Advice on Bulk, Cutting and General Fitness

So, first of all, lemme throw up my “Stats” so that people have an idea what I’m talking about.

Male, 23, 6.3ft, 110Kg(Ish)[17 Stone]
Not in shape currently
Currently supplementing 2 Meals a Day with 3 Scoop Vanilla Huel (New Recipe)
Ex-Smoker, Very Seldom Drink, Don’t Drink Caffeine, Don’t eat crisps, pastry, cakes. However, I tend to have a sweet tooth for Chocolate and also Cheese.

Basically, I have taken the “First Step” into a healthier life and started exercising. This includes me Running 5K 3 times a week in the morning and planning on going to my local gym 3 times in the week for an hour to do free weights and muscle retention/build with a day rest like so:

(Please note this was suggested to me and I have no idea what I’m doing so any advice is welcome!)

During my trip to the gym today a lot of people were talking about “Cutting and Gaining” saying getting on to weights is always beneficial the earliest I can to help minimize muscle loss. During this time I was asked about my diet, I then explained to them that I was on Huel and the information that I posted above. ^
They (as I expected) didn’t know the nutritional value of huel and were unable to give me any nutritional advice.

So what I want to ask is: “What are people diets like when trying to do this Cutting and Gaining?” “Do people find that they have to take multi-vitamins to make up for the huel they aren’t taking?” and “What are peoples experiences with huel and trying to lose fat and build muscle?”

I can read on my Nutritional Info that the Huel has a higher Carbs to Protein ratio (37.1g over 29.5g Per 100g) So does this mean that Huel isn’t ideal for this style and I should look at Whey protein drinks or is there a happy medium?

I understand there are a lot of questions but any advice to someone looking to get in shape and use huel for its nutritional value is welcome and very much sought after!


How do you feel about your current body?

BMI would suggest obese but can very often be inaccurate.

In general:

Bulk - Eat at a caloric surplus
Maintain - Eat at your TDEE
Cut - Eat at a deficit to your TDEE but with high protein intake to lose fat

TDEE can be calculated somewhere like this:

A well known concept of ‘noob gains’ describes what you’re hoping for, i.e lose fat and gain muscle.

This entails a caloric deficit with plenty of structured weight training. This isn’t just picking up some dumbbells and mindlessly swinging them toward your front delt, this is a program with heavy compound movements that causes progressive overload. Your body has sufficient resources at this point to repair this damage and adapt with its excess stored fuel. After around 3 months, noob gains deteriorate and you will slow down and plateau in your lifts.

I’d highly recommend checking out this start to finish. Really digest the info:

As for dietary benefits of Huel, ignore those who demonise carbs and the Huel carb content of Huel. Carbs are fantastic, carbs are easy energy and give fantastic focus and power output. The macro balance of Huel is great for fitness and bodybuilding, with 2500 calories netting 160+g grams of protein, all anyone will ever need (if we ignore the fitness industry’s heavy selling of protein which tells us we need 200g+ to sell more whey).


If I had to describe myself I know I’m overweight. not obese but overweight mainly around the belly.

Up until now my diet and lifestyle were pretty poor. I would struggle to run up a flight of stairs and still hold a conversation…

I am so far aware of caloric intake but as you mention everyone suggests getting foods with lower fat, and a higher protein content to carb ratio (about 1.5:1 where possible)

I will read through the article you have posted and see if I can get a better read of my “BMI” I believe my local gym has a machine for that. Thanks for your advice and its reassuring to know that people find huel more than suffice.

I have a “session” with one of the gyms PT’s tomorrow to correctly learn the equipment and start on weights so very excited to still be able to utilize Huel.

Again thanks, I see you have a lot of posts about your own journey which I will hopefully have a read through too as it seems you had a similar situation.

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No problem at all, I’ll always reply to any questions and queries on the subject as it’s such a life changing thing to get into!

You’ll probably see some posts come across blunt and brutal, but what’s the point in sugar coating valid information and observations?

Feel free to pop back with any more questions.

Also, be wary of gym PTs at your usual places unless they have a history in powerlifting/strongman etc. I’ve seen some people receive horrendous advice and tips from the trainers in gyms I’ve been to :smiley:

Oooh, also - AthleanX, YouTube. Brilliant channel.


I second AthleanX.

Scott Herman fitness is good too.

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If I were in your position I’d probably look to do the following:

  1. Consider making changes to my lifestyle gradually e.g. don’t take up a whole new exercise and eating regime all starting on the same day, introduce things over weeks/months so your body/mind can adapt/cope. This isn’t true for everyone, depends on what type of person you are.

  2. Get my bodyfat down to at least 15%, by doing a full body ‘novice’ workout 3 times a week if you’re new to lifting weights, along with adjusting my diet accordingly (e.g. find out my maintenance calories and eat 500-1000 less a day, but keep protein high at 1g per lb of my bodyweight). You want to maintain as much muscle mass as possible and only burn off fat, especially if you’re running too.

  3. Once at 15% bodyfat (ideally 12%) then eat 300 calories above maintenance and start a lean bulk. Once you get past the novice/beginner stage (e.g. you can lift a certain amount compared to your bodyweight) then move onto an intermediate routine such as a 6-day PPL, but it depends if you enjoy the gym I guess and how serious you want to get. You could stay on the 3-day full body if you prefer along with your running.

There are more advanced diets you can follow, like a PSMF but this can be quite a challenge for a new dieter.

As above, make sure you get your form spot-on when lifting weights. It’s easy to pick up an injury otherwise!


As for dietary benefits of Huel, ignore those who demonise carbs and the Huel carb content of Huel. Carbs are fantastic, carbs are easy energy and give fantastic focus and power output. The macro balance of Huel is great for fitness and bodybuilding, with 2500 calories netting 160+g grams of protein, all anyone will ever need (if we ignore the fitness industry’s heavy selling of protein which tells us we need 200g+ to sell more whey).

I partly disagree with this. I don’t think someone overweight should be embracing carbs as it’s generally a case of high carbs (and fat) in their diet which has lead to them being overweight.

Carbs are great if you are relatively lean, but those with higher bodyfat levels should limit carbs in my opinion.

Why? If they are eating Carbs AND eating in a caloric deficit then there is no conceivable reason that someone won’t lose weight.

Calories in, calories out. You can’t break physics.

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In my eyes, anyone doing any intense exercise, whether cardio or weights, needs carbs.

During my journey from fatty to fitty I banged down tonnes of carbs (bread etc) and had no issues as long as I maintained my deficit as you say.

Carbs get such a bad reputation when in reality they’re just another macro…

The carbs of today are the fat of the 90s.

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Because, the whole calories in vs calories out is not the full picture and is a simplified approach often used for marketing.

The body does not treat all macro-nutrients the same. For instance when the body digests protein, more calories are lost compared to carbs and fat. Also, protein makes you feel more full than carbs or fat which helps with hunger or wanting to snack.

There are studies that show that 2 diets (1 low carb vs 1 non-low carb) which are of equal calories, results in more weight loss for the low carb group. In fact I think you can eat more calories on the low-carb diet vs. the high carb diet and still lose weight!

So, it’s not just a simple case of eat less calories. The type of calorie is also important.

Have you got a link to the study? :slight_smile:

It’ll be the same thing we always see around here. They choose a sample of obese people who are looking to lose weight and manage to do so, but the results are always inaccurate for the normal sized population.

The intermittent fasting ones are the same, they’re never from a normal sized or fit sample group.

Also I wanted to see if the two groups maintained the same amount of lean mass, as we know low Carbs = low workout recovery… Lower hormones etc etc…

I think you might have to be a subscriber to read the study directly, but it’s discussed briefly here so you have the details if you want to search further for it:

I’m not against decent carb sources (those packed with nutrients) as although you don’t need carbs to survive you need them if you want to thrive (to quote someone else!). Speaking from personal experience I’ve found it very hard to stick to a low calorie limit with carbs in my diet, whereas low-carb is much easier to stay within said limit and sometimes well below.

I suppose for your average person it may be tricky, but even with Huel I’ve done cuts at 1800 cals including plenty of carbs and more than enough protein to maintain mass.

If we’re talking about carbs as in plain white rice and pasta, I take your point…

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I’ve been reading through all your advice and i’m going to fit somewhere in between. I am a foodie at heart and spent many years as a sushi chef so rice is always somewhere in my house. but i will swap out a lot of the carb intense foods for more protein. for example my snack in the middle of the day has changed to a date bar with higher protein but still maintaining some carbs.

I think if i watch these and still stay on a deficit and try to shy away from sugars and fats i should still manage without feeling like i’m punishing myself.

With regards to the free lifting the local gym i use hires PT’s and also trains PT’s and most have a history in something (Weights, Rugby Trainer or even studying something PT related at the university) So i should be ok with the form i’m shown.

Still if people have more advice feel free to post it as i will still read through all of them :slight_smile:

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ive cut my carbs down since starting huel and ive lost weight however as ive not done much excercise ive kept off the carbs unless i up my exercise. feel better for less carbs too

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