BBC Crash Diet Program Total Diet Replacement

A really interesting program tonight on the BBC about total diet replacement programs (TDR). They used the Cambridge Diet by the looks of it. I wondered if Huel at low calorie levels between 1000 and 1500 per day had the same or better nutritional content than the dedicated diet foods like The Cambridge Diet. I have tried Huel and struggled to stick to it, more my psychology than the product if I am being honest.

I am seeking some medical advice but plan to do a TDR for 12 weeks in the near future and would like to use HUEL if it is nutritionally comparable to the Cambridge Diet rather than waste the HUEL supply I have.

Anyone any thoughts on this?

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Got a quick reply from the cardiologist today fantastic NHS service once again. He was very encouraging about my plan to try a TDR approach, still need to know if i can do this with a 1200-1500 calorie per day HUEL program or if i need to select something else like the Cambridge Diet, come on Huel guys let me know what you think., I am probabaly going to start with HUEL as i have some supplies already.

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Just do it, you don’t need anyone’s permission.

Eating 1500 calories a day would make getting 100% nutrition on any diet virtually impossible. Huel is as close as you can get.

People give it the biggun’ every few weeks on this forum about how ‘off the rails’ they feel to be going 100% Huel, when in reality, those of us who have been here for a long time have done several stints of 100% Huel. When I started I did 3 months of 100% and suffered no bad negative consequences.


At 1000-1500kcal of Huel you will not reach your reference intakes for many micronutrients - 2000kcal of Huel contains at least 100% of your vitamins and minerals. You would need to source additional vitamins and minerals from other sources. I’m afraid I’ve not watched this program, so not sure on context. Is the NHS recommending total diet replacements like the Cambridge Diet? What sort of populations?

As @GTIPuG says, plenty here use Huel 100%, it’s not our intended use of Huel but it is certainly possible. Sorry I can’t be more specific, Ian.


Tim if you don’t want us using Huel 100% then why make us feel so good on it + make it taste great. Makes no sense! :grin:


Thanks for the update Tim, I will give it some thought. The NHS in general is not recommending total diet replacements yet unless there is a need to lose weight for surgery. However the NHS has been involved in a number of research programs looking at TDR as a potential solution and the latest TDR offerings have got all of the nutritional elements required at very low calorie intake sub 1000 per day. The program showed research of over 300 patients with type 2 diabetes half of whom went into remission after losing significant weight. It may be worth HUEL keeping an eye on this as more research is underway and HUEL could be part of the solution although it sounds like at between 600 and 1000 calories per day I may need to take multi vitamin supplements too. Currently I am making up 800ml HULE with 4 scoops flavoured with chocolate or toffee, I have half for breakfast and half in the evening and have a HUEL bar for lunch. This works out at around 850 calories per day, not as extreme as the Cambridge Diet but so far so good, what has really helped me is the new book The Shrinkology Solution by Dr Meg Arroll and Louise Atkinson, this is helping me get the psychology of weight loss right as the only way and diet or lifestyle change works is if you can successfully change your behaviour and this book is all about that. I’ll report back after a week.

Hi All, I thought I would let you have an update, a bit later than planned. I have pretty much stuck to 850 of Huel a day for 4 weeks and have lost 16.5 llbs in weight, starting to feel lighter, better etc still have a long way to go though. I am having a 400ml of Huel flavoured with chocolate or toffee twice a day with a bar for lunch. There have been a few slips due to work or social events but on the whole I have stuck with it. I am not feeling hungry but you become hyper aware of your old eating habits, the habits of those around you and just how much food advertising is being thrown at you constantly. I have quite a few bars left but will run out of powder this week. The shrinkology book has been useful and I remain determined to lose another 3 stone. The only problem I have really had using Huel as a total diet replacement TDA is that it can be a bit boring. I don’t want to add other ingredients etc. Also the drink and bar are cold food so you long for some hot food. My next step after considering what Tim said will be to move onto the Cambridge diet 60 day plan. This will further educe my calorie intake to around 600 per day. I will seriously consider using Huel in the future after the 60 day plan as part of my ongoing healthy eating and weight maintenance plan.

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