As a busy, working mother and wife, Gail Elliott found her health had taken a back seat to caring for others and juggling priorities. "I’m your average, middle aged, working mom,” she adds. “I always put my children and husband before myself. I justified my weight by all the responsibilities that I had and was always ‘waiting for the right time.’” The truth is no one was waiting to tap Gail on the shoulder to let her know now is the time. “I finally realized in May of 2015 that there will never be a ‘right time’ and that it will only get worse as time goes on. I had finally had enough and realized that the best way to take care of my family started with me and taking care of me first.”
Gail discovered the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute | An HMR Program. The HMR program has helped more than one million people over the last 25 years successfully lose weight. Most participants experience two to three times the amount of weight loss compared to other weight loss programs. The HMR Program for Weight Management has not only caught the attention of people like Gail, who are in search of a safe, effective and easy-to-navigate weight loss program, but also U.S. News and World Report, which listed the HMR program in the top spot for “Fast Weight-Loss Diet,” tied with the Biggest Loser Diet.
“One aspect of how the HMR program differs from other diet programs is the medical supervision component,” explains Health Educator with the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute, Tom Guhr. “Having a physician follow you during the dieting process is very beneficial, because sometimes there are medications that need to be adjusted or medical problems in general that can inhibit or slowdown weight loss and the physician is able to get a handle on those things in order to have the patient be the most successful.”
The HMR diet offers three options – decision-free diet, healthy solutions diet and HMR at home – utilizing HMR shakes and entrees that replace meals participants typically eat. “HMR was easy and convenient,” adds Gail. “It gave me a simple plan to follow and not have to use a lot of my ‘brain power’ that was being exhausted by the rest of my world.”
“HMR uses a rigid program structure to give the participant an opportunity to completely withdraw themselves from all other foods in order to make the changes necessary for losing weight and keeping it off long-term,” shares Tom. “Oftentimes, continuing to use the foods that have always been available to us, as a means to lose weight, is not as effective nor the change needed, to sustain substantial weight loss in the long-term.”
In addition to the meal replacement plan, weekly group sessions help build accountability among other participants in the program, while also fostering long-term weight management through education on food choices and physical activity. “As much as we put an emphasis on losing the weight very quickly, we put even more of a focus on our participants keeping the weight off long-term,” says Tom. “The weight loss part of the program is known as phase one and the maintenance phase is known as phase two. In phase two, we begin to add in other foods such as lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains, for example. We look at the necessary components of a realistic long-term diet plan for maintaining the weight, as well as physical activity each day. There are weekly classes involved with phase two and it is recommended that participants stay in this phase for at least 12 months.”
“Just follow the plan,” Gail encourages others looking for a weight loss solution to fit into their busy lives. “I started Healthy Solutions on May 22, 2015 and haven’t looked back! I gave myself small goals to focus on and made a list of ‘non-number goals’ that I wanted to accomplish. I’m happy to say that I have met all of those goals and met my first goal of 50 pounds lost before by 35th birthday – three weeks ahead of schedule!”
“The success that we’ve seen has been remarkable,” adds Tom. “Our participants are not only becoming lighter on the scale, but they are also improving their health and quality of life - from discontinuation of medication and reduction in risk factors, to participants having more energy and less joint pain.”
It is a program changing the future for participants like Gail at the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute. “I’ve realized that the journey won’t end once I’ve hit my goal weight,” she admits. “I will always be on this journey to maintain a normal healthy weight and establish good health practices with diet and exercise. I hope to instill these health practices in my children and am always looking for ways to include my kids in being active.”
To learn more about the Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute call 918-579-3444 or click here.