The summer is well underway and so are the plans to get that body you’ve been dreaming of. Do you have a plan? If not, HMR the weight loss program may be an option for you. However, before we jump right into what HMR is, let’s talk about how you can learn more from medical professionals by attending an informational session.

Once a month (every third Wednesday evening) we host a HMR info session. There is no obligation to join after the session, but it’s a great opportunity to hear about a program with an excellent success record in helping lose and keep off unwanted pounds.

The info sessions and classes are hosted by Health Educator, Melanie Ortez who has been teaching HMR for three years. During that time she has participated on and off as well, so she really knows all about the program and it’s benefits.

What is HMR Anyway?

 HMR stands for Health Management Resources. Ortez said that it’s called that because, “it’s a program that involves psychology and medical staff -essentially it’s a program where a whole team helps to manage health in a resource-based way.”

What is an Info Session Like?

When you come in for an HMR info session the first thing you will do is sign in so that we can contact you with information about related plans. After you are in the system Ortez will provide you with materials and will begin her presentation.
She said, “I have a PowerPoint with slides that will go over the program materials, as well as a folder that every participant will receive involving HMR’s diet fact sheet, class times, class fees, and our program summary sheet of all our programs we offer here at DMC for weight management, just in case this program is not for them. If you are ready to join that day, I would provide an application that they would bring back to their Nurse Visit, and we could schedule their appointments as soon as that night. Sometimes many people need to take the information home and go over class times, fees, etc. with their husbands/wives/management/etc. before coming to a complete decision. Some want to learn more about the self-directed program, where that information is listed in the folder as well. I always give them my business card so that they can contact me with any questions or concerns.”

What Makes HMR Different from Other Diets?

The real difference with HMR is how we focus not only on upfront weight loss, but protection of weight loss long term, really focusing on behavior change and creating a whole new healthy lifestyle change. Ortez said, “The majority of programs offer some sort of meal replacement, but this is a highly structured program that takes the thinking completely out of it (at least in the first phase). If you’re somebody who struggles with time, prepping and or one that doesn’t enjoy cooking, HMR could be a great way for you to lose weight and get around that! Add fruits or vegetables to your meal replacements and it can be as simple as that. After the first phase, we have a maintenance period where we actively wean people off some of their meal replacements and teach them how to incorporate more outside foods that lean more towards the Mediterranean plant based diet – while still practicing their new health behaviors. The way this plan is structured makes it easy to protect the weight loss. We have some people using it for just a few years and others on it for 8 years. It’s a lifestyle change program.”

Success on HMR

HMR has been a highly successful program for us, but, like anything else it’s all about the commitment level of the participants and the willingness to change. Ortez said, “I can always tell right off the bat who is going to be successful with this program – the ones who are ready to commit & are ready to make a change. I would say about 65% of the individuals I work with have had great success. In fact we have one patient who has kept off 100 pounds for 8 years. It’s tough to protect the weight that we lose, especially in this culture and high calorie world we live in, so that is a huge success for this individual!  Being able to lose weight & continue to practice these health behaviors long term, to protect the weight lost, now that’s how I define success. It goes beyond losing weight to be successful.”

What Are Some Other Benefits to the HMR Program and Knowledgeable Staff?

Unlike trying to lose weight on your own, HMR is run by a staff that knows what to look out for and favors a holistic outlook on health. Ortez said, “we actually have a nurse visit and weigh participants in weekly – we see lots of people come off medications due to healthy diet changes. And, as we have primary care as a part of Derry Medical Services, we usually have follow up information on the patients. Many get into the average range for their A1C’s or come off of their high blood pressure meds. We always recommend they follow up with their primary. Their doctors sometimes don’t recognize them! Also, if they are noticing issues during the program due to rapid weight loss, we can recognize that and get the meds straightened out easily.”


HMR info sessions are free to attend and they are pretty personalized. “A lot of people feel like it’s a huge group, but it’s not like a 70 person fitness class. It’s small and personal. You’re not alone in a crowd with no time to chat,” said Ortez.