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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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carbs fat

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.

The results showed that although there were differences in fat burning rates, there was virtually no difference in weight loss between the diets. In the real world, a balanced diet with an appropriate amount of calories from of fat, protein and carbohydrates is probably the healthiest—and most effective—approach to losing weight.

Human experiment

Kevin Hall, a metabolism researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), used data from more than a decade of dietary studies to develop a mathematical model to predict how the human body adapts to different diets. According to his numbers, a low-fat diet would lead to greater fat loss than a low-carb diet.

To test his model, Hall and a research team recruited 19 obese people to participate in a human laboratory experiment. They were divided into low-carb and low-fat diet groups that reduced their total calories by 30 percent. After two weeks, they were released from the lab for a two-week break. Upon returning, the participants switched eating plans and were then monitored for another two weeks.

Doing the math

The results at the end of the study showed that Hall’s mathematical model was accurate. Participants burned more body fat following the low-carb diet, but more body fat was actually lost following the low-fat diet. If that’s confusing, this fact should make things clear: all the participants lost an average of about a pound over two weeks.

Hall’s mathematical model also predicts that over time, far beyond two weeks in the lab, the human body will adapt to reduce body fat with diets that contain equal amounts of calories, regardless of their carbohydrate-to-fat ratios.

Total calories matter

The researchers conceded that weaknesses in the study included a small number of participants, a short period of time and that the strict dietary control and monitoring in a laboratory setting is unrealistic compared to real life.

In real life, some people might find it easier to cut calories by limiting fat. Others may do better by limiting carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight, total calories are what matters most.

Sources

Medical News Today

NPR

Healthline

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