The HMR program is a commercial weight loss diet and meal replacement plan originally developed by behavioral psychologist Lawrence Stifler. There are two different versions of the plan, which combines nutrition coaching, dietary supplements, meal replacements, and healthy eating strategies to help you meet weight loss goals.
HMR Healthy Shakes 2-Week Program
The HMR Healthy Shakes plan consists of a 3+5+1 structure and is designed for more rapid weight loss. You'll pay $99 for this 2-week kit and will eat the following daily:
- 3 HMR shakes (120 calories each)
- 5 servings of fruits and veggies
- 1 healthy HMR entrée (160 to 280 calories per meal)
Because you may be eating 800 calories or fewer daily while on this plan, it's recommended to follow it under medical supervision. Some hospitals and clinics that offer medically supervised very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) may provide you with an opportunity to follow the HMR plan. Insurance typically doesn't cover weight loss diets, but coverage that includes bariatric weight loss surgery may cover medically supervised very low-calorie diet plans, as well.
The U.S. News and World Report says more than 200 medical practices offer in-clinic HMR plans, which combine HMR weight loss meal replacements with group support and lifestyle education, to help patients shed pounds rapidly and keep lost weight off. In-clinic HMR plans are medically supervised programs designed to help people with 40 or more pounds to lose drop weight quickly (and lower chronic disease risks) by eating just 500 to 800 calories per day. You might lose up to five pounds per week.
However, negative side effects can occur such as constipation, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, nutrient deficiencies and gallstones, which is why a doctor's supervision is so important.
HMR Healthy Solutions At-Home Plan
The HMR Heathy Solutions at-home plan will cost you $180 for three weeks worth of dieting. With weight loss coaching, you're expected to lose about 23 pounds in 12 weeks with this at-home plan, which means expect to lose about two pounds per week. This rate of weight loss is a safer bet than what's expected with VLCDs, and it is okay to do on your own without medical supervision.
You'll be eating healthy, fiber-rich foods plus meal replacement shakes. The HMR Healthy Solutions at-home plan consists of a 3+2+5 structure. For example, you'll consume daily portions of at least:
- 3 HMR shakes
- 2 healthy HMR entrees
- 5 1-cup servings of fruits and veggies
If this amount of food doesn't fill you up, you have leeway to add additional calories as long as you stick with the HMR structured plan.
Chances are you'll shed pounds when following the at-home or in-clinic HMR diets, because these plans are both quite structured making it easy to count (and cut) calories. Losing one to two pounds per week is a safe rate of weight loss, which is why the at-home HMR program is a good match for people who don't want or need medical supervision. Very low-calorie HMR plans designed for rapid weight loss of three to five pounds per week by eating 500 to 800 calories daily should be medically supervised for your safety.
The HMR plan has received rave reviews from a variety of sources. For example, the U.S. News and World Report ranks this diet as #1 in best fast weight loss diets, and #4 in best weight loss diets. One 2016 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that medically supervised very low-calorie HMR plans resulted in larger weight losses but had lower attrition rates than other commercial weight loss plans.
Pros and Cons
Whether you're following the HRM at-home or in-clinic plan, you'll likely shed pounds when strictly following the diet. Both have an easy-to-follow structure. But HMR plans can be costly as even the at-home HMR plan has you paying for pre-packaged meals and meal replacements. The very low-calorie HMR program comes with health risks and possible negative side effects, requires a doctor's supervision, and isn't sustainable long term, but it can help you shed pounds quickly.
Choosing the HMR Plan
Check with your doctor to see which HMR plan (if any) is right for you. The very low-calorie version is designed for use with medical supervision, while the at-home HMR plan is well-balanced, easy (and safe) to follow on your own, and more sustainable long term. However, if you're on a tight budget, you can always try MyPlate reduced-calorie meal plans for free.