A 7-Day HMR Diet Plan for Beginners

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A 7-Day HMR Diet Plan for Beginners

Losing weight is a tricky and challenging task that varies from individual to individual. While some people may lose weight within a few months, others might take longer. The methods different individuals follow for losing weight also vary, including diet, workout, and supplements.

If you are just starting your journey to weight loss, you might not be confident about which path to choose to shed the extra kilos. According to a study, diet and exercise together are the key to long-term weight loss. A diet plan helps maintain calorie intake, while exercise helps maintain those results. It means you need a lifestyle change because that is how you will keep a balance between your diet and exercise, which is precisely the primary purpose of the HMR diet. It starts with replacement meals and ends with a lifestyle change.

So, if you are new to this and don't know much about it, no problem! We will tell you what the HMR diet is, its benefits, and how it works, along with a super awesome 7-day HMR diet plan. Let’s get started!

What is an HMR Program and Diet?

The Health Management Resources Program (HMR) is a calorie-reduction and lifestyle-change program that uses fruits and vegetables to substitute meals, resulting in satisfying, healthy, and low-calorie meals.

The goal of this program includes group counselling and online support to teach participants healthy, long-term lifestyle strategies like engaging in regular physical activity and accepting healthier eating habits.

Dr. Lawerance Stifler (Ph.D.) developed this program nearly 30 years ago. He is a behavioral psychologist and founder of the HMR program.

According to US News and World Report, HMR is given 2nd spot as the best diet for quick weight loss. Experts say that meal replacements offer 3 times better weight loss results than other diets.

HMR diet is a 1200-1400 calorie diet per day. You need to eat low-calorie portion-controlled shakes, bars, and multigrain cereals following this diet. These low-calorie entrees enable the body to burn more energy than the energy consumed. Adding fruits and vegetables to HMR replacements give a filling and nutritious meal. Also, exercise is a must for sustainable weight loss and improved overall health.

Phases of HMR Diet

According to Adam Schafer from OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center (RDN, Lead Dietician), there are two phases of the HMR diet.

Phase One - Weight Loss

It emphasizes eating meal replacements, including shakes, bars and cereals, and fruits and vegetables. As this phase works on a three-two-five rule, you should take 3 HMR Shakes, 2 HMR entrees, and 5 (one-cup serving) fruits and vegetables.

If you feel hungry, you can eat more of these. Try mixing and matching other HMR foods like canned or frozen items, but don’t include any other meal option. This phase lasts for 8 weeks, but it can vary from person to person. In phase one, the expected weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week.

Phase Two - Maintenance

It is a 4-week phase, where you go back to the regular foods by slowly cutting-off meal replacements. The phase is more focused on a lifestyle change so that you get to maintain your lost weight.

The main goal is to eliminate the replacement foods and adopt a healthy lifestyle completely. According to HMR, transitioning to a Mediterranean or DASH-style diet gives effective results. Besides physical activities, balancing low and high-calorie days is also a part of this phase.

You can incorporate baked, broiled or steamed lean proteins, such as fish, vegetable burgers, and skinless chicken breasts. Plus, including rice, oatmeal, and pasta is a good option.

Which Foods You Can Eat in the HMR Program?

  • HMR entrees, shakes and snacks
  • Fruits: Apples, apricots, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, blackberries
  • Vegetables: Asparagus, bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes
  • Red Meat: Beef, pork, lamb (In phase 2)
  • Poultry: Skinless chicken, turkey (In phase 2)
  • Fish: Salmon, codfish, tuna, flounder, pollock (In phase 2)
  • Whole Grains: Oats, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, brown rice (In phase 2)
  • Legumes: Beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils (In phase 2)

Which Food to Avoid During the HMR Diet?

  • Red Meat Products : Hamburger, Pork, Bacon, Sausage, Cold Cuts
  • Full-Fat Dairy: Sweetened yogurt, Ice Cream, Cheese, frozen yogurt
  • Beverages: Alcohol, fruit juice, soda
  • Condiments: Sugar, peanut butter, salad dressing, cream cheese, high-fat gravy, Butter, Mayonnaise
  • Prepared Foods: Fried foods, french fries, pizza, chips, pretzels, fast food, baked goods

What are the Advantages of the HMR Diet?

HMR diet offers multiple benefits. Some of these benefits are listed down below:

  • Easy to Follow

HMR diet is easy to follow. There is no need to cook separate low-calorie meals because the meal replacements are mostly pre-packed and canned foods. Even if you have shakes, you are not turning on your stoves.

  • Meets Nutritional Needs

As the food you are taking in the HMR diet is pre-portioned and calorie-restricted, you get a chance to fill gaps in your nutritional deficiencies by taking more minerals and vitamins. Both these micronutrients are abundantly present in fruits.

  • Facilitates Weight Loss Process

According to a 40 weeks study, 90 individuals were divided into two groups. One was assigned a meal replacement plan followed by a maintenance plan, whereas the other group was assigned a food-based diet. The results suggested that those who underwent meal replacement showed improved weight loss results than the rest.

  • Promotes Fruit Eating

This diet promotes taking fruit and vegetables which are high micronutrient-rich. They are low-calorie but provide different minerals, vitamins, and fiber, that make you full for a longer time.

  • Other Health Benefits

Apart from weight loss, meal replacement programs offer other health benefits. According to a study, meal replacement helps in improving blood sugar, HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.

What are the Drawbacks of the HMR Diet?

You should also take into account some drawbacks of the HMR diet, such as

  • It’s Repetitive

When you are following the HMR diet, you get to eat limited options of entrees, shakes, fruits, and vegetables, which becomes repetitive, and may get boring for some people.

  • Risk of Overeating

As there are limited low-calorie food options in the HMR diet, you may end up overeating to fulfill your cravings and hunger pangs.

  • Hard to Sustain

It is a relatively expensive diet to follow for a long time. The canned, pre-processed, packed foods are pretty costly and if you are tight on the pockets, it can cause problems for you.

  • Negative Health Impact

The HMR is a low-calorie diet and even very low-calorie for some people who usually have a high-calorie intake. According to different studies, very-low-calorie diets can cause bone loss, infertility issues, and immune system problems, among other things.

7-Day HMR Diet Meal Plan

HMR diet plan is easy to follow. Below are the details of the HMR diet meals from breakfast to dinner, including snacks:

Monday

Meal

What to Eat?

Breakfast

HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal + 1 cup (150 grams) strawberries

Snack

HMR 500 Vanilla Shake

Lunch

HMR Vegetable Stew + 1 cup (140 grams) butternut squash

Snack

HMR 120 Chocolate Shake + 1 cup (about 170 grams) mixed fruit

Dinner

HMR Pasta Fagioli + 2 cups (240 grams) of carrots

Snack

HMR 800 Chocolate Shake

Tuesday

Meal

What to Eat?

Breakfast

HMR 800 Chocolate Shake + 1 cup (150 grams) bananas

Snack

HMR 500 Chocolate Shake + 1 cup (240 grams) fruit salad

Lunch

HMR Lasagna + 1 cup (80 grams) eggplant

Snack

HMR 120 Vanilla Shake

Dinner

HMR Chicken Enchiladas + 2 cups (140 grams) cabbage slaw

Wednesday

Meals

What to Eat?

Breakfast

HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal + 1 cup of fruit

Snack

HMR Chocolate Shake

Lunch

HMR Penne Pasta + Meatballs + 2 cups of vegetables

Snack

1 cup of fruit

Dinner

HMR Savory Chicken + 2 cups of vegetables

Snack

HMR Vanilla Shake + 1 cup of frozen fruit

Thursday

Meals

What to Eat?

Breakfast

HMR Multigrain Hot Cereal + 1 cup (150 grams) blueberries

Snack

HMR 120 Vanilla Shake + 1 apple

Lunch

HMR Turkey Chili + 2 cups (300 grams) of tomatoes

Snack

HMR 500 Vanilla Shake

Dinner

HMR Penne Pasta + Meatballs + 1 cup (110 grams) of summer squash

Snack

HMR 800 Chocolate Shake

Friday

Meal

What to Eat?

Breakfast

HMR 500 Chocolate Shake + 1 cup (145 grams) of blackberries

Snack

HMR 800 Vanilla Shake

Lunch

HMR Rotini Chicken Alfredo + 2 cups (270 grams) of asparagus

Snack

HMR 500 Chocolate Shake + 1 banana

Dinner

HMR Beef Stroganoff + 1 cup (145 grams) of peas

Saturday

Meals

What to Eat?

Breakfast

Multigrain Hot Cereal + 1 cup (150 grams) peaches

Snack

HMR 120 Chocolate Shake

Lunch

HMR Lentil Stew + 1 cup (100 grams) of cauliflower

Snack

HMR 500 Vanilla Shake + 1 cup (150 grams) strawberries

Dinner

HMR Chicken Pasta Parmesan + 2 cups (140 grams) of mushrooms

Snack

HMR 120 Chocolate Shake

Sunday

Meal

What to Eat?

Breakfast

HMR 120 Vanilla Shake + 1 cup (155 grams) apricots

Snack

HMR 800 Vanilla Shake

Lunch

HMR Cheese and Basil Ravioli + 2 cups (60 grams) of spinach

Snack

HMR 500 Chocolate Shake

Dinner

HMR Barbecue Chicken + 1 cup (110 grams) of green beans

How Much Exercise is Good in the HMR Program?

According to US News and World Report, the aim of HMR dieting is to burn 2,000 calories every week through physical activity. You can incorporate short activities throughout the day, such as walking, dancing, using a treadmill, and swimming. The program includes monitoring your own physical activity and dietary intake using the HMR mobile application.

Physical activity reduces your chances of heart disease and diabetes, aids weight loss, and boosts your vitality. Most doctors recommend obtaining at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day, such as brisk walking.

The Bottom Line

The HMR diet emphasizes consuming HMR entrees, shakes, fruits, and vegetables besides moderate-pace physical activity. It reintroduces regular food items in its second phase where your goal is to maintain the lost weight.

It is an easy-to-follow diet plan giving you quick weight loss results besides other benefits like increased fruit and vegetable consumption, and helping you to meet the nutritional requirements. However, the HMR diet is restrictive and pricey with some negative health effects. Also, you may end up overeating HMR products to satisfy your calorie intake.

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Article Sources

  • Davis, Lisa M., et al. “Efficacy of a Meal Replacement Diet Plan Compared to a Food-Based Diet Plan after a Period of Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 9, Mar. 2010, p. 11. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-9-11.
  • Ihle, Rayan, and Anne B. Loucks. “Dose-Response Relationships between Energy Availability and Bone Turnover in Young Exercising Women.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research: The Official Journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, vol. 19, no. 8, Aug. 2004, pp. 1231–40. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1359/JBMR.040410.
  • Kempf, K., et al. “Meal Replacement Reduces Insulin Requirement, HbA1c and Weight Long-Term in Type 2 Diabetes Patients with >100 U Insulin per Day.” Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics: The Official Journal of the British Dietetic Association, vol. 27 Suppl 2, Apr. 2014, pp. 21–27. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12145.
  • Manore, Melinda M., et al. “Dynamic Energy Balance: An Integrated Framework for Discussing Diet and Physical Activity in Obesity Prevention—Is It More than Eating Less and Exercising More?” Nutrients, vol. 9, no. 8, Aug. 2017, p. 905. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9080905.
  • Tsai, M. L., et al. “Changes of Mucosal Immunity and Antioxidation Activity in Elite Male Taiwanese Taekwondo Athletes Associated with Intensive Training and Rapid Weight Loss.” British Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 45, no. 9, July 2011, pp. 729–34. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2009.062497.
  • Williams, Nancy I., et al. “Magnitude of Daily Energy Deficit Predicts Frequency but Not Severity of Menstrual Disturbances Associated with Exercise and Caloric Restriction.” American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism, vol. 308, no. 1, Jan. 2015, pp. E29-39. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00386.2013.
  • Yu, Kang, et al. “The Impact of Soluble Dietary Fibre on Gastric Emptying, Postprandial Blood Glucose and Insulin in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.” Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 23, no. 2, 2014, pp. 210–18. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.6133/apjcn.2014.23.2.01.

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