HMR Program

What is HMR Program?

The Health Management Resources Program is a weight loss system designed to reduce calories via meal replacement with added fruits and vegetables. Through this program, the aim is to learn healthy lifestyle strategies, increase physical activity and personal accountability.

Any diet may help you lose weight, but people who change their lifestyle through the HMR program maintain significant weight loss through either the medically supervised, in-clinic or at-home options. Three times as much weight is lost and kept off using meal replacements, compared to traditional diets, experts say. The HMR Program was developed more than 30 years ago by Lawrence Stifler, a behavioral psychologist and former president of HMR. HMR meal replacements – low-calorie shakes, meals, nutrition bars and multigrain hot cereal – are eaten in place of other meals and snacks. In addition, eating fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in calories, helps displace higher-calorie foods from a diet. By mixing vegetables and fruits with HMR meal replacements, you have filling, nutritious meals. Physical activity is essential for successful long-term weight management, and a little exercise – just 10 to 20 minutes of walking per day – will help you attain weight-loss goals.

Pros & Cons

  • Meals delivered to you
  • Phased approach for quick start on weight loss
  • Eating out limited
  • Shakes could get humdrum

How does HMR Program work?

The HMR at Home Program – also referred to as the Healthy Solutions Diet – is HMR’s most population option. It averages 1,200 to 1,500 daily calories and involves two phases.

Phase one is the Quick Start phase, during which the goal is to lose weight as quickly as possible. Take these steps to get started on HMR at Home:

  • The Quick Start diet kit includes all the HMR foods you need for the first three weeks, except for fruit and vegetables, which you provide yourself.
  • Automatic food shipments will then arrive every two weeks. Home delivery helps ensure you never run out of food, which could interrupt your weight loss.
  • You’ll also start learning healthy lifestyle strategies.

You then transition to phase two once you reach your goal weight, or you’re ready for less structure in your diet. While the time in phase one depends on the your individual weight-loss goal, expected weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds per week, with an average weight loss of 23 pounds over the first 12 weeks.

In phase two, you’ll receive HMR food monthly, work in other healthy food options and focus more on lifestyle changes while either maintaining your phase one weight loss or continuing to lose weight at your own pace. Weekly telephone coaching sessions with dietitians and exercise physiologists provide support and encourage accountability.

Phase one uses the “three-two-five” daily diet plan. That means a minimum of three HMR shakes, two HMR entrees and five 1-cup servings of fruits and vegetables. If you’re hungry, you can eat more of these low-calorie foods and still lose weight. For variety, you can mix and match HMR foods and the fresh, canned or frozen produce you buy, but you don’t have to make any other food choices. “Staying in the box” – on the diet – is easier when you keep these foods at home, work and everywhere you go, along with reducing access to tempting outside foods as much as possible. You’re urged to avoid fast-food restaurants and coffee shops, and to consider temporarily limiting social activities that center around food. Adding physical activity is the second part of this phase, with the goal of quickly working up to burning 2,000 calories each week. You can spread physical activity throughout the day, and it can be moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, swimming, dancing or using a treadmill at a moderate pace. Tracking is done through the HMR mobile app.

Phase two – the transition phase – lasts four to eight weeks. You continue with physical activity and progress tracking, but now the food plan shifts. You’ll eat some HMR foods and continue with the same amount of fruits and vegetables (35 servings a week), while gradually adding in healthy non-HMR, low-calorie foods. The goal is to start building healthy eating habits for long-term weight maintenance. You begin to make food choices while strategically using at least 14 HMR foods a week rather than higher-calorie outside meals. You’ll focus on lean proteins (including fish, skinless chicken breasts and veggie burgers), using low-calorie cooking methods such as baking, broiling and steaming and grains (including rice, pasta and oatmeal), and you’ll practice balancing low- and higher-calorie days along with physical activity levels.

*In-Clinic Options: About 60 U.S. hospitals, medical practices and other facilities offer the HMR clinic programs, which combine structured diets, lifestyle education, group support and the HMR weight-loss foods. Some plans are medically supervised, and all offer a weight maintenance program. All HMR participants receive a medical screening when they join. Based on the diet you choose, your body mass index and your medical history, the staff will decide if you need medical supervision. In general, people with 50 or more pounds to lose will achieve their goal more quickly with the HMR Decision-Free diet, which includes medical supervision, because the calorie range is so low (about 500 to 1,000 calories per day). With the Decision-Free diet, participants eat only HMR meal replacements (no added fruits or vegetables). People on the HMR Healthy Solutions diet generally don’t require medical supervision except in certain circumstances, such as taking medications for the treatment of diabetes.


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