5 Factor Diet Plan Details and Facts

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The 5 Factor Diet is a weight loss program developed by fitness trainer Harley Pasternak with Myatt Murphy. According to the book authors, the diet plan has helped shaped some of the hottest bodies in the country. But is it right for you? Check out the facts about the complete program before you decide.

What is the 5 Factor Diet?

The key principle of the 5 Factor Diet is to eat five meals each day. The meals must be made up of five components: a lean protein, a complex carbohydrate, fiber, a "good" fat, and a sugar-free drink.

The food choices Pasternak recommends are based on the glycemic Index (GI), which rates foods according to their effect on blood sugar levels.

Eating foods with a low GI, as well as high-fiber foods, may help control cravings and prevent overeating by keeping your blood sugar stable. Pasternak provides some additional key points behind the basis of his diet, including the importance of both protein and fiber as they relate to weight loss and good nutrition in general.

Pasternak says getting regular exercise is 50% of his plan. He says you must exercise five days a week to get the full benefit of the plan. He suggests five exercises, to be done five days each week, that take about five minutes each to do. Photos and step-by-step instructions for exercises are provided in the book.

The 5 Factor Diet is a 5-week plan!, but you will need to stay on it quite a bit longer if you have more than about 10 pounds to lose.

It does not provide rapid results. You can expect an average loss of one to two pounds a week after the first week. This diet is safe and adaptable as a permanent lifestyle.

Who Should Try the 5-Factor Diet?

If you are looking for a diet plan that provides easy-to-understand healthy eating guidelines and examples of reasonably beginner-friendly exercises, then this diet will work probably work for you.

If you have found diets to be too stringent in the past and have been left feeling deprived, the cheat day will make this diet easier for you.

If you are too busy to prepare meals ahead of time to take to work or school and/or you are not able to eat every 3 to 4 hours, following this diet may not be for you.

If you want to learn more about making better food choices, but don't want to follow the plan exactly, you will still benefit from learning more about the recommended diet changes set forth in this book.

If you have a problem with emotional eating, this diet probably will not work well for you, as Pasternak fails to address the topic.

If you don't want to cook, you will have to devote time to planning all of your meals yourself rather than using the recipes Pasternak provides. Additionally, some of the foods on the "must-haves" list may not be readily available. Some of the recipes are quite expensive.

If you eat out a lot, you may find the diet challenging. Pasternak provides only a few examples of dishes to order in restaurants.

In time, however, as you adjust to the new eating habits, you'll be able to make appropriate choices and make special requests when you need to.

Does The 5 Factor Diet Work?

The 5 Factor Diet would not be considered a fad diet because it provides healthful eating guidelines, recommends a variety of foods without excluding any food groups, and is adaptable to your own preferences. Additionally, it recommends regular exercise. All of these points are hallmarks of a sound diet plan.

There is not really any new or exclusive science behind the plan, it's actually just good, common-sense advice about making better eating choices and becoming more active. There is no weight loss magic to eating five meals a day, and always being required to eat all five of the "5-Factor Foods" together at one time isn't necessarily any more effective than eating them among different meals or snacks.

Weight loss comes down to calories in calories out. Whether you eat five or three meals a day, if you burn more calories than you take in, you'll lose weight. If, for example, you completely remove high-calorie and high-sugar foods such as white bread and soda pop from your diet and replace them with whole grains and sugar-free beverages, and you work out most days a week, you are virtually guaranteed to lose weight.

*This article was edited by Malia Frey, Verywell Expert on Weight Loss

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