Welcome to The Medifast Plan, the independent source for Medifast diet info. Get the latest Medifast coupons and learn about the program with our in-depth coverage and resources.

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.


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



The Autumn equinox is here—a reminder that Summer is over as the sun dips lower in the sky and our shadows grow longer. Fall is also a good time to discuss vitamin D deficiency on the occasion of a timely study associating a lack of the sunshine vitamin with increased mortality risk.

The sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D is a vitamin your body uses like a steroid hormone. You make vitamin D from cholesterol through a process dependent on exposure of the skin to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. People living in northern latitudes above an imaginary line drawn across the country from San Francisco to Philadelphia are at risk for vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D’s main function is to maintain a balance between blood concentrations of calcium and phosphorus for optimal bone health. It’s also essential for healthy intestines, immune and cardiovascular systems, the pancreas, muscles, brain, and regulation of cell metabolism.

Study details

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency may include bone pain and fractures, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue, confusion and memory problems. What’s more, a study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, found low vitamin D levels were associated with increased death from any cause.

To get their findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the researchers used data from more than 11,000 individuals enrolled in the Rochester Epidemiology Project from 2005 to 2011. Participants were tracked starting 30 days after an initial vitamin D measurement until leaving the county, dying, or until Dec. 31, 2014.

Deficiency and death

A total of 643 participants had vitamin D levels below 12 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter of blood), 1,605 had levels from 12 to 19, 8,210 had levels of 20 to 50, and 564 had levels above 50. During a median follow-up of 4.8 years, there were 723 deaths. Compared to those with the highest vitamin D levels, those with the lowest were more than two and a half times likely to die during follow up.

According to the researchers, the link between risk of death from any cause and low vitamin D levels could be due to detrimental effects on bone health and resulting falls and fractures. Lower levels of vitamin D could also inhibit the body’s ability to put calcium in the bones where it belongs, resulting in calcification of blood vessels.

Get your vitamin D

A 2013 study published in the journal PLoS One found that vitamin D levels vary throughout the year among Americans, at their highest in August and lowest in February. As opportunities to bask in direct sunlight go away in Fall and Winter, vitamin D supplementation becomes critical to your overall health.

Very few foods are a good source of vitamin D. Those include fortified dairy products and breakfast cereals, fatty fish, beef liver, and egg yolks. Traditional multivitamins contain about 400 IU (international units) of vitamin D, but many multivitamins now contain 800 to 1,000 IU. It generally is not recommended to take more than 2,000 IU daily in supplement form without your doctor’s advice. Since vitamin D is fat soluble, it’s best to take supplements with a snack or meal containing fat.


MedPage Today



Harvard Medical School


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