Harley Pasternak was born in Canada and holds a degree in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences. He was hired to work to get actors into shape on several Hollywood films, and eventually moved to LA. Pasternak has worked with many celebrity clients including Adam Levine, Lady Gaga, Kanye West Seth Rogan, and Halle Berry. After working exclusively with Berry to prepare for her role in Catwoman, Pasternak was invited onto the Oprah Winfrey Show where Winfrey suggested he write a book about his program. 5-Factor Fitness became a best-seller. He has written several more books that have gone on to be best-sellers since then. Pasternak has also made appearances on shows such as Canada’s Next Top Model and Revenge Body. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 210 lbs.
Harley Pasternak’s Diet
Pasternak’s 5-Factor Diet involves eating 5 meals per day, and each meal contains 5 components: protein, carbs, fiber, fat and fluids. The plan is 5 weeks long and it includes one ‘cheat’ day per week during which you can eat your favorite foods. The protein should be lean and the carbohydrates complex. The fats must be healthy and the fluid free of sugar. Pasternak makes his food choices based on the glycemic index (GI), which is a way to rank food based on the effect on blood sugar levels. Food choices should be under 80 on the GI. Eating 5 times a day should help keep you from feeling hungry and combat cravings. Pasternak has also published the 5-Factor cookbook with recipes from what he considers to be the healthiest countries in the world, including Italy, Japan, and Sweden.
- Medium Carb 35% 35%
- Medium Protein 35% 35%
- Medium Fat 35% 35%
The 5-Factor will not leave you hungry. Every meal must contain lean protein, complex carbs, fiber, healthy fat and a fluid that is sugar-free.
Pasternak wants you to succeed and his 5-Factor recipes are simple and quick to prepare.
Low on the Glycemic Index
The foods that fit Pasternak’s 5-Factor diet do not cause a spike in blood sugar, which helps keep your mood stable and minimize cravings.
Pasternak’s 5-Factor plan allows for a cheat day once a week, meaning you can eat whatever you like on that day.
What to Eat
Other Lean Meats & Fish
Healthy Fats esp. with Omega-3s
What to Avoid
Pasternak on Simplifying your Diet
‘Just remember the letter ’S’: salads, stir fries, scrambles, soups, smoothies and sushi.’
Pasternak on Snacks
‘To benefit your metabolism, your appetite and your waistline, snacks need to have protein and fiber.’
Pasternak on Celebrating
‘Life is about balance, and there are certain times of the year…that are meant to be enjoyed without guilt. That being said, Thanksgiving is a meal…not a week.’
Harley Pasternak’s Fitness Routine
Warm-Up In a Wink
Pasternak’s exercise routines are designed so that it’s hard to make excuses not to do them. He recommends a quick 5-minute cardio warm-up of your choice (jogging, jumping, etc.), and then hit the bodyweight exercises. Cool-down is an equally speedy 5 minutes of cardio.
Blitz Through Resistance Training
Pasternak gets proven results from minimal input, including just a quick 15-minute weight resistance workout. By not taking any rests between sets, you incorporate cardio into your weight training. Can’t do 15 minutes? Pasternak will take 5. Just do it every day.
Even if you don’t have time for a workout, Pasternak says we should all aim for movement. Try to get in at least 10,000 steps every day, outdoors if you can swing it.
No Excuses Workout
Pasternak even has a 5-minute workout for people who claim they don’t have time for more. It involves 30 seconds of each: marching in place, jogging in place, jump rope (no actual rope required), boxing (30 sec. per side) and mountain climbers.
Pasternak likes high intensity workouts because they’re a great way to get fit when you’re short on time. They also help you burn more fat and calories while preserving muscle.
Hike That Heart Rate
Pasternak wants your workout to be intense enough to elevate your heart rate for 10-15 after completing the workout. This ‘afterburn effect’ helps your body to burn extra calories for the next 48 hours.
A Harley Pasternak 25-minute Routine
Do this routine 5 days a week. This workout is quick, but you need a couple of pieces of equipment: an exercise ball, weights, and a medicine ball, and a yoga mat.
Warm up: 5 minutes of cardio of your choice: jumping rope, running on a treadmill, jogging outdoors, etc.
15 minutes of cardio: Repeat the following 3 exercises 4 times.
Lying hamstring ball curl: Lie flat on your back with the exercise ball under your heels. Brace your arms against the floor and lift your hips into bridge position and hold for the entire exercise. Flex your feet, digging heels into ball. Roll the ball toward you slowly, keeping hips level. Slowly return to start position and repeat 20 times.
Lying triceps extension: Choose weights that will fatigue you by your 20th rep. Lying on your back, extend your arms straight, but with elbows soft. Lower arms toward the sides of your head, keeping elbows in line with shoulders. (Do not let them splay out to the sides.) Return to start position. Repeat 20 times.
Seated ball twist: Sit with knees bent, heels about 2 feet from your rear, holding a medicine ball (try 5 kg to start) with palms facing each other. Lean back slightly but *do not allow your back to round* (important). Pulling navel to spine, twist slowly to one side, then to the other. This is a small move that comes from the ribs, not from swinging your arms. One twist right and left is one rep. Do 20. To increase intensity, lift your heels off the floor.
Cool down: After doing 4 total circuits, finish with a 5-minute cardio cool down, such as jogging or jumping jacks.
Pasternak on Fitness
‘Fitness isn’t about being extreme and hard-core…Life is about balance.’
Pasternak on Getting Out of the Gym
‘A lot of the movements we do in the gym are things that can be done outside, but we have the benefits of the beautiful scenery, the fresh air, the sunlight, and the vitamin D.’
Pasternak on Taking it to the Next Level
‘If you’re ready to give yourself a little challenge, take a walk and mix in short bouts of jogging. It can boost your calorie burn and give you much-needed cardiovascular benefits.’
Pasternak on Forgetting About the Back Half of the Body
‘If you want great legs, you need to train them all around, not just the front of the thighs.’
Harley Pasternak’s Supplements
While there’s an ocean of protein supplements out there, Pasternak is a fan of whey protein because it builds muscle while helping you to slim down. He’s a big fan of tossing whey protein into a smoothie. Make sure the one you pick is 100% whey and doesn’t have a bunch of unpronounceable ingredients.
Harley Pasternak’s Lifestyle
Sleep Is Key
Pasternak’s recommendations for diet and fitness are well-rounded, and include getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep each night. Skimping on sleep has serious negative effects on your health, including leading you to make poor dietary choices.
Move It Or Lose It
Pasternak says you must move every day in order to be healthy. If you can’t make it to the gym, that’s okay. Move any way you can, and make the time to fit in 5 minutes of resistance training, such as some lunges, push-ups or planks.
Pasternak says we should all unplug from electronics for a minimum of 1 hour each day. Bonus tip: Make a point not to spend too much time with your phone at bedtime to help ensure you get better sleep.
Eating well matters, but thirst can sometimes feel like hunger. Pasternak recommends carrying a water bottle with you as a reminder to drink up.
Pasternak on Balance
‘Creating an overall healthy lifestyle for yourself doesn’t require a radical diet or significant life change. In fact, it can be attained through commonsense decisions about the way we eat, move and live.’
Pasternak on Detox Diets
‘Our bodies have a finely-tuned, built-in detoxifying system: it’s called our liver, and it can detoxify our bodies better than any cleanse or fast without the unpleasantness and danger of muscle cramps, dehydration, and diarrhea associated with artificial cleanses.’
Pasternak on Electronic Devices
‘The blue light emanating from our cell phones, our tablets and our laptops is playing havoc on our brain chemicals, our serotonin, our melatonin. It’s screwing up our sleep patterns, our happiness, our appetites, our carbohydrate cravings.’
The 5-Factor Diet
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The Body Reset Diet Cookbook
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