While thousands of diet and exercise experts claim to have the answer, Harley Pasternak really does have a catchy and worthwhile concept in Five-Factor Fitness: The Diet and Fitness Secret of Hollywood's A-List. Pasternak, who has a master's degree in exercise physiology and nutritional sciences from the University of Toronto, developed the simple, sensible five concept to work within anyone's typical week, based on five meals a day and five intense but short cardio/strength training workouts. His nutrition advice favors quality proteins and low-to-moderate glycemic index foods (forget net carbs); daily meal plans, eating tips and easy five-ingredient recipes are included. His illustrated workouts require dumbbells, which Pasternak considers superior to gym machines, a bench and some amount of discipline, if only for five minutes at a time. But the book's succinct approach and fresh facts (one orange juice or coffee drink per day can add 38 pounds to your frame each year; whey beats meat and eggs as quality protein) make getting in shape in five weeks seem straightforward and manageable surely the point of fitness books after all. Deanna Larson is a writer in Nashville.

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