Pros and Cons of the 5 Factor Diet

The 5 Factor Diet, by Harley Pasternak, is a healthy eating and fitness plan that is based on the number 5: you eat five small meals—or snacks—daily. Each meal contains five ingredients using five major diet components: protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fat and a sugar-free beverage. The exercise part of the plan includes doing five separate exercises, for five minutes each.

Is the 5 Factor Diet right for you? Here are the pros and cons.

1. Ease of Use

Pros

  • The 5-ingredient meals can be made quickly, the 5 Factor Diet boasts 5-minute meal preparation.
  • There are no special ingredients or products required.
  • The 5 Factor diet is not as restrictive as many eating plans since it doesn’t require carb or calorie counting.

Cons

  • Works best when you prepare your meals, which isn’t always practical and it may be hard to find pre-prepared meals that work with the diet.
  • Finding the time to prepare and eat five meals or snacks daily may be hard to do. If you skip meals, you defeat the effectiveness of the plan.
  • Not keeping track of what you eat may make it harder to maintain your weight loss on a long-term basis. Part of maintaining healthy eating is understanding how what you eat and in what proportions affects your weight.

2. Lifestyle Approach

Pros

  • If you enjoy cooking, chances are you’ll like the 5 Factor Diet.
  • It’s a good solution for getting in shape fast.
  • The meals provide a balanced diet
  • Eating five meals prevents hunger.

Cons

  • The diet doesn’t provide an adequate maintenance plan after weight loss.
  • The 5 Factor Diet works best for those who have a few pounds to lose. The focus is 5 weeks, so it may not be a good long-term weight loss solution for people who have a lot of weight to drop.
  • Doesn’t address emotional eating, which is the main cause of obesity.

3. Exercise

Pros

  • Gym not required.
  • Expensive equipment not required.
  • Easy to master.
  • Doesn’t require much space.
  • More effective because it changes activity type every 5 minutes.

Cons

  • Exercise routine may not provide enough cardiovascular movement. An adequate cardiovascular workout requires getting and keeping your heart rate at a level that is appropriate for your weight and age for at least 30 minutes. On the 5 Factor Diet you can continue your cardiovascular workout, but then you’re not dealing with a quick 25 minute routine.
  • May be hard to incorporate if you’re pressed for time. Since exercise is one of the key factors to this program, skipping will compromise the effectiveness.
  • Requires a bench and dumbbells, which may make the exercise routine difficult to stick with if you travel.

4. Affordability

Pros

  • Can incorporate affordable ingredients.
  • Doesn’t require membership.

Cons

  • Can be expensive if you choose to purchase the pre-prepared food.

5. Flexibility and Effectiveness

Pros

  • Two words. Cheat Day. After six days of dieting, the seventh is a cheat day, where you can eat anything you want.
  • It’s a safe and effective way to lose weight, if you stick with the plan, you will lose the weight.
  • It targets fat loss.

Cons

  • Slightly rigid. All 5 components must be followed or you will have limited success.
  • May not be the best solution if you really crave certain foods.
  • Suggested meal ideas may not be realistic if you buy some of your meals come from a vending machine.
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