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Fight the fat with Hollywood’s hottest diet

Fitness trainer Harley Pasternak has helped celebrities like Halle Berry, Eva Mendes, Robert Downey Jr. and many more get healthy and toned — now he wants to help you! In “The 5-Factor Diet,” he shares his nutritional tips, Hollywood secrets and recipes to help you lose weight successfully. An excerpt.IntroductionThis book took me 15 years to write. Not really 15 years of writing … more li
/ Source: TODAY books

Fitness trainer Harley Pasternak has helped celebrities like Halle Berry, Eva Mendes, Robert Downey Jr. and many more get healthy and toned — now he wants to help you! In “The 5-Factor Diet,” he shares his nutritional tips, Hollywood secrets and recipes to help you lose weight successfully. An excerpt.


This book took me 15 years to write. Not really 15 years of writing … more like a decade and a half of evolution. The 5-Factor evolution started when I was a “husky” teenager (“husky” is simply a kinder way of saying overweight). I bought every diet book, fitness magazine, and exotic weight loss pill, powder, and bar! I tried weight training, step aerobics classes, Pilates, and yoga. I experimented with diets such as Pritikin, Body For Life, and the Zone. I became interested in exercise and nutrition as a way to make me look and feel better. However, it wasn’t until both of my younger brothers were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that I became interested in the science of food and how it affects our bodies. I spent eight years in university studying metabolism, biochemistry, nutrition, and physiology. I call this period my “nerd years.” While I was in graduate school, the 5-Factor evolution continued as I began to work as a nutrition scientist for the Canadian Department of National Defense. I learned a great deal about research.

Not only did I perform my own nutrition studies (breaking many test tubes in the process), but I also learned how to assess existing nutrition research. Equipped with studies that could definitively support or refute popular diet info, I began to question many dietary practices. I thought more critically about claims I heard about popular diet programs and weight loss supplements. I reread all the diet books I had previously treated as gospel and underlined all of the “facts” the books used to support their claims. I then set out to find the research these claims were based on. To my chagrin, I realized most diets and weight loss strategies are quick-fix programs based on half-truths and fl at-out fabrications. I knew there had to be a way of eating healthy that would also be realistic.

I wanted a program based on real truth, real science, and real people’s lifestyles, a sensible system that would promote fat loss and enjoyment. My 5-Factor evolution continued as my nutrition and fitness practice grew. I developed and refined my nutrition plan and applied it to clients with amazing results. My program garnered the attention of actors who wanted to tone up for upcoming roles. Nineteen films, nine television shows, and more than 50 actor and musician clients later, my 5-Factor Diet has helped the likes of Halle Berry, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Mandy Moore, Eva Mendes, Rachel Weisz, Rick Fox, John Mayer, Brendan Fraser, Stephen Dorff , Robert Downey Jr., and Benjamin Bratt. In 2005 my first book, “5-Factor Fitness,” hit the top of two bestseller lists. Though “5-Factor Fitness” was primarily an exercise plan, it contained a brief introduction to the 5-Factor Diet and offered a number of quick 5-Factor recipes. I received more than 5,000 emails from people who had purchased “5-Factor Fitness” and had shed anywhere from 5 to 87 pounds! Nearly all of them requested more 5-Factor recipes and wanted to know more about the 5-Factor Diet. So, with great pride, I present you with the last diet book you will ever purchase. Welcome to The “5-Factor Diet.”

Chapter one: A Fresh Start

We’ve met before. I don’t know your name or where you live, but it’s safe to say that I do know you — and I know why you’re reading this book. You’re not happy with your body. It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds, firm up, or improve your health so you can live a longer life; all of these goals start with eating right. Most likely you’ve already tried some — it probably seems like all — of the different diets that are popular today. It’s likely that you even lost some weight. But if you’re like most people, you gained some or all of it back. Or worse, you regained it all plus a few extra pounds. You’re sick and tired of fighting the “fat war,” running caloric calculations in your head and denying yourself entire food groups. You’re fed up with weighing your food at every meal, scrimping on portions, and eating tasteless diet foods while salivating over the cooking shows on TV — all in an effort to look as lean, fit, and glamorous as the movie stars you admire on the big screen. Well, I have some news for you. Television actors and movie stars don’t make the same mistakes that you have. And with the 5-Factor Diet, you won’t make those mistakes ever again. Absolutely anyone can get into better shape quickly — the harder part, of course, is staying that way. 5-Factor can help.

My Hollywood secrets are now yours

When my first book, “5-Factor Fitness,” became an overnight success in 2005, I was proud that the system I’ve been using for years with my Hollywood clients was finally available to everyone. In the book I outlined a 5-week program to jump-start readers to a better body and healthier lifestyle, focusing primarily on fitness and exercise. Since the book was published, I’ve been overwhelmed with requests from readers like you asking for more information on diet and nutrition. The sheer volume of letters I’ve received has made it clear to me that people want to know more about the nutritional plan I use with my clients — particularly the 5-minute meals that are part of my program — and how to incorporate it into their day-to-day lives. The “5-Factor Diet” book you’re holding is my new nutritional bible, a complete guide to the simple yet extraordinarily effective diet program I’ve used for years with my celebrity clients to get them — and keep them — in great shape. My 5-Factor Diet stands alone as a nutritional program that is simple yet comprehensive. More important, it actually works. Having this book on your shelf will be like having your very own round-the-clock personal nutritionist and chef on hand. It’s the result of my many years of education and experience in the weight loss industry, with proven results you can see anytime one of my celebrity clients makes a movie, strolls down the red carpet, or poses for a magazine. The “5-Factor Diet” is not just another diet book. I promise, this will be the last diet book you’ll ever need.

The 5-Factor Diet

So why do I call my program the 5-Factor Diet? That’s easy! Or, I should say, it’s to make things easier for you. Every nutritional and exercise principle I’m about to teach you breaks down into five easy-to-remember points:

  • The 5-Factor Diet is a 5-week diet plan.
  • There are 5 types of food you should eat in every meal.
  • The Diet incorporates a 5-phase 5-Factor Hollywood Workout.
  • My exercise routine, like my diet, is simple: 5 workouts a week, each consisting of five 5-minute phases.
  • To follow my diet, you’ll want to try some of my 100-plus 5-Factor recipes, which require only 5 (or fewer) main ingredients. Each delicious recipe can be prepared in 5 minutes or less. (That doesn’t count cooking time, of course; I said delicious, not miraculous!) I promise: If you can count to 5, the 5-Factor Diet will be the easiest diet you’ll ever use to lose.

You’re ready to start!

Before I get into detail about the simplicity and effectiveness of the 5-Factor Diet — and teach you the scientific basis for it — I want to talk to you about all the fad diets you may have tried in the past. Because you can’t move forward without figuring out why you’ve been falling backward, it’s important to understand why every other diet has ultimately failed you. Turn the page to finally break yourself of the yo-yo diet cycle forever.

Kashi GoLean with nonfat milk

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Kashi GoLean with nonfat milk

"The 5-Factor Diet" by Harley Pasternak
Spaghetti and meatballs

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Spaghetti and meatballs

"The 5-Factor Diet" by Harley Pasternak

Excerpted from “The 5-Factor Diet” by Harley Pasternak. Copyright (c) 2009, reprinted with permission from Ballantine/Bantam Dell, a division of Random House.