Calorie Counting with Huel - 50lb target loss

Hello all, thought I’d rejoin the forum after a 3 year break!

Back in early 2019 I lost 38lbs calorie counting and using Huel as a breakfast and lunch replacement, I pushed it hard and fast with a huge target of 100lbs loss and ultimately fell off the wagon quite spectacularly and regained the weight slowly over the ‘covid years’. However - now back at over 17st and 45 years old, and my knee & ankle joints are starting to creak, plus I’m also in pre-menopause just to keep it challenging! So it’s time to have another go, this time not pushing it so hard and fast, last time I used a daily calorie limit of 1200 per day, this time it’s 1400. I use MFP to help me track, and drink between 2-3 ltrs of water a day.

I’m a full-time working single mum of a 17 year old, I’m also quite social, so whatever I do has to fit around life without feeling restrictive. Too much restriction for me inevitably leads to a binge which leaves me feeling unwell, followed by a real struggle to pull it back. To combat this I often incorporate 2 fast days into my week using Huel for 4 small 150cal meals for a 600cal day. That allows me to relax a bit at the weekends, go out for a meal with friends/family, have a day off and a few G&T’s without stressing about it.

I find Huel really convenient, I don’t have to think about breakfast and lunch, plus while I do get hungry from time to time it happens surprisingly rarely, which is a huge help because willpower and me aren’t friends :smiley:

My typical week is:

  • 4 days - 1400 cals, Huel as Breakfast and Lunch
  • 2 days - fast, 600 cals, all Huel. usually Monday and Thursday.
  • 1 day - day off. As in I don’t count calories and I eat and drink what I like. Often I still Huel for breakfast or lunch just because it’s easy. My only rule for myself is that I don’t just eat for the sake of it just because it’s my day off. It’s usually a Saturday or Sunday, but this week it will be Thursday as I have a work dinner to go to.

So a bit of a mish mash but fingers crossed! one thing I do know is that using Huel as a stable in this organised chaos makes the whole thing aLOT easier.

How’s today going? It’s a 1400cal day, Huel breakfast is done, Huel lunch is imminent, did have a little morning fantasy about a full cooked breakfast but I’ll save that for another day!

If you’re here for weight loss, happy slimming…


Start weight 29/08/2022 17st 8lbs
Current weight 16st 9lbs
Total loss: 13lbs


Sounds like a good goal.

1400 a day doesn’t sound like much to me though and I would find that very hard. Not to mention the fast days.

How many calories are you eating a day now?

How much of a decrease is going down to 1400 a day?

My worry is it might be hard to stick to if its too much of a decrease.

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Highly not recommended, you can end up messing up all the week’s work in a day, by going way above your target. If your ultimate goal is to really lose weight, 6 days of sacrifice and a 1-day feast without paying attention can totally backfire.


Hi, thanks for the reply, I’m eating 1400 calories on a normal day and I actually don’t find that hard to do. The TDEE calculator says it’s a deficit of 800 calories per day. If it becomes hard to stick to I’ll rethink but I’m 4 weeks in so far and I’m not struggling

Thank you for the advice, however this does seem to work for me and it suits my lifestyle, 13lbs off in 4 weeks :slight_smile: if it stops working, I’ll rethink

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I don’t think having a cheat day is a bad thing. It depends on you and your goals.
For me, it’s useful to know I can have nice things to keep me from having them on normal days. It’s a tool that works for me too. Now if I were to have an almighty binge on a cheat day, that would be different. I think the way to set it up to only eat what you want to eat, not for the sake of eating (something I can relate to) is a good an healthy attitude.

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That’s a bit strongly worded. 6 days at 800 calorie deficit would mean eating over 7000 calories in one day to break even over the week. I think that 's highly unlikely.
I think a cheat/normal day (or whatever you want to call it) is a great idea, stopped me from getting bored with eating sensibly. I now do a 5 day sensible and the weekend I eat what I want within reason, mainly so I can take my kids and grandkids out for their preferred food without being “boring”.


How are “recommended”, “can end up” and “can totally backfire” strongly worded?
I didn’t say: it’s going to, it will, it won’t work.
Just gave my vision on it, and said that this way can possibly be dangerous.

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I don’t agree with your vision, especially as an overeat of 7000 calories to ruin a week’s work is unlikely.

And again, Possibly be dangerous! If that’s not a little harsh, I don’t know what is.

I’d agree a 7000 kcal cheat day might be unlikely but if I read it correctly, op has 50 lbs to lose.

I’d find it hard to get that overweight without some disordered eating. So if it was me, 7000 in one day, after 6 hard days of only eating 1400 kcal a day, would be very easy/likely.

1400 a day might only be an 800 deficit according to the calculator, but how much was op actually eating a day to get to 50 lbs overweight?

Going from that daily amount to 1400 a day wouldn’t be easy for me! So excessive binging on my cheat day would be very likely.

I’m skeptical when someone is overweight and then plans to embark on a very restrictive diet. My worry is that the reason they’re overweight is that they have trouble with consumption. But that’s just my opinion.

Maybe you’re not aware of BED, bulimia, and other eating disorders. Those disorders can be developed as a consequence of a too restrictive diet. I’ve been there, and I was just concerned about the approach since it gave me nothing but bad experiences in the long run. Sure, the first weeks are easy, but that path is as dangerous as hell.

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‘as dangerous as hell’
now you have to admit those are strong words! :smiling_imp:

Given my past, yes! :smile:
I wouldn’t wish that to my worst enemy

I am aware, but have no experience of any of these disorders. Your last line states “Those disorders can be developed as a consequence of a too restrictive diet”, yet your earlier message was dismissing a cheat day. Surely this means you would more recommend a restrictive diet?

I’m not trying to be argumentative, I just don’t understand your messages and how they help someone with their weight loss in a sensible way.

Plus the OP never mentioned having any of “BED, bulimia, and other eating disorders.”


Ok so lets pull this back here…I have no eating disorders, I’m just a fairly normal slightly too podgy middle aged woman on the brink of menopause giving this a go. I will willingly listen to any advice offered. I will also make up my own mind based on my long experience of my own body and what works for me. I came here to share my journey, to get support and to I hope inspire others they way that this community inspires me. Can we get back to that please?


Research resistance training / weight lifting. Building muscle === game changer.


Hi @clairabelle_xox Good luck with the diet. You seem to be doing well so far :+1:

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As the ‘op’ in question let me respond to your concerns. I am still sensible on my days off, I eat a little of what I fancy and I don’t calorie count. I don’t consider it a ‘cheat’ day but a more relaxed day that’s part of my eating plan which also helps me relax about dinners out and socialising instead of stressing about it. I’m overweight not because I regularly eat 7000 calories a day but because I have an irrational fondness for a good cheese board combined with a long hours sedentary job and not enough exercise :slight_smile:


No, I discourage drastic restrictions entirely. And 1400 is a drastic one, otherwise the OP wouldn’t have lost so much weight in so short time.
Having too intense restrictions and cheat days is similar to BED, and can easily transform into that disease.

I’m glad you’re not, my point was that restrictions and “days off diet” can easily put your mentality into that rabbit hole. Just be aware, that’s all! Sorry if I bothered you with that. Given what I went through, I try my best to discourage everyone who can go that way from the beginning (the easiest point to leave that track).

I’m really glad you see it that way, so, after this clarification, please ignore whatever I said previously! You’re fine if you keep this mentality! :slight_smile:

Sorry to say this: this actually points to what @5kg2go said, he never said you were on such high (7000) surplus, just that you were, constantly, on a surplus.
But that said, again, welcome to the team!
Which products are you using? BE? V3.0? H&S?
What are your favourite flavours so far?

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yes undoubtedly in surplus overall

I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through some tough times, it’s never easy.

I’m using V3.0, favourite is vanilla or chocolate, I have just bought the salted caramel but finding it quite sweet and probably won’t order it again. How about you?

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