Developed by renowned fitness and nutrition expert, Harley Pasternak, the 5 Factor Diet is so simple you can count the concepts on one hand: three meals plus two snacks spaced evenly apart, each of which has all of the following five factors:
1. Healthy carbohydrates: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and low-glycemic fruits (usually those with edible skin, edible seeds, or citrus)
3. Fiber: at least 10 grams per meal and 5 per snack. Both types are important. Soluble fiber—found in lentils, apples, oranges, beans, psyllium, and cucumbers—attracts water and slows the emptying of your stomach, so you feel fuller longer. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and helps move food and waste through your digestive tract. It can be found in whole grains; brown rice; tomatoes; grapes; and dark, leafy vegetables.
4. Healthy fats: fish oils, avocados, and olive oil, with minimal use of dairy fats and frying oils
5. No-calorie beverage: water, sparkling water, green tea, and flavored waters.
Some research suggests that diet sodas may actually cause weight gain, perhaps because your satiety center feels cheated when the imitation sugar flavor doesn’t deliver the goods. “The No. 1 cause of death due to lifestyle factors is obesity,” Pasternak says. “Nobody’s dying from diet soda, so if you really want one now and then as a treat, that’s OK.”
●How much of each, you ask? Pasternak says not to get bogged down by weights and measures. “Focus on meal composition and frequency and you’ll naturally begin to eat less and lose more.”