March is National Nutrition Month. Leading a nutritious lifestyle is a great way to take care of your body and make changes for the better. The Weight Loss & Wellness Center at Oklahoma Heart Institute offers a nationally recognized weight-loss program developed by Health Management Resources (HMR), the nation’s leading provider of weight-loss programs in the medical community. With both in-clinic and at-home weight loss programs, the Weight Loss & Wellness Center team works with individuals to figure out the best option for them based on their personal goals.
To celebrate National Nutrition Month, we spoke with Brook Hinton, health educator at the Weight Loss & Wellness Center, to learn more about the HMR program.
Nutrition guidelines are quite strict with the HMR program. “The food has to be approved by and meet the guidelines of the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the Food and Drug Administration,” explained Hinton. “The manufacturer has to follow their guidelines when producing the food. The HMR program implements the meal replacements along with exercise, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. Through our program, you can use only meal replacements or you can use the meal replacements along with fruits and vegetables.”
Patients participating in the HMR program are closely monitored by the Weight Loss and Wellness Center. “When participating in the program, patients are under medical supervision along with coaching support to help them establish healthy lifestyle behaviors,” Hinton said. “We help them come up with the best exercise methods to complement the low-calorie and low-fat diet, which allows for their weight to drop. Once they reach their goal weight, we then help them transition into the second phase of the program, which is where we closely work with them to incorporate society food back into their diets. Lean proteins, fruits and vegetables are the first foods implemented. For heart patients, this becomes more strategic because of their sodium levels. Patients with congestive heart failure need to be closely monitored and managed so they can learn how to maintain their sodium levels for the rest of their lives.”
Characteristics of program participants vary. “The majority of individuals in our program are about 25-100 pounds overweight with a high body mass index,” stated Hinton. “Many have high blood pressure and diabetes and are on several medications to help with those issues. The age range is pretty broad, with most being in their late thirties to late sixties. Even so, the program can work for people of all ages.”
Results can be seen very quickly upon starting with the HMR program. “HMR was designed for people to lose weight very rapidly because losing weight fast is very motivating,” Hinton explained. “The patients are following a very structured plan so it really is easy. Research shows that the more weight you lose upfront, the more you lose overall and the longer you keep it off. HMR is all about that quick, rapid weight loss upfront.”
The timeline for the program varies from patient to patient. “Time in the program is really dependent upon how much weight the patient wants to lose,” Hinton stated. “The majority of patients want to lose anywhere from 50-75 pounds. With this goal, they will be in phase one for five to eight months if they are following the program correctly. For phase two, we highly recommend patients staying here for at least a year because this is when they will be going through typical life events that can cause weight gain (holidays, birthdays, vacations, etc.). If patients can stay in phase two for a full year, they are able to experience life and see how they manage their weight.”
Maintenance is the key to keeping the weight off after completing the program. “Unfortunately, it’s just as easy to gain the weight back as rapidly as you lost it during the HMR program,” said Hinton. “When you go from very low-calorie foods to very high-calorie foods and stop exercising, that will put you right back where you started. We want to work with closely with each patient so they will not experience this after they have completed the program. If they are maintaining and working towards their goals, they are doing great things for their body.”
The HMR program has been very successful at Oklahoma Heart Institute. “In 2017, we lost 4,255 pounds with an average of 108 patients in our clinic,” Hinton said. “On average, about half of the patients in the program are in phase one of the program, which is the weight loss phase, with the other half being in phase two which is known as the maintenance phase. The average weight loss is going to be anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds per month. People always want to know what makes our program different than other weight loss programs. Many programs only offer meal replacements, but we offer much more. HMR is really all about accountability and support. As health educators, we want to make sure that each patient feels like they are valued. We are here to help them succeed and improve their quality of life. We truly want to make sure this is the last diet anyone ever has to do. ”
To learn more about the HMR program, please visit https://oklahomaheart.com/wlwc or call 918-579-3444.
Pictured above, the Weight Loss & Wellness Center program staff. From left to right: Brook Hinton, Health Educator; Sarah Roberts, Health Educator; Terri Thames, RN; Precious Cash, Program Coordinator