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HMR Program Review - 12 Things You Need to Know

The HMR Diet is a complete solution to losing weight and adopting healthier habits. This program’s manufacturer promises to provide you with everything you need, from food to diet and even an effective exercise program, to shed those unwanted pounds. One system that is suited for any client seems a little unbelievable, so we thought this presents an excellent opportunity for investigation.

A team of our researchers looked at everything included in the HMR Diet package to help you discover the potential opportunity that this product offers you regarding your weight loss goals. If you want to find out what we learned, then read on.

HMR Program can be purchased through their Official Site.

HMR Program Readers: Noom is offering our readers a risk-free trial, for a limited time. Click here for more information!

What is the HMR Diet Program?

The HMR Diet often referred to as the HMR Program, is a structured weight-loss program. This diet plan provides you with the food you need to eat and access to wellness coaches to help dieters reach their goals. It involves premade shakes and foods, thus eliminating the need to count calories or buy a lot of your own food. You will still need to buy a selection of fruits and vegetables. When you opt to choose plans, if you enter your zip code and find no clinic serving your local area, you’ll be given the ‘HMR at Home’ plan.

There are currently more than 200 medical institutions offering the HMR Diet to patients and clients. The program comes with delivered foods, weekly progress charts, recipe booklets, and an HMR calorie guide, but do any studies back these kinds of tools?

what is hmr diet

HMR Program Competitors

Ideal Protein

The Company Behind the HMR Program

HMR weight management system was first founded in 1983, with its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. HMR stands for Health Management Resources, and they are a subsidiary of Merck, a New Jersey-based company.

40 clinics are using a hands-on approach. These clinics are not available in every state, but more than 200 hospitals participate in the program. You can check your local area to see if your medical providers participate.

How Does the HMR Program Work?

The HMR Diet at Home Program is available for people who do not have a local office near them. It works similar to NutriSystem in the sense that all the food you need for the program is shipped to your front door.

You just eat the food they send you, so you don’t have to worry about counting calories or making smart decisions at the grocery store.

The program is based on a 3-2-5 format. Each day, you’ll drink at least three HMR shakes, eat two entrees, and eat five servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

There is also an HMR Program app. There, you can track weight-loss progress, log exercise and food, set weekly goals, get basic coaching tips, and more.


Phases of the HMR Program

HMR Diet phase 1

HMR Diet Phase One

Phase one is the Quick Start to weight loss. In this phase, you replace regular meals with HMR snacks, and weight-loss shakes every day. If you are in certain plans, you can add fruits and vegetables to those snacks and shakes.

All the things you need for the first three weeks are included. Automatic food shipments will continue to arrive every two weeks. Home delivery will ensure that you never run out of food, which could cause interruptions in your weight loss.

You also begin to learn healthy lifestyle strategies. The time you spend in Phase 1 depends on your individual weight loss goal. However, you can expect to lose 1 lb per week with an average weight loss of 23 lb over the first 12 weeks.

HMR Diet phase 2

HMR Diet Phase Two

Phase two is Weight Management. You move to this phase when you reach your weight goal. You move into real-world situations and learn how to effectively eat out, socialize, and travel while sticking to your plan and its nutritional boundaries.

In the second phase, you’ll receive HMR food monthly and work with other healthy food options. Either maintain your weight or continue to lose weight at your own pace.

Weekly telephone coaching sessions with dietitians and exercise physiologists support and encourage accountability to keep you on track. This phase will last 4 to 8 weeks. You’ll start with some HMR foods and continue with the same amount of fruits and vegetables, while gradually adding low-calorie foods that are not HMR.

HMR diet phase 3

HMR Diet Phase Three

Phase three is long-term self-management. Certain plans are provided if you require additional help with weight management after you finish the program.

Food List

HMR Diet Foods

There are various shakes, cereals, and soups to choose from, including chocolate and vanilla, hot multigrain cereal, and chicken soup. The shakes are available at different nutritional values, so the one you get depends on the plan you’re on.

You’re also provided with recipes to add flavor to the shakes, such as using a diet orange soda with the vanilla shake to make a creamsicle flavor.

Some entrees include:

  • Beef Stroganoff with Noodles
  • Chicken Creole with Brown Rice
  • Cheese and Basil Ravioli with Tomato Sauce
  • Chicken Pasta Parmesan
  • Five-Bean Casserole
  • Lentil Stew
  • Mushroom Risotto
  • Penne Pasta with Meatballs in Sauce
  • Lasagna with Meat Sauce
  • Turkey Chili with Beans
  • Vegetable Stew with Beef

You can also get a sample pack with one of each of the 16 entrees. Each entree is 250 calories or less.

The bars and flavorings include:

  • PB2 and PB2 Chocolate – powdered peanut butter that, when mixed with water, can be used just like regular peanut butter without as much fat
  • Double Chocolate Chip BeneFit Bar
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Flavored Crunch BeneFit Bar
  • Iced Oatmeal Flavored Crunch BeneFit Bar
  • Lemon Flavored Crisp BeneFit Bar
  • A variety pack with one of each of the main flavors.

Each bar is 170 calories or less.The peanut butter powders are 22 calories per serving.


HMR Program Ingredients

This is just a shortlist of HMR Diet ingredients.

Corn Syrup Solids

Corn syrup is made from cornstarch and contains various amounts of kinds of sugars depending on the grade. It’s used to soften texture, enhance flavor, and add volume. Corn syrup is not the same as high-fructose corn syrup.


Fructose is the natural sugar in fruit. When consumed in high amounts, it can have negative health effects. When made into high fructose corn syrup, it can lead to weight gain.

In a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “The increased use of HFCS in the United States mirrors the rapid increase in weight gain. The digestion, absorption, and metabolism of fructose differ from those of glucose.”

Soy Protein Isolate

Soy protein is made from soybean meal that has been dehulled and defatted. It’s processed into soy flour, soy concentrates, and soy isolates. Isolates have been used since 1959.


Carrageenan is made from seaweed and is used in traditional medicine. Carrageenan is also used as a binder, thickening agent, and stabilizer in food, medications.

hmr diet cost


HMR Program Cost

The Healthy Solutions at Home kit is a three-week kit. It costs $189. You’ll save $122.95 compared to buying individual HMR Diet products. The two-week shake kit is $98.80.

HMR Program Programs – Clinic vs. At-Home Programs

If you participate in a clinic program, you will likely be given the ‘decision-free’ package where you will be allowed to eat 500 to 800 calories per day, and you will be medically supervised. You can also participate in the Healthy Solutions plan, which is an at-home plan that allows for 1200 to 1400 calories per day.

In these packages, you must purchase their food and snacks. However, the final option is to use the healthy shakes program, an at-home-only program that allows for 1400 calories per day.

Exercise and the HMR Diet

Following the HMR diet, your goal is to burn at least 2000 or more physical activity calories every week. You want to build it up as fast as you can.

Every exercise option is included. Spread out your activity in short bursts throughout the day and do moderately intense exercise such as swimming, dancing, walking, or using a treadmill at a moderate pace.

Walking is a popular choice. It would take a 225-pound person around 36 minutes of walking per day at an average pace to meet that goal according to HMR brochures. Tracking your own physical activity, as well as your food intake, is part of the program.

Your physical activity is important as it lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease, keeps off your weight, and increases your energy level. Most experts suggest getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most or every day of the week.

Pros and Cons

HMR Program Pros and Cons

HMR Diet Pros

  • Supported by medical institutions
  • Longevity in the weight loss market

HMR Diet Cons

  • Online can be more difficult than in person
  • Foods and shakes may become boring over time
  • Processed foods
  • High cost of food
  • Shakes and foods may grow boring quickly
  • Phase 1 does not allow eating out
  • An online program may be more difficult than an in-person version

What Users Are Saying

“Over a span of 16yrs, I’ve tried numerous weight loss programs like Nutrisystem, South Beach, Jenny Craig, and Weight Watchers. I really had to force myself to eat their food, but I feel like HMR nailed it! Seems like they designed these meals just for me, because they are everything I’ve been looking for. Taste, texture, portion size and awesome new variety of meals.”

“Easy to eat since it is microwaveable but does not taste that good.”

“All of these meals taste terrible. Probably so processed you’ll end up with some form of cancer from them. I didn’t lose any weight on them either.”

Bottom Line

The Bottom Line on the HMR Program

The HMR program is a proven weight loss diet. There are HMR diet review and testimonials showing people see results. The only concern some mention is the restrictive eating plan during Phase 1. However, the lack of food is a price to pay when one considers the long-term weight loss effects.

There are benefits of the HMR Program. However, it is best to choose a program that can be individualized to your needs and is backed by multiple clinical studies.

Noom is one of the best weight-loss programs we have ever seen. The system offers personalized meal plans, customized human coaching, and tracking with an extensive food database to help its users lose weight the right way. Plus, the program has been shown to be effective in studies published in BMJ Journals and Scientific Reports.

For a limited time, Noom is offering a free trial offer to Dietspotlight readers – something you should take advantage of.

Learn More About Noom »
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Do I have to visit a clinic on the HMR Diet?

No, you don’t have to visit a clinic, you can follow the HMR program at-home.

Do I Need Medical Supervision on the HMR Diet?

Medical supervision isn’t required for the most part if you are on the HMR diet of at least 1200 calories per day. However, some people will need ongoing supervision.
People who are participating in the clinic program on the low or very low-calorie HMR diets of 500 to 800 calories per day or those who are dealing with certain medical conditions like diabetes should participate with medical supervision. It is always important to talk to your doctor before losing weight or starting any kind of exercise program.

Does HMR come with a guarantee?

HMR Diet comes with a guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with the program, you can return it for a full refund.

Can I cancel the auto-shipment on HMR Diet?

Yes, you can cancel the auto-ship on HMR. You will need to contact the customer service department within 14 days to cancel.

Does the HMR Program Help Diabetics?

It’s also possible that this program might prevent or control diabetes. Company research using the infinite version of the program found reductions and fasting blood sugar end decrease need for type 2 diabetes medication. Studies also suggest that maintaining weight loss results in keeping patients off their diabetes medication.

25 HMR Program Reviews

  • Heather

    I know it’s still early, but I started HMR a week ago and haven’t lost a pound. I’m drinking at a minimum 64 oz water per day. It is the only beverage I drink. Things I did not realize…the shakes have aspartame in them. Chocolate shakes have caffeine. The meals are very high in sodium and some of the meals are made with wine. This may be OK for some people but for those allergic to caffeine and wine, this should be told up front.
    I need to lose 60 pounds. Maybe this doesn’t sound like a lot, but at 5’2″ , it’s a lot. After talking to one of the coaches, I was told since I don’t need to lose a lot of weight, I may not see much weight loss. I do have Hashimoto’s. I asked before starting this if that should matter with weight loss. I was told no.
    I’m not so sure I’ll do week number 2.
    I’m very frustrated.

    • Pam

      Hi Heather – best of luck with whatever you decide to do. My daughter asked me to be her matron of honor in her wedding. I was really overweight and the thought of fitting into a bridesmaid type dress was over the top stressful. Then someone recommended HMR. I joined the program in November, 2015 and had lost 60 pounds by May, 2017. I went on to lose 10 more pounds. I’ve since put back on some of that weight so have started the program again. I’ve tried many diets and this one, from personal experience, I know works – at least for me. Good luck with whatever you decide!

    • Ana Nikolaychuk

      I would say keep doing what you’re doing and throw in some exercise. My husband and I just started and lost 10lbs the first week. This is my second round of doing hmr and it’s worked wonders and kept they weight off. Don’t give up.

    • Aggie

      Heather I would say bump up your activity if you haven’t already I lost 50 lb. In 12 weeks and the difference with my weight loss and some others was moving I walked my butt off literally. You can do this

  • I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
    Chris Dewey (Verified Purchase)

    I was not happy at all with the HMR program. I, too, lost muscle strength and even though it’s not listed in the ingredients there is caffeine in all flavors. After one month I had lost weight, but only because it made me very sick and weak. I just used the shakes because I couldn’t afford the whole program! I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.

    • Cinderella Smith

      A real program like this should
      (1) Test your metabolism before starting
      (2) give you a private one on one introduction so you know exactly what you should be eating.
      (3) have testing every 4 weeks not 90
      (4) have some option if you start to have your metabolism shut down.
      (5) maintenance should be free. Otherwise no one would do it. We aren’t all rich.
      (6) not have a weekly class that you are required to attend. Just like every class in my life I had my time wasted by idiots who like to hear themselves speak.

  • It worked but I chose not to continue !
    JIll (Verified Purchase)

    I was in Phase 1 for about 6 months and lost almost 50 pounds. It’s good if you can lose it quick and keep it off with regular foods. **HMR Products all contain SOY*** Due to the increased estrogen found in soy products, the continued usage wreaked havoc on my metabolism and slowed it way down. This forced me to go on thyroid medication. While it worked well for me, in the end I would have chosen to not go on the program.

    • Your Name

      Nice to know, I am on thyroid and have been for years already.
      I have been looking into this plan cause our pastor did it and had good progress.
      I think I could follow their plan but with different product.
      I am gluten free, soy free, and try not to eat foods with partially hydrogenated oils.
      Thanks for sharing.

  • Felt best in 10 years !
    SRG (Verified Purchase)

    Less than 4 months i have went from 278 to 210. Yes i have lost muscle along with fat but its a small price to pay. Nothing worse than trying to squeeze into tight clothes and fight with your sloppy body every waking moment. this is the best i have felt in 10 years.
    Some have mentioned the health risks of this diet but keep in mind that living on fast food, soda and being extremely overweight is 100 times worse.

  • Larry Y

    Wow – I’ve lost almost 200lbs on this program/lifestyle change, for those of you that are concerned about the small amounts of aspartame in the shakes please consider the adverse health condition that are created by carrying around an extra 50 or 100lbs.

    • Lynne

      That is your thought. This diet is not BS. I am losing weight after 4 days. I am healthier and walking a lot more. My Cardiologist team is the best in the region, and they are giving the thumbs up to the patients that are on HMR! “FINGER SNAP”

      • Stephanie Ceminsky

        Do you ever eat the bars on the plan? I’m just starting out

  • this diet is definitely low in protein
    San Diego Dieter (Verified Purchase)

    Lost 35 lbs in a few months, however, this diet is definitely low in protein and therefore you will have HAIR LOSS….And also muscle loss.
    To avoid these issues I’d recommend taking good quality supplements and get plenty of exercise (Cardio and Weight Training). If you don’t you will not enjoy look and feel as you’d like to. This diet helped me jump start my weight loss, but honestly 500-800 calories is not realistic long term. I have switched over to real foods and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and exercise 6 days a week and so the journey continues.

  • Wants feedback from other users
    Kellie palmer

    Im getting ready to start the program Nov 3rd, im really excited about this however ive been hearing alot of negative feedback. I dont think you can put a price tag on your health and if this program truly works and gives you a happier healthy life then I would spend every penny I make on this. Any good results from former users. Thanks

    • PT with Degree

      This diet is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. The shakes are all sugar and very little protein. People lose weight on this diet because they starve themselves. Get a gym membership, work out, raise your metabolism, and get at least 2k cal per day. This diet is so god awful it makes me mad

      • Derrick

        If you do as instructed you get close to 90 grams of protein a day. Well above average.

  • Need help in IBS
    Mary Robbins (Verified Purchase)

    I have IBS which was under control until I started HMR. I have gas, bloating,, very smelly flatulenc since I started this. My husband does not. He has let 45 pounds and I have lost 20. We have been on this 120 Days. Help please. Want to quit because of the IBS symptoms. I take welchol for IBS. I have tried everything. Ate regular food for a week and symptoms went away. As soon as I started back the symptoms came back. Help

    • Your Name

      There is maltodextrin in the HMR800 vanuj

    • Your Name

      The HMR 800 vanilla shake contains maltodextrin which can cause diarrhea..I have not seen the ingredients in the other shakes. The bars contain maltodextrin as well. They recommend eating one bar daily maximum … About 30 to 40% of the entrées also contain maltodextrin as well as some contain sucralose… I have not come across the laxatives or better known as sugar alcohols such as mannitol sorbitol etc. Those are often in the Atkins diet products and are actually labeled by Australia as a product that will cause diarrhea. Foods in Australia have to be labeled if they contain this.

  • Lost weight but lost muscle strength
    Bob Haluska (Verified Purchase)

    Lost 90 pounds in 6 months. Terrific, BUT. Turns out I also lost significant muscle strength. Archery is my hobby and now I don’t have the strength to draw my bow. I mentioned this at my HMR meeting and was told that they hadn’t heard of strength loss. Really? Most clients don’t have an activity that “measures” strength so they don’t realize they have lost strength. Any comments?

    • Your Name2

      So you’re saying 800 calories, with most the carbs being from sugar, is enough energy to get through the day? Lets starve our bodies then on top of that works out when we don’t have enough energy to break down to begin with. Stupid diet

      • Your Name

        you are only eating 800 calories if you’re doing it wrong. eat more fruit and vegetables until you are full and satisfied.

  • I had no problems with the program
    Your Name Brenda (Verified Purchase)

    I used the total HMR weight loss package to lose 35 pounds in June of 2011. My counselor was great and listened to all my health issues including Juvenile Diabetes and low thyroid. There were no clinics near where I lived so my counselor called me every other day for the first two weeks of HMR diet to check in on me and blood sugars. I cleared the HMR program and took the lean shake listing so my doctor could review it. Back to my counselor, she did specifically tell me to drink 60 ounces or more of water daily and eat 6 to 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily with my supplements, even the meals. I am delighted to tell all that I lost 35 pounds by September . I did walk 1 mile daily on my treadmill. I had no problems with the program.

  • I'm a health professional, this diet works !
    Jamie (Verified Purchase)

    I started the in clinic option at the recommendation of my doctor. Prior, I lost 30 lbs quick on a different program then gained it back + more. This was so embarrassing. Anyway, yes it is packaged foods, but there are multiple studies in peer reviewed journals proving more weight loss due with meal replacements. Goal of time limited 1st phase is to get the weight off with the motivation from seeing results quickly. During this time there’s a required weekly class and 1 on 1 support from a coach. Mid week you call or email in what you’ve eaten for the 1st 3 days. Anything questionable to the coach, the coach calls to discuss remedying this and the solution is always around keeping yourself full, especially in situations that would be hard to stay on. I’m on the lowest calorie option but at ANY time you’re hungry, you’re supposed to eat more. Their studies show more weight loss for those eating more because they prevented themselves from going off. Emotional eating is my biggest problem and I’m so thrilled with the immense support for this. I’ve eaten more with emotional situations and it’s okay on this plan and I continue to steadily lose weight. I have history of colitis and had bad gas/flatulence until I changed my formula to the lactose free meal replacements. It completely went away. This shake has 14 gm protein and 13gm carbs- this is a good ratio. Having some carbs is a sugar boost- quickly gets rid of cravings. Full feeling lasts longer, unlike the other recent program where I was full but too soon after hungry again. And I mentioned even if not hungry but want to emotionally eat, I can. Learning great strategies for long term weight management is best part as the person said above who participated in maintenance meetings and support for years past. I have to say, best diet I’ve been on, despite “fake foods”. You transition off them with the continued immense support after the weight loss phase. I believe in whole, healthy natural foods, as an ideal- despite my belief, wished I wouldn’t pig out with work stress, etc. I’m a health professional… This diet works.

  • Thumbs up for me
    Sam (Verified Purchase)

    I lost over 40 pounds with HMR. While expensive, it is run by local medical clinics and may be covered by your insurance. Coaches are certified nutritionists and nurses. You also meet with a doctor once per month and get blood tests when on the low calorie version. I have learned so much about how to eat properly over the years. Also, you only have to use their products during the 12 week weight loss phase. After that, you can incorporate other foods. Downside, the aspartame in the shakes and the entrees aren’t super tasty, but they are constantly looking at them and just recently changed their bar formula. Thumbs up for me.