If you have a lot more time than money (as hubby and I do) and a good understanding of basic math and basic nutrition, you can duplicate the essential aspects of HMR on your own, without The Simple Diet book. .
Well of course, if that is the case HMR might not be for you. I happen to be the opposite. No time. Though of course, no endless money. In fact, I did only do it for five months and lost about 15 lbs on my own. They pushed phase 2 but I just thought that was a waste of money. For some, yes some, that is necessary and in that case I can see the investment but... I knew I wouldn't need it and sure as can be.. I didn't gain it back.
This time around they have kind of booted me from medical supervision. I am too healthy. They say I am on it but basically it is just a weigh in and if I have a problem, I can talk to them. Needless to say I am not happy. But my experience during the last HMR loss was that NOTHING changed at all. Basically I didn't need the medical monitoring. So I have ever reason to think that I don't need it.
What I find works for me is
- The classes. At first I hated them but now I see the wisdom of them. It isn't about "learning" about dieting. It is about 50 people in a room taking dieting seriously. That has an effect on you like you finally have permission to take weight loss and yourself seriously.
- the food itself. I am not sure it doesn't have special ingredients in there that make you lose more. But also, I find the food very good and also, so low in calories you are less likely to over eat. I mean a lean cuisine entree is 300 or so but the HMR are about 100 cals lower than that.
- At least where I am they are kind of strict. They expect you to come to class... they expect you to lose weight reasonably and if you don't, they book you into another class. Personally, I find people are used to not being held to account - they are nice but not push overs. You either do the program or you don't.
- they insist on "more is better" and they hammer that home constantly. While I don't feel I can do that so much, it is kind of a mental thing for them to keep saying -- eat more -- no we want you to eat more, no you must eat more. It takes you out of the mindset for deprivation and sometimes, when I am hungry, I do, and it doesn't do anything to slow things down.
- everything they do is based on facts and indeed they have everyone keep detailed records and report that to them. So when they say to do x they aren't pulling it out of the arse, they are following the facts from everyone in the program over 30 years.
On the cost, the entrees are $3.50 each and my lunch at work is like $5.00. Most of the time the cost of the food is pretty much what I pay out and about. Some of the medical tests and visits are paid for by my medical insurance. Basically the fees are all that I end up paying over and above. And I just don't find it that bad for a small period.
But I probably wouldn't recommend phase 2 and I would urge you to have your own mind. The HMR people have a job to do but that doesn't mean you have to do everything they say. But for me it gave me the tools to succeed.