Fat food culture - progress updates!

Hello Huel community, this is my first post.

I ordered some huel a while ago as a convenience food. It’s alright.

Over the last few years my weight has been going up and up and my self esteem has been going down and down. I have now decided to make a proper commitment to exercise and calorie restriction before I bankrupt myself buying bigger and bigger trousers. I am female of 27, 5’4" and I weigh 68kg. This puts my BMI at 25.5 in the overweight category. I am unhappy with the size of my tummy, the shape of my legs and bum and general laxity all over.

I work an office job, and although I was very slim as a younger woman it has eventually caught up with me. I am one of the youngest of my office and I am also almost the least overweight. In context of my measurements above, you can see that we’re a heavy bunch of ladies. There are cakes for birthdays, biscuits for anniversaries, pie for retirements, treats when people come back off of holiday, and then sometimes we have sweets just because. I need to stop.

My issue is. People always ask me about Huel when they see me mixing it and consuming it. When I explain, they are disgusted by the concept even though I offer them to taste it to show its not that bad. I also get lectured me on wanting to become smaller. Apparently I don’t need to lose weight (I do), I should be happy with the way I am (I’m not) and I’m young anyway so what does it matter (I’m unhappy and and risk of diabetes and heart disease).

My question to you the Huel community, is how do I tell people to mind their own business without coming across as arrogant or vain? I like my team in general but it isn’t doing my self-esteem any favours to be criticized for trying to feel and look better. This has in the past been why so many of my dieting attempts fail - wanting to fit in.

I am 2/3 huel at the moment and considered switching to having my solid food meals at work just to prove that I am eating and don’t have a disorder, but this isn’t convenient and can be expensive.

Have any of you had similar experiences?


I also work an office job and my days are spent behind a computer screen. I have a 45 minute lunch at which time I go for a walk while I drink my Huel. People don’t ask about my Huel because I am out of the office, and if they did I would tell them exactly what it is, soak up the laughter and shocked looks and carry on. It must be difficult for you when people laugh or give you funny looks but trust me, try to ignore them, it will get you down if you think about it too much. The main thing is that you’re doing something about your weight so who cares what other people think.

If you want to try and explain it to them tell them it’s powdered food containing rice, oats, peas and flaxseed along with vitamins. Don’t go into detail, generally people won’t be that interested in the detail. Keep it light hearted (let’s face it, it is a little weird!!!) and take criticism on the chin. But most importantly be confident about it, it’s what YOU want to do / eat so don’t let peoples opinion put you down.

There are regular birthdays and cakes and so on at my work place, wish the person happy birthday and go back to your desk. It took me alot of willpower to do that and I’m sure it will for you as well, but after a while you get use to not picking up a doughnut that’s been brought in for someone’s birthday.

One of the best ways to lose weight is walking. Never mind going to the gym every night and sweating it out, keep your body as active as possible as regularly as possible. With Huel for my lunch and walking I have lost 9kg since January without trying.

Let me know how it goes!

1 Like

Really sorry to read that. Sounds to me like quite a few are in denial.

Ask if they would regard soup as odd? (being a bit tongue in cheek here but they may well do by the sounds of things)

Negativity also comes from fear of the unknown. You will no longer be like them and that frightens them.

My old friends were the same many years ago when I decided to pack in drinking alcohol for health and financial reasons. I was the odd one out, the easy target and to be honest probably the only one strong enough to break away from the pack (mentality). I still knocked around with them but drank soft drinks - they did get used to it.

Don’t be afraid to be a leader and not a follower.

Regarding all the treats, a polite ‘no thanks, not for me’ is enough, you don’t need to explain further.

I’m 100% Huel and have been for some months now - I’ve never felt better. My family are incredibly supportive and I get nothing but positivity from them all, but I do understand I am very lucky to have that support.

This forum of people right here are an incredible support network.

Best of luck and enjoy your journey.


I find it very simple, I just say:

Pi$$ off and mind your own business.

I really couldn’t care less what people think of me, or let it effect how I feel about myself.

People will always try to put you down and discourage you from doing what THEY don’t like or understand, but you’ve got to have confidence in what you are doing for your life and stop giving them the space to control or influence what you do.

I did hit this problem when I decided, earlier this year, that I was getting a bit overweight and needed to go on a diet. To my surprise, the main reaction I got was along the lines of ‘Don’t be daft, you don’t need to lose weight!’.

I just went ahead and did it anyway, I got a bit of ribbing and some derisory comments to start with, but I ignored them and eventually they stopped. Now I’m actually starting to get compliments from those same people!

It may be a situation where the other ladies in the office think of you as ‘one of them’ - if you go ahead and lose weight successfully, then they’ll have to face up to the fact that there’s no reason they can’t too - they won’t want that, so their tactics are to try and discourage you in the first place. I hit that exact problem when I quit smoking.

So my advice is to ignore them - you know your body and where you want it to be, what they think or say is kind of irrelevant.


Thank you for your responses and experiences.

I do need to get stronger conviction and accountability. My partner is not in favour of my losing weight either as he likes me the way I am, and often buys me a tub of Ben and Jerry’s “just because”. I don’t want to eat it, it is too easy to ruin a week hard work in 10 minutes. So the pressure is on at home as well as at work.

I have made myself a little album of photographs of myself now and myself when I was much fitter. Looking at those is helping me stick to my guns.

The social part is definitely the toughest for me, i dont have a problem so far giving up food. I won’t be able to give up going out to restaurants for meals but if it is only occasionally I am not going to explode…


I got that sort of reaction when I went on a (very successful!) low-carb diet some years ago, with people really trying to discourage me by telling me it must be bad for me. I was far too busy at work in those days to spend time arguing or trying to convince anyone, but what I found worked for me was to say, utterly truthfully, that I had never felt better in my whole adult life. And people couldn’t quite argue with me on that point!

Stick to your guns - you know why you’re doing it, and those people who might be feeling criticised by not following your example will eventually get used to it and leave you alone - or maybe even start supporting you!


I’ve had people ask me if I’m “still starving” myself “with that slim-fast” and after 50times of explaining it, I’ve just given up and laugh.

But I’ve never actually told people that I do it to lose weight. That is one of the reasons (along with it being cheap, tasty, doesn’t make me as gassy as normal food, nutritionally complete, etc etc) but I always just say I do it because it saves time, is a couple fewer decisions to make and I just happen to lose weight because of it.

Maybe explain it as a way to just be healthier (nutrients, no meat, generally better) rather than a weight loss thing?

1 Like

So it has been a few weeks and I am having some results, not yet visible results but the numbers aren’t lying. I weight myself on a Thursday morning as Thursday is not suffering from any post-weekend binge bloat and it seemed a good a day as any. I think it’s also the day my weight watchers colleagues get weighed.

19/5/16 10 stone 11 lb
20/5/16 10 stone 9 lb !?
27/5/16 10 stone 8.4 lb
2/6/16 10 stone 7.4lb

I thought I had been going for a month and only lost 3lb which discouraged me but now I can see I’m actually only going into my 3rd week, it just feels like a lot longer when you are scanning barcodes and counting every calorie to decide what you’d have to give up to be able to eat those jelly beans.

I have been 20% huel and trying to keep at 1200 calories. I have gone over 2 times so far as I had a cold virus and craved a hormonal binge of creamy and fatty comfort foods. I didn’t punish myself I just did it, logged it knowing that it would set me back and then kept fighting the next day.

I am going to try 100% huel for the next week and see how I feel on it. I don’t have any social plans that require feeding myself until the 10th - a colleagues retirement dinner and I have already put my name down to have the healthy fish and vegetables option with no dessert.

Edit: typos.

1 Like

When people in my life told me I didn’t look fat I lifted my top and jiggled it around “thats there because my body does not need it” they got the idea my real friends told me I looked overwheight I trusted them more.

Also I highly recommend you start doing resistance training when you can at least 3 times a week for an hour start off small, dont worry about getting muscly that takes years of hard work in the gym for females to get ‘ripped’ plus the more muscle you have the better you will look when you finally drop the fat percentage and better yet muscle is the best fat burner so it will stay off.

You can eat those jelly beans I struggle getting my calories in on some days so I sometimes eat junk to bulk it up I am A 6ft guy though so I need around 2500 cals to maintain body wheight.

Just stay under you BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) which is around 1500 for your height (not precise) and you WILL lose the fat,dont give up!!! you have all ready done more than a vast majority of the human population you should be proud of everything you do.

Don’t get too hung up of the scales either I recommend you look in the mirror and use a measuring tape as your body will always fluctuate due to varies things like water weight.

Do what you wanna do.

1 Like

OK so one week later and I haven’t managed to be 100% Huel because Blegh, boring, I like crunchy food (huel bars please!). I’m still about 25%.

19/5/16 10 stone 11 lb
27/5/16 10 stone 8.4 lb
2/6/16 10 stone 7.4lb
09/06/16 10 stone 5lb.

At my heaviest back in the early spring I was 10st 13.8 and I panicked “Oh my gosh I’m nearly 11st!” and that was the kick up the arse I needed to do the research and stop eating as much.

Still not made time for weight bearing exercise yet. I’d rather be hungry than sweaty. I know its important, I know it will make me feel better and live stronger, its just ergh… I’ll get there. One day at a time.

Well done!

I found making my Huel thicker helped get me up from 25% to 50/66% a day - though it obviously still doesn’t satisfy the need for crunch.

Starting an exercise regime is so difficult when you haven’t done any for years, but once those endorphins kick in after you’re first session you will feel great and will be back for more :grinning::+1:

Well done with your progress! :heart_eyes_cat: Your colleagues are merely projecting their insecurities onto you, and it is a prime example of a “crabs in a bucket” scenario. I would much rather be consistently happy with my body than happy in the moment as I am eating. Keep up the good work!

Regarding exercise, I recently began working out really just to spend more time with my boyfriend (ok, I admit it, and because I suspect he likes it). I am trying Strong Curves now and I can honestly say I enjoy it. It is fun to see progress! The deadlifts are still killing me though, I am having trouble with the form. I did not get into this to lose any weight, it is only to gain a little bit of mass and to feel better. I sleep better at night now and feel more energetic.

Again, good luck to you and keep it up! :smile_cat:

Starting the exercise is not the hard part - I really enjoy spin classes and I know how the machines work and how to lift safetly and for good results - When I am in the door there’s no problems. I work hard and I work well.

It’s the time investment that I struggle with, and maintaining momentum after the first week. My motivation drops off because there are things i would much rather be doing with that time - hanging out with my friends or fiancé, reading the news or a good book, playing fallout 4, sorting out my mortgage…

I work full time and with a 1hr commute my free time is limited. It just makes me sad to spend that time lifting heavy things up just to put them back down again, over and over and over.

Find some exercise you can do with your friends - that usually is a nice way to combine social time with exercise. If that does not work easily you can try to do it the other way around: find (new) friends you can do exercise with. This could be anyone who has a similar goal. By doing some exercise together, and by sharing your progress, you hold each other accountable for your progress, while also having some fun exercising together. It is a good way to make sure you don’t get bored by the exercise and to stay the course you started.

BTW: I also get a lot of comments on Huel at work, where people usually assume it is a protein shake. I usually correct that perspective and then shut them up by sharing some of the outcomes (e.g. 4kg weight loss in two weeks).

Same here. I work full time as well and commute 2 hours each way (I get home at 6:30). It is relatively easy for me because we have a gym setup in the basement. Last time I did benchpress I told myself I could have a new tattoo if I finished my set. :blush: Have you considered listening to a podcast or something similar whilst working out? I very much enjoy Radio Lab and Invisibilia. Can you maybe work out with your fiance?

These are all really nice ideas. I’ve tried to include my partner but he likes running/jogging, and I like cycling as I have a problem with my knee and the low impact is better for me. My friend was going to join me at the gym when she returned from her holiday but she has a boyfriend now and has lost interest in getting in shape!
Other friends are either physically disabled so can’t workout, don’t have any interest in changing their body (envy them), or simply wouldn’t have the time either due to families to take care of.

I know this all sounds like excuses, I will try and make friends who are already at my gym. I also whatsapp with some of my online friends who live in other countries but are also going through a health transformation. We send each other recipes, progress photos and tips, this is helpful. My posts here are another way of expanding that support network :slight_smile: It is an accountability thread. Feel free to give me a challenge to do by next week, and I will give it my best shot!

@Kristin: I’ve found this guy’s videos really great and accessible re RDL form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEy_czb3RKA

@alllowercase: Personally, I think if you don’t really enjoy a type of exercise and always find that you’d rather be doing something else, then it’s really not worth struggling every so often to try and get into it. You’re only going to keep something up long term if you enjoy it. Perhaps you could combine cycling at the gym with reading (I see a few people with kindles etc.) Or you could investigate cycling inside on rollers while hanging out with your fiance/watching something etc?


Can do, yes. Also audiobooks and netflix on the phone, in front of me on the bike stand. Watching Once Upon A Time, gotta keep cycling til the end of the 45 minute episode.

I don’t have the space at home for a bike, but it is on the long-term wishlist. Right now I don’t have the space or a secure lock-up for a bike, but I’ve seen the rollers they are smart.

I enjoy the bike but it doesn’t really work my major muscle groups enough, which is what I need to do to keep/increase my lean mass. There’s no way around it, I’m going to have to hoist heavy things and suck it up.