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While we feature the Medifast diet, we are also blog on the latest diet, nutrition, and health news. So, you can stay up to date on the latest nutritional science and learn healthy approaches to fighting obesity throughout the weight loss process.

Enter DietScienceNews.com

by TMP Editor on June 17, 2014

Greetings dear readers. In an effort to better reflect our overall mission and upcoming strategic transition, we will soon be switching the name of our website. We will no longer be themedifastplan.com and will move to the new URL of DietScienceNews.com. We are hoping to have this transition completed in the upcoming days.

What does this mean to you? Nothing much to start with. We still love Medifast and will continue to promote what we view to be the most effective commercial diet on the market. However, you have probably noticed that we cover a lot of general diet and nutrition news in our blog posts. We are going to continue in this direction and develop a more agnostic approach to our views of the dieting industry.

We look forward to continuing this journey with you as we refine our quest for real, science based diet and nutrition news.


Americans are exercising more, but they aren’t getting much slimmer. Exercise is an essential part of a weight loss strategy, but portion control could be more important. The challenge is to maintain a balanced diet that provides the nutrition necessary to remain healthy while eating less.

Medifast Twice as Effective

When it comes to portion control, a recent trial found that the prepackaged food regimen featured with Medifast helped people lose twice as much weight compared with dieters who tried to match the same nutrition and calorie count on their own.

Exercise can’t overcome poor diet

A new study from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics found that in the last decade, the percentage of Americans who got sufficient weekly exercise increased from 46.7 to 51.3. In a report on the study published in the journal Population Health Metrics, the researchers concluded that this increased physical activity has done little to reduce the U.S. obesity rate.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of Americans are obese. A separate report by the institute published in the Journal of the American Medical Association identified poor diet as the primary reason why Americans are so unhealthy compared to other developed countries.

The portion control solution

Another study, published in the April 2013 issue of the International Journal of Obesity shows that a prepackaged portion control diet plan can be a viable solution to this intractable problem.

Researches at Tufts Medical Center in Boston conducted a rigorously controlled year-long study comparing the results of dieters on the Medifast 5 & 1 Plan with dieters given advice on how to achieve the same nutrition and calorie intake independently.

A total of 120 men and women from 19-65 years old with body mass indexes ranging from 35 to 50 were randomly assigned to two equally sized groups. The study included a 6-month weight loss phase and a 6-month weight maintenance phase.

Medifast results

At the end of the weight loss phase, people in the Medifast group lost an average of 16.5 pounds (6.7 percent of their starting weight). Those buying and preparing their own diets lost an average of 8.4 pounds (3.4 percent of their starting weight. The Medifast dieters shrank their waists an average of 2.24 inches compared to 1.46 inches for independent dieters. Total cholesterol dropped an average of 8.4 mg for the Medifast group compared to 1.1 mg for the independent group.

Often after a significant caloric restriction a few pounds return as the body seeks equilibrium and the Medifast plan was no exception. However, overall weight loss for the Medifast dieters was an average of 10 pounds, more than twice that of the independent group at 4.4 pounds.

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan

The Medifast 5 & 1 Plan consists of five pre-packaged meals each day designed to supplement one meal of vegetables and protein prepared at home. The portion control program offers 70 prepackaged foods arranged in multiple combinations totaling 1,000 calories a day. Medifast dieters also receive access to dieticians and recipes for the home-cooked aspect of the plan, which costs about $300 a month.

Source: International Journal of Obesity, HealthWatch MD, Los Angeles Times


Can drinking coffee really help you lose weight? That’s the suggestion made by headline writers on the Internet after a recent study was published associating caffeine with increased calorie burning among trained athletes after exercise. It’s true that caffeine does increase metabolism, but many questions about its effectiveness and safety as an exercise and weight loss aid remain to be answered.


Caffeine and exercise

The study, conducted in Spain and published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, found that trained athletes who took a dose caffeine before a workout burned about 15 percent more calories during a three-hour period after the workout, compared to a control group taking a placebo.

For a person weighing 150 pounds, the study dose of 4.5 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight penciled out to 4.5 mg, the amount ingested after drinking 12 ounces of coffee. Because most coffee drinkers down at least that much every morning, headline writers found that implying a cause-and-effect relationship between coffee and weight loss was too tempting to resist.

Boosing your BMR

How could drinking coffee help you lose weight? Among the theories, caffeine may help you reduce your calorie intake because evidence suggests it may act as an appetite suppressant. The Spanish study points to caffeine’s effects on increasing Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which determines how many calories you burn while you’re resting.

In theory, by boosting your BMR, you can increase your rate of weight loss. If that’s true, once you’ve lost the pounds, a higher BMR should make it easier for you to keep them off. Unfortunately, human biochemistry suggests the relationship between coffee and weight loss is tenuous and fleeting.

Coffee tolerance

As they do with any drug, people quickly develop a tolerance to the effects of caffeine. While boosting your BMR with a jolt of coffee before exercise may contribute to results in the short term, as your tolerance builds over time it just won’t work anymore.

Research suggests there are other caveats to drinking coffee for weight loss. Obesity seems to blunt its effects. One study found that caffeine increased the rate of fat burning in lean people as much as 29 percent compared to those not using caffeine. However, obese individuals saw on increase of only 10 percent. Caffeine’s effect on BMR has also been shown to decline with age.

Caffeine caution

A 2006 study published in The Journal for the American College of Cardiology suggests that drinking coffee before a workout can be risky. Researchers found that a dose of caffeine equivalent to about two cups of coffee before exercise limited the body’s ability to increase blood flow to the heart. For a safe and effective workout, blood flow to the heart must increase to meet the body’s demand for oxygen and nutrients.

A brief scan of evidence suggests approaching the use of coffee for the sake of weight loss with caution. If you really want to boost your BMR, eat a healthy diet, develop a regular exercise habit and boost your lean muscle mass. The evidence that this approach actually works is undisputed.


Fox News

Authority Nutrition

Mayo Clinic

Spark People


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