The 5-Factor Diet

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • What is it?

    This simple diet, created by personal trainer Harley Pasternak, is designed to last five weeks. It consists of five small meals a day, combined with 25 mins of exercise broken down into five five-minute bursts.
    Pasternak created the 5-Factor diet with Hollywood actors in mind – the simple meals are designed to be rustled up on set and the short exercises can be done between takes and Eva Mendes, Katherine Heigl and Halle Berry are all said to be fans.
    You also get one cheat day every week so you can eat whatever you want!

    How does it work?

    Eating regularly will keep you feeling full and stave off dangerous hunger pangs. Each meal contains up to 300 calories and on top of that, you’re also allowed two snacks of around 200 calories each.
    The meals are made up mostly of low-fat protein, such as chicken or fish, and healthy carbohydrates, such as brown rice, beans or pulses. Olive or rapeseed oil are also allowed as these are full of essential fatty acid.
    The combination of a low-calorie and low-fat diet will help you lose weight and because the exercise is broken up into little chunks, there’s no excuse not to fit it into your day.

    With the goodtoknow Diet Club no foods are banned and there are no tricky rules to follow. You’ll soon learn which meals and snacks you can enjoy without blowing your calorie allowance, helping you make changes to your eating habits that will keep the weight off for good. Find out more by signing up to the 7 day trial – it’s free!

    People with big appetites – five meals a day should keep grazers happy. Busy people who struggle to fit in a whole gym session.

    What are the drawbacks?

    If you work full time, you may struggle to fit in five meals a day, even if they are easy to prepare.

    What do you do?

    People who sign up to the 5-Factor diet will receive hundreds of recipe
    ideas for each of their five daily meals. Each meal only needs five
    ingredients and supposedly takes five mins to prepare. You also receive
    an online weight tracker, a customised fitness plan and daily
    inspiration emails.
    For five weeks, you eat five meals a day plus two snacks and do 25 mins
    of exercise. Then one day a week, you get to cheat and eat what you
    like. Pasternak believes that denying yourself your favourite foods will
    only lead to failure and that controlled cheating will actually help
    you reach your goals!
    Add to this the short bursts of exercise you’ll be told to do and you
    should start shifting those pounds.

    Fat-free yogurt, oatmeal with strawberries.

    Morning snack
    Hard-boiled egg with tuna

    Curried chicken salad

    Afternoon snack
    Sausages with roasted cherry tomatoes and mustard

    Chicken and veg stir-fry with brown rice and pak choi (cabbage).

    Join our Diet Club
    Follow a personalised, healthy-eating diet with our Light Choices Diet Club plan and use our continuous support to help motivate you with your weight loss. Join now and get 4 weeks free

    Find out more:
    You can buy Harley Pasternak’s book ‘The 5-Factor Diet – Get the body
    you want in just 5 weeks’ at or visit

    Where to next?
    Lazy Girl’s Diet
    Woman’s Own’s Better Body Club
    Find your perfect diet
    Easy exercises