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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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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 of wheat. In fact, recent research suggests that wheat and other whole grains can be a useful food in your eating plan for weight loss.

Wheat and waist size

Wheat Belly advocates eliminating wheat and all other grains that contain gluten (barley, rye) from your diet. His reasons include a correlation he draws between increased consumption of wheat products and the increase in the average American’s waist size.

Scientists from Maastricht University, citing reams of scientific evidence, published a detailed rebuttal of Davis’s claims in the Journal of Cereal Science. They pointed out that it is a mistake to suggest that an increase in consumption of wheat products have caused waist sizes to grow. If that made sense, you could also say increases in sales of cars and mobile phones, as well as the average speed of winners of the Tour de France could also be attributed to the dreaded Wheat Belly.

Fact vs. fiction

The Maastricht scientists use evidence to disprove many of the Wheat Belly claims, including that whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic index than sugar (not even close), and that gluten proteins called gliadins are more addictive than opium. The truth is that although a peptide contained in gliadins was found to get rats high, it can’t even be digested by humans.

Davis also claims that genetic engineering has made wheat unhealthy for humans. But to date, no genetically engineered wheat has ever been grown anywhere in the world.

Whole grains and weight loss

Wheat gets a bad rap because most of the wheat people eat is refined for production in pasta and commercial baked goods. Refining takes away all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy oils, leaving only starch. However, a study from Tufts University is the most recent to suggest that including whole grains in your diet can actually help you absorb fewer calories and speed up your metabolism.

Among the findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after eight weeks, people in the study who ate a diet with whole grains lost an extra 100 calories a day compared to participants who ate the exact same diet, except for replacing whole grains with refined grains.

Fiber and metabolic rate

The calorie difference could be accounted for by the fiber in whole grains that interfered with the digestion of calories from the other foods included in the diet. The whole grain group also burned more calories due to an increased resting metabolic rate compared to the refined grain group.

Fad diets such as Wheat Belly and the gluten free craze are discouraging millions of people from eating nutrients that provide innumerable health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Research also suggests that people who include whole grains in their diets live longer than people who don’t. The Tufts study also suggests that they may be leaner, as well.

Sources

MedicalXpress

ScienceDirect

Wheat Belly

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

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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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How dietary resilience can help you meet life’s challenges

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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

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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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How alarmed should you be with a diagnosis of prediabetes?

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The number of people with diabetes around the world has quadrupled since the 1980s. Many health care experts believe diabetes is a major public health problem that has reached epidemic proportions. It’s gotten to the point that anyone with elevated blood sugar is being warned that they have a disease called “prediabetes.” Risk factor, or […]

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Save your shrinking brain with a Mediterranean-style diet

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An inevitable consequence of aging is the death of brain cells that aren’t replaced. As we get older, this loss of brain cells becomes significant enough to actually shrink the size of our brains. As a result, the strength of our memory and ability to learn decline. However, a new study suggests that adopting a […]

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