This is my first post on this forum, I have started using Huel 1.5 weeks ago. I am posting this to ask for some advice, have been scrolling through this forum and saw many knowledgeable people and nutritionists responding so hoping some of you can help me out. Most info found online is geared towards ‘regular’ sedentary people. I lead a very active lifestyle and will outline an average week here below:
i work as a yoga teacher and teach 12 active classes a week. While i do not participate in the whole class i am still active so looking at about 15 hrs of movement a week.
i cycle around all day from studio to studio so on average about an 1 hr cycling a day.
-on top of that i am training to become an acrobat/circus performer so i train acrobatics/tumbling/dance/handbalancing about 5-6 times a week. About 10 hrs of training a week.
Suffice to say i get enough exercise and movement, maybe too much even but i love this lifestyle and it makes me happy. Where i struggle most is the nutrition and resting parts of this lifestyle. I discovered i was eating waaay too little to maintain this level of activity, struggling to even eat 2500 calories. I am 30, 173cm tall and weigh about 83 kg btw. I noticed symptoms like extreme fatigue when waking up, loss of sex drive / libido, not gaining muscle and not losing that stubborn fat around the midsection. When i discovered Huel i figured this would be perfect for me, as with very little prep i could easily get enough calories and protein in every day. I am aiming at 3000 cal of huel a day and then having a healthy meal of veggies and fruits at the end of the day, maybe an occasional cookie or something for the taste, aiming for a total of 3500 cal a day. While i realise that jumping into 3000 cal a day of huel is quick, and it is advised to transition slower, i was pretty desperate and am used to drinking smoothies and whey protein shakes.
My questions are:
Is this enough calories? Most tdee calculators give an average so am not sure if i need to eat even more calories than this with my current lifestyle.
-I was hoping that by eating a lot more i would get more energy. However since starting Huel and upping my calories greatly I have noticed the opposite. I have even less energy and in the morning I feel as if i am hungover and have extreme fatigue. Is this usual in the beginning when starting Huel? As i said, i realise that by jumping in to 3000 cal a day its a bit extreme, is this caused by that? Have been needing to cut down on training because of this fatigue so really hoping it goes away and i get more energy.
Hope some of you can help me out! any other advice i can get from other people who also have a really active lifestyle on maintaining this lifestyle is most welcome!
Wow, you are pretty active. You are right, the calorie calculators you use will work off an average. Most will allow you to account of exercise so make sure you choose the most active option.
What you will then need to do is a bit of trial and error. It’s difficult to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time which is why most people go through stages of losing fat then gaining muscle. Try using myfitnesspal or a similar app so you can get a calorie goal and accurately track what you are eating. If you want to lose weight first then check out this article: https://uk.huel.com/pages/guide-to-fat-loss and for gaining muscle check out this one: https://uk.huel.com/pages/huel-guide-to-gaining-weight
You can then use a set of scales and the mirror to check if the estimated calorie goals on your chosen app work for you. If they don’t and you’re not losing weight when you want to, try dropping another 200kcal/day. That’s the trial and error bit. Make sure you’re tracking your foods correctly as most people’s guesses are incorrect.
You’re right you want to start slow with Huel as it takes a bit of time for your body to adjust which may explain your symptoms. We recommend that when you start your Huel diet, you first try replacing 1 meal with Huel, and then after a while (approx. 5-7 days) you could progress to replacing 2 of your daily meals (and then 3, 4, etc. if you want to go 100% Huel). This will allow your body to slowly adjust to Huel.
Into long distance cycling. Have a base of 5 x 100g of huel mixed with 20g protein powerder. Then using Fitness pal add or subtract calories/fats/protein/carbs dependent on my days workout and wether I need energy for ride or protein for repair etc
0.9g per lb of body weight 210 lbs wanting to loose fat without loosing muscle/bone density and it seems to be working. Lost 5lb fat last week whilst maintaining energy for 2-4 hr rides. No muscle loss in fact gained slightly. First time I’ve got the diet right. Usually loose all round when loosing weight.
Yes tried that but wasn’t really working. Was ravenous and eating crap because I was desperate for carbs. By overloading on protein the body is forced to convert to carbs when under stress. You feel crap but at least not eating it and it soon passes
Thanks Dan for the answer! One thing i often notice though is that advice on nutrition is so often focussed only on either losing weight or adding muscle. To be honest for me both are not a priority in my training but more a side effect. My focus is more increasing my acrobatic skills and finding nutrition to help me maintain performance and giving me energy to train (almost) daily. There is not really a lot of advice to be found on that. But you are right in that it might just be trial and error. It looks like my body is starting to adjust to Huel though so feeling more energetic. Just got hit with a nasty cold now though