I just started using Huel as food substitute - I’m on day 4.
My goal is to lose 8-10 kg in around 6-8 weeks -
In order to reach this goal and Based on the weight calculator you mentioned in the website I should consume around 1800 kg per day. I’m eating huel 4 times a day - 6 days a week - 100gr breakfast 150gr lunch 100gr in the afternoon and 100gr for dinner. I eat it blended with water but I put less water than suggested as I prefer it with a more solid consistency.
My question is: are there downside /collateral effects from eating only powdered food mixed with water in the short/medium terms?
A deficit of 500 isn’t going to hit 8kg loss in two months. Perhaps you can expect 4kg loss in that time? Around 1lb a week.
A 1000 deficit will net you 1kg per week (roughly) but this is at the upper end of safe. If it’s only for a few weeks, you’re unlikely to see any ill effects, but any longer than that will eat away muscle mass and affect you mentally.
Ive lost 5.4kg in 2months since being on a almost 100% huel diet (give or take a couple of normal meal here or there) and I’ve topped up the protein to 150g per day, so I’m at 30/30/40% ratio (carbs,fats,protien)
1500-1800cals per day and I would say I’m still hungry.
I can’t see loosing 8-10kg is possible in that time frame, not without loosing muscle structure and definition.
thanks for useful replies so far. I’m on week 3 and doing well so far (had a couple of normal meals here and there but 95% of diet Huel based).
Considering that I’m a 35 years old male - H 1,72 and starting weight 78kg target weight 69kg - going to gym 3-4 times a week and have office job. my average daily intake should be 2300 cal minus 500 cal = 1800 cal (in order to lose 1 pound a week).
I see that Huel ia good source of protein , but I’m worried I can lose muscle mass over the last 3 months. Any suggestion about supplements/integrators (possibly natural or organic) that I can take along with Huel?
If you incorporate intermittent fasting, say a minimum 16/8 to 20/4 fasting/feeding window then the massive boost in HGH (2000% and more) will allow you to retain and even gain muscle mass if that’s what’s desired. Consuming more healthy fat and minimizing carbs will also allow your body to use fat as a primary fuel source and hence you will lose fat quicker while protecting your muscle mass.
It’s essential that you do intermittent fasting if you want to retain muscle during rapid fat loss. I’ve noticed an increase in muscle without eating excessive amounts of protein. It really does work and it’s very manageable once your body adjusts. I have no intention of going back to regular snacking and multiple meals throughout the day now that I have adapted to this lifestyle. It’s how the human body has evolved and is an optimal state of being.
If you check out Dr Rhonda Patrick, Dr Jason Fung and Thomas DeLauer on Youtube you can find loads of great information on the subject. Keeping your insulin levels low and allowing your digestive system some time off seem to be the most beneficial things you can do for your overall health and well-being.
It’s essentially (in most cases) a way for people with poor willpower to control their caloric intake by limiting their intake based on their stomach capacity. Most people will struggle to put away 2500 calories within their IF window, so they eat less by coincidence.
The whole “Taking us back to our natural way of eating” is nonsense - I mean sorry, but when did humans or our ancestors say “Hang on a sec boys, keep that cow you’ve killed until the sundial reaches 8PM as we’re still in our fasting window. We can tuck in in a few hours.”.
Rubbish - It was always a case of “I’ve found this food on my forage I’m going to eat it.” or “I’ve killed this chicken and I feel hungry so I will cook and eat it.”.
The muscle gain benefits are a stretch at best too. Progressive overload, sufficient sleep and caloric surplus builds muscle tissue, not some magic fasting period.
I even gave it a go at the end of May but just found it frustrating. I’d get so hungry leading up to my intake window I’d blow my entire caloric allowance in the first hour…
But seriously, you’ve said it. We used to search for our food. Now we just walk to the nearest supermarket or restaurant. It’s no use comparing the way people used to eat with the way we eat now. That’s like an old person saying everything used to better when they were young.
I was under the impression that with IF you would still eat the same amount of calories you would otherwise eat in the entire day but that’s not true? Your weight loss still comes from calorie deficit. I thought it was due to the time frame and not eating before bedtime and all that kind of stuff…
I’ve been intermittent fast for a few weeks now, I love it! I built up from a 12 hour fast to fasting for 20 hours a day ( eating for 4 hours) I consume about the same calories in that window. It was really hard at first but I love it now. I have bags of energy and am loosing weight and inches. I started doing it for control, I had many years of being very poorly and unable to eat a normal diet and when I was better (recently) I literally ate everything! This enables me to recognise ‘real’ hunger and not obsess over food literally all day, I’m much happier. Its worth having a look online at it, there is loads of research and some amazing podcasts about the subject. Hope that helps.
I used to have Huel when I was poorly but have recently started using it again during my eating window
No, the magic fasting does not break the laws of physics The weight loss typically comes from people eating less calories because they feel more full during their eating window. Once that window closes, they either break their fast or they carry on until the next window. Most have the willpower to not break their fast.
Put it this way - If I eat 2750 calories per day during IF, I will maintain. If I eat 3000 calories a day during IF, I will gain, and if I eat 1850 a day during IF, I will lose. Exactly the same as non-IF.
“Caloric timing” has been debunked many times in the fitness and bodybuilding scene. Your body has barely any concept of time, it doesn’t particularly care when you eat, it simply passes it through your digestive tract and extracts the nutrients it can. Whether that’s from one big meal during your intake window or 6 meals over the day.
But don’t be under the illusion that if you eat the same number of calories as you would to maintain your weight, you’ll lose weight just because you’re using IF.
I’d definitely give it a try, it really works for some like @Sarah_Fallon above
Very true! If I over eat, irrelevent of how long I’ve fasted I gain lol @GTIPuG @DvdVgt You do still need to maintain a deficit in calories. I usually end up eating less in my eating window as I get fuller much faster.Interestingly though I dont get ‘hangry’ when I fast. @DvdVgt There are some that will say you can eat anything you want in your ‘feasting’ window, but remember no two bodies are the same, different things work for different people.
Not at all, you eat the same amount of calories. Healthy fat has higher caloric density so you eat larger amounts of fats like I said. There are plenty of elite athletes, MMA fighters etc who swear by it and talk publicly of it’s benefits to endurance, recovery and clarity of thought.
That’s just a silly thing to say and clearly shows you don’t understand the concept of fasting. Food would have been scarce so the body became adapted to burning fat as a primary fuel source. Your liver can convert amino acids, glycerol and lactate in to glucose via gluconeogenesis so your body doesn’t even need carbohydrate to survive. Why do you think the body stores fat so effectively but only stores enough glycogen for around 90 minutes of exercise? We wouldn’t have lasted long as a species if that wasn’t the case. There are many studies supporting this hypothesis and the mechanisms of “starvation” kicking of all kinds of beneficial biological processes (I have linked a few sources below).
Again, you underestimate the ease and availability of food for a huge proportion of our existence. Food was scarce and took a lot of effort to either find or hunt. We would gorge on whatever was available and store those nutrients as fat. Food is scare for a large proportion of the planet even today so it’s a very ignorant thing to assume. We don’t all have the luxury of ordering expensive powdered food to try out because we fancy a change from our abundant food choices.
It’s been shown in numerous studies that being without food increases Human Growth Hormone between 2000% and 3000%. The implications for your growth, recovery and development are absolutely huge and it is one of the main benefits of fasting. Training in a fasted state is also the best time to make gains and improve recovery.
Sources and further reading >
No muscle loss from fasting:
Training in a fasted state:
Another big benefit is the state of autophagy which fasting brings about in the body.
Yoshinori Ohsumi was recently awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering the mechanisms of autophagy. You can read all about it here.
You have just contradicted yourself. You can eat all of your calories in one hour but for mere mortals it is unmanageable in 4 to 8 hours? Would you care to explain that for me please? Here is what you said just in case it slipped your mind…
If you have an opinion on something which you clearly know nothing about then I suggest you either research it and form an opinion through what you learn and then engage in reasonable discourse or just stay clear of the subject entirely. Spreading misinformation and uninformed feelings and opinions to people who clearly would like to know about a subject is not helpful for anyone other than yourself and to serve your ego. I’m here to help and also to learn. It’s not my style to mock or debunk people’s posts through low level “humour” because I can’t grasp scientific evidence. I’ve seen a few of your posts coming from the same angle. It isn’t helpful and it doesn’t reflect well on you.
For anyone else that is interested in learning how IF can help you in your health/weight loss goals then please read through some of the sources or check the YouTube channels I mentioned in my first post. It really has a myriad of benefits which far outweigh any negatives of which there are very little. Possibly a little hunger for the first 4 or 5 days until you adjust.
So let me get this straight - You’re saying you can eat the same number of calories as your maintenance level and lose weight? How would this work? Where is the excess energy going? Are we going to ignore physics and conservation of energy?
I can’t be bothered to regurgitate my own words on the subject so I’ll use the conclusion of IIFYM instead:
Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss
In recent years, research examining the effects of intermittent fasting on weight loss in humans has been growing steadily. Unfortunately, however, most of the available studies we have to date suffer from the following limitations:
They have no control group to compare results to: doing something is, usually, better than doing nothing.
The control group doesn’t receive any “treatment” – i.e. they just eat as usual: it makes sense that a group of subjects doing any sort of dieting will lose more weight than the group of subjects who keep eating as usual.
The control group receives “treatment” but caloric intake isn’t matched between groups: we can’t attribute weight loss effects to one variable (fasting) when a confounding variable (caloric intake) isn’t controlled for.
The control group receives “treatment” and caloric intake is matched between groups, but protein intake is not: since protein is considerably more thermogenic and satiating than carbs and fats (3), the group eating significantly more protein will have higher energy expenditure and will naturally tend to eat fewer calories while often underreporting their food intake.
When excluding studies that suffer from the above limitations, we are left with a relatively small number of studies which compare the effects of intermittent fasting to continuous energy restriction on body weight, and which show that, overall, the two diet types result in identical outcomes in terms of body weight and body fat reduction (4, 5, 6, 7).
Takeaway point: most of the research on intermittent fasting and weight loss suffers from a number of limitations, including a lack of a control group, comparing intermittent fasting to a “no treatment” group, and not controlling for caloric or protein intakes. Research that doesn’t suffer from the above limitations suggests that intermittent fasting and continuous energy restriction result in identical weight and fat loss.
As for the the latter piece, that’s correct. Squeezing your full caloric allowance into 4 - 8 hours is a lot harder than spreading it over 12 hours, as the usual Western culture entails. I personally have issues with food and stomach capacity so can quite comfortably put away a huge quantity of food in a small time period. For example, a recent competition at work during which a Papa Johns XXL pizza was consumed in 15 minutes. I don’t think this reflects on your average human body at all, however.
Tell you what, have a read of the entire article, I’m not one of these people who likes to do these tit for tat back and fore things with huge replies so I’ll agree to disagree.
You’re making the mistake of thinking a calorie is just a calorie to the human body. The body recognises nutrients not calories. The laws of thermodynamics are not as applicable to the storage of fat as you may assume because you haven’t taken insulin response in to account. So by your logic eating 1000 calories of lettuce would have the same effect as 1000 calories of sugar?
For a class project, Haub limited himself to less than 1,800 calories a day. A man of Haub’s pre-dieting size usually consumes about 2,600 calories daily. So he followed a basic principle of weight loss: He consumed significantly fewer calories than he burned.
A calorie is a calorie. A calorie is merely a unit of energy.
If that human body is burning more energy than the individual consumes, it will cause net weight loss.
On the same premise, I could eat 3500 calories of broccoli every day and become obese.
If your idea holds true, why aresevere alcoholics, whose diet consists of 100% carbohydrates, typically underweight?
One man? A personal and self measured trial for teaching purposes? You were just slating the quality of research on intermittent fasting and now you cite a “study” consisting of anecdotal evidence and reported by CNN of all places? Again with your contradictions.
He himself states…
“I’m not geared to say this is a good thing to do,” he said. “I’m stuck in the middle. I guess that’s the frustrating part. I can’t give a concrete answer. There’s not enough information to do that.”
Alcoholics? What kind of reasoning is that? Do you know how many carbs are in a bottle of vodka for example?
Zero. Yes that’s zero as in 0g. They will mostly have a diet consisting of near 0% carbs if you don’t account for any food.
Vodka = 0g
Whiskey = 0.75g
Rum = 0g
An alcoholic will usually go for hard liquor at any opportunity because of alcohol content. Beer won’t do a thing for them nor will alcopops.
Probably worth pointing out that IF keeps circulating insulin levels lower on average throughout the day, and insulin has an anabolic effect on fat stores. As such, even if IF isn’t beneficial for weight loss, it is still beneficial for fat loss (assuming an equal caloric deficit between IF and a normal diet), and if we’re being honest, the vast vast majority of people who cite “weight loss” as their goal for a diet are actually referrring to fat loss.