Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind: The Small Changes that Get Results

Woman in exercise clothes with a water bottle and Fitbit tracker.

Regardless of where you are on your health journey, it’s hard not to obsess about losing weight this time of year—there’s just something about the thought of wiping your health slate clean and starting over. But where to begin? From the Caveman Diet and juice cleanses to CrossFit and Spinning, countless methods abound, all promising incredible results. Trying to figure out what program to trust and where to invest your time can be so overwhelming that many people give up before they even start.

That’s why I went on a personal mission to find the Holy Grail of weight loss: The most effective and efficient behaviors we need to incorporate into our lives to lose the most amount of weight in the least amount of time. With the help of scientists at three top North American universities, I poured over decades of weight-loss research and then reviewed two decade’s worth of client notes from my work as a nutritionist and personal trainer. Once we had zeroed in on the most promising habits, I began testing them—first on myself, and then on my clients.

The result? A weight loss program that’s so simple, it doesn’t feel like a program at all. I call it the “My 5 Plan” because all you have to do is follow five easy steps for five days to lose five pounds. That’s it. No wasted time. No wasted money. No wasted energy. Just results.

And now I want to share it with you.

Step One: The No-Calorie-Counting Way to Eat Healthier 

Step Two: Get Fit in 5 Minutes a day. (Yes, 5 Minutes.) 

Step Three: The Power of 10,000 Steps 

Step Four: Three Ways Sleep Deprivation Makes You Fat—Plus 5 Ways to Get More Shuteye 

Step Five: Disconnect From These Devices to Drop Pounds 

5 Pounds by Harley Pasternak

 

For some of you, dropping five pounds will be the end of your weight loss journey. For others, it will be just the beginning. Either way, should you need extra support, you can find the information above—along with lots of additional meal and exercise ideas—in my book, 5 Pounds: The Breakthrough 5-Day Plan to Jump-Start Rapid Weight Loss (And Never Gain it Back!). I hope it will be the resource you need to make getting fit not only doable, but more importantly sustainable.

Let’s Get Started!

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24 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I disagree! I think counting calories is the only way to have a good picture of what you’re eating. After a while, it becomes second nature though. After all, that’s all weight loss is about: burning more calories than you eat! I know because I’ve personally dropped a lot of excess fat. What I did is I used intermittent fasting, which is a practical way of achieving a caloric deficit, and these days I’ve got Mila Kunis’s waistline !

    • I totally agree! People don’t realize what they are eating until they actually keep track. I have lost 40 pounds this year, by counting calories, using Fitbit and it’s program, and increasing my exercise and activity. Anyone who pushes losing 5 pounds in 5 days is a huckster, as far as I’m concerned. That is not wise or healthy. (Btw, I tried IF but it didn’t work for me! Weight loss is very individual!)

    • I totally agree! People don’t realize what they are eating until they actually keep track. I have lost 40 pounds this year, by counting calories, using Fitbit and it’s program, and increasing my exercise and activity. Anyone who pushes losing 5 pounds in 5 days is a huckster, as far as I’m concerned. That is not wise or healthy. (Btw, I tried IF but it didn’t work for me! Weight loss is very individual!)

    • I have tried intermittent fasting and have seen some results, but as I have learned over the years and as you have mentioned I believe counting the calories does help assist along with exercise in losing weight or keeping the weight off. No magic potion or pill will ever give you lasting results. Its going to talk alot of hard work and due diligence to lose weight if you have a lot of weight to lose, but its achievable if you stick with it. It’s taken me some time to really understand this and realize my health is important so I refuse to give up until I am at a healthy weight for my body. Here’s wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

    • 60-67 degrees to initiate sleep? That is pretty cold!! Try 69-72. You will toss and turn if it is too warm and your body does reduce temperature but mostly at the end of your sleep cycle. (Early in the morning.)

  • I was very excited to read each of Harley’s 5 steps connected to the article (each were highlighted in red to click on) but when tried received a message that the link was not connected to database . . Very disappointing. Can you assist please?

  • Ok, I get it. You’re a “celebrity trainer,” and accordingly, must appeal to the line of thought weight loss is a magical–and oftentimes–unobtainable goal in an effort to sell “the dream.”

    Want to lose weight? Simple law of thermodynamics: burn more calories than you consume. That’s it. The. End. How can you achieve this without counting calories? A study suggested overweight people underestimate their calories by as much as 50%! You can’t be sure unless you COUNT.

    Are all calories equal? No, but eating less than you burn will always, medical conditions notwithstanding, produce weight loss. So, you don’t want to look like a melted candle? Focus your efforts on resistance training (lifting weights) and protein/fat sufficiency while maintaining a caloric deficit. You’ll retain the most muscle while burning mostly fat in this scenario.

    Literally about 97% of looking “good” (which is subjective) is summarized above.

    • Me too! I started Labor Day weekend and as of today I’ve lost 28 pounds! I walk 1 hour per day during the week and around 2 hours or so on the weekend. It’s finally paying off! I have cut back on my eating as well as I do believe we underestimate how much we eat. I don’t count calories though.

  • I am really excited to learn more about the 5 step plan…..2017 motto is do ore with less, and get it done, had a major ACL surgery this year so I am focused on getting back to my fitness levels presurgery,

  • For me nutrition is key, I have always been a very active teen, young lady and now a woman. I will soon be 50 and do to a few health issues I put on the weight without all the Bon bon’s, so I knew immediately joined health clubs, fitness groups etc, unfortunely the weight has not came off I solely believe it is my nutrition. They say, 20% physical and 80% nutrition!!

  • I’m getting older now and dealing with arthritis which takes high impact cardio exercises off the table. I’d like to see some modified exercises which will help me lose weight and strengthen my muscles.

  • I have been counting calories since February and have lost 33 pounds, I have also been exercising 30-45 minutes 6 days a week. I truly believe you cannot exercise away a bad diet. I wouldn’t know what I was eating if I had not started counting calories. Counting calories, using a food scale, practicing portion control, and having a FITBIT has truly helped me achieve success in my weight loss.

  • I want these e-mails to stop – this product was a total rip off broke in the first month the company didn’t stand behind the produst offering a lousy 25% credit for the item —- STOP bothering me with your e-mail

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