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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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Here’s what stress does to your body to make you fat

by TMP Editor on February 24, 2017

New research is making the connection between high levels of the stress hormone cortisol and obesity. How chronic stress and cortisol can result in weight gain and excess fat has been known for many years. The study shows that people who are obese tend to be stressed out, and people who are stressed are more likely to become obese. The evidence reinforces how essential stress management can be to a successful weight loss program.

Measuring chronic stress

The main news from the study, conducted by researchers at University College London in the UK is the novel way they were able to measure chronic levels of cholesterol in 2,527 men and women aged 54 and older taking part in the English Longitudinal Study of Aging.

Previous techniques measured acute levels of cortisol in urine, saliva or blood. Instead, hair samples were analyzed, which allowed researchers to measure two months of cortisol accumulation. Among the findings, participants with higher levels of cortisol present in hair tended to have a higher body mass index (BMI) and a larger waist circumference. Those categorized as obese (BMI greater than 30, or a waist larger than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women) had the highest levels of cortisol in their hair.

Cortisol and metabolism

Your adrenal glands, which ride on top of your kidneys, release cortisol during moments of excitement, fear, anxiety and exercise. This stress response, your “fight or flight” instinct, has a variety of effects on your metabolism. Cortisol constricts your blood vessels and teams up with epinephrine, another hormone produced by your adrenals, to accelerate your heart rate.

Cortisol also cues your liver to dump glucose into your blood stream for the energy you need to sprint away from an imminent threat. To keep your blood sugar levels high, cortisol also suppresses insulin production from your pancreas. Under normal conditions, when the threat subsides, your metabolism returns to normal.

A vicious cycle

You can see how chronic stress can result in high blood sugar, high blood pressure and a higher risk for diabetes and heart disease. How can chronically high cortisol levels make you fat? It’s a vicious cycle.

Cortisol can take fat from stores in your subcutaneous layer and move it to visceral fat cells in your abdomen. Cortisol also stimulates the development of more mature fat cells. What’s more, these visceral fat cells have more cortisol receptors than subcutaneous fat cells. Even worse, these visceral fat cells can start producing their own cortisol.

Hunger management

But cortisol isn’t done yet. Insulin allows glucose to enter a cell to be used for energy. The lack of insulin promoted by cortisol starves the cells in your body, even with all that fat stored in your belly. Powerful hunger signals are sent to the brain. Your body has been tricked into a desperate need for calories, which is often met by overeating, and unhealthy, high calorie, low nutrient food choices.

The first step to managing stress is to recognize the signs, such as anxiety, irritability and muscle tension. Try our some relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga or meditation. Adjust your schedule to get more sleep. Before you eat, ask yourself why you’re eating. Are you really hungry, or are you stressed? When you’re temped to eat when you aren’t hungry, relieve your tension with some exercise.

Sources

MedPage Today

Today’s Dietitian

Mayo Clinic

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Heart health: will planning and timing meals work for you?

February 22, 2017

Lots of research suggests timing meals to more closely match circadian rhythms is better for your health. A recent summary of scientific research concludes regular meals, starting with breakfast are associated with lower risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Critics of the summary say it misleads the public by suggesting regular meals are an actual cause […]

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What’s really true about eating wheat and losing weight?

February 17, 2017

A few years ago Dr. William Davis launched a crusade against eating wheat with his best selling book Wheat Belly. Wheat, and of course gluten, which is the main protein in wheat, were blamed for America’s expanding waistline and a litany of health problems. However, no scientific evidence has been found to support Davis’ indictment […]

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Fast food still a lot worse than the packaging it comes in

February 14, 2017

The poisonous chemicals used in the manufacture of fast food packaging have gotten a lot of attention lately. At issue are levels of fluorine found in wrappers for burgers and boxes for fries and pizza. Fluorine reveals the presence of a type of chemical known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances). PFAS are used to […]

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Pay attention to coffee and tea calories during weight loss

February 10, 2017

Coffee and tea have been shown to provide numerous health benefits, including weight loss. But how you prepare your caffeinated beverages could add calories that work against your weight loss goals. A plain cup of coffee or tea only has about two calories. In comparison, a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks has about 400 calories, without […]

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Why you’re wasting money on glucosamine for arthritis pain

February 6, 2017

Glucosamine/chondroitin, is a hugely popular supplement for treatment for arthritis. Americans spent $753 million in 2012 on them in 2012 according to the Nutrition Business Journal. However, a growing body of research suggests the money you may be spending on glucosamine/chondroitin supplements is going down the drain. What’s more, one of the most recent studies […]

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Tired of senior moments? Lose weight to improve your memory

January 30, 2017

Not remembering where you put your car keys is frustrating. Senior moments like these are common, but anxiety about losing your memory can set in when occasional brain cramps begin to occur often, or with regularity. You may attribute such forgetfulness to getting older. But it could have something to do with your weight, and […]

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How dietary resilience can help you meet life’s challenges

January 27, 2017

You have to be resilient to stay healthy and happy. Discussions of human resilience usually involve exercise to toughen you physically, or meditation to strengthen you emotionally. But what about dietary resilience? Eating well provides the biological foundation for dealing with the stress of coping with change and taking advantage of opportunities. Coping with stress […]

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Can drinking chili pepper coffee help you combat aging?

January 24, 2017

Certain foods and beverages often make the news when research links them to preserving health and extending life. A pair of favorites to get such attention recently are chili peppers and coffee. Besides Mexican mochas, what do chili peppers and coffee have in common that could lead researchers to suggest they have anti-aging properties? Chronic low-grade inflammation […]

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How alcohol can shove your weight loss plan off the rails

January 18, 2017

Drinking alcohol in moderation is a cardinal rule of weight loss. In addition to ingesting lots of empty calories, it’s human nature to crave junk food while under the influence. Why we feel compelled to eat, even after drinking hundreds of calories, has been a mystery. But a team of British researchers believes they can help […]

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