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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Can incorporate affordable ingredients.
- Doesn’t require membership.
- Can be expensive if you choose to purchase the pre-prepared food.
5. Flexibility and Effectiveness
- 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.
- 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.