I just wanted to see if anyone is using HMR. I am going to start these on Tuesday and thought it'd be nice to hear from some folks that are on the plan or that completed the plan. I have about 70-80 pounds to lose overall but am just focusing on the first 10. I haven't been able to lose 10 pounds in all of my other weight loss efforts.
I am actually doing a plan provided by my doctor but I have the option to use HMR or optifast shakes. I will be using the 800 shakes for the next 8-12 weeks. I am also supposed to get in 40 minutes of exercise each day so I am going to start by walking each morning.
Are you using shakes only?
I ask, because The Simple Diet (written by Dr James Anderson and dietician Nancy Gustafson) is an at-home clone of HMR's basic program (3 shakes or other meal replacements , 2 small entrees (frozen dinners), 5+ freggie servings, and a weekly exercise goal of 2000 calories burned).
Depending on your choices, the calorie intake on this plan can be as low as 580 calories (if you choose the lowest calorie shake, entree options) plus the freggie calories If you choose the highest calorie shakes and entrees, the calorie level will be 1200 plus your freggie calories.
If you choose low calorie freggies such as greens and berries, your veggie calories do not have to add up to more than 100 calories, but even if you choose higher calorie options, you can keep the count under 250 quite easily.
So 800 calories is very doable and you get to eat a hot meal or two.
The Simple Diet is identical to HMR's basic plan, except you use calorie, fat, and protein guidelines to choose products that match HMR nutrition, but that can be found in grocery and drug stores.
Just putting it out there because if you don't find enough support from folks using brand-name products, you'd be welcome in the "Dr. Anderson's Simple Diet thread."
The plan guidelines are posted in the thread, so you don't have to read the book, but I'd recommend it any way, as it's very helpful, especially in understanding why HMR/The Simple Diet works so well.
The book never claims to be an HMR clone, or even mentions HMR by name, but to anyone familiar with the HMR program, it's quite obvious that "The Simple Diet" is an HMR clone.
Starting off I will be using shakes only. Thank you for letting me know about the Simple Diet. I will check out that thread :)
I've been looking for more HMR/TSD support, or generic meal replacement support, but haven't yet found an active community that will embrace HMR and/ or TSD.
I've even searched other weight loss sites, and have joined the HMR and TSD teams on SparkPeople, but both teams are in inactive status, so it almost feels like I'm trying to wake the dead.
I do read some of the other meal replacement threads, but posting can be tricky. It's too easy to step on people's toes over even the most minor of plan discrepancies.
Yes me. I am on it now again and I lost 50 lbs last year on it. And kept it off. I just want to lose the last 20. Personally you can't shut me up about it. I tried everything and went into HMR being sure it wouldn't work. But it did and then some.
For me, though I am glad about the "simple diet" I find HMR totally reasonably priced and I would imagine the cost would be about the same. Also, I like the HMR is medically monitored so I can be aggressive. I also like the HMR entrees that don't have to be refrigerated.
Good points, especially about the medical monitoring. The Simple Diet authors stress the importance of close medical supervision. It is NOT considered an optional part of the program (even though many folks will treat it as such).
Personally, there's no way for me to afford Medifast, Optifast, Ideal Protein, HMR or even Nashua brand products and the medical supervision, and I believe strongly that the medical supervision is the most important part.
As for products that do not require refrigeration, there are many grocery store products, even entrees that meet TSD requirements that do not require refrigeration. Some are even listed in the book.
I do disagree that the costs are similar. You can choose grocery store products that cost as much or more than HMR, but if you're a careful shopper and take advantage of sales you can spend as little as 1/4 the cost. If you also make some of your own food (matching the nutritional guidelines) you can save a lot more.
For example, I make my own protein-boosted yogurt that matches TSD (and therefore HMR) guidelines and the cost is less than 50 cents per shake (75 cents with frozen strawberries).
If I bought my whey protein in larger quantities, I could save even more.
If you shop Walmart or Aldi, you can find "entrees" as low as 88 cents.
The main downside of TSD over HMR and other meal replacement plans is all the extra time you need to spend in the grocery store, and the math you need to be able to keep in your head (or take with you).
It is easier to let HMR or a similar company do all that work for you. It can even be cost effective (depending on how much value you put on your time), but if HMR is way out of your budget, you aren't SOL.
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. The book does give you some short cuts and does a lot of the math for you, so it's a compromise between choosing HMR or another plan and doing it all, entirely on your own.
Running out of money is one of the most common reason people drop out of HMR and similar programs. Even simply knowing there is a less expensive option that literally can fit every budget, offers a "safety net" for tough times (even if you never have to use it).
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.
I agree with everything you said, with one small correction.
The Simple Diet guidelines for entrees matches HMR guidelines exactly (they were designed to) so the calorie level is actually the same. If a dinner exceeds 300 calories, it's not allowed.
The average calorie allotment for a TSD entree is 220 calories.
Shakes 100-200 calories (averaging 150), 10-26g protein, less than 6g fat
Entrees 140-300 calories (averaging 220) 10-25 g protein, less than 9g fat
ALL HMR products fit into the TSD protocol by design.
Dr. Anderson, who wrote the book is a weight loss researcher and the research he cites in support of the TSD protocol is exactly that found on the HMR protocol. The nutrition is identical.
While this is obvious to anyone who is familiar with HMR when they read The Simple Diet book, it is not mentioned in the book.
I did read on another weight loss site that Dr Anderson has come out recently on his facebook page admitting the connection to HMR.
I haven't actually read this admission, but it would be difficult for him to deny, considering that much of the research he conducted or cites, used HMR products.
Another big stressing point for TSD (other than the same "eat more" philosophy of eating more freggies or even an extra shake or entree rather than eat off plan) is that of being accountable to someone on a regular basis.
This part is very difficult for folks with virtually no money, because family are often not the best support. The book does give helpful suggestions.
I understand why HMR can not endorse the book, and why Dr. Anderson did not make the connection clear in the book, but anyone familiar with HMR (as I have been for decades) can't miss the connection.
Much of what's written in the book is virtually point-for-point what you will find on the HMR website. If it were any closer there would probably cause for a plagiarism (except that information cannot be owned, only the literal expression of it. The words, not the ideas.)
I lost my last 60 lbs on HMR and still go to the Phase 2 (Maintenance) classes.
I was obese from puberty and maybe even before. I tried several times to lose weight seriously and never made it to goal. That was before HMR. I am in their Mountain View, CA center and it's amazing. I wouldn't trade my coach or my nurse away for the world.
(Also if you are doing Decision-Free, those first 10 lbs you are focused on will fly off in the first 2-3 weeks. I was losing 2-3 lbs every week.)
For me, I get the feeling HMR doesn't care all that much about advertising or getting people for the program. I could be wrong. I wish I had known about it before hand. They don't really advertise and every time I go the class is full. The only thing that gives me pause is that the employees move on frequently.
I am unsure if I am going to continue with HMR this time around. Since they don't want to give me medical monitoring I feel a bit like what is the point? I could go to weight watchers to get the accountability. (but do HMR at home) but I am staying for the moment. Why mess with what worked for me.
I did decision free and dropped 10 lbs my first week. I lost about 3 lbs almost every week for the first two months. It slowed after that but was still strong.
One more thing I would add. I find that once you go on decision free and have been "in the box" -- for a while.. the idea of cheating does not seem as appetizing. I would call this the HMR effect. I can't tell if it is the food or the idea that I don't want to ruin things... but it keeps me doing something I can't do normally, not cheat.
One reason I am looking into the simple diet plan (though I don't have the book yet) is that I am truely getting sick of the HMR food. I know there are a thousand recipes but I can just tell my body is getting stick of the food.
The food products, program guidelines and class materials are provided by HMR (usually sold to the hospitals, clinics, and medical schools) but the classes are run and overseen by the administration and staff of the organizations that buy the HMR products and services). As a result, the quality of the support available (and even the variety and possibly prices of HMR products available) can variety tremendously from location to location. In the late 80's and 90's, when I was first introduced to HMR through two separate hospital programs , one hospital program charged nearly twice what another did. If I remember correctly, entrees started at $3.50 to$4.50 in the cheaper program so it's nice to know that the pricing has actually come down (accounting for inflation).
Whether the pricing is still inconsistent from location to location, I couldn't say.
I have noticed that the HMR website is starting to include more and more end-user focused information, so all this may change in the future.
If you happen to be on Medicare, there are some recent changes that will completely cover the cost of medical supervision for weight loss if it's provided by your primary care physician. Weekly appointments are covered at first, then twice monthly, then monthly. I believe it's written so that coverage continues as long as you are losing. If you fail to lose after 3 months there are some additional restrictions.
I transferred to another location not that far from me and they were very "professional" and by the book. I got my supplement and have been more happy. As it turned out.. I didn't need it. But that wasn't the point. The point was that I was paying through the nose for this program, I expect to get all of it unless I chose not to use it.
If you want to purchase the food alone you can. While I was maintaining I ordered the food from one of the many places you can just place an order. I recently found that if my local clinic will sell me the food so even if I finish I can just come back and place an order. I tried other diet plan foods and I have to say I found them very disappointing. HMR food is imho the best. Plus the entrees are vacuum sealed. Perfect for me.
My health insurance will not pay for HMR yet. That is disappointing. I do think they have a pretty decent record of success.
I'm glad to hear that the food can be purchased without joining the full program. I'd like to try an assortment, if only to be better informed and better able to make an informed comparison.
I do wish that both (or either) HMR and The Simple Diet spin-off had a stronger following, in particular on this site and on Spark People.
Meal replacement plans in general, except for the two or three top brands seem to be "out of fashion" right now and I'm having difficulty finding a large and active community. I may have to broaden my search, but I'd rather not join a new site if I don't have to.
Here is where I bought them -- but they charge 3.95 for entrees. But they would send me coupons. I would also recommend the benefit bars which are pretty decent in terms of nutrients for the calories.
There are a few listings on the HMR website.
I also feel frustrated that basically the only place I can talk about HMR is the HMR website. That site won't let you PM people or speak very openly. They have a facebook page but it is kind of the same deal.
I wish HMR was more well known. Everyone at my workplace is super impressed with my weight loss but, when I try to get them to sign up I see they are hesitant because they have never heard of it. And your right, they have been taught that it is "bad" to have meal replacements.
I literally tried everything and I couldn't lose. I believe it just was that I could not get accurate calorie counts on my food. Perhaps I am just bad at that. But also it was so impossible to really know what I was eating. But once I got a fixed calorie amount for sure... it flew right off. I remember back in 1996 I tried Jennie Craig and at the time you had to buy 1/2 the food on your own. And I didn't lose any weight. I believe it is because the food I had to get on my own -- even though healthy -- was just too much.
I had always thought that I had some sort of metabolism issue but I lost about 6 lbs for sure each month at HMR. Long story short, it shows that my BMR is exactly what the calculators say. Now I know if I wasn't losing it was because I was eating too many calories. If I was doing it on my own I wouldn't be able to be sure of exactly how many calories I was consuming.
I like you am having a hard time finding a forum here and at Sparkpeople.
There is a lady that posted just recently at Sparkpeople and I'm hoping she comes back! lol
I just read quite a bit of the Simple Diet last night and I can say that I am intrigued and ready to get started. Meal replacements don't bother me in the least bit. As a matter of fact, I drink smoothie's for breakfast because it is convenient and I really don't like eating breakfast in the morning. I can do the frozen meal for lunch and I normally prepare healthy dinners for the whole week so that is covered.
I still need to finish the book and look in to all that I need for the program. I will be starting on Monday of next week. And I hope whoever is here, is still here!!! :-)
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