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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.

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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

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weight

Do you wonder what your body’s ideal weight actually is? Dozens of formulas based on research have been designed to calculate an ideal, healthy weight, but most people have their own idea about how many pounds that should be. A recent study has found that most people probably think their ideal weight is lower than what is considered healthy. This perception could be why the study also found that most people are unhappy with their weight.

What’s your BMI?

The most well known, and most maligned, metric for assessing a healthy—or normal weight—is body mass index (BMI). The BMI formula, which was designed in the 1830s by Belgian mathematician Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet, is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters. For example, someone who is 5’-10” (1.8 meters), 160 pounds (73 kg) has a BMI of 22.5. Normal BMI is considered to be from 18.5 to 24.9. BMI below that range is underweight. Above that range is overweight. BMI 30 and above is considered obese.

Unrealistic expectations

Researchers at the University of Helsinki have found that most people who want to lose weight believe the ideal weight they are trying to reach is unrealistic. Based on the BMI concept, women especially believed their ideal weight was significantly below a healthy weight. What’s more, these unrealistic expectations work against them, and reduce their chances of success.

The study, published in the journal Obesity, analyzed data from the FinnTwin 16 study, a project involving nearly 5,000 Finnish men and women. Participants answered questions about their actual body weight and their perceived ideal weight at age 24 and again a decade later.

Weight gain in your future?

Most of them were unhappy with their weight at age 24 and thought it should be less. Of those with normal BMI, 20 percent of the men and 13 percent of the women were fine with that. Those women who were happy with their weight were nearly underweight, with BMI averaging about 19. Whether they were comfortable in their own skin or not, nearly all participants gained weight over ten years. Women gained an average of 11 pounds and men gained average of 14 pounds.

This weight gain may have not been an issue for those who were happy about their weight to begin with. Ten extra pounds for woman with a BMI of 19 is likely to leave her well within the normal range.

What’s your ideal weight?

BMI has been widely criticized as a measure of healthy weight. After all, it was invented in the 1830s and humans are different animals now that we were then. Another formula widely used among dietitians and exercise scientists is the G.J. Hamwi formula for ideal weight, created in 1964. The Hamwi formula starts by matching the first 60 inches in height with 100 pounds for women and 106 pounds for men. For every inch above 60, add five pounds for women and six pounds for men. The ideal weight for our hypothetical person above is 166 pounds for a man and 150 pounds for a woman.

Body composition

Hamwi’s ideal weight is a little more forgiving than Quetelet’s BMI, but each formula is still fairly close. Information about your body composition is the best way to know you’re at a healthy weight. Body composition involves either your body fat percentage or waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Most people don’t have ready access to a body fat assessment, which requires either a skilled health care professional using calipers to pinch skin folds, or technology called bioelectrical impedence analysis.

What’s your WHR?

The beauty of WHR is that all you need as a tape measure. It also has nothing to do with how much you weigh. Measure your waist just above your navel, level with the top of your hipbone. Then measure you hips at their widest point, usually where your butt sticks out the most behind you. Divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference.

Men with a WHR less than 0.9, and women with a WHR less than 0.8 are probably healthy and may feel relieved that they can stop worrying about their weight so much. Those with WHRs higher than those thresholds may want to whittle them down by making healthy food choices and exercising more.

Sources

ScienceDaily

Medical News Today

Harvard School of Public Health

Calculator.net

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Exercise won’t help you lose weight unless you cut calories

February 5, 2016

If losing weight is simply burning more calories than you eat, then exercising more without changing your diet—or your calorie intake—should shed pounds, right? Well, it may not be so simple, according to recent research about the effect of exercise on calorie burning. It helps explain why you need to change your diet as well […]

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Lose weight by identifying with yourself as a healthy eater

February 2, 2016

Are you your own worst enemy when it comes to sticking to your diet? Your success or failure with weight loss could depend simply on changing the way you think about yourself. New research investigating a behavioral approach called “self as doer” suggests that identifying with yourself as someone who makes healthy food choices could […]

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Some common sense about potatoes and gestational diabetes

January 28, 2016

The potato industry was no doubt dismayed by recent news reports of a study linking potato consumption with gestational diabetes. Many pregnant women develop gestational diabetes (GD), a condition that results from hormones that stimulate high blood sugar to nourish the fetus. Women who develop GD have a higher risk for type 2 diabetes. In […]

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Can blueberries at breakfast enhance performance in bedroom?

January 25, 2016

Physicians and frauds have been trying to find solutions to erectile dysfunction for thousands of years. The state of the art today is a pharmaceutical that has become one of the biggest selling drugs in the world. However, a recent study suggests an alternative to drugs that has probably worked since ancient times: a healthy […]

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Can weighing yourself more often help you lose weight?

January 20, 2016

You’ve started your weight loss program for the New Year and stepping on the scale is proof it’s going well so far. Going forward, how often should you check your progress? Research has shown that for some people, frequent weighing leads to more successful weight loss, while in others it can lead to scale obsession, […]

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How to override your hard-wired desire for winter overeating

January 14, 2016

With diet season in full swing, a new study has been released that may explain why losing weight is such a difficult New Year’s resolution to keep. According to researchers from University of Exeter in England, humans are hardwired by evolution to overeat in the winter. The problem of winter weight gain could be worsened […]

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Can more of your favorite foods actually help you eat less?

January 12, 2016

There’s a form of learning—or unlearning—called habituation where a person’s response to something decreases as their exposure to it increases. Researchers have explored food habituation as a weight loss strategy. By repeatedly serving a dish, the recipient gets tired of it and eats less. Another form of food habituation, which may be more realistic for […]

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No one satisfied with compromises in new dietary guidelines

January 7, 2016

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were finally released Jan. 7. A pitched battle has been waged for nearly a year between nutrition experts and industry lobbyists over recommendations issued by a government-appointed committee. A few minor changes concerning cholesterol, red meat and sugar are getting a lot of attention. But it’s important to remember that […]

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Don’t let healthier food choices trick you into overeating

January 4, 2016

Recent research shows that Americans may be eating healthier. But other research suggests this trend isn’t stopping us from overeating. A new study has found that people tend to perceive healthy food as less filling. As a result, they tend to feel less satisfied, which ironically, can lead to overconsumption and weight gain. Healthy eating […]

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