Today has been my first day of Huel. I thought I’d outline my goals and initial experiences. First of all, I know that many of you enjoy reading “journal” type threads, with many updates. Unfortunately, I have the self discipline of a cheese sandwich, and so this won’t be that kind of thread. I’ll let you guys know if anything major changes, for good or ill, but I can’t commit to daily updates! With that said, let’s begin.
Why I Huel
I know Huel isn’t Slimfast for nerds. You guys know it, too. It’s not a weight loss product, it’s food. That said, it certainly takes the guesswork out of calorie counting and portion control; and this element of certainty allows me to easily maintain a calorie deficit while still getting all my necessary vitamins, minerals, beneficial phytoproteins (those are words, right?), and stuff.
I am 190cm tall, and currently weigh 118kg plus change. That puts me squarely in the upper end of “overweight” on a BMI chart; and while I know that BMI has about as sound a reputation as voodoo; I can’t help but notice the spare tyre I’m carrying around with me everywhere; nor the fact that my general levels of fitness are absolutely abysmal.
With my present level of physical activity - essentially limited to wandering around the workshop and occasionally cutting, filing or welding something - I did a little bit of semi-educated guesswork and decided that a diet of 2000 calories a day would enable me to lose about 1kg per week. I intend to sustain this for twenty weeks, with the ultimate goal of weighing somewhere between 95 and 100kg. This is my “fighting weight”, I think; and I’d be happier and healthier overall.
To this end, I’m consuming two Huels a day; each consisting of three scoops. This gives me 1000 calories to play around with for my evening meal; where I intend to gorge myself silly on steamed fish, rice, raw salads, all that business. Wholesome food.
Calorie deficit is 70% of the story, but some level of physical exercise is vital to the art of living well. To this end, I intend to join the local sports and social club; and participate in their internal squash league. I love squash. Haven’t played it in nearly six years, but that’s besides the point! I’ll sign up for the league when I get paid next month; and plan to engage in at least one vigorous match per week.
When I get down to my target weight, I also intend to take up judo. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but have always felt vaguely embarrassed to do with a body like mine.
In short, I’m dragging myself to health; kicking and screaming. And Huel is going to help me get there.
Went The Day Well?
Well, yes. I prepared my shakes with a blender last night, and stuck them in the fridge in readiness for today. I bought two pouches of O.G. Vanilla Huel, and two pouches of Vanilla Huel 2: Electric Boogaloo. For those who have no idea what I meant there, that’s two pouches of Original Vanillla, and two pouches of New and Improved. Today, I sampled the Original.
The good news is that the flavour problem which seems to have affected some batches has not affected mine. No weird metallic taste, no farty smell, no taste of burning plastic. I didn’t expect any issue, to be honest. My impression of Huel as a company is that they genuinely care about customer satisfaction and listen closely to the feedback given here on the forum. If there ever was an issue, I can confirm that it has been sorted.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that the unaffected, intended flavour is my cup of tea. Er, shaker of Huel. You know what I mean. I didn’t like it, is what I’m saying.
My immediate thought upon drinking my morning concoction was caveat emptor. I shouldn’t have placed such a large order without first making sure I liked it. I simply wasn’t anticipating how cloyingly, sickly sweet it would taste! Combined with a vaguely slimy, thin, cold, watery texture; I was left dreading my second helping.
Look, I know most people like sweet flavours and the sensation of drinking cold beverages. I don’t. I have a savoury tooth so pronounced that I wish to be reincarnated as a horse so that I can enjoy the salt lick the farmer will put in my field. Prior to starting this diet, I would maybe consume chocolate once a month. My favourite two flavours in life - the apex of my palate - are espresso coffee and strong tobacco. In retrospect, it should have been obvious that I’m not the target market for Vanilla.
This isn’t a Huel problem. This is a dolerocket problem. The worst thing is that this is a quality product, and would be absolutely delicious if it wasn’t for the temperature, sweetness, and pronounced Vanilla flavour. So next month, I’m getting myself four pouches of Unflavoured and Unsweetened, and drinking it at room temperature. I might even add salt to it. Fight me.
That leaves me with a month’s supply of vanilla to tough out, and it says a lot about this product that I’m willing to go the journey. There’s a delicious meal lurking under all that sweetness - sort of oaty and satisfying, like the thin porridge your grandma would make you when you were a poorly little boy. It’s filling - you’re drinking pints of a thick liquid, after all - and I only once felt the urge to eat something else. I went to the canteen and got myself a nice bowl of lettuce. It was more of an urge to chew something, to crunch something, rather than actual hunger that moved me. I’m certain that such cravings will fade with time.
So yeah, I’m doing it. Even though I’m not the biggest fan of the flavour I bought, I believe in this product and I believe in my goals. I’m not sure what the future holds for me, but I do know one thing for sure: if anything interesting happens from now, I’ll be sure to write about it here.