Harley Pasternak’s 5 Ways to Lose 5 Pounds

Here are five ways to lose weight without going crazy. (Photo: Meredith Jenks/Trunk Archive)

It’s our Spring Reboot Week 3 and we’re tackling how to lose 5 pounds.

With weight loss, it’s no pain, no gain, right? Not so fast. According to celebrity trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak, working out like crazy, subsisting on salads, trying the diet trend of the moment isn’t the way to go.  “Not only are those things not fun, they are not sustainable,” says Pasternak. In his latest book, 5 Pounds: The Breakthrough 5-Day Plan to Jump-Star Rapid Weight Loss (and Never Gain it Back) Pasternak says losing weight doesn’t have to be a grind.

Pasternak thinks the key to successful weight loss is repeating healthy habits that aren’t expensive or complicated. By following these simple, daily habits he insists you will lose the last five pounds that are clinging to your ribs after a cold winter,  or the first five pounds in a larger weight loss plan.  “I focused on the things that really increase metabolism,” says Pasternak. “These are the 5 most important behaviors to completely reset your body.” Pasternak who works with stars like Megan Fox and Behati Prinsloo says the key is avoiding fads like juice cleanses and crazy workouts: It’s not about doing any one thing to an extreme.” The plan is something that he has seen truly eliver: “I have seen more weight loss results using this 5-point plan than anything else,” says Pasternak. We’re sold.


Celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak’s new book. (Photo: Penguin Books)

1. Walk Five Miles a Day

Pasternak believes that sitting at a desk all day, then working out in random bursts isn’t healthy. Instead, the goal should be to move as much as possible throughout the day. While five miles or 10,000 steps sounds daunting, Pasternak says it’s very doable if you make adjustments to your lifestyle. Rather than invest in a gym membership, Pasternak suggests investing in an activity tracker like a Fitbit, to keep track of how much you are moving. “When you look at the fittest, leanest populations like Japan and Scandinavia  they don’t even go to the gym.,” says Pasternak. “The average person in Sydney takes 11,000 steps a day and the average person in Houston does 4000. Guess who is going to be leaner, regardless of their diet?”

2. Say goodbye to your workouts.

The most mind-blowing part of Pasternak’s advice is this: to lose weight and keep it off, you don’t need to go to the gym. “You need cardio, which we are achieving by doing our 10,000 steps a day and moving all day,” explains Pasternak. “You also need resistance to sculpt tighten and tone.” The kicker is that he thinks you can do it in just five minutes a day. “You do a different resistance exercise that corresponds to a different body part each day. Monday you do reverse lunges. Tuesday you do dips for the back of your arms…. At the end of the seven day period we have trained our whole body.” One big reason why Pasternak is suggesting this new approach to fitness is to create habits that feel doable. “If you cut the need for substantial gym equipment and carving out extra time, we have less excuses for not succeeding.”

3. Eat Protein & Fiber Five Times a Day:

According to Pasternak you should avoid trendy diets, and focus instead on combining lean protein with fiber at every meal. “Protein boosts your metabolism and maintains lean muscle tissue,” explains Pasternak. “Fiber is what makes you feel full.” Combining the two is easy if you “remember the letter S for smoothies, salads, scrambles, stir-fries, sandwiches, salads, and sushi.”  For example, Pasternak recommends doing a smoothie in the morning with apples, peanut powder, bananas, spinach, and milk. Mid-morning snack could be a Siggi’s yogurt with berries and slivered almonds. For lunch try a chopped salad with salmon or an open-faced turkey and arugula sandwich. Afternoon snack could be cut veggies and hummus. Dinner might be a chicken stir fry. Best part? It all sounds delicious. “You don’t need to starve yourself,” says Pasternak.

4. Unplug for at least an hour a day

“Believe it our not our phones and our laptops are making us fat,” says Pasternak. “There is a lot of research that the blue light wreaks havoc with our brain chemicals intercepting our cravings. The alerts that come from our phones are playing havoc with our adrenal glands. This affects our cortisol levels, which are stress hormones.” So what should you do instead? “What people have done for 6000 years, walk, read books, and see friends.”

5. Sleep at least 7 hours a night

Pasternak says that the link between sleep and eating habits is one to pay attention to. “Research shows us that 30 minutes of less sleep a night can lead to consuming 10% more calories over the next 24 hours,” says Pasternak. “Not only do you end up eating more you end up craving the wrong foods, and not only that, you tend to be less physically active.”


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