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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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It’s known that diet deprivation isn’t a successful weight loss strategy. The trick is to offset all the good food with a guilty pleasure now and then to keep eating interesting. So how much bad can you allow into your diet and stay on track with your weight loss goals?

A team of researchers from Vanderbuilt University tackled this question and came up with the concept of “vice-virtue bundles,” a meal with a ratio of good to bad foods that targets your “taste-health balance point.”

Cheeseburger, close-up

Pleasure, or nutrition?

Kelly L. Haws is a Vanderbilt marketing professor who researchers consumer behavior related to food choices and financial decisions. Her research addresses issues such as consumer self-control, strategies for improving food consumption and pricing to influence behavior. Haws and several colleagues described their study in a paper titled “Vice-Virtue Bundles,” which is undergoing peer review for publication.

According to Haws, the concept involves allowing certain food indulgences simply for pleasure, regardless of nutrition. The optimal ratio is achieved by reducing portions of “vice” foods and making up for the difference by increasing the portion of “virtue” foods.

Optimal ratio

Results from a series of experiments led the researchers to conclude that a taste-health balance point can be achieved that provides proper nutrition and energy balance, as well as a little bit of vice that helps people feel satisfied. For a majority of participants in the study, the optimal vice-virtue bundle allowed for a portion of vice accounting for about 25 to 50 percent of the entire meal.

The cheat meal

If you’re thinking about applying the concept to your overall diet, consider the idea of the “cheat meal.” For example, six days a week, hold fast to a nutritious diet filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains that adheres to the calorie limits necessary to reach your weight loss goals.

Once a week, reward yourself with the bacon cheeseburger or a dessert you remember so fondly from your past. You will find that the bad foods you love taste better than ever, because you’ve earned them. But the key is to stay within your calorie limits. The best way is to limit the portion size.

The cheat meal helps you keep your eyes on the prize. Best of all the longer you remain faithful to a healthy diet, the desire to indulge in those guilty pleasures lessens. Eventually, you’ll feel better choosing yogurt mixed with a little fruit instead of apple pie and ice cream.

Not that there’s anything wrong with apple pie and ice cream.

Sources

ScienceDaily

PsychCentral

Forbes

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New research busts absurd “healthy obesity” myth

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New study: limiting sodium intake more harm than good?

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Global zinc deficiency puts health of billions at risk

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When it comes to nutrition, it’s not often that you think about zinc. However, zinc is one of the most important trace minerals essential for proper nutrition. A zinc deficiency can cause problems throughout the body and it’s highly likely that you could be zinc deficient. It’s been estimated that half the world’s population is [...]

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Diabetics sue drug maker, claiming statins made them sick

August 18, 2014

Aggressive marketing by Pfizer has made the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor the best-selling prescription drug of all time. Whether you have a cholesterol problem or no, the pharmaceutical behemoth would like you to start taking Lipitor too, even though an increased risk of diabetes among women is among the many side effects of taking statins. But the [...]

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How a healthy diet, not drugs, can treat diabetic nerve pain

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In our Western culture medical treatments usually rely on drugs to treat symptoms without addressing the underlying cause of disease. A classic case in point is the condition of diabetic neuropathy, which is painful nerve damage caused by high blood sugar levels. Drugs are usually prescribed to relieve the pain, but a recent study shows [...]

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The rest of the world doesn’t refrigerate eggs, Should you?

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Americans like to think we’re ahead of the rest of the world on food safety. But when it comes to chickens and eggs, our obsession with germs may be doing more to increase, rather than decrease our risk of foodborne illness. While we wash and refrigerate our eggs, people across the Atlantic don’t bother. Yet [...]

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