(This is the third in an ongoing series of monthly posts. Month 1. Month 2.)
Last time, I said (in a way that implied it could be ominous, but without outright saying it would be, because at the time I wrote it I didn’t actually know what was going to happen, I’m not a bloody fortune teller, Karen*) that I bet month 3 was going to go nice and smoothly. Wellll… yes and no.
The biggest issue has been a self-image thing. People are still telling me that I’m losing weight, but I’m still not really seeing it; there was an initial obvious drop, and now kinda nothing. Academically I know that’s because I see myself all the time, so of course some slow gradual change won’t stand out to me, every time I look in the mirror the person I see looks basically the same as when I last looked a few hours ago. I live in an era of fast food, next day delivery, instant video streaming. I want to see results now, dammit!
It’s actually good that I don’t, because if I was seeing a dramatic change in size, that would probably means I’m losing weight unhealthily fast (no more than 1kg per week, better to stray under that line than over), but it has made optimism a little harder.
If I can’t see the change, I’ll just measure it! I had a little health checkup shortly before I started on Huel, which gave me a starting weight, and now I have some bathroom scales to measure it going forward. Set it up, weigh myself, push the numbers into a spreadsheet, interpolate the missing values between then and now, set up some calculations, and now I can get a chart of my weight over time, track how much I’ve actually lost, see how much progress I’ve made towards my target weight etc. Groovy.
Let’s headline this: As of yesterday, I’m 11% towards my target weight, and have lost almost 4% of my original body weight.
See? I can see that. That’s data, that is (although it’d be better data if my scales weren’t… let’s just say “inconsistent” and move on). That said, It’s a bad idea to focus too much on weigh-ins. Weight naturally fluctuates over time, and it is OK, let me say again, it is OK if your weight goes up sometimes. To avoid putting myself in a bad place by obsessing over this too much, it’s time to break out something I’ve been consciously avoiding.
(Did you hear a musical sting in your mind when you read that, like from Monty’s Python’s Spanish Inquisition sketch or something? You should have done, I really tried to build that up. )
Rule 1: Weigh-ins once a week, no more.
Rule 2: Try to weigh-in on the same day, at the same time; I’m aiming for Thursday evenings, right after I get home.
Rule 3: Don’t weigh anything but me. (That’s my attempt at saying “weigh in the nude” without setting off the more puerile amongst you, Karen**.)
That should get results that are as consistent as possible, without over-measuring and getting demotivated by natural fluctuations. I’ve only had two weigh-ins so far (remember kids: each of these posts takes place over the course of about a month), so we’ll see how this goes. Hopefully, by next month, I’ll have a nice chart to show.
…Anyway, that’s enough about weight. Let’s talk about Huel.
I got a bag of Berry in my last delivery, and I’ve been using that since the start of the week. When I first opened the bag (which has 30g less than Original in, for some reason? Is it the same with coffee?) on Sunday to make my Huel for work, mmmmmm. Ohhh, breath that in. Smells like a really nice strawberry milkshake, maybe a hint of raspberry as well. I made it up, put it in the fridge, and went to sleep, eager to get to work the next day to give it a try. Sat at my desk the next morning, I grab the bottle, remove the lid, take a smell (SO good), take a drink, annnnnd…
Maybe I did something wrong.
Maybe, the night before, I messed up and only put in two scoops instead of three, I’m not sure. What I’m sure about is that it was watery, and bland, and not great. It wasn’t U&U awful, but not great.
Tuesday, I made very sure to put in 3 scoops, use quite a bit less water, and it’s alright? I don’t know if Berry Huel is just naturally thinner, or if it’s just bias because I really did mess up the first time and have used less water since. In any case, I’m adding enough water to wind up with probably about 450ml Berry Huel at the end, and that seems to be about right, but I’m still experimenting to find the right level. It’s OK enough, I’m going to keep using this bag until it’s done, but I won’t be getting another.
After using it for a week, I think there are two main reasons Berry isn’t working for me. First, because it’s pre-flavoured, it makes me less willing to try doing things with it to improve the not-quite-strong-enough-for-me taste; if you don’t like it, you’re more stuck than you would be with vanilla or even U&U. Second, because I’m compensating for the weak flavour by using less water, it means I’m getting less full than I do on standard Original Huel. And that means…
I have been getting a bit peckish.
I know. Take a minute to let that sink in. I have been so, so happy with Huel on the fullness front. I have enthused about how the desire to snack had gone. Huel was doing a way better job than whatever I was eating in the long ago times. But now, it gets close to 4 (or not even that), and I just starting feeling pretty gosh-darned hungry. This may be a coincidence, but I’m putting the blame squarely on the Berry Huel. Berry, I tried, I did, and I know you’re doing your best and I’m sure you’ll find a home in many people’s cupboards, but I need the full Huel hit, and you just don’t give it to me the way Original does. I just can’t forget that first watery sip. Was it me? Did I just not scoop enough? Perhaps. The answer is lost to time.
It’s very important that, each month, I make some kind of big mistake, so that I can build up some tension and tell you all about it, and you go away thinking “ooh, how is he going to get out of this one, I can’t wait for next month for the thrilling conclusion of that cliffhanger”, but this time, this month is when I fixed a mistake I’d made continually over the past couple of month.
See, my partner bought me a couple of little packets of squeezy peanut butter to put in my Huel, which is very thoughtful and much appreciated, and it also reminded me that why haven’t I been putting peanut butter in my Huel?!?
I bought pots of it, specifically to do that! I even tried it once or twice, early on! And when it didn’t work out, you know what I did? I bought a blender. And then another. With the main reason being so I could blend in peanut butter. And then I never did that thing. Peanut butter, just hanging out in cupboards, waiting to be used. For 2 months.
I’m happy to report that everyone that says “hey, you know what’s good in Huel? Peanut butter” is right. They are good people, smart people, and should give themselves a little pat on the back.
Y’know, this month I’ve been worried about this post. There was plenty to talk about the first couple of months, because of course there is when it’s all new, but I thought this post was going to be short, and dry. I thought I was going to be ending this saying this will be the last one. But look: look at all that big wall-o-text up there! I wrote all that! (And you read all that, you wonderful person you!) Looks like there’s still plenty to be said.
Next time: Who knows? More words, maybe even a chart? I’m looking forward to it, I hope you are too.
*Apologies to any actual Karens reading this.
**No, really, I’m very sorry. You’re probably actually really awesome, and not puerile at all.