Fran's Huel Adventure

Hi all. My first shipment of Huel is on its way, and I am really excited to get started. I thought I would do a pre-Huel post to document where I am right now.

I’m 40 year-old stay at home mom with a precocious four year-old daughter. I’m also a “trailing spouse.” My husband and I are American, but we have been living abroad for most of our marriage. Like many Americans, I am clinically obese. Honestly, until recently it didn’t bother me much. I’m busy playing with my daughter, keeping house, traveling. Aside from the industrial strength bras and getting winded on stairs, it wasn’t that big of a deal.

This year, though, I have noticed a few blips with my health. After a bout with gestational diabetes, I monitor my blood sugar every so often to make sure I am not slipping into Type 2 diabetes. I had a few weeks of high fasting numbers for the first time this spring. I cut out daily sweets and things calmed down, but it was kind of scary. My blood pressure has always been normal, but a recent trip to the doctor for bronchitis showed pre-hypertension level numbers. I’m monitoring that now too.

For my 40th birthday, I gifted myself a Fitbit Charge 2 and it has been an eye-opening experience. I quickly realized that I wasn’t getting nearly enough sleep and was spending an awful lot of time sitting on my bottom. A couple of weeks in, I am getting 7 hours of sleep most nights and I have a 14 day streak of over 10,000 steps per day. Making just a few changes has been incredible. Now that I am taking marginally better care of myself, I feel like a different person. I have so much more energy and I am literally happier. I battle mild anxiety and depression, and those have become non-issues. Moving around feels just like an SSRI. I wish a GP would have mentioned that somewhere along the way. Naturally, I began to wonder what would happen if I started eating better.

This week I reactivated a long dormant SparkPeople account and started logging my food to kind of get a baseline idea of what was going on. My diet is terrible! I had no idea how bad it was! Way too much fat, not nearly enough vitamins and minerals. I’m surprised I don’t have rickets or scurvy or something! I have an appointment for a basic health screening tomorrow, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn my cholesterol is through the roof.

So, here we are. I like the idea of Huel. I’m bad about not eating during the day and binging in front of the TV at night. I’m hoping Huel will give me enough structure to rethink the way I eat. My plan is 2 or 3 shakes a day to total about 1000 calories. I’ve also restarted my Gousto subscription. Left to my own devices, I cook pasta in a cream sauce every single night because my husband loves it and it is dead easy. Gousto will get me out of that rut and their meals average 400-800 calories per serving. My plan is to choose a dinner in the morning and then use the Huel (unofficial, but seemingly awesome) app to help me measure out my powder for the day. I think 1600 calories per day will be appropriate for me, but I need to do some more research on that.

I’m hoping to update my progress every couple of days. Here’s an emoji so I can get a badge => :stuck_out_tongue:


Good luck on your journey!


Good luck!

I’ve never had great food will power and this is compounded by a strong urge to ‘treat myself’ with food after a challenging day (and most days are challenging with 3 kids… :joy: ) However, I’ve found sticking to Huel a whole lot easier than I expected. I think it’s the fact you don’t have to think about eating anything else!

I’ve been documenting my journey under the thread ‘overweight sugar-addict’ in the Experiences section of the forum if you’re interested.

My parting tip before bed is - beware the day three slump - it was a killer, I could literally have fallen asleep standing! But it got better after I pushed through.

Keeping writing :relaxed:


Hi @CharlieMay! I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts, and they definitely inspired me to document my Huel experience. I’m hoping that using the forum will keep me motivated!

I definitely fall into the “treat myself” trap. My father’s family is Italian and my mother’s family is Cajun. Big, big eaters! If something great happens, we eat to celebrate. If something disappointing happens, we eat. When we get homesick, we eat. When I go home to Louisiana, family greets me with sacks of boiled crawfish. And watch out if someone dies. Everyone you know brings food to your house! Food is love, comfort, an acceptable thank you note. Also, all of those plates of food are returned full, so you eat then too.

Living so far from home means that I have the opportunity to reset my little family’s relationship with food. We are foodies, no doubt, but I am trying to teach my daughter to appreciate food differently. I want us to really be able to enjoy food when we travel and to embrace the food of the places we live. But I also want to cut out the random crap we eat for no apparent reason. Food that isn’t really good, and in most cases isn’t identifiable as food, needs to not have a place in our lives. So, it has to start with me, and I am starting with Huel. (Is Huel identifiable as food, though?)

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After a little trouble with DPD, my first shipment of Huel arrived in time for breakfast. So, here we go…

I weighed 103.9 kg this morning. At 5’6" my BMI is 36.9.

I think I might go against the recommendations and go full Huel today. I’m finishing up an antibiotic and my stomach is not very happy anyway. My thinking is that if Huel is a prebiotic, it might actually help the situation. This may be idiotic. We shall see.

I mixed up 100 grams of Vanilla with 500mL of water using my immersion blender. I then added a little more water to get a thinner consistency. My first impression was that it was overwhelmingly sweet. I’m about halfway through it now, and it is a little better. It kind of tastes like what I imagine cold porridge would taste like if you tossed it in the blender. And dumped in a bunch of artificial sweetener. It is tolerable, though. I can do this.


I know what you mean, I do wonder if eating Huel counts as ‘real food’, but it certainly helps control the calories!

All that Italian and Cajun food sounds amazing - yum! One of the things I’ve been working on is portion control - so I can still yummy things, but just perhaps stop when I’m satisfied, rather than when I’m close to exploding :wink: I’ve still managed to have some pretty tasty food, from chinese take out to home cooked quesadillas and keep losing weight. I personally need the normal evening meal to look forward to, I think 100% Huel wouldn’t work for me, especially as I cook a home cooked meal for the family every evening, but I bet it’s an effective way to control calories!

I found vanilla Huel unbearably sweet to begin with. One of the suggestions is always add more water, you’re already adding a bit more (usual starting point is 3 scoops to 500ml - so 114g). I personally do 2 scoops to 400ml or sometimes 500ml. I also do 1 scoop vanilla & 1 scoop unflavoured - this works for me and actually over the weeks Ive gotten used to the vanilla, so much so that today I was waiting on an order of unflavoured and had just vanilla all day and that was ok. Keep experimenting and see what works for you :slight_smile:

My favourite so far has been half and half on its own, but made with some Alpro coconut milk/drink is also really nice. Adding a spoonful of raw cocao is also tasty and helps soften the sweetness. Also 2 scoops of unflavoured with 1 teaspoon of vegetable stock (I use Marigold with no msg) and hot/warm water makes a kind of soup which is great if you fancy something savoury.

How did you manage over the rest of the day? :slight_smile:

I really like the calorie control aspect of Huel. It is so easy to log. I think I am already learning a lot about how to distribute calories through the day so that I keep my energy levels high. As it turns out, sleeping and eating are really important. What is this magic? :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m using my kitchen scale to measure Huel, so it is now sitting out on the counter. It’s there, so I have started weighing the rest of my food as well. I really need to learn portion control. It’s not something I ever really thought about before, and just one day of measuring, weighing, and logging has been educational. My Gousto order arrives tomorrow and I am so excited about doing Huel and eating a yummy meal at night.

Still struggling a bit with the sweetness of the Vanilla Huel I ordered. Next time (already pretty sure there will be a next time), I will do one bag of each. I love the idea of adding raw cacao to soften the sweetness. I may try that for lunch. I don’t know if savoury Huel sounds appetizing to me. That may be a more advanced Huel skill than I am ready to try!


Huel Day #1 went really well. After my plain Vanilla breakfast, my daughter and I went for a long walk and played at the playground. I was absolutely ravenous by lunch and opted for a homemade ham and cheese sandwich (normally we would have done a Co-Op one). I was afraid Huel wouldn’t really satisfy me because I was seriously hungry. I’ve just finished 5 days of steroids trying to get rid of that damn bronchitis, and I want to eat everything in sight. We just kind of relaxed before my health check then went for another walk. I fed the family leftovers and had Huel for dinner. The rhubarb and custard add in is so tasty! I would still prefer it to be a little less sweet, but that one was legitimately yummy. My calorie count was a bit low, so I munched on some chicken breast sauteed in olive oil that I had in the fridge. Two Huel meals, one regular meal, and a snack totaled about 1600 calories.

I’m still not sure how many calories I need. My Fitbit thinks I need about 3000 calories to maintain my weight when it factors in my activity level. That sounded really high, so I calculated my BMR and multiplied it by my activity level. Again, 3000 calories. When I have dieted in the past, I always tried to stick to about 1200. Obviously, the weight fell off, but maintenance was impossible. Losing a pound a week would mean 2500 calories per day. That still sounds like a lot. I am going to aim for 1800 to 2000 and see what happens. Obviously, as I lose weight I will recalculate.

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Huel Day #2

Another smooth day. I had the mocha flavour add in with 100 grams for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, and 100 grams with a heaping teaspoon of cacao powder for dinner. I snacked on a few pieces of bacon, a couple slices of cheese, and some green olives for a grand total of 2178 calories. This supposedly left me with a 1058 calorie deficit.

Somewhere in there was a chocolate cupcake. My four year-old made them herself and I was afraid it would hurt her feelings if I said no. After the first bite, I knew that I did NOT want that cupcake. It was a box mix and not at all good - too sweet and had a flavour in it that I really didn’t like. I ate the whole thing and really regretted it. I’m calling it a learning experience. No more boxed mixes in the house. Just saying “no thank you” to my daughter would have probably been fine. I have no desire to eat sweets - salt and fat are my downfall.

I craved meat all day yesterday. Like zombie going after brains craved meat. I think it is a combination of wanting something with texture and wanting something savoury. As an evening snacker, I loved to alternate chocolate with olives and cheese. The sweetness of the Huel just makes my brain want to switch flavours. Maybe a savoury Huel blend would help… That’ll have to wait until at least one of my two bags of Vanilla is gone, though.

I’m down 2 kilograms this morning, so that is really nice. I would imagine a good bit of my loss is water weight. I started tracking my water consumption this week and am managing to get 3L per day. Still no digestive issues.

Edit: Changed 400 grams to 100 grams because I hadn’t finished my coffee and had a four year-old climbing me…

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400g of Huel per serving? That would be around 1600 calories?

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100 grams, 400 calories… Oops. Thank you!

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Hi @lilbo, you must be really active! The Livestrong calorie thing thinks I need about 1800 to maintain and about 1300 to lose a 1lb a week. But that doesn’t include any exercise. I like to think of exercise as an added extra weight loss boost, so I don’t tend to adjust my calories for it. I aim for 1500 calories a day. That said I’ve been losing more than 1lb a week, so that probably allows for the exercise/chasing children/tidying the house factor :wink:

I’ve had the same thing, my daughter made cupcakes all by herself, they were interesting… but she really wanted me to eat one! Must confess I took a bite and chucked the rest in the bin when she wasn’t looking :flushed:

I always feel really crappy after eating something unhealthy that I didn’t even enjoy! I’m trying to save all my cheats for things that I really really love, although I’m not letting Ben & Jerry’s phish food ice cream or Betty Crocker triple choc brownie mix into the house, that shit is my crack and I do not have the will power :joy:

Down 2kg is awesome! I’m gonna do a recap on my thread and see how much I’ve lost in how long, etc :smiley:

Hi @CharlieMay, I think it is a function of my size. I am carrying a lot of extra weight and it takes some effort to carry around all this goodness! The number of calories I need will reduce as I lose weight. I really do love the Fitbit app for tracking my calories and exercise together. I was dubious of that high number, but I’m am seeing a loss. I’m down 2.2 kilograms since starting Huel on Monday! Being new to it, I think that’s a lot of water weight. I’m not expecting that much loss next week. Five pounds a week seems excessive!

We’re also really lucky to live in a great area for walking. Our house is on the canal, so we walk the towpath to say hello to the ducks and swans. We have a playground that’s a nice little walk from us with a small walking path around the play area. I play with my daughter for a while, do 2 laps, play again. By the time she is ready to go home, I’ve done most of my daily step goal. We also walk to the Co-op near us for groceries and into town to go to the museum and library. I’ve upped my step goal to 11,000 this week, but I average closer to 12,500.

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Days 3 & 4 had me really getting into a routine with Huel. Breakfast is 100 mg Vanilla mixed with 500 mL of black coffee. I really look forward to my morning shake. It is delicious! I make lunch in the morning when I still have the blender out. That has become 100 mg Vanilla, about 600 mL water, one heaping teaspoon of cocoa powder, and a pinch of cinnamon. It’s good, not too sweet, and gets the job done. That one hangs out in the fridge until lunchtime.

I used Huel in the wild for the first time yesterday. I filled my shaker, tossed it in my bag, and went out for a playdate with my daughter. No leaks, which made me super happy. I love convenience. My meat cravings have disappeared and jumping right in with two Huel meals a day has not bothered my stomach at all. If anything, my stomach feels better because I am more… ahem, regular. Yay, fiber. I have more energy this week, too. I’ve upped my daily step count goal by 1000 and am planning to add some weight training to my day (if I can get my medicine ball away from my kid).

My Gousto order arrived on Wednesday. I don’t know if they have stepped up their game since I last ordered in November, or if I am just really into my one solid food meal per day. The two meals I have made have been beyond delicious. Wednesday was a crispy fish filet and a mushroom tarragon sauce served with potatoes and spring greens. Last night was hummus, sweet potato wedges, and spicy chicken. I’m weighing everything I cook and then dividing it into servings so that I know my calorie count is as accurate as I can get it. Still averaging 1800 calories per day and burning something around 3100. It occurred to me yesterday that when I am short on my calories for the day that I can have a glass of wine or a scotch. This idea pleases me.

All in all, I am very happy with my initial Huel experience. I really can see doing this for the long haul!

Tagging @CharlieMay as requested. I loved your update. Go you! :smiley:


Great work! I’m thinking of getting a Fitbit too. I reckon I must have lost some ‘water weight’ and expect weight loss to slow, well it has slowed, lol!

I love walking! I live in a rural village and I like to explore the fields ands paths around. I used to do this carrying my daughter, but she’s getting a bit heavy for my back, so I’ve been looking for walks I can do with a buggy (not so many) or considering moving to my back back carrier. The dog enjoyed the 1 hr 20 min walk I did yesterday down some little lanes, though I did have to dash to a layby a few times to avoid cars :flushed:

Currently feeling annoyed with my scales, depending on how you stand on them, or the way the breeze is blowing they can weigh up to half a stone different in the results, think I’m going to look for a more accurate set - what are you using?

Thanks for the tag!

I’ve been having Hello Fresh boxes and similar (taking up all the introductory offers :joy: ) since doing Huel - I love having a healthy, super tasty,easy to prepare meal for the evening - I really look forward to it! A new box arrived today, but this week gone I chose some of my favourite recipe cards from previous Hello Fresh boxes and just ordered the ingredients from Sainsburys online - it worked out well, I think it’s improving my cooking :wink:

I don’t drink because a) I’m still breastfeeding my 15 month old and b) it makes me feel so crappy both shortly after drinking and the next day :\ If I get some extra calories I sometimes have a slice of multigrain bread with a scrape of nutella on (and pretend it’s cake :wink: ) yum!