First week on Huel - what am I doing wrong?

This week was my first trying Huel after months of poor eating due to a busy work schedule and letting my normally good diet slip. I could just feel myself becoming unhealthier and unhappy, so I ordered Huel to keep track of my calories, lose some weight and ensure I’m getting the nutrition I need.

Since Monday, I’ve been having Huel for breakfast and lunch with the aim of losing a stone by my birthday (end of May). I’ve been having a solid dinner in the evening (I love food and go crazy if I don’t cook). I’ve been tracking all my food with MyFitnessPal, which I’ve used previously with good results.

Initially, I used the calorie calculator and it said I needed 1447 cals to lose a pound a week. I immediately found that I was ravenous, however, and after a long day on Tuesday I actually thought I was going to pass out on my commute home. I’ve since changed my activity level on the calculator and I’m now aiming for circa 1800 calories for weight loss.

My problems are still that I’m finding myself getting very hungry during the day. I’m not currently exercising due to illness but I used to exercise daily so perhaps my metabolism is still fast. Secondly, I’ve been getting headaches and a feeling of sickness after I’ve drunk my Huel. I find the texture a bit grim but since adding fruit, espresso or cocoa powder it’s become a lot more palatable. I still feel very odd 10 minutes after drinking it. Is this normal and will it pass?

My main aim is weight loss, so I don’t want to raise my calories any more than I already have. Can I expect the hunger and sickness to subside or do I need to change my calculations again? I’ve bought a big order of Huel and I would really hate to have to send it back :frowning:

Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

1 Like

Oh and I’m 5’7", 146lbs, 22

Hi Jess, welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

Maybe you actually need more calories than the calculator says. The calculator is only a guide, a starting point.

Listen to your body. If you feel hungry, have more. Find what amount naturally satisfies you, and then experiment with pulling back a little bit.

Two other things you can try which might help:

  • Making it thicker
  • Drinking it more slowly throughout the day

It’s worth reading through the following thread, as the exact same issue was discussed there in some detail:

I hope that helps.

1 Like

Agreed with Marcus.

The human body, on average, can take around 15-20 minutes to actually feel ‘full’. The message can be mixed and confused if you eat quickly. Same can be said for Huelling! If you’re knocking it back then you’re not allowing your body to feel fullness.

Although I’m not currently Huelling… I never felt full after my coeliac diagnosis. I was eating ravenously and throwing food down my neck (as you’d expect of an NHS worker!). However, recently I’ve taken it easier… Allowing myself more time to chew food and digest things properly. Not only do I feel more full, I don’t suffer from the smelly wind of undigested food putrifying in my large intestine.

It’s very interesting how the human body works, it’s a carefully balanced machine. I feel that Huel addresses that balance. But as Marcus suggests - perhaps consuming Huel slowly over a longer period of time, may be beneficial?

1 Like

When I first started on Huel back in summer 2015, I remember going on a bike ride. I’d had a shaker of Huel a while before, but towards the end of the bike ride I felt really hungry and like I had low blood sugar. So the next bike ride I took some Huel with me and stopped about every 30 minutes to drink some Huel. It keep me going much better. Same amount of Huel consumed that day, but spread out, kept my energy levels up and my hunger at bay.

I’ve even started doing the same thing with swimming. I take a bottle of Huel into the pool with me, leave it on the side, and have a mouthful about every 15 minutes. I have much more continuous energy throughout the swimming session. No energy crash towards the end. Sometimes it repeats a bit, but it’s a minor trade-off in my opinion.

With Huel, you can actually totally abandon the whole concept of meals, and instead consume it more like you would sipping water throughout the day. Because you don’t need to stop what you’re doing to consume Huel, you don’t need meal times, so you don’t even need to think in terms of meals.

I’m also a bit skeptical of the idea of focusing too much on calories. it’s fine as a guide, but if you consume what you think are the right amount of calories but you end up feeling awful because you’re really hungry, it’s nonsense really. Don’t let the numbers override what your body is telling you. It’s like thinking you need exactly 8 hours sleep. Some people are fine on 6 or 7 hours, others need 9 or 10 hours. Go more with what actually works for you, and less with what the numbers say.

Are you drinking enough water?
I’m 5’10", 145 lbs, and 23.
I aim for 1300-1600 calories a day, which is 4-5, 2 scoop shakes a day. I only have the 5th if I’m really hungry by the end of the day, but most days I have 4.

I do notice, however, that if I’m not drinking enough water in between my shakes I get hungry so much faster, and will still be hungry after that 5th shake sometimes. A lot of times the body can mistake thirst as hunger, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water in addition to the Huel.

Additionally, since you’ve only been at it a week, your metabolism still might be expecting the caloric intake from your months of poor eating. Whenever I come back from holiday (and gaining a few pounds) and I haven’t been watching what I eat, I am so hungry when I go back to my calorie-restricted diet. I have to give it a while before things get back to normal.

1 Like