The "five" in the 5 Factor Diet comes not only from the number of elements each meal should include -- protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, fat, and fluids -- but from the recommended five meals a day, with recipes that contain no more than five ingredients, or take no more than five minutes of prep time and five minutes of cooking time.
There is also a five-day exercise plan, which -- no surprise -- consists of five exercises you do for 5 minutes each. And, there's a "cheat day" once a week, when you can eat anything you like.
Nutritionist Cathy Nonas, MS, RD, believes this approach hits all the right notes for orchestrating successful weight control for many people.
"This is a healthy plan that incorporates all the food categories in appropriate proportions. The exercise is a combination of cardio and strength training, and you don't need any expensive equipment to do it," Nonas writes in her review of The 5 Factor Diet for the American Dietetic Association.
The diet is nutritious, agrees weight control psychologist Abby Aronowitz, PhD, director of SelfHelpDirectives.com, but she still sees some serious flaws in the plan.
"Yes, it's good nutrition, but outside of the Hollywood community I don't believe there is any evidence to show that eating five meals a day is a secret formula to weight control. In the end, it's just calories in and calories out, and it doesn't really matter when you eat them -- and to try to convince us otherwise is somewhat misleading," says Aronowitz, author of Your Final Diet.
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