Lack of chewing

I want to bring up this topic again, as I find it higly relevant - I know this has been discussed here in the past-

Recently I talked to a friend who had tried to lose weight with Huel - at first it seemed to work, but in the long term he had gained everything back, even more than what he started with. He attributed it to a lack of chewing. He said although he has never been that satisfied or full from a “physiological” perspective, but psychologically he immensely missed “something”.

This is in accordance to what a collegue (nutritionist) told me - yes, there are people who have to stay on full liquid diets because of medical reasons, but it seems that at least some of them also feel cravings, despite of their illness. She noted that some of her longer-term clients/patients admitted that the eat solid fit and spit it out again, just to have the feeling of “having food” or “eating”.

Health problems were also the reason that brought me to nutritional shakes like Huel. And yes, although I should not have solid foods due to health reasons this is also a concern to me. I do have unspecific cravings or don’t feel well. Although in theory Huel is complete food. But on a psychological level something seems to be lacking.

Chewing gum contains lots of bad stuff like either sugar or “bad” sweeteners like aspartame. And once I start it it has addictive potential to be honest. When I had to give up solid food the system got “out of balance” somehow, although Huel is complete as I said. It’s more of a psychological problem.

Has anyone of you made similar experiences? Or had similar problems?

Currently this is bothering me immensely, so I would be grateful if you shared them or gave me some advice. I mean it is a problem that one normally does not want to talk about in person…it is maximally embarrassing to be honest.

Thank you so much in advance!

I once went 100% huel for at least 3 months, chewing afterwards felt weird :rofl: I had lost muscle mass in my jaw i swear!

Chewing gum is a bad way to go about it i agree. Maybe just eat / chew on some negative calorie stuff, like…celery?!

I found chewing on licorice root helped me, they are cheap, last ages and have a range of health benefits attached :upside_down_face:

Hey, thanks for bringing this up @mbs. People who have a liquid diets for medical reasons are not on them by choice.

You, and others, choose to have Huel. We don’t recommend 100% Huel for a variety of reasons. We also have Huel Hot & Savoury and bars.

So yes, on a psychological level it’s a problem for some people, but a totally avoidable one.

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Thanks for your link and your experience, Simon - why exactly do you think that chewing gum is a bad idea? I found one that is taste neutral, without sweetener or sugar (called Falim gum).

And thanks also to you Dan for the advice. Why do you think choice makes the difference? I mean from a health perspective? Someone may chose to follow a diet and nevertheless immensely struggle with sticking to his decision. I know plenty of examples, and I wonder what makes the difference for people who have been on 100% Huel without having any psychological “side effects”, cravings or anything else. Does your conscious thinking interact with e.g. the endocrine system sufficiently to make such a huge difference? Or only for very few people? And what makes the difference?
Thanks again in advance!

Good question! I think people can overcomplicate diet sometimes. If you are following a diet and you are finding it really hard and can’t stick to it, then don’t. We know that the majority of people do not stick to dietary changes for the long-term, often because they’re trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

There are so many different ways of eating healthily and it’s about finding something that works for you as an individual.


This is an interesting topic to me as I’ve worked with adults and children with long term PEG and NG tubes. Funnily enough while none of them ever mentioned a craving to chew or eat, almost all of them complained about flavour to me. For example it was fairly common for someone to request specific flavours into their PEG tube. I asked why the flavour mattered since it goes straight into the stomach, and one guy told me “I can taste it when I burp” haha.

Some people would complain about the boredom aspect at first, but in the long term this generally went away. And again that was more down to lack of flavour options rather than lack of eating. The social aspect of being unable to have a meal with friends etc was a bigger thing, but we found ways around that.

Obviously this is all anecdotal, plus I think it’s very different when something is enforced vs not. These people didn’t have a choice but to get on with it, and generally had other things to worry about. That gives you a different mindset. If you’re choosing it then it’s easier to think about what you’re missing because you could potentially change your mind at any time so the temptation is there if you’re not enjoying it.

For me personally I sometimes have a few days where I eat nothing but huel, just because it’s easier for me. I’ve never really thought about chewing when I use huel, but I generally eat a cooked meal every day anyway or snack on fruit or crisps. Plus you can be 100% Huel and still chew, using bars and h&s.

If I do work with someone with a feeding tube again I’ll keep this in mind and might ask them about it because to be honest it’s not something I’d ever considered before. It’s good to keep in mind so I can think about suggestions to help.


Thank you for your feedback Herbivore and Dan!

To be honest my problem is severe ARFID ever since I can think (I already caused problems to my environment when I was a child), and I’ve tried to “cure” my atypical eating disorder by cutting out regular food altogether. To be honest I also have Aspergers syndrome or “high-functioning autism”. I am very weird regarding the topic “eating”, it’s not really a choice but kind of a compulsive problem. There are so many things that are not “possible” for me. Especially “colourful” stuff, and this is the case for almost everything that is considered “normal”. I mean it is already a relief if I have a time when I am not extremely underweight or other more severe problems. Regular eating just does not work for me. And I wonder why I suffer so much from my “ideas” how to cure it. It seems I always feel bad no matter what I do.

There was a time when I had a chewing gum addiction. My hope now is on flavourless gum, maybe that works better. Maybe I just need better nutrition, a higher weight, I don’t know. I mean an autism-spectrum-disorder just does not go away completely, no matter what you do…do you have any ideas? Any advice? My physicians were not really a help…

I agree. I dont feel great if I only eat Huel. I have 1 regular meal a day. Most of my calories come from Huel but it is a balance for sure.

I find that I have to enjoy my diet to stick to it.
Loving food is part of the joy of life for me.

Yeah I’d agree. I’ve been on and off huel since about 2015. I know by now that when I “get back on it” it takes some re-adjustment and it’s all part of the process

This definitely sounds like something for a specialist to work through with you. I empathise with you but it’s difficult to give advice or help beyond that over a forum.

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Sure, I understand that. You must have already noticed that I am weird, but I’ve already suffered a lot from it. I wish I could be less compulsive, or “normal” like anyone else. But that’s another topic…

Regarding chewing gum there seem to be different opinions. Maybe it depends on the ingredients. If it is based on xylitol or free of any flavour it might be a “better” choice. On the other hand chewing causes the body to release insulin, leading to reactive hypoglycemia when no glucose enters the bloodstream…so maybe gum with sugar would be better? I mean the amount of sugar is negligible, at least if one does not have a new one every few minutes. And after a while the sugar washes out, so it should not be to bad for one’s teeth…or what do you think?

I can remember that someone here in the forum has once claimed that he/she “chews” Huel - I would also be interested in that. How do you do it? Is anyone still here who knows more about this?

You’re too hard on yourself. It’s ok to have quirks and abnormalities. If they’re disrupting your life and making you miserable, chat with a doctor about it and see if there’s any relief. Otherwise embrace your oddities instead of overthinking them. Let’s be honest we’re all weirdos here, drinking powdered meals and eating mush :grin:

If you want to chew something and are struggling for options, have you thought about huel bars? Chewing gum is an ok idea but it might be good to try and find something as a food you could have. I do understand it’s difficult for you, I think talking to a dietician or therapist could benefit if it’s causing you distress?

I just want you to feel at peace with yourself is the main thing :blush:


I mean, I chew huel. It’s not “true” chewing, but I’ve always chewed any thick drink or soup etc. Not sure why but it would feel weird to swallow it without chewing :joy: The grainy/oaty texture helps a lot.

I chew my Huel shakes, always have. Probably because of the texture as I like to make it fairly thick.

I’ve never done that, I’d have to make it pretty thick to consider chewing it.

Lol I don’t make it so thick you could eat it with a spoon but don’t like it watery either.

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This is ridiculous.

You friend ate more calories than he burned, that is why he “gained everything back, even more than what he started with.”


What is the best powder/water ratio in your opinion to “chew” it?

Does it also work for Black Edition (which is not so gritty)?

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