Hmm I suppose we just have different definitions: I don’t view what you’ve listed as “restriction”, but rather, “substitution”. By restriction, I mean a very particular type of restriction like extreme caloric restriction and/or over-exercising and/or purging by fasting etc. I’ve seen your replies on other threads and appreciate that you try to ground your advice in research and science, and you’ve also acknowledged that you don’t quite understand eating disorders or food-related mental illnesses.
Recovering from an ED while also losing weight to get to a healthier weight (which is what I’m trying to do) is very very very tricky ground and trust me, it’s frustrated me to no end too. Any slip-up can send me spiraling into destructive behaviours again. I often wish that I could lose weight like a neuro-typical person who just needs to care about being more nutritionally educated and having willpower/dedication without falling into depression and disordered eating behaviours. So what I’m primarily trying to do is to strike a balance between discipline and not having an all-or-nothing mindset, which has often doomed me.
I HAVE managed to lose weight before with the very mindset of being 100% about restriction, but it didn’t prove to be sustainable for the long run. So I’m changing my tactic and am trying to cultivate and build up small habits over the long run.
I don’t claim to understanding every detail, nor do I know if it’s going to work, but I do hope so. In the short span of 2-3 weeks I’ve been doing this it’s been going well, but I suppose we’ll both see in the long run!
Hope it makes sense and you could have a little more insight into the very irrational ED-riddled world. Feel free to ask me anything and/or give me advice from your experience, I know it doesn’t necessarily make complete logical sense.
It’s nice to see that you’ve taken a second to learn about people through their responses on here, that’s quite rare these days!
You’re absolutely right, I have very little understanding of ED. I used to have a pretty serious food addiction but broke it around the age of 18 after a breakup. I’ve got no experience of the opposite end of things though, I.e bulimia and anorexia.
I’m glad that you’re looking into this seriously and making positive changes though, that’s a fantastic start.
I’m finding your posts so interesting. I love your thoughtfulness in all you are doing AND in how you respond to other people’s posts.
I’m one month in to my Huel adventure and discovering that it has changed my response to other foods. I gave myself a completely Huel-free day recently thinking it would be a real treat but I really missed my Huel
I wish you all the best with your campaign and recovery. I wanted to reply on the 16:8 intermittent pattern and the freedom from calorie restriction, from my experience.
I’ve adopted the 16:8 pattern a few (5-6) years ago and find it great. It frees up time in the morning - usually a stressful time for getting ready, going to work, school or whatever - and the body seems to adapt easily to the change in pattern. It is now an ‘unconscious’ pattern of behaviour: I give no thought to this whatsoever. I presume it’s a pattern for life; the only faint chance I see of change is based on a raw vegan healer Ray Kent who eat once a day…a 23:1 pattern!
After becoming raw vegan I lost weight despite unrestricted calories… I came down two sizes, unintentionally really and it was a bit of a nuisance as I had to buy new suits and so on. That was over 6-9 months and then my weight stabilised for a few years. I noticed some slight gain after that despite the same eating habits. What changed? Possibly my gut…what goes on in there is not well understood so I imagine the population of gut bacteria changes over time, or with diet, and perhaps in my case absorbs more of the nutrients. So I do count calories now and find Huel a great help on this point.
It’s the first day I’m not drinking Huel for lunch because my friends wanted to go out. Part of ED recovery is not to be so rigid with my food rules such that I isolate myself and refuse to go out for social events. It’s been a struggle to decipher which is which: is it “not having willpower” or is it being “flexible”? It was a lovely lunch, and I have in no way fallen short of any of my goals: I’m still doing IF, I’m still having Huel for dinner, and I’m still drinking water.
Weight: 59.6-8kg ngl I’d have liked the number to be lower, but I’m not too fussed. Weight fluctuates, and it usually goes up a little before going down by a lot more. So long as there’s a consistent trend downwards, and I’m hitting my goals (part of me doing this is to remind myself that I AM disciplined and goal-oriented), I’m good.
Huel review: TRIED NEW VANILLA! And I really like it hehe.
1/2 10-inch pizza (picture on my insta @loseweightdammit – let me warn you, it looks drool-worthy )
50g protein bar (I was getting p hungry trying to study)
1 chocolate cookie
88g roast chicken (I don’t think I’m buying this again, as tasty as it is, bc it has way too many calories to be worth it. I’m better off making my own chicken breasts and it doesn’t leave me with that greasy aftertaste)
Exercise: Walking to the restaurant and cafe to study ahahha
I don’t like having Huel for dinner/I prefer it for lunch, so it’s satiating effect can be of good use.
I’ll be perfectly honest: I didn’t do well. I really did try, but I was overstuffed 3 hours after eating and purged a bit… (barely anything but well gotta fess up). I’m also way too exhausted mentally for some reason, which has made me unable to think rationally food wise.
Awh thank you! I think it’s pointless to be pissed by others’ responses even if it’s an instinctive reaction since we all have different experiences haha
Oh? What was that like if you don’t mind me asking. Glad to hear you’ve broken it and seem to be doing well, thanks for the support!
@Madeleine Thank you for the compliment, you have no idea how much it means to me! Hahaha it’s good to know that even a month in the response towards other foods still can last: I think I’m partly worried that these positive effects I’m experiencing are only because it’s new and novel and I’m just excited HAHA I actually really don’t want to have a Huel-free day: A day with Huel currently sounds more appealing than a day without Huel, so I totally get what you mean! Isn’t it odd – many people equate drinking a meal-replacement shake like Huel as forcing down something unpleasant, when in reality you’d just much rather eat say a fat-laden pizza – but Huel is actually great! Yay found a lump-liking friend! (wow that sounds weird)
@Andrew_B Thanks for your encouragement I’m glad 16:8 IF has worked for you and seems to be sustainable in the long run – that’s really what I’m going for!
After coming from ED, I no longer want to do crash diets that isolate me from social events (because that’s a big part of enjoying life!), but not eating breakfast and not eating until the moment you go to bed is not abnormal haha. But I can see how for people with different goals, it could totally work and free up the mind from constantly thinking about food. Are you thinking of trying it?
Wow, what kind of things did you eat as a raw vegan? Does Huel count as raw vegan then?
Absolutely fantastic at the time! Eating everything in sight with infinite capacity, no reason to stop. I’d just had a promotion at work and at 19, had more money than I knew what to do with. Out every lunch time for food, takeaways all the time.
Went through my break up, felt a bit down, looked at the scale, felt even more down. A competition at work opened up to lose the most weight. 15 of us threw in £10, whoever lost the most in 6 months took the lot.
I completely snapped at this point - There was a mild incentive, I hated my body and I was trying to pick myself up after my breakup. It took all the willpower in the world to overcome the urges and cravings, but I cracked it. Don’t think my stomach will ever shrink though, I can still easily put away a 14 inch pizza or 6 plates at a buffet. I now focus my efforts on fitness and what is ultimately natural bodybuilding.
Whoa it’s been a week since starting to use Huel! And what a wonderful week this has been I’m eagerly awaiting and have been contemplating my 100% Huel 1-week experiment. These are the flavours I’d like to try to jazz things up (although tbh I am really fine eating the same thing over and over and over. I don’t actually need variety HAHA.):
Coffee (of course)
Huel Flavour Packs
Huel review: Coffee-flavoured Huel trumps all. New Vanilla tastes quite artificial, yes, but I do like it haha. Also /sadreax\ – that moment you shake your Huel too well you don’t have any more lumps
Huel 113g (New Vanilla) – I’m going to just eat New Vanilla this week (I’ve just tried coffee with New Vanilla, so we’ll see how that goes)
Exercise: Once again, did not step out of my room. Am planning to dance a bit though.
I drank water and wanted to puke…but was also hungry. Drinking Huel now isn’t the easiest but at least it’s tasty.
One of the things I like about Huel is that it slows down my eating: I too often wolf down my meal in say 15 minutes despite trying to eat slower. Huel just naturally takes me 20-30min to drink even when I gulp down the first half really quickly.
Took a nap, and was hungry around 6pm. I don’t know why I feel permanently exhausted (I woke up tired…); perhaps 100% Huel would increase my energy levels?
Exercise: 6km walk (12000 steps) & a Clip&Climb date!
Bowel movements have been very regular
Huel’s convenience: Up until now, I haven’t drunken Huel out of the privacy of my room. I was a little stressed because I was going on a date and didn’t know if I’d be able to keep to my IF schedule. He also suggested ice cream. Thankfully he’s the guy who introduced me to Huel so I didn’t have to explain or feel weird about drinking it as we walked And honestly? It’s such an amazing way to get nutritious calories in! I could do this effortlessly!
Weight: 59.0-3kg (~59.2kg) I was afraid of weighing myself daily, coming from a disordered background where I’ve basically weighed myself everyday since I was 13. I still have the records, in fact. But this time, with the new tools I’ve gained (and not being so fearful of my disordered past), I’m more able to look at my daily weight purely as a tool to analyse trends and experiment and do maths with. I just have to bear in mind that it’s going to fluctuate, and that’s okay. Nothing to be distressed over.
Huel review: Hmm I still love Huel of course, but I couldn’t really taste the Rhubarb & Custard? Or at least, I’m not sure what I’m supposed to taste. I smelled it and it smelled like the ordinary New Vanilla so idk.
Huel 112g, Rhubarb&Custard Flavour Pack
Snacks – 1 plum + 5 mini butterfinger cups + 4 pork loin ham slices + 4 cherry tomatoes
Dinner – 150g rotisserie chicken + carrots + 5 cherry tomatoes + some of my friend’s food (mushroom & beef & a forkful of fried rice & 5 asparagus)
My thought-process-when-I’m-doing-everything-right-but-the-scale-increased, as a little reminder for myself and anyone who needs it haha
My midsection is looking a tad leaner!
It was ~3.30pm, and I didn’t feel hungry, but figured I should eat something to keep my energy up and not wait until I was ravenous to start eating and making wrong choices haha. Realised that I found a plum more appealing than butterfinger cups. (But I still ate butterfinger cups anyway and they more than easily fit into my MFP log)
I still have, albeit not to the same extent, a problem with stopping-eating. That’s partly why IF works great for me: I’m perfectly fine if I tell myself I’m not eating for a certain period of time, but I’m always afraid that once I start, I won’t stop. I ate the 5 butterfingers and tbh wanted to eat like 5 more, but I told myself that I don’t actually have to, and can save it for tomorrow haha.
Ugh I’m so confused I could’ve worn even overcounting my calories I barely had 1463kcal. But I was so full for so long?! Idw gain weight
For the first time in my life, I don’t actually think the lesser the better: I don’t want to get below 1400, and preferably not above 1800. Why?
I need room to cut so I can continue losing weight (if I immediately drop to 1200 where tf am I gonna go from there?)
I don’t want my metabolism to adapt to a lower intake. There are gonna be days where I eat more, purely socially too, and I don’t want to easily gain on that.
Cost-benefit analysis: Sometimes, the benefit of losing weight not as quickly, is to have it last for the long term. To enjoy my favourite foods. To not feel restricted. To be able to stick to this. To feel like I’m still meeting my goals. To enjoy social events. If the goal were solely to drop weight as quickly as possible, sure the rest can be forfeited…but is it really worth it?
2am: Nvm I’m feeling the usual slight hunger
@Madeleine Awh Madeleine, back with your kind words! Yes Huel has been such a miracle, I’m in awe. Thank you! How’s Huel going for you?
It has been great having your log here to read! I am drinking my first Huel as we speak. I used a Vitamix and did 16 oz cold water plus 3 scoops and its gritty. I’ve read the suggestions of making it the day before so I will have to try that. I have also struggled with disordered eating and the downward spiral when I couldn’t perfectly fit whatever nutritional goals in like I wanted, comparing myself to those who have had immense success. Making room for those sweet treats is key, I think, so that you aren’t restricting yourself to the point of failure. Keep up the good work
@jeffy89 my downfall has always been sweet snacks between otherwise healthy meals. Since starting Huel my favourite side effect is that I’ve noticed my urge for sweet snacks has reduced. In fact even vanilla Huel is now too sweet for me. I’m taking 50/50 or straight U/U most of the time.
I hated all the flavour additions except mocha and especially enjoyed pineapple/coconut. I sometimes flavour my Huel with a shot of Bambu (dandelion coffee) or a tablespoon of nooch for something savoury and full of nutrients. Otherwise I take it straight for 2 meals, and something like a veg broth or vegetable spaghetti for my other meal. I’m doing it mainly to reduce menopausal and arthritic symptoms and it seems to be helping.
@torena Hi there! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed reading my log, and am so excited for you as you just begin your Huel journey :’) yup preparing it the day before definitely improves it, as well as consuming it cold. Yeah, I love feeling unrestricted about sweets, and yet not binge on them. Care to share more about your eating background? Keep me updated on how you find Huel and all, I’m eager for this to work for you!
@Madeleine Haha ikr! I actually jotted down on my food diary: if I didn’t keep snacking on sweets, my diet would be perfect. I thought Huel wouldn’t help as it’d just be a meal followed by tons of sweets, but like you, my craving for sweets has gone down exponentially! It’s actually magic. HAHA yes I recall your craving for pineapple post Why’d you hate the other flavours? My flavour pack didn’t come with Mocha Also, what kind of nooch would you recommend? I’ve never tried it—is it possible to get at say sainsburys? Great to hear it’s been helping with the monopausal and arthritic symptoms!! Do you know what’s the reason why it helps?
Has it only been 11 days? It feels like Huel has been part of my life for forever haha. I love having Huel as such a regular part of my daily routine so much so that I don’t want to not have Huel for lunch :’)
Weight: 59.0-3kg (~59.1kg) I’ll soon be back to the weight I was in Christmas break! One of my biggest fears was never being able to lose weight again because it’ll just backfire because of my ED: but perhaps, with this more sustainable lifestyle and healthier (both physically and mentally) habits, this time…it could actually come true!
Huel review: Yum yum yum. So refreshing, starting to love both the taste and texture. I do quite like the grittiness to it, since I don’t drink it but prefer to eat it with a spoon haha.
Sweets—3 mini kinder bueno, 1 millionaire shortbread slice, 1 coconut butterfinger, 5 PB butterfingers (324kcal altogether)
Exercise: None hahaha, may dance a bit tho
I realised that I set “drinking Huel” as one of my periphery goals a while back. But then I also realised: I’m drinking Huel not because I have to, but because I want to. Now isn’t that a splendid feeling? I actually want to nourish my body properly!
The sweets: LOL I didn’t actually need to eat this but my calories were so low like below 1200 by accident since I was studying with my friends and had no time to eat extra snacks, so I figured ehh why not I eat chocolate in measured amounts before I start to crave it? Feels amazing that instead of being proud I’m eating 1100kcal, I actually try to keep to my don’t eat below 1400kcal notion.
I’ve been drop dead tired since I started using Huel, and i’m Not sure if there’s a correlation. I know there have been a number of threads on it. My bad sleeping habits could also be a confounding variable but this kind of brain exhaustion is kinda new.
I find myself occasionally slipping into dangerous territory: I’m low key afraid to eat the sweet potato mash or chicken curry or roasted chicken simply because I can’t track the exact calories for it AHH what should I do??? I’m scared if I eat it I’ll gain weight, which I know is irrational but
@GTIPuG My scale is one of those travel-sized scales so shifting my weight on it changes its reading. I basically get on the scale about 10 times to see where it generally settles at. It also gives me a peace of mind not focusing on a 100g decrease/increase and seeing that as success/failure, since there are so many reasons our body weight fluctuates anyway. But since I’m weighing using the same method everyday, I’m more concerned with the trend it shows Hope that makes sense HAHA
Hahaha I thought that might be the reason. Yeah I guess, but why not just stand completely still upright with your arms by your side and let it settle? Not having a go or anything, it just cracked me up haha.
Weight: 58.9-3kg (~59.1kg) what seems to be a steady loss is lowkey making me afraid of consuming more… I need to THINK RATIONALLY and realise that ‘being able to eat more without gaining weight’ is a HUGE pro. ‘Not having to consciously restrict’ is another.
Huel review: @Madeleine I finally tried your favourite pineapple flavour!! Just personally, it tasted a bit too artificial for my liking but it’s not bad My favourite’s still coffee though hehe.
Huel 112g, NewVanilla & Pineapple Flavour Boost
180g Roasted Chicken
2 wholemeal hotcross buns
Dinner—Carrots w sesame sauce + 100g chicken breast + green beans + sweet mashed potato
Exercise: 1.5h dance & 6km cycle
I’m worried about tomorrow. So many social gatherings, and drinking alcohol late tomorrow so I’ll have to break my fast at 2.30pm instead. I’d rather not party if it were up to me
11.27pm: For the first time, it’s quite tempting to break my IF fast since I’m tired and I’m also unwilling to write my damn essay. I’m also starting to get stressed, and am all too used to turning to food for relief. But as I’ve gotten the perfect macros and nutrients I require, I KNOW it’s a psychological hunger, not an actual one.
1am: I’m p hungry heh. How am I going to fast until 2.30pm tomorrow? Yeeep it’s a struggle today for some reason. I lowkey want to extend my eating window to 10h instead…but also 1. don’t want to gain weight 2. don’t want to have to write an ‘x’ on the IF log I’ve been keeping. I mean, I literally only have one thing to stick to: an 8h window. How difficult is that?! I wish I didn’t have to go party HAHAHA ugh
LOL I’m actually relieved that partying is cancelled! /breaksfastimmediately
Weight: 59.1kg I know these things take time, but I’m just SO IMPATIENT for my weight to finally dip below 59 – I haven’t sustained being below 59 in 2-3 years! Like idk even though I HAVE lost about 2kg (hope it doesn’t get jinxed!), I kinda feel like it’s “fake” weight loss: the real test is when I start going below 59 and maintain at 58!
Huel Review: I can barely taste the Matcha? (Edit: It’s subtle, but I quite like it!)
Huel 112g, NewVanilla & Matcha Flavour Boost
cs 4 granola slices, ~1
Many many snacks:
120g Greek-style Honey Yogurt (ugh I accidentally got Greek-STYLE instead of greek… I feel cheated haha what is this lack of protein)
100g chicken + 30g roast chicken
4 mini kinder bueno
7 butterfinger cups
Dinner—Chicken curry + beans + sweet potato mash
Exercise: Bascially none May dance a bit though.
I had a very very snacky hour, but was able to not binge. I was able to stop, and was in control. And I moved straight onto doing work, which arguably is more important than stressing about my food intake since it’s exam month!
I’m no longer afraid of bringing my own food in fear of being seen as ‘disordered’ or weird! Ok maybe to restaurants it’s weird But LOL I’m more averse to bringing Huel now because I don’t want to have to explain it and justify myself… Question: how do you guys explain Huel to people when they see you drinking it?
My calorie intake it quite a bit higher (~1800kcal) than it’s been the last few days, but I’m not gonna beat myself up over it. I’m still doing 8h IF, and that’s what matters. Besides, I’ve completed yet another week that I set my mind to! It’ll also be good since 1800 should be my maintenance, and I’d prefer not having metabolic damage haha.
It’s difficult for me to stop eating chocolate once I start…something just tells me to keep going, piece after piece…