Welcome to The Medifast Plan, the independent source for Medifast diet info. Get the latest Medifast coupons and learn about the program with our in-depth coverage and resources.

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


turkeyAccording to the Calorie Control Council, the average American could take in up to 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. However many calories you do end up consuming, it’s important to avoid starting a vicious cycle that can result in a net weight gain once the holidays have run their course.

Thanksgiving calories

The Calorie Control Council estimates your Thanksgiving dinner could account for 3,000 calories. The remaining 1,500 could come from the appetizers and drinks you down during the cocktail hour. What’s more, the council emphasizes their point by comparing the fat intake of those Thanksgiving calories to three sticks of butter—not a very appetizing thought.

Unless you’re an NFL lineman, does eating 4,500 calories a day seem farfetched? Tara Parker Pope at the New York Times put together an over-the-top Thanksgiving feast of her own. After starting with a pile of dark meat (more calories and fat), sausage stuffing, adding all the starchy, sugary trimmings and finishing off the menu with a slice each of pumpkin and pecan pie (who couldn’t resist having both), she came up with about 2,500 calories.

Calorie control strategies

If you throw in a few cocktails it wouldn’t be hard to approach the 3,000-calorie claim made by the Council. How can you avoid such gluttony? Don’t skip meals in order to show up at the table ravenously hungry. Start the day with a healthy, protein-rich breakfast. Doing so will naturally lower your calorie intake for the rest of the day. You’ve got the day off, so make time for some exercise to offset the extra calories that come later.

During the main event, slow down and savor the food. Put down your fork and cleanse your palette with a sip of water between bites. After your plate is clear, socialize at the table for a while to give your body a chance to signal your brain that you may have had enough. Be sure to save room for dessert.

Physiology of overeating

Overeating during the holidays can screw up your body chemistry, confuse your appetite signals and result in extra pounds. Too much food can over-stimulate the normal physiology of converting food for energy and repair, forcing your body into store calories as fat. A vicious cycle can ensue.

Your pancreas must crank out extra insulin to get the excess sugar out of your bloodstream and into the cells. It keeps churning out insulin until the brain senses safe blood sugar levels. Often before the brain can shut the pancreas down, too much sugar has been removed from the blood, you crash and you crave more food. Consistent overeating during the holidays can also disrupt the connection between your stomach and your brain, blunting the feeling that you’re stomach is full.

Burning fat

According to Dr. David Katz, your body will prioritize 1,000 of those Thanksgiving calories to be immediately stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen, a substance used for immediate energy. Fat tissue is the body’s depot for reserve energy storage. Stored glycogen is used up quickly during exercise. Then the body activates fat tissue to be converted into energy for muscles.

A combination of aerobic exercise and strength training will help defend your normal weight during the holidays. Aerobic exercise—activity that increases your heart rate and breathing, makes your body better at activating that fat tissue for energy. Strength training—challenging your muscles to maintain or increase their mass, is also important for burning calories. Muscle tissue is hungry for calories, even when you’re at rest. The more muscle you have, the more holiday calories your body will burn.


Calorie Control Council

New York Times




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