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



High protein diets have become very popular for weight loss. Eating more protein is believed to suppress hunger, as well as prevent loss of lean muscle mass while the body is losing fat. One of the benefits of weight loss is increased insulin sensitivity, an improvement in health that reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Yet new research suggests a high protein diet cancels out the improvements in insulin sensitivity, also known as insulin resistance, typically seen with weight loss on a diet with moderate amounts of protein.

Understanding insulin resistance

A consequence of excess body fat is impaired insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone released after eating that allows sugar to leave the bloodstream and enter the body’s individual cells. After years of a sedentary lifestyle fueled by overeating, cells build a tolerance to insulin. The pancreas responds by cranking out more insulin. A vicious cycle ensues. Cells become more insulin resistant as the pancreas wears out from producing so much insulin. Sugar builds up in the blood and type 2 diabetes is the inevitable result.

Losing weight via healthy eating and exercise is a proven way to reduce insulin resistance. However, findings from a recent new study, published in the journal Cell Reports, have shown that individuals adopting a high-protein diet to lose weight may not reap this critical benefit.

“Completely abolished”

Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis recruited 34 postmenopausal women classified as obese with a body mass index of 30 or more who were separated into different treatment groups. One group of women was assigned to maintain their current weight. A second group was placed on a weight loss diet including the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The third group had their protein intake boosted to 1.2 grams per kilogram.

After 28 weeks, among many improvements in their metabolism, researchers documented a 25 to 30 percent decrease in insulin resistance for the women following the RDA for protein intake. According to the researchers, the expected effects of weight loss for the women on the high protein diet were “completely abolished.”

Your protein needs

The study couldn’t answer the question as to why insulin sensitivity did not improve in the high protein diet group. They conceded that further research is necessary. For now, the safety and effectiveness of high protein diets for weight loss remain controversial.

Trying to figure out how much protein you need could get confusing. It’s important to realize that the RDA for protein, 0.8 grams per kilogram, is the absolute minimum the average person needs to avoid protein deficiency. For someone who weighs 140 pounds, that’s 53 grams of protein—212 calories—a day. For the average person on a 2,000-calorie diet, that’s little more than 10 percent of daily calories.

Meanwhile, current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a protein intake of 10 to 35 percent of daily calories, depending on the individual. For our 140-pound person, that’s from 200 to 700 protein calories a day.

More than meat

Until more definitive guidelines on protein intake emerge, if you decide to boost your protein intake to lose weight, don’t just increase your meat intake. Other high quality protein sources low in saturated fat and processed carbohydrates include whole grains, legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), nuts and certain vegetables. Plus, it’s important to realize that when you increase your calories from protein, you have to decrease calories from carbohydrates and fat or you will defeat your purpose.



Harvard Medical School

Diabetes Forecast


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