A lazy boy's guide to healthy eating, month 1


I’m a modern, office-working, day-to-day shopping, quick eating, fairly overweight (but not actually inactive), lazy lazy lazy kinda guy. Not enough fruit & veg, too many takeaways. I’d been considering trying Huel for a while, mostly as a way of getting nutrition easily, but also so I didn’t have to try and figure out what to eat for breakfast/lunch each day; I wanted nutrition without effort. As soon as I found myself with a chunk of money to justify getting started, I ordered my first bags and a flavour sample pack. I read the instructions (start off with one a day? Sure thing, I have a small stack of microwave pasta pots to finish off anyway), washed out my shaker, and got started.

I started off with one bag each of Original and New & Improved, and opened the Original first. My first pot took more effort than it really needed; the instructions say you should add water, then powder, shake, and top up with more water, so I lugged my full bag of Huel to the water dispenser, balanced it and the various parts of the shaker, filled it up, scooped out the powder, sealed it up, topped, shook, and took everything back with me. I very quickly decided that this was a mugs’ game; from the second day on, I just took the pot, filled it with all the water I need, and brought it back to do the rest at my desk.

Flavour wise, it was… surprisingly fine. I’d go so far as to say it was outright nice. Like a lot of people say, the texture took a little getting used to, but only a little. When I later tried the N&I, I didn’t really detect much difference. I eventually decided I preferred the Original. You don’t know it yet, but this is foreshadowing.

I put up a picture on my Facebook on day one, and the responses were mostly the predictable joke responses, with nothing actually encouraging: “I think the name represents the sound you make five minutes after drinking it.” "So who’s it for? " “Soylent Green is people!”. Those are all direct quotes. I’m reminded of a post I saw on Tumblr earlier this year titled “Do not punish the behaviour you want to see”; it’s the same sort of mindset that makes people call out at fat people jogging, rather than encouraging them because they’re trying to do better.


I’d originally planned to just have this be a work thing, but by the first weekend, it was going well enough that I doled out two meals worth of the powder and took it home. I tried my first flavour packet over the weekend and, in what would become a running theme, I was sadly underwhelmed. It wasn’t bad, it was just so mild as to be be mostly unnoticeable; it may help both the sampling, and the value for money, for these to contain an extra gram of flavouring. Based on the packets I’ve tried, it’d take a lot to get me to buy some of the proper flavour boost bags.

Again: foreshadowing.

First week over, stepping it up to 2 meals per day. It’s about this time that gas happened; I won’t harp on this, if you don’t know what I’m on about there’ll be a topic about it somewhere on the main screen, so let’s move on. This was all fairly easy. I’d already noticed, and here confirmed, that I was feeling fuller on Huel than off it, no afternoon snack cravings.

I decided to order a blender. I was hoping to get a little USB powered one I could use at work, but couldn’t find one people rated, and in the end I reasoned I could make them at home to bring in, so picked up an Amazon Basics one for ~£15.

People. Listen. You want to try Huel? Get a blender.

So I take my blender jug (the one I bought came with 2: perfect!), and I put some water in, chop the tops off some strawberrys or chuck in a frozen banana (after the agonising process of unpeeling it; am I meant to freeze them after peeling, or something?), add the Huel, mix, and… Oh man. Let me tell you. That’s some tasty stuff, right there. That’s awesome. I’m talking, like, on the full range of food here, not just in comparison to whatever you think of when you hear “powdered meal replacement shakes”, tasty stuff. That becomes the standard routine; each evening, make two smoothies, usually one banana and one strawberry, and put them in the fridge. Pick them up before work, and I’m done.

Weekends take a little more planning, just because I spend them mostly at my partners. Depending on exactly what we’re up to, sometimes I can just make them at home as normal, sometimes I need to take powder with me. Sometimes I skip it and just have whatever; that’s fine, Huel’s just food, I didn’t sign a contract here, y’know?

This brings us to a week ago, and… the error.

Look, I’m a fallable human, like everyone. I make mistakes. So I’d been doing calculations about when I should get my next bags, and deciding which flavours I should get and what schedule and such, and occasionally logging in to tweak my subscription in anticipation. At some point, I decided two things: 1) I should get 3 bags of Huel for my next order. 2) I should make them all Original. And that’s fine! I stand by that decision. That was definitely the right choice.

Unfortunately, I messed up, and ordered three bags of Unsweetend & Unflavoured instead.

Look, it’s not that U&U tastes bad as such, it’s that it… doesn’t really taste of anything. Well, OK, yes, it tastes oaty and grainy and all that stuff, but it tastes of it in that way where your mouth is feeling something it expects to be nice, and instead gets something that isn’t really anything, and decides that it’s not food and shouldn’t be there. Cannot get on with that. And I have 3 bags of it. I could send some/all of it back but, remember: lazy, lazy, lazy.

It’s fine. It’s fine! I have the blender, and I have half a bag of New and Improved still. I can order some of those flavour boosts; they aren’t great, but if they’re weak, I’ll just use a lot… But I won’t be in the office again for a week to pick up the delivery. I just have to last until then. If I use a scoop of the N&I for 2 of the U&U, that should be nice enough, right?

It wasn’t nice enough. OK, OK. Science. Let’s try 2/1 splits, with a banana in one, and a couple scoops of peanut butter in the other. I love peanut butter, and that should work OK with the grainyness of the U&U Huel, maybe?

Nope. The banana one juuuust about works, but the peanut butter… it’s like nothing’s there. Twice, I’ve been in a position where I was gagging by the bottom of the portion. In the end, I found some chocolate & salted caramel spread in the cupboard, and two heaped spoons is just about enough to cut across the base U&U flavour, even with the full 3 scoops. But, hey, look, that’s fine; the point is, I found recipes that work, and it kept me going until the flavour packs arrived. (I tried one today, the toffee; One teaspoon was just enough to make it palatable, but I’ll definitely be upping it to 2 tomorrow). All I have to do is last a couple more weeks until the next order arrives, and this dark period is behind me.

In terms of health effects, I can’t really see it myself yet, but something’s happening. It’s the cliche stuff; a friend who hasn’t seen me for a couple of months saying I look trim, my partner saying she can feel the difference round my waist when she hugs me, my belt being looped a lot tighter. As far as I can tell, I’m losing weight off my hips rather than my tummy for now. Weight loss wasn’t necessarily the point specifically, but it’s pretty great that it’s happening, especially given I haven’t really changed my evening eating habits… I think my kebabs-per-week ratio has actually gone up slightly compared to my usual average.

The thing is, what’s surprised me about this is how easy it’s been. OK, yes, the U&U mistake has made things less yummy than they were, but… Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? I found the vanilla Huel “yummy”. I’ve been less hungry on it, I’ve been getting the nutrients I’ve been short on for, ohh, a couple of decades now, I’ve been losing weight, oh, and all the extra water I’ve been taking in has meant I’ve been drinking less tea. (Tea is fine, all the sugar I put in it, perhaps less so). People have asked me if I’ve felt any different, and I’ve been hesitant to answer because the placebo effect is a thing, but… honestly, maybe, yeah. I think I feel less sleepy, I think I’ve been a bit more energetic, and I do think I’m losing weight. At very least, I can say for certain that I don’t feel worse.

Overall, 4 weeks in and (my mistake aside) Huel has been exactly what I’d hoped… a lazy, cheap way to get healthy food, with the unexpected benefit that it’s actually legitimately tasty. I’ve swapped over more meals than planned, and (some planning around the weekends aside) it’s been really easy to work into my routine… definitely easier than the old one of “well, I could look in Tesco but it’s out of the way, I’ll nip in the bus station shop if my bus isn’t there yet… Oh, it is there, I don’t want to miss it, but the shops near work are all rubbish…”. I can’t imagine I’ll be stopping anytime soon!

Next month: the end to the dark times, a proper look at the flavour boosts, and… a second blender?!?


Thanks for the update - brilliant read
Ive been ‘doing’ HUEL for over a year now… I say doing - buying, eating, not eating, put the powder in the cupboard, oh look they brought a new flavour bar out…

But this week, I have joined a gym and have committed to using HUEL for breakfast and Lunch… it’s day 3 for me, and Ive struck gold I think …

Breakfast is 250 mls of water, 50g of U/U HUEL, 2g of Flavour powder, plus 1 heaped spoon of instant coffee
All blended in a Nutribullet and then stored in the fridge until drunk

Lunch is 500 mls of water, 100g of U/U Huel, 4 g of Flavour power, plus the spoon of coffee

Mocha and Toffee are my favourite flavours at the moment - I also have Rhubarb and Custard - jury is still out on that one …

Im just sipping my lunch time shake - at 14:20… after realising that Id not have anything since my breakfast shake at 9:30…

Loving it …


I enjoyed reading this. I recognised some of the things you went through. (Meaning: I also have an unopened bag of UU which I really don’t like and don’t know what to do with…)

My absolute favourite is a shake of new and improved vanilla with banana. It’s becomes this thick and very tasty milkshake. You should try the pineapple & coconut flavour as well. It’s the one flavour I really liked.

Good luck on your journey and let us know what’s happening.


Personally, the only way I’ve been able to get through my U/U is bananas, a single banana/600ml water/3 scoops huel seems to be the perfect balance (atleast IMO)