The 5 Finger Diet By Dr. Allan

Burn It Up

Burn It Up

By now you have seen four of the five ways weight loss can be maximized each and every day on the 5 Finger Diet. You’ve learned how to lose more weight though Defecation, Perspiration, Respiration and Urination. By eating a high-fiber diet, sweating out the toxins, breathing better, and drinking enough water you are well on your way to a bright and healthy future. Consider those like the four fingers of your hand. In addition to these four fingers, it should be obvious that exercise needs to be the opposing and all-important thumb. Increased activity is an integral part of your weight loss and anti-aging lifestyle.

The more you “burn it up,” the more you can eat without gaining weight. The good news is, you don’t need to put on a sweat suit and a drive to the gym to have exercise in your life! Simply go ahead, stretch your tendons and joints, touch your toes and reach for the sky right in your own home. Warm up those muscles! Twist, flex, jump and get started on a daily workout routine suitable to your body’s current conditioning. If you are not used to exercise, talk to your health care professional before starting this or any exercise program.

Don’t worry about finding the time. Time is all around you and you can always find ways to be more active. With a little practice, you can learn how to burn it up every minute of the day. That’s right! Here I will teach you how to burn up calories even as you are resting. Remember, this is not a pass or fail program. Every day you have a brand new opportunity to burn off the food you ate just yesterday. It’s as simple as that. This natural way of life can quickly become a healthy addiction. One that will actually help you feel better about yourself as you become a healthier person and a positive role model for your family and friends who need help.

Structured workouts, even a couple days a week, are better than no workouts at all. However, if you are sedentary most of the time, an overly ambitious workout on the weekend can lead to serious, painful injuries and permanently damaged tendons, ligaments and joints. For best results, try to spend 15 to 45 minutes a day, five to six days a week doing aerobics and/or anaerobic exercise. START SLOWLY by warming up with stretches and light activity. To prevent injuries, always stretch and warm up muscles before you break a sweat. Breathe deeply and feel your muscles grow as you burn it up day after day getting lean, powerful and sexy as you go.

The 5 Finger Diet Exercise Guide:
1. Perform aerobic/cardio type workout with interval training for 30 to 45 minutes a day two to three days a week (see interval training below).
2. Perform moderate anaerobic/strength training exercise, 15 to 30 minutes a day three to four days a week (See below).
3. Take a couple days off each week to rest and let your body recover.

You've probably already guessed that exercise could actually cover three of the five fingers of this lifestyle program. Proper exercise should include deeper breathing and increased sweating. That is how some people you know can eat almost anything they want and never seem to gain any weight. Most often it’s because they exercise! The 5 Finger Diet exercise plan can get you started or take you to the next level with increased fitness, endurance, stamina and strength. Exercise will help you drip it out, blow it off and burn it up. Now add a healthy amount of water, reduce sodium and consume a high fiber, high protein, organically grown diet (as discussed in our Five Finger Nutritional Guide) and you’ll be the one everyone’s talking about. You’ll be the one losing weight, feeling great and looking even better.

By continuously introducing your body to new and unpracticed exercises and exercise routines, you can promote the greatest amount of muscle growth while burning up calories like crazy. A varied exercise program will prevent the dreaded plateau effect experienced by most people who get used to performing a particular exercise routine. Allowing each muscle to heal and fully recover between sessions lets you benefit the most from each and every workout. Working out the same muscles over and over prior to full recovery keeps your muscles small, but particularly efficient at performing the specific exercise in question. Once your muscles adapt to an exercise routine it takes less energy to recover from your workout. That is NOT what you want. You want different groups of muscles to develop and go through growth spurts in different parts of your body. That is where the real calorie burning effect takes place, during those growth spurts. Be adventurous and try new types of workouts, just remember to be careful as you start up and make sure you perform each workout correctly.

Recovery is the sweet spot when it comes to burning it up. After a new workout routine you are likely to be sore and your muscles will be burning. That’s good! That is how you know the exercise is working. The heat you feel is from calories being burned up even as you’re resting. This is not to be confused with joint pain or tendonitis, in which case the effected joint should be rested and iced down for a week or two. Any time you engage in a particularly strenuous workout, take full advantage of that workout by giving yourself plenty of time to heal completely. Move on to other muscle groups and work your way around until your entire body has become conditioned. Then start over, always keeping your muscles in a workout-rest-recovery cycle. This will help you get the most out of your workout.

When is the best time to work out?

Some research has shown that the best time to work out is between 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM, with peak hormone and endurance levels at around 6:00 PM on average. Based on that information, working out before dinner may be the next step to optimize your body's response to the workout. Other literature would recommend first thing in the morning as the best time to exercise in order to get your metabolism running and give your energy a boost. Some people say, "A little light exercise helps me wind down before bedtime." I say, anytime of the day you can schedule a regular workout that would be easiest to comply with, is the best one for you. If you are a "morning person" and are able to warm up and get motivated early in the day, then just before breakfast is the time for you. Everyone is different, so find your best time of day and stick to it on a regular basis.

If you need to save time, the best time of day to workout is just before your daily shower. Make a rule to always exercise (even briefly) before your shower. This is a daily reminder to do your workout and it can help cut down on time spent primping in the bathroom. A 15 to 45 minute workout and a 15 minute shower can get you right on schedule without wasting any more time then you need to.

TIP: Regularity of your workout is more important than trying to adhere to a particular time of day and failing to do so.

Target Heart Rate

Always start any workout with at least five minutes of stretching, and warm-up the specific muscle groups you plan to work out. To safely and effectively maximize the benefit of your work out, first you’ll need to determine your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) and then figure out your Target Heart Rate (THR). Your MHR is based on your age, current level of fitness and overall fitness goals. To find your approximate Maximum Heart Rate (MHR), just subtract your age from 220. That number should never be exceeded by your heart rate. Going beyond your Maximum Heart Rate puts too much strain on your heart and could cause you to pass out or even worse. Sticking to your Target Heart Rate can keep your workout safe and effective with much less chance of harm.

The Target Heart Rate (THR) for beginners doing any type of exercise should be somewhere between 50% and 70% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). For advanced levels of exercise (after at least six months of regular training) you can raise your heart rate up past 70% to 85% of your MHR. Limit your THR to 85% and under at all times for safety.

Tip: Think of your heart rate like the tachometer of your car. Pushing your heart beat past its safe limits would be like revving your car’s engine well into the red zone and beyond.

To find your heart rate, or pulse, you can use any number of electronic heart rate monitors available at most pharmacies and fitness stores everywhere. Most of the newer treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bicycles have a built in heart rate monitor to make this easy for you. It usually looks like a pair of stainless steel handgrips. Just hold on for a minute and your heart rate should appear on the monitor. In a pinch, you can always just feel for your pulse the old fashioned way. Just place your middle and ring fingers on the soft spot of your other wrist close to the base of the thumb. Now press down gently to feel for your pulse. Count for ten seconds and multiply by six or count for six seconds and multiply by ten. That number is your actual heart rate.

Check your pulse often and stick to your Target Heart Rate (THR) whenever exercising. If you exceed your desired THR, just slow down or decrease your workout intensity and catch your breath. Keep yourself going, but at a cool down rate until your heart rate and breathing slow down to a more comfortable level.

CAUTION: This method for heart rate safety is different if you take medication classified as a beta-blocker like metoprolol (lopressor), atenolol or labetolol. These medications are used to treat high blood pressure and various heart rate and nervous system problems. They are also recommended to almost all people who have ever had a heart attack in the past. They prevent your heart from speeding up. If you are taking this type of medication, your Maximum Heart Rate should be much lower. About 20 to 60 beats above your resting heart rate should be your maximum. Your Target Heart Rate should be even lower. For more detailed instructions on working out to your THR consult your physician, licensed physical trainer or go to

Core Strengthening

Strengthening the body’s “core” is vital to the success of the 5 Finger Diet workout. Strengthening your core means developing the muscles of your abdomen, chest, back, buns and thighs. These big muscles burn lots more calories then the smaller ones do. Strengthening these muscles is essential to good health and should be of paramount importance to everyone no matter what your fitness goals are. Following this guide will help you safely and easily achieve this. Whether you perform aerobic/cardio or anaerobic/strength training exercise, strengthening your core will give you energy, make you feel better and help you lose inches from around your waist. On the following pages I will briefly define the various types of workouts important to losing weight on the 5 Finger Diet and provide you with the information you need to make the most out of each

Tip: To make the workout easier and more fun, you can watch a motivating movie or television show (like sports), or listen to inspirational music.

Getting Started:

Building a new you starts with a strong healthy core. You don’t need fancy fitness equipment or an expensive gym membership to start reaping the rewards of increased activity. Start slow and pace yourself as you get stronger and stronger. For best results, avoid injuring yourself by straining too much within the first few weeks. Always give yourself adequate time to improve. Remember, it took quite a bit of time to get you out of shape. Give yourself at least six months to get back into shape and don’t try to rush it. Your new healthy vibrancy will last a lifetime with just a bit of regularly scheduled maintenance. The best way to get started on an exercise program is by increasing your walking. Start by walking on a flat surface at a comfortable rate for 30 minutes a day and slowly increase the intensity of your workout. Work your way up to hills and steps; the goal is to workout harder not longer.Building a new you starts with a strong healthy core. You don’t need fancy fitness equipment or an expensive gym membership to start reaping the rewards of increased activity. Start slow and pace yourself as you get stronger and stronger. For best results, avoid injuring yourself by straining too much within the first few weeks. Always give yourself adequate time to improve. Remember, it took quite a bit of time to get you out of shape. Give yourself at least six months to get back into shape and don’t try to rush it. Your new healthy vibrancy will last a lifetime with just a bit of regularly scheduled maintenance. The best way to get started on an exercise program is by increasing your walking. Start by walking on a flat surface at a comfortable rate for 30 minutes a day and slowly increase the intensity of your workout. Work your way up to hills and steps; the goal is to workout harder not longer.


After stretching and walking, a great way to start any workout is by doing 3 to 5 sets of leg lifts and just as many tummy crunches. This will warm you up for any other exercise you had planned for the day. It will also keep you from forgetting to strengthen your belly. Abdominal muscles are “fast twitch” muscles and therefore respond to a slow, intense workout with fewer repetitions. This kind of muscle takes at least 48-72 hours to recover. Therefore, tummy toning should be done every other day at the earliest, and no sooner then every third day for beginners.

Before you get started on an abdominal workout, here’s some important information you’ll need to know about your abdominal muscles. There are four major muscle groups of the anterior abdomen. They are: The rectus abdominus, obliques, serratus and intercostals. Each of these four can be targeted one day at a time to get the benefit of full muscle recovery between each session.

Basic abdominal crunch: Lie down flat on the floor and place your hands behind your head and above your ears. Do not interlace your fingers. Without swinging your arms or pulling up your head, take a deep breath in and blow out slowly as you lift your head and shoulders a few inches from the ground. Slowly continue, each time focusing on slowing down your breath and keeping the abdominals stretching and contracting fully with each crunch.

If you are a beginner, start with 10 crunches a day and work your way up to 25 or 50. Split then up into sets of ten or fifteen slow, focused crunches. Doing more then 50 crunches a day will not be of any significant benefit, but adding leg-lifts and obliques exercises will help quite a bit.

Alternatively: While on the floor, scoot your bottom up to the base of a chair and rest your calves and heels on the seat as you raise your head and shoulders up. Be sure to place your hands behind your head and above your ears, without interlacing your fingers.

Now try 10 crunches and 10 leg lifts. Rest for a couple of minutes and repeat. Go ahead, do 10 and 10 right now. Do it again two or three days from now. That’s how you get started. Your workout should be enjoyable, not painful. In a couple of weeks, try doing 20 and 20 and make each one of them count.

Tip: If it’s too uncomfortable for you to lie on the floor, you can do most of these abdominal exercises in your bed, on the couch or leaning back in a chair. All effort counts towards Burning It Up.

The 5 Finger Diet Wall-Crawl: Or as my wife, Annie likes to call it, "The baby crying to be picked up technique.” This is my favorite abdominal exercise of all. It’s fun, easy and gentle on the spine.

While lying flat on the floor, your bed or leaning back in a chair, lift your arms and legs up and down like you are crawling. Try it for 60 seconds or until your arms and legs get tired, rest for a minute and do it again and again. You can do it whenever you are watching TV. In as little as five minutes you can get a terrific workout. You can do the Wall-Crawl in bed each day before you get up. Do it in the office before lunch. Do it in a park or in your own living room. For an added benefit, strap on 2 to 5 pound ankle weights and hold 5 to 10 pound dumbbells in your hands and keep your head elevated. The point is, you can do this beneficial exercise anywhere at any time and you will really feel the difference.


Aerobic exercise is the kind that gets your blood pumping and speeds up your breathing for a sustained period of time. It is a general term applied to any activity that fulfills these requirements. This type of training will get you in shape by strengthening your core, burning calories and increasing your metabolism. Aerobic exercise can be achieved by walking at a brisk pace, running, cycling, dancing, swimming, or exercising in a variety of ways.

Perform aerobic exercises at a moderate level of exertion with brief intervals of increased effort for a total of 30 to 60 minutes a day, two to three days a week. Beginners should try to maintain a Target Heart Rate (THR) of about 50% to 70%. Only after a establishing a regular exercise routine for a minimum of six months, should you attempt to increase your THR to the 71% to 85% range. Never raise your THR above 85% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).

Start with a basic workout like a brisk daily walk or swim. Within a week or two you’ll notice a difference, such as easier breathing and movement as you engage in activities. Be consistent with your exercise, even if it is brief and low-intensity. Everyone has to start somewhere. Unless you’re a teenager or already in good shape, you shouldn’t expect to start out with an hour of high-impact aerobics without ending up with an injury or on your way to the hospital with chest pain. It may be some time since you broke out the old leotards and legwarmers, so be sure to choose an aerobic activity that matches your current fitness level and takes into consideration any health issues you may have. Give yourself plenty of time to get your muscles and joints back in shape before you ask too much of them. And remember, this phase of the 5 Finger Diet should incorporate all the other four phases; as you Drip It Out remember to rehydrate often.

An overly aggressive or extremely prolonged aerobic workout will burn muscle as well as fat, and we don’t want that! However, if your aerobic workout is too brief (less than 20 minutes) you burn only glycogen (sugar) stored in your muscles instead of fat. Therefore, 20 minutes should be the minimum and up to 60 minutes maximum for any aerobic workout.

Cardio Cool Down

Unless you have chest pain or dizziness, never suddenly stop any aerobic activity, but rather reduce your pace to a slower level until your heart rate recovers and you are breathing easier. Stopping aerobic exercise abruptly can cause blood to pool in your feet and ankles. This can lead to venus-stasis causing unsightly varicose veins, leg swelling, and ankle discoloration and eventually even ankle ulcers. Pumping your calf muscles, or better yet, walking as your heart slows down causes blood to flow up out of your legs and back up to your heart. This keeps your legs from swelling. If you suddenly stop moving your legs you turn off the pump, but the blood keeps on rushing down.

TIP: Elevating the limbs and applying ice are great ways to reduce unwanted swelling after a workout.

Interval training:

Interval Training (I.T.) is the preferred method of aerobic exercise on the 5 Finger Diet. Interval Training (I.T.) is defined as repetitious periods of high-intensity aerobic exercise followed by periods of low level, cool-down rate exercise. I recommend I.T. over traditional endurance-type training, due to the good evidence that I.T. can produce similar effects in exercise performance and muscle adaptation in a fraction of the time as traditional training(1). What this means to you, is much less time spent exercising, with all the same beneficial effects on the muscles.

Interval training has also been proven to cause large amounts of fat burning due to the effects of epinephrine (2). This is possibly due to brief periods of epinephrine secretion during interval sprints. Epinephrine prevents muscle breakdown, inhibits the transport of glucose into the cell and increases the breakdown of fatty acids within the cell3. The net result of interval training is more muscle growth and increased fat reduction in much less time than conventional aerobic training.

Anaerobic/Strength Training:

This type of exercise is also known as weight lifting. Strength training builds muscle fast, because muscle burns calories much faster then fat, especially in the period immediately after your workout. Strength training is now believed to be more important for muscle growth and fat burning than aerobic/cardio type exercise. Building muscle in response to strength training is an energy-expensive job for your body, one that requires lots of calories. It also takes a diet full of proteins and healthy amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and water.

Recent research indicates that it is not enough to do only aerobic/cardio-type exercise to reach top-level fitness. You must alternate aerobic exercise with strength training to get the best results from your workout.

Beginners can start a healthy strength training routine with no exercise equipment at all. Doing 10 pushups, 10 crunches and 10 squats 3-4 days a week will be a great way to start your new strength-training program. Do all three sets of ten every other day before you take your usual shower. Don’t shower on those days without doing them first. Making simple rules like this one is how new habits are formed. Once you get used to it you can expand on this brief workout.

Free weights are another excellent way of initiating a good strength-training workout. They are available in all shapes and sizes and usually quite easy to store. Pick up a pair of 5 to 10 pound free weights or water bottles and bend your arms slowly. Don’t swing them, but keep them moving slowly and don’t forget to keep breathing deeply. Just warming these muscles results in charging up your metabolism. Everyone can find some kind of strength training exercise to begin with. It could be even more fun with friends and family.

Try to dedicate 15 to 45 minutes, three to four days a week to your strength-training workout; 30 minutes, 4 days a week is perfect! It can be done! A training partner can help!
Tip: Strength-train while you watch sports on TV or pull out dumbells at the office.
For conditioning and muscle definition, exercise with low amounts of weight and many repetitions. For example: lift a low amount of weight (25% of the total weight you can lift just once) 15 to 20 times and repeat for four or five sets.

For greater muscle growth in a shorter period of time, lift heavier amounts (75% of the total amount you can lift just once) five times for three to five sets.
Whichever your preferred rate of muscle growth is, alternate muscles and muscle groups frequently. Always allow at least 48 to 72 hours between working out the same set of muscles. This will give your muscles time to heal between workouts, allowing them to develop mass and definition, while burning calories in the process.

To get the most out of your workout, always emphasize the “negatives.” For example: A bicep curl should be one count up and three counts down. The down count is the “negative.” It is extremely important to keep proper form in order to isolate and nurture your muscles, and ensure you do not injure your joints.

TIP: Drink your favorite sugary beverage within an hour after your workout. This will increase the speed of muscle recovery and aid in overall muscle growth. I will not be recommending sugary beverages at any other time, so take this opportunity to enjoy the non-diet beverage of your choice. That’s right, getting sugar back into the muscle when it has depleted all its glycogen is essential to rapid recovery and a great way to reward yourself after completing a healthy workout.

5 Finger Diet Circuit Trainer:

Circuit training is the best overall workout I can recommend without a doubt. It is a form of workout that blends aerobic and anaerobic exercises to cultivate your muscles while conditioning your heart. A brisk pace is maintained while alternating between a variety of strength training exercises, for an extended period of time. In this way you can make use of both aerobic and anaerobic energy burning and get the benefits of both.

On the 5 Finger Diet Circuit Trainer, different muscle groups are conditioned on multiple exercise devices, such as machines, free weights and elastic straps, plus the addition of sit-ups, jumping jacks, pushups, etc. Each exercise can last anywhere from 20 to 60 seconds as you rotate between five or more different stations. Little or no break is taken between each exercise station and the entire circuit can continue for 15 to 45 minutes. Exercise can be done individually or in sync with a group. Circuit training burns fat, increases muscle mass and conditions the heart - all while having fun with friends and family!

For circuit training to have a rapid muscle growth effect, you will need to train with heavier weights and shorter intervals of workout time. Each exercise should be done until just prior to muscle failure or fatigue. Then move to a different exercise and continue.


This is an ancient exercise technique that is catching on all over the world. Plyometrics is a type of exercise that can help athletes, dancers and other well-conditioned bodies get more explosive power out of their muscles. By using a slingshot effect, muscles can be trained to create extra power and therefore a more dynamic thrust of energy when moving.

Plyometrics teaches your muscles to respond with greater force. This is accomplished through 2 physiological processes.

First: by briefly stretching and then contracting a muscle you make use of more cross-bridges between myofibrils on each individual muscle fiber. When you use more of your muscle fibers you take advantage of more muscle mass to perform a particular maneuver. When you exercise that otherwise unused muscle mass you train more muscle volume in a shorter period of time. When more of your muscle is conditioned to respond to a neurological impulse, more contractile force can be generated from the muscle when called upon by the brain.

Second: is through the development of muscle memory. When you condition a muscle or group of muscles to react in a certain way, that muscle gets used to the movements and eventually you don’t need to concentrate so much on correcting your form. It is the automatic pilot for your skeletal muscles. Decisions are made in the spinal cord rather than in the brain to cut down on lost time to reaction. Reflexes work using nerves and muscles in this way to constantly correct your balance and keep you from falling.

Plyometric training can help you use both of these effects together to bring an abundance of powerfully dynamic movements to your game.

CAUTION: Plyometrics are not for beginners. To perform plyometric exercises you should be able to perform short bouts of strenuous exercise and withstand jerky movements like jumping, bouncing and lunging.

Basic Plyometric Jump: Squat down with your feet at about shoulders width apart. Hold this position for just a moment, then spring upward forcefully and land and repeat. This basic maneuver can be modified to jump forward, backward or from side-to-side.

Practicing stretching, jumping and landing causes the muscles to become more agile and done properly, you could become lighter on your feet and more ready for action.

Bouncing on a trampoline with 2 to 10 pound weights in your hands may be quite dangerous if you fall, but if done properly this plyometric exercise could help you develop explosive power in your arms and legs as well as a strong sturdy core.

The Medicine Ball, Indian clubs and plain old sand bags have all been used in the past to strengthen or rehabilitate athletes using plyometric strength training.

The Thermic Effect of Food:

Question: Why am I talking about food in the chapter called “Burn It Up”?

Eating certain types of food can burn calories for you.

You may already know that energy is used up in all our daily activities from breathing to walking and even while we’re sleeping, but did you know that more energy can be Burned Up by eating certain types of food? That’s right, certain foods cause our bodies to burn calories simply by eating them. By increasing your consumption of these types of food, you can burn more calories more often by processing that food. This process is known as the “thermic effect of food”. It includes all of the energy used by the physical and metabolic effects of eating.

Some foods have a higher thermic effect than others. For example, foods high in protein have the greatest thermic effect, while fats have the least. This is because eating protein causes a chain reaction to occur, first breaking down long chains of proteins with your mouth and in your stomach, then moving, absorbing and rebuilding those same proteins into different parts of your body. All that takes plenty of energy! When you exercise your muscles they need to rebuild themselves. The more muscles you build, the more energy you burn. Those muscles take more energy to maintain as well. Fats, on the other hand, take very little energy (or calories) to process and require barely any calories at all to build or maintain.

When it comes to carbohydrates, high fiber foods will have a much greater thermic effect than simple sugars and starches. That's because indigestible fiber needs to be mashed, pushed and churned along the entire length of your intestine--about 26 feet of human plumbing before it can be laid to waste in a day or two when it's done cleaning your colon. All that time, fiber is causing your intestine to Burn Up calories. A non-fiber meal can be digested in its entirety in only a matter of minutes, making for lazy, unconditioned intestines and too few used calories. The exciting part here is that you can actually burn more calories than you have eaten when it comes to some low calorie, high fiber foods like raw celery or grapefruit.

The key to nutrition and The 5 Finger Diet is to let your meals work for you! Eating enough protein and fiber will give your intestines a good workout. Eat at least six servings of protein and up to 9 servings of fiber rich foods every day to Burn Up calories from the inside out. This alone may be all it takes to boost your total metabolism and increase your rate of energy consumption in order to lose weight. Together, the right diet and an appropriate exercise routine can be fun and easy to get used to as you optimize your 5th and final weight loss strategy on the 5 Finger Diet.

For more valuable information about nutrition go to the 5 Finger Diet Nutrition page on this website.

For more information about exercise, go to and enter into their SuperSite for articles on Training.