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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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To lose weight and get healthier you start by burning more calories than you eat. Findings from a new study conducted at Virginia Tech suggest doing so could be easier than you think. Researchers there have found that by replacing just one sugary drink with water every day, you can lose weight and improve your overall health at the same time.

Swapping soda

To assess the impact of swapping out one sugar-sweetened drink a day with water, the researchers analyzed dietary surveys taken from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2007-2012. Among their findings, published in the journal Nutrients, replacing a soda with water brings daily calories from added sugars closer to the 10 percent limit recommended by U.S. dietary guidelines.

Replacing one sugary drink with water also improves scores on the Healthy Beverage Index, a scoring system developed by Virginia Tech researchers to evaluate how beverages affect a person’s diet and health. According to the researchers, higher Healthy Beverage Index Scores are linked to improved cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure.

Sugary soda calories

The dramatic effect of one soda on daily calories serves to illustrate just how many empty sugar calories are packed into one of these beverages. A 12-ounce can of cola contains about 150 calories—every one of them from sugar. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, if you drink one sugar-sweetened soft drink every day without cutting calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year.

It’s been estimated that 50 percent of Americans drink sugary drinks on any given day. Of those people, one in four take in at least 200 calories from those drinks. These numbers make sugar-sweetened beverages an easy target for an effective weight loss strategy.

Weight loss strategy

Losing weight isn’t easy. Focusing on cutting calories from food, or burning more from exercise can make shedding pounds seem even harder. That’s why cutting some calories from foods and beverages, and burning some more with exercise, is an effective way to get there.

A common way to look at weight loss is to think of a pound as 3,500 calories. That may seem like a lot, until you look at the details. Let’s say you replace those 200 calories from sugary drinks with zero-calorie H20. Eating one fewer chocolate chip cookies subtracts another 50 calories. So far, you’ve cut 250 calories.

Calorie deficit

Next comes exercise. Simply walking a couple of miles at a moderate pace will burn about 250 calories. Now you’re at 500 calories. Do this every day and you’ve created a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories. In one week, you’ve lost one pound—without hardly breaking a sweat.

The best part about this strategy is that is shows how easy it is to find 250 calories to cut from your daily diet. It also shows how remarkable walking—a moderate physical activity—can be to help you lose weight and get healthier.

Sources

ScienceDaily

Harvard School of Public Health

SugarStacks

 

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A starch you can’t resist for weight loss and good health

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Young adults who eat well are healthier as they grow older

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To preserve the remains of their youth, many people feel the need to adopt a healthy diet when they reach middle age. But, according to new findings that eating well when you’re young gives you the best chance of being healthy when you’re older. Yet research knows that young adults rarely take the time to […]

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Go nuts to protect yourself from inflammation and disease

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When you injure yourself, the redness and swelling brought on by inflammation is part of the healing process. Other things that harm your body, like smoking, being overweight and sedentary, and eating a poor diet trigger uncontrolled, chronic inflammation that contributes to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even depression. Healthy eating is one of […]

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Ordering online early could help you eat less dining out

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Can you maximize your enjoyment when you eat out, without compromising your weight loss goals? A new study suggests a novel strategy: order your meals at least an hour before your expected arrival—before you’re really hungry—and its likely you will make healthier choices and eat fewer calories. Advance ordering Researchers from the Perelman School of […]

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Is too much saturated fat the reason for your aching knees?

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To minimize your risk for heart disease, dietary guidelines recommend limiting consumption of foods that contain saturated fat. New research suggests that eating too much saturated fat could also accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease associated with growing old. A consequence of aging? However, a growing body of evidence suggests that osteoarthritis […]

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Using artificial sweeteners to curb appetite is a bad idea

July 26, 2016

You save about 16 calories with each teaspoon of real sugar you replace with fake sugar. But new research suggests using zero calorie artificial sweeteners as part of your weight loss plan could backfire. Instead of helping you eat fewer calories, artificial sweeteners may actually stimulate your appetite to make you eat more. Trick your […]

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Eating the right type of fat could help you cheat death

July 22, 2016

Recent research has shown that long-standing nutrition guidelines recommending low-fat diets have done more harm than good. This advice has backfired because people tend to replace fat with the refined carbohydrates in processed food—the substance we should have avoided in the first place. This realization has led many to believe fat has been unfairly judged and […]

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Can’t resist cravings for sweets … there’s an app for that!

July 18, 2016

For many of us, resisting cravings can be one of the toughest obstacles to losing weight. Research has shown that food cravings are driven by our biological, as well as our psychological instincts, a powerful combination that makes them difficult for even the most self-disciplined among us. Can your smart phone come to the rescue? Researchers […]

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Latest butter study: is eating more saturated fat really OK?

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Around two years ago word started spreading that butter and other foods with saturated fat weren’t so bad for you after all. The media responded with reports urging people to celebrate with guilt free indulgence. Experts warned that further research was needed about the association between saturated fat and heart disease. Further research has indeed […]

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