I’ve recently been doing a bit of a 100% Huel experiment. One thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve started to lose interest in other food almost entirely. As long as I eat enough calories to keep my weight steady, I don’t tend to get hungry. When it comes to the evening and I have my last Huel of the day, I’m satisfied afterwards and then I don’t even need to think about food.
I occasionally think about other food, but nowhere near as much as I thought I would.
I’m not going to continue like this long term, though. In the next few days I will start having food in the evenings again.
I did a couple of weeks once, just to see how I’d feel. About a week through I went over to my folks place and they were tucking into a lovely Sunday roast. I was really surprised to find that I wasn’t bothered at all about what they were eating and was completely happy with my shaker full of Huel. They obviously thought I was barking mad! But I felt absolutely fine about “missing out” because it felt like the complete opposite at the time. Really weird! Might have another 100% stint soon to see if that happens again.
It’s like it re-wires your brain to no longer associate other food with feeling satisfied. You already get satisfied from Huel, so there is no longer a need for the other food.
Over the years I’ve found a similar thing with water. When I was younger I used to drink lots of flavoured drinks, but eventually I stopped because I didn’t want all that sugar. I’ve never really liked tea or coffee, and I don’t drink alcohol, so what’s left? Well, I went through a phase of having smoothies and herbal/fruit teas, but these days water is just fine. I no longer crave flavoured drinks. If I’m thirsty, water is the best thing.
Anyway, I imagine one day we will be able to link electrodes up to our brains and press a button to get any pleasure sensation we want. So we’ll be able to drink water or Huel and press a button to experience whatever taste we want.
Probably due to cutting out the sugar that most “normal” foods are loaded with these days. I don’t have links to the studies at hand, but I’m fairly certain sugar activates the same receptors in the brain as cocaine (causing addiction).
I just tried a 100% huel day, then today was going to be the same but I realised I’m not getting enough calories, so tonight I made a vegetarian style chicken sandwich and I feel really uncomfortable like I want to be sick. I wish I’d had my Huel instead but I could feel my stomach eating itself! Normal food isn’t as attractive anymore. And there’s something weirdly comforting about drinking Huel.
Not to point out the obvious here; but not feeling hungry when you eat properly is kind of how we’re supposed to feel.
The issue is that almost no-one eats a balanced diet that sustains them adequately throughout the day - and so everyone feels snackish all the time. Your Huel shakes are probably more calorific than your breakfasts and lunches used to be, they’re nutritious and satiate you - so you don’t hunger for anything else.
Huel isn’t magic, it’s just food. It’s awesome that so many people use it to improve their diets, lose weight, live better, etc etc etc; but literally any other properly balanced diet would leave you feeling exactly the same. Huel just makes it easier.
For the past two weeks I’ve gone back to getting a veg box from Abel and Cole. I’ve been struggling to feel motivated to cook and eat it. No doubt part of this down to habit, part to depression and maybe other factors that haven’t though I am of. But yesterday I was even struggling to eat it, and I felt so uncomfortable afterwards, that I’ve cancelled the veg box deliveries. I started getting the boxes again so that I would have healthy savoury options at home, to make trips to the shop to buy peanuts or crisps and other rubbish. But instead I’m going to give away most of the veg I’ve still got, and imagine I will be having more Huel than I was before.