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


soda junk

Diet soda may seem like a good way to enjoy the fizz and flavor of soft drinks without the calories. But if you drink diet soda to cut calories, a new study suggests it’s probably not working very well. Researchers studying the eating habits of diet soda drinkers have found that they’re likely to compensate–perhaps overcompensate–for the lack of calories in soda by eating more junk food throughout the day

“Discretionary foods”

For the study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers analyzed data from 22,000 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NHANES, an ongoing project that tracked these people throughout a ten-year period. They found that those who regularly drank diet soda ate more of what they called “discretionary foods,” described as “energy dense,” and “nutrient poor”—otherwise known as junk food.

Calorie compensation

Among the participants, 90 percent reported eating junk food. Those who drank diet soda most often, ate the most junk food An average of about 482 calories a day from cookies, candy, French fries and ice cream. But even though they ate the most junk food, the diet soda drinkers didn’t consume the most calories. The alcohol drinkers did.

However, the tendency to eat discretionary foods among the diet soda drinkers led the researchers to suggest they could be compensating for the lack of beverage calories with empty calories from junk. Not exactly what you would call a healthy diet, regardless of the calorie count.

Brain, hormone effects

Researchers have been searching for answers as to why the widespread availability of zero calorie beverages has been no help for curbing America’s obesity epidemic. For example, a 2013 study published in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism found that diet sodas affect the brain differently than regular, sugar sweetened sodas.

Brain imaging revealed that real sugar activated reward centers of the brain, while artificial sweeteners did not. The illusion of sweetness on the tongue isn’t registering with the brain. Compared to real sugar, artificial sweeteners also had less effect on the release of hormones important in maintaining normal blood sugar levels after a meal, which could drive a person to seek more calories.

Other research has suggested that the calorie deficit created by drinking low or zero-calorie beverages leads people a believe they have license to indulge in foods with high calories,sugar, fat and salt.

Industry funded study

When it comes to weight loss, the only recent study known to link drinking diet soda to losing weight is research published in 2014 sponsored by the American Beverage Association, an industry group that includes Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsico as its more prominent members. In this 12-week study, heavy diet soda drinkers were enlisted in a weight loss program. Those who were allowed to continue drinking diet soda lost more weight than those who weren’t allowed to indulge.

It makes sense that adding a form of deprivation would make it less likely for one group to succeed during a 12-week program. But a large body of research suggests that in the long run, diet soda drinkers are less healthy, and weigh more, than people who avoid them.


Food Navigator

Red Orbit




Smaller plate, smaller portions … and a smaller waist

September 25, 2015

To lose weight, eating smaller portions is often easier said than done. But it could simply be a matter of perception. A systematic review of dozens of studies on portion control and obesity has boiled it down to a simple solution: eat from smaller plates. Portion distortion For the past 20 years portion sizes in […]

Read the full article →

The truth about headlines saying chocolate is heart healthy

September 21, 2015

The sensational headlines were inevitable as a new study was released linking flavenols, compounds found in cocoa, to lower blood pressure and improved heart health. But while the Internet was urging chocolate lovers to rejoice, the fine print of the study made clear that eating chocolate to gain the benefits from cocoa flavenols isn’t such […]

Read the full article →

6,000 calories a day hints at how obesity leads to diabetes

September 15, 2015

It’s well documented that becoming overweight or obese results in the development of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases most of the time. Although the cause and effect may seem obvious, scientists aren’t exactly sure why the body responds in such a way to excess calories and a sedentary lifestyle. To learn more, a […]

Read the full article →

Learn how an unhealthy diet hurts your immune system

September 11, 2015

If you want to take steps to stay healthy going into the Fall/Winter cold and flu season, pay attention to your diet. It’s known that the so-called Western diet—symbolized by the emphasis of sugar, salt and fat—can lead to weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. But research is also making it clear that a steady […]

Read the full article →

Healthy BMI at middle age could delay onset of Alzheimer’s

September 8, 2015

If you’re on the young side of age 50 and you need to lose weight, new research on the relationship between obesity and Alzheimer’s could motivate you to get started now. Scientists from the National Institute on Aging have produced evidence that excess weight at midlife accelerated the onset of Alzheimer’s. What’s more, they found […]

Read the full article →

Establish a meal routine to ensure your weight loss success

September 2, 2015

The timing of your meals, as well as their calories and nutrition content, can play a major role in your weight loss success. A new study has found that people who establish a routine of breakfast in the morning and a regular evening meal tend to eat healthier diets. Research also shows that unscheduled eating […]

Read the full article →

How stress could make your choice fries, instead of salad

August 28, 2015

A recent survey found that stress, particularly about money and finances, is epidemic, even while the economy appears to be improving. New research about stress and eating suggests it can set in motion a vicious cycle leading to obesity and health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to the findings the more stressed, […]

Read the full article →

Science shows low-fat, low-carb diets equal for weight loss

August 25, 2015

The answer to whether a low-carb diet or a low-fat diet is better for losing weight usually depends on who you’re talking to. In search of a definitive answer, a team of scientists conducted a tightly controlled study with real live human beings confined in a laboratory, assigned to either low-fat or low-carb eating patterns. […]

Read the full article →

Real Paleo diet had lots of carbs to fuel our evolving brain

August 21, 2015

The Paleo diet, one of today’s most popular nutritional fads, is based on the notion that we evolved to eat like cavemen. The diet of our primitive ancestors will protect us from the ills we suffer at the hand of contemporary cuisine. The Paleo eating pattern emphasizes meats and raw foods, and avoidance of carbohydrates […]

Read the full article →