5 Factor Diet

5-factor-dietThe 5-Factor Diet, by Harley Pasternak, is a super-sized expansion of the dieting section of his 2004 book 5-Factor Fitness.

His diet plan is based around the factor 5 – 5 meals a day, 5 workouts a week of 5 exercises each.

Harley Pasternak’s new book featured below, 5 Factor World Diet, incorporates healthy eating habits from around the world and is a good supplement to his original plan.

5 Factor Diet Basics

The 5 Factor Diet includes over 40 pages of recipes for sample meals.

The principles outlined are:

  1. Eat 5 meals daily.
  2. Follow the 5 criteria for each meal.
  3. Spend 5 minutes in preparation for each meal, using only 5 ingredients.
  4. Workout 25 minutes 5 days a week for 5 weeks.
  5. Indulge in a weekly ‘cheat’ day.

5 ‘Fat-loss’ keys

  1. Metabolism — faster metabolism burns more calories, hence less fat.
  2. Exercise — stay in the fat-burning zone and build lean muscle.
  3. Right calories — consume foods with the right kind and amount of calories.
  4. Glycemic Index — low-GI foods keep blood-sugar levels steady.
  5. Rest and recovery — promote growth hormone for muscle condition, and reduce cortisol (‘stress’ hormone).

5 Criteria for each of 5 meals per day

  1. Low-fat, quality protein
  2. Low-GI carbohydrate
  3. Fiber
  4. Healthy fat
  5. Sugar-free beverage

Sundays are considered a ‘cheat day’ – eat what you like, while sticking to the 5-meals principle.

Costs and Expenses

The 5 Factor Diet retails for $15.00.

Available from Amazon →

Meal Guidelines


  • Sugar-free cereal with at least 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving,(eg Kashi Go Lean!), with some fresh fruit like strawberries or blueberries. Use non-fat cottage cheese or sugar-free yogurt in place of cereal for a change.
  • For something warm, use egg whites as a base for a low-fat omelette, or try the Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Frittata.
  • For hot cereal, make some oatmeal and blend in a scoop of whey-protein powder.


Soups & salads, with no-flour bread or tortilla for open sandwiches or wraps, or a rice cake.


Lean chicken/steak/fish for protein, and fibrous, moderate-GI carbs in vegetables like wild rice, squash, sweet potato, broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower.

Check out other low calorie recipes here.

Sample 5-Factor Meal Plans

Sample 1 Food Protein Carbohydrate
Breakfast Apple-cinnamon oatmeal frittata Egg whites Dries apples
Morning Snack Nonfat cottage cheese Apple
Lunch Curried chicken salad Chicken breast, nonfat yogurt Slice of no-flour bread
Afternoon Snack Veggie salami, nonfat cheese Brown rice cake
Dinner Lemon salmon Salmon Quinoa, side salad
Day 2
Breakfast Cereal Skim milk Kashi Go! Lean cereal
Morning Snack 5-Factor protein shake Whey protein Frozen berries
Lunch H-P’s Big-City Chili Lean ground beef Mixed beans, stewed tomatoes
Afternoon Snack Smoked salmon, nonfat cream cheese Slice of no-flour toast
Dinner Grilled chicken breast Wild rice, broccoli
Day 3
Breakfast 5-Factor frittata egg-whites, nonfat cheese, chicken bell pepper
Morning Snack Cinnamon apple treat Nonfat yogurt apple
Lunch 5-Factor Reuben Turkey pastrami, nonfat cheese Sauerkraut, no-flour bread
Afternoon Snack Jerky beef, turkey or salmon 1 piece fruit
Dinner Asian wraps Ground chicken breast Shiitake mushrooms, Boston lettuce
Day 4
Breakfast 5-Factor french toast Egg whites, nonfat milk 2 slices no-flour bread
Morning Snack Nonfat yohurt Peach
Lunch Turkey stew Turkey breast Sweet potatoes, tomatoes
Afternoon Snack Thai Egg Strips Egg whites Shallot, scallion, red chili
Dinner Fillet of Tilapia Spaghetti, squash, sidesalad
Day 5
Breakfast Cereal Skim milk Kashi Go! Lean cereal
Morning Snack 5-Factor Berry Shake Whey protein Frozen berries
Lunch Chef salad Turkey breast, boiled egg whites, nonfat cheese Romaine lettuce
Afternoon Snack Nonfat French onion/sour cream dip Celery sticks
Dinner “I can’t believe it’s not Pizza” Pizza Veggie pepperoni, nonfat cheese Flourless wrap, tomatoes
Day 6
Breakfast Breakfast Burrito Egg whites, veggie bacon, nonfat cheese Flourless wrap, salsa
Morning Snack Nonfat cottage cheese Pear
Lunch Mediterranean Tuna Salad Albacore Tuna, chickpeas Tomato, lettuce
Afternoon Snack Turkey breast slices, nonfat cream cheese Lettuce, green pepper
Dinner Grilled chicken breast Sweet potato, peas
Day 7 Free day – eat as much as you want

5 Factor World Diet

5 Factor World Diet is based on the same principles but incorporates the foods and nutritional habits of ten of the healthiest countries in the world.

In this book Pasternak also reveals secrets such as the self-control technique used by the Japanese that prevents overeating and the key to Singapore’s extremely low obesity rate of less than 2%.

5-factor-world-dietAccording to him the major reason why there is a significant problem with obesity in America is related to a trend towards unhealthy habits, such as eating on the go and while watching television. He also blames an increase in portion sizes and an excessive intake of high-fat animal products.

He believes that we can learn a lot by looking at the dietary structure of countries that have a better track record in regard to obesity and health statistics. By adopting habits that include learning to eat smaller portions and taking time to enjoy our meals, we will not only find it easier to manage our weight but also improve our health.

On this program each meal consists of a combination of lean protein, low glycemic carbohydrates, healthy fats and fiber. 5 Factor World also offers dieters advice about how to order in restaurants, as well as providing cooking tips and more than 120 recipes.


Available from Amazon →

Available from Amazon →

Available from Amazon →

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Jenkins, D. J., Wolever, T. M., Taylor, R. H., Barker, H., Fielden, H., Baldwin, J. M., … & Goff, D. V. (1981). Glycemic index of foods: a physiological basis for carbohydrate exchange. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 34(3), 362-366. link
  • Jenkins, D. J., Kendall, C. W., Augustin, L. S., Franceschi, S., Hamidi, M., Marchie, A., … & Axelsen, M. (2002). Glycemic index: overview of implications in health and disease. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 76(1), 266S-273S. link
  • Wilmoth, J. R., & Lundström, H. (1996). Extreme longevity in five countries. European Journal of Population/Revue européenne de démographie, 12(1), 63-93. link

26 Comments or Reviews

Comments now closed
  1. Star

    U r lucky u in Uk….am in kenya so getting thos healthy foods will b quite hard!!!bt i will try and reduce portions of food i eat!!

  2. Chloe Davis

    This diet sounds very healthy. No sugars,white flour,high fats and alcohol! Of course you’re going to lose weight.The trick is to stick to it once you’ve lost the weight and not go back to bad habits from before.
    I think its easy to follow ,one just has to prepare food ahead of time.If you do what the book says you’ll lose weight.The hard part is maintaining it that happens with exercise.

  3. belinda

    the diet seems to be effective but most of the food stuffs recommended there are expensive and not easy to find here in africa

  4. Monkey

    To respond to mahmonir’s message: 900 calories/day is not even enough to support your minimum biological functioning! Your body is likely in “starvation mode” and is trying to store up every last calorie it can in the form of fat (of which I doubt you have much). You need to increase your caloric intake (by a lot; actually double would be good…especially if you are now active)with HEALTHY FOODS.
    It might also be a good idea to speak to a doctor and nutritionist as well as a mental health professional to set realistic goals, and to make sure you are healthy in all aspects.

  5. ceci


    • ted

      ceci, this is just a review of the 5 factor Diet, if you want to stop getting emails from them you’ll have email them directly.

  6. mahmonir

    hi Iam from IRAN.I am 44kg and 161cm .I eat around 900 calories per day.but these days my mood has changed and Iam getting fat (most in my legs) while I dont eat more than before .I have been so active & now too.I have been on diet for 6 years & I have lost 12kg till last year.Iam so soooooooo sad please help me please what should I do?

  7. nikki

    I am with abbie_ i m also from the uk and find it hard knowing what to substitute foods for when they are clearly an american item. does anyone knbow where we might find a UK version of the diet please?

  8. Jillian

    So many comments asking for the diet to be free – I just started following this diet by checking the book out from the library (free) and following a modified version of the exercise plan (free – walking/jogging outdoors, using hand weights I already owned, etc) and it can be very cheap (frozen tilapia, eggs (separate yolks), canned or frozen beans/veggies, fresh fruit). No excuse really NOT to try it.

  9. VNM

    I’ve tried a lot of diet but this one seems to always work for me. It’s all about eating the 5 “meals”, really it’s just 3 meals and 2 snacks. I bought the book also but did not follow the food plan exactly, it can get expensive but trust me as long as you pick the right foods you should have no problem and the workouts are really easy. I felt full all day long, but not overstuffed, and I felt great. Once you get past the first 2-3 weeks you won’t even have to follow the book, it will just come naturally and you’ll start making better decisions on the way you eat and exercise. Good Luck!

  10. Julie

    I am excited to start this diet very soon. I just bought the book. I dont understand why people say it looks expensive. It might be more than mcdonalds or other crap food, but at least you’ll be eating nutritious foods and your hair wont fall out due to vitamen deficiency. You have to buy food anyway right? The book only cost me $11.50 used on Amazon.com. So how is that expensive?

  11. Certified-Male

    LOL LMAO! Ok eating 5 meals a day will speed up your metabolism! So compromise!
    * Exercise 25 min a day 5 days a week!
    * Drink plenty of water!
    and try and avoid sodas…(kool-aid singles are great)!
    *Meal times suggested!

    B-sausage link with slice of toast
    S-rice cake
    S-beef jerky n fruit
    D-Fish (talopia) with brocoli
    Good snacks are yogurt,rice cakes,beef jerky,etc even chicken or tuna salad in prepared package found at walmart for $1
    Good breakfast is like mild meat,toast or egg whites,egg benedict or even a muffin
    Good lunchs are salads or turkey on wheat,even raw vegetables w dip
    Good meals are made with meat and vegetables mainly basically protein n low carb!

  12. tuffy

    what do you do with the leftovers on this diet? because it sounds like you don’t use stuff twice

  13. kolpty

    good plan but what about the recipies

  14. tlsslt

    this is a brilliant diet. me and boo love it

  15. marria

    “I can’t believe it’s not Pizza” Pizza
    what do you mean by that ???

  16. Sharle

    Sounds like a balanced plan to me

  17. Rodrigo

    I’ve read this book. I’ve used the diet/excercise program and not only it works for lowering weight, it makes you look good with a fine tune-up body… really, buy the book (and use it…obviously!) *****

  18. Mala

    I’ll try this. It cost more to eat out than if i just go shopping and at least i know what i’m really eating. I think these are healthy food choices.

  19. jennifer

    Thank you for the sample menu of the diet, I got several ideas of what to eat. As far as expense goes, people have to buy food either way, make healthier food choices, make healthier cooking choices. Most of the items on this list don’t cost any more than what you would normally buy at the store.

  20. cachina

    this sample menue list is not easy to follow. Curried chicken…okay…the recipe? I agree with the others. If you are listed as a diet to try, make it free.

  21. babygurl

    i think dat dis sounds expensive like all diet plans do not every one has da money for these plans and maby you shuld make this diet free if you really wanna help ppl loose weight

  22. Tyler

    I’m goin to try this diet out. I have to prepare for cross country and other sports so this will defiantly help me out in loosin extra fat and gainin more muscle.

  23. noof

    nice one dude.!! but i thnk u gta make it for free=p

  24. abi

    Its ok if you’re American but most of the things on this menu sound like they are in another language! I’m in the UK

  25. george

    This diet sounds okay i will have to try is because i am just getting bigger an biggeriam now 20 stone. but it sounds really expensive 😛