet is one of the easier diets to stay on
  • You won’t have to sacrifice much outside of bad carbs on this diet; you still get to eat throughout the day


  • The diet is preached as a one-size-fits-all approach and doesn’t get very personal for anyone’s particular body type, lifestyle or eating habits
  • The “book” is really all you have to go on. There’s no one there in your corner as an ongoing program

With any diet in existence, the results are what you make them. If you are willing to stick with a plan and to see a diet through, then you should experience some tangible results. With the 5-Factor Diet, the groundwork is laid out for you in an easy-to-follow formula that has worked for many, many people across the globe.

There’s no support circle and no highly detailed planners for you to adhere to unless you create them for yourself, but the principle of “5” has helped many individuals achieve weight-loss results.

Read also the others in our Top 7 Most Popular Weight-Loss Program series:



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