Huel weight loss success - some nutrition questions though

I get that Huel really isn’t a ‘weight loss’ product, but I initially subbed with the idea of replacing one crappy meal a day with it, so at least I’d be getting some decent nutrition in. My calorie goal is 1300kcal a day, and ever since switching to at least 1 Huel a day I have literally not struggled at all. I’m not sure how this works at all, but all I know is ever since I switched, I just…don’t really get hungry anymore. It’s magical! I am currently lighter than I’ve been since I was 13 years old - which is a super depressing thing to admit now being 26, but it’s a great feeling.

One thing I find very motivating is collecting data. I’ve got a set of smart scales (yknow, the kind that can supposedly measure body fat, muscle, etc). That lets me graph stuff like this:

Which brings me onto my question. I realise I am cutting pretty hard here. My goal is to get a bunch of weight off, get down to somewhere around 75kg (which puts me right at the healthy BMI range - I’m 178cm tall and currently weigh 85.2kg). When I hit around 80kg, my plan is to increase the number of calories I eat to something closer to 1500kcal-1600kcal, with a focus on protein (Think, Huel Black + the new protein powder type snack - because I’ve heard that muscle loss is a problem with significant weight loss. Is this a good idea? I have also been going to a gym regularly - in the hopes of slowing down any potential muscle loss.

I guess my question is, how best can I stave off muscle loss while still getting rid of this damn fat? Is this even a concern? My scales show that I am losing muscle muscle from an absolute perspective (IE, I’ve lost somewhere like 2kg of muscle), but I am losing fat a fair bit faster. Is this the best I can hope for? My overall composition is improving, but I’m not sure what I should aim for percentage wise when it comes to muscle/fat!

Are you doing any weight training at the gym? that will help you preserve muscle.

It’s great to hear you’re having such success Kevin!

I wouldn’t read too much into the body fat and muscle measurements on your smart scales as they’re super inaccurate and can vary just oby the amount of water in your body.

You are losing weight rapidly, if I’m reading the first graph correctly, a bit more than recommended. For reference, 1kg per week is the top end of recommendations, but I wouldn’t worry too much.

However, you may find that more gradual weight loss is more beneficial for maintaining muscle mass. It’s really difficult not to lose at least a bit of muscle as you lose weight. The good news is you’re losing fat faster so you’re on the right track.

Focusing on protein is certainly a good route to go down. If you can, aim for 2g of protein per kg of body weight per day. Strength training as @Error mentioning is another great way to help preserve muscle. Once you’ve hit your weight loss goal you can switch to focusing on body composition and muscle gain. Muscle weighs more than fat so you will end up weighing more than 80kg if you choose to gain muscle after your weight loss. However, you will end up having a better physique.

I hope that helps!

1 Like

@Error Yes, I’m doing 3 times a week, between 30-40 minutes a session at the gym with a blend of about 75% strength training, 25% cardio.

@Dan_Huel Thanks for the detailed reply - I thought so w.r.t the scales. Not going to trust them much past trends! I am losing weight a bit faster than I expected - which to me is a win! Over the years I’ve gone from 116KG down to my current 85kg, in short spurts of extreme weight loss, usually around 10kg a pop. I don’t tend to put weight on anymore, just don’t lose it!

W.r.t the protein guidance - that’s a lotta protein! Currently using Lifesum to track my calorie intake and it’s suggesting 75g of protein, 188g of carbs, and 50g of fat. I’m sure your suggested protein goal will be easier to hit as soon as my next subscription of Huel comes in, given I’m going for the protein powder and Black!

If you’re curious, this is that weight data in tabular form:

Totally cool with weighing whatever, as long as the weight is muscle!

Thanks for the advice. Hopefully in 3 months I’ll be in far better shape than I was a month ago!

It is a lot of protein but it’s really hard to prevent some muscle loss when trying to lose weight.

That comes out with a macro split of 20:50:30. I’d try and aim for protein to make up 25-30% of your protein intake and you can compensate either carbs or fat to help you do that.

Best of luck!