Could you lead a life without food?

Factor article that reviews Huel.

I have a couple of quibbles with the review, although the magazine was quite favourable towards Huel.

  1. All the weighing and counting made me feel a bit like an old-fashioned dieter, but I’m not the best at maths and was wary of accidentally gaining weight. I think it is much more possible to accidentally gain weight on regular food; Huel makes it much easier to count calories.
  2. “As a species we have evolved to get our nutrients from eating real food, not from supplementation.” Sure. But by the same logic, humans can evolve to get their nutrients from supplementation. Hence the definition of “evolve.”
  3. “One of the problems with these types of diets is that they don’t teach people how to eat a healthy and varied diet,” said nutrition scientist Helena Gibson-Moore at the British Nutrition Foundation. Sure. But we already are taught to eat a healthy and vary diet. This isn’t being targeted to children who haven’t yet learned elementary nutrition.
  4. “One of the problems with these types of diets is that they don’t teach people how to eat a healthy and varied diet,” said nutrition scientist Helena Gibson-Moore at the British Nutrition Foundation. Sure. But for people that still don’t eat healthy, for whatever reason, then Huel is a huge improvement.
  5. “Establishing healthy eating patterns is important for good health and for maintaining a healthy weight… " See #1. Huel makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight than regular food alone.
  6. Replacing all food and drink seems unrealistic in the long-term… But it works for some, such as Nguyen, Hearn and Hearn’s customers. Actually, the majority of customers don’t use Huel to replace all food and drink.
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I haven’t read the article, Ric, but I agree with your comments.

I regard meal replacement drinks as food technology. Like any kind of technology us humans invent, we do so because we want to make things better and more efficient.

Freshly preparing all your meals is a noble idea, but not realistic. The problem is, I think the vast majority of people don’t have the time/energy/enthusiasm to take the time to prepare a good breakfast and lunch. It seems like many people drag themselves out of bed with only just enough time to have a coffee and a shower before heading off to work. Then when it’s lunch time, a lot of people take the easy option of just buying whatever is available that looks tasty. I see absolutely no problem with replacing all of that with a nutritionally balanced meal replacement drink.

If there wasn’t a desperate need for instant food, ready meals and takeaways wouldn’t be so popular.

Those who don’t live in the real world and therefore have the luxury of freshly preparing each of their meals every day (or paying their personal chef to do it) can continue as they are. For the vast majority of people, though, I think a meal replacement drink would improve those parts of their day when they would otherwise just grab whatever off the shelf.

I agree with @Ric

Fundamentally it is different / new way of consuming nutrients so it takes for some people to get their heads around it. At first Huel, et al, are easy to dismiss or pick holes with, but the more you think about it the more sense it makes. If we reversed the situation, i.e. it was the norm to used complete foods, and we came up with a new idea to create nutritionally complete meals from thousands of different ingredients, using spreadsheets to ensure they are nutritionally balanced and contain all the essential nutrients in the correct amounts, then spend at least an hour a day shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up, people would think we were mad.


That’s the way I’ve always thought. Me and a friend (now sadly deceased - he’d have liked huel as a concept) often talked about how much of a pain it is to eat right, and how great it would be if you could just take a pill each day that gave you everything you needed so you wouldn’t have to worry. Well, huel isn’t quite as handy as a pill, but it’s close! :slight_smile:

I’ve used the petrol station analogy in the past - imagine going to fill up your car, and instead of just the one nozzle (well, four usually, but you only have to use one!), there are twenty. To make your car go, you need some out of each of those twenty nozzles. Except you need different ratios of each, and nobody ever seems to know what the right mix is. Experts constantly disagree on what you should use. Oh, and your car will run like crap if you get it wrong. Very few people have the time to research and understand this, so most people just hope for the best and their cars don’t run as fast or as economically as they should.
That’s a nonsense situation, of course - nobody would put up with that. That’s why we have a single, premixed fuel that’s ideal for most cars. But apparently for food, that’s a bad thing to do?

As to the OP, point one bugs me a little - I’ve heard this from others as well. It’s as complicated as you want it to be - I just use scoop measures (which maybe aren’t the most accurate, but close enough for me) - two or three scoops, bung in some water (again, I just eyeball it - it’s usually good enough), shake and go. I can make my breakfast and lunch together in less time than it takes to make a cup of tea. And with apps like myfitnesspal, I can measure my intake almost down to the calorie with a couple of button presses. It’s pretty much as easy and hassle free as it’s possible to get.


As I said in another thread, I always thought, from as far back as I remember, as a child, if there was a pill available that would satisfy hunger as well as provide all the nutrients I need, I would definitely use it. I don’t think it will ever happen, as the calorie intake would be the biggest hurdle, and hunger is hard to combat.

Food and eating to me is a necessary evil. I became vegan because I didn’t want to kill animals for that, and 29 years later I have not wavered.

I am someone who can eat the same thing day after day, although admittedly I do like trying new things. Also as my wife doesn’t share my same view of food as me, we often eat meals together.

Huel is a good option for me for 2 to 3 meals a day. I have had a few 100% Huel days, but still a way off a 100percent way of life.


I’ve had 3 meals since 25th January. Never looked back. :relaxed:


Wow, pretty good - nearly 3 months.

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Maybe it’s because I’ve had a bit more of a stoic existence than the average person (ex-Para, been athletic since I was a kid) but replacing pretty much all my food intake with Huel since November has been a doddle.

Anytime someone criticises my choice for using Huel, I welcome them to test their blood sugar levels right there and then using the monitor I carry around in my bag (I’m not diabetic). We compare scores, and so far Huel and I are on a 100% winning streak. It’s certainly a more objective measure than challenging them to lift up their shirt and see who has the best abs (which no-one has had the bottle to do yet lol) :joy:

I love food and Huel for me doesn’t replace the meals I take time to prepare and sit down to enjoy. It replaces the supermarket sandwiches and fast foods that made up a lot of my diet before.

As a vegetarian I would invariably end up eating popping across the road to Tesco to get a Cheese Sandwich and Packet of Crisps for lunch. This is food I didn’t really enjoy but ate because I was hungry.

I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old and after doing a full day of work, nursery pick ups, helping with feeding, changing and getting them to bed there’s not much time to cook a healthy meal. Sometimes we all eat together but other times I would end up eating whatever was the quickest to prepare.

Huel gives me a quick healthy option and does a better job of keeping me full so I don’t snack or crave sweet things.

The more Fuel I use the more “normal” it’s become and if it wasn’t the social element of eating together I don’t think I would miss food that much at all.

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