Lockdown fluff be-gone 😤

hi everyone! welcome to my Huel diaries :hugs:

the struggle:
i’ve fallen into the habit of emotional eating especially with lockdown and quarantine.
i’ve used food to deal with boredom, stress, loneliness, depression and sadness instead of actually tackling issues in life.
i’ve fallen into the habit of constant grazing and a lack of structure and routine.

how Huel fits in:
i don’t know how long i’m going to do this for, but i’ll take it one day at a time.
let’s just say i’m going to do this just for tomorrow; because i’m not going to treat this like an all-or-nothing “crash diet”
i’m going to use Huel to have more structured mealtimes—i want to start eating food for its purpose of nourishment. the main and only thing food solves is hunger, not my other problems in life. they deserve their own actual solutions.
i figure if i’m getting all my nutrients in from Huel, i’ll be forced to stop deceiving myself by looking for more food to avoid my problems. a bit of a “reset”, if we may.

my food plan for tomorrow:
my aim is 1500kcal of Huel original, 3 meals & 3 snacks at regular intervals, with at least an hour+a piece of gum in between.
• 3x 75g (300kcal)
• 3x 50g (200kcal)
= 1500kcal
• unlimited water, tea, coffee, chewing gum, 0kcal sweetener

the journal:
my plan is to document my journey and thoughts here, and to notice the effects of 100% Huel on my body.
a side goal of mine is to start being more in tune with my body’s internal cues en-route to intuitive eating (which is my ultimate goal).

a bit of a roundabout logic i know, but hopefully it’ll start to make sense, to me too.

if you’ve read all this, thank you for stopping by and feel free to say hi if you’d like to join my journey raw & honest journey of life and Huel! :open_hands::hugs:

any tips from you Huel veterans would be very welcome!

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okay so i plugged my stats into the calculator that someone in the Huel team linked.

caloric needs:
aka time to stop avoiding reality…

  • maintenance = 1322kcal (sedentary)
  • if i ate 1200kcal, it would take me 29 days to lose 1 pound…

damn i hate my height…i’m just going to try to maintain my weight for now (tbh i’m not fussed about the number on the scale per se, but i would like to lose some fat and gain some muscle to be less fluffy) and focus on tackling the emotional eating side of it. maybe i’ll try to raise my activity then. i guess i really just gotta move more. between chronic injury and depression that’s gonna be hard, but we’ll get there.

ultimately i’m cool if my weight stays the same and my measurements go down though, if anyone knows how to do that that’ll be fab :laughing:

measurements:

  • left thigh: 19.4”
  • right thigh: 19”? (im pretty sure i read that wrong)
  • belly: 31.4”
  • waist at thinnest point: 27.8”? (also probably read wrong)
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day 1 (28 July 2021)

—the log—
water log:

  • 15 cups

Huel log:

  • breakfast: 75g Huel (300)

10.40am—i’m not feeling very hungry bc i overate until the wee hours of the night last night. my stomach is still feeling the discomfort and is churning a bit. fullness level at maybe an 8.9? but i’ll drink this Huel to start the day and as a symbolic “i’m not skipping meals even if i’d overeaten, it’s a new day.” let’s do this!
11.13am—feeling full! almost too full. i liked the light oatiness and thickness of the Huel, not very sweet or cloying either. right when the Huel was ending the thought popped up in my head to “just drink the other snack Huel right now” too, i guess part of me didn’t want to have to ‘end the meal’. but that meal is done & dusted, i’m grateful for it, and can move onto doing other things in life like reading a book and organising and watching some Disney+!

  • lunch: 50g Huel (200)

2.49pm—very thirsty. was sleepy just now and so i put on an eye mask, listened to an audio book, and took a nap!
i’m still not hungry yet likely bc i overate a lot yesterday, but i’ll eat my snack-Huel now for regular blood sugar levels. at least i know i’m getting my nutrients in!
3.17pm—and done! want to munch on something else but it’s good to be able to tease apart mental & physical hunger. fullness level ~9.1, would like to bm to relieve that discomfort.

  • snack: 50g Huel (2x 25g) (200)

5.45pm—more thirsty than hungry, fullness level maybe ~6? aka could do with some food but not necessary. am sleepy and not feeling the most alert. excited for my next Huel though!

8.22pm—i ice blended one of the snack Huel’s with cinnamon and it was a fun textural change. i think i’ll do the same for dinner! i’ve given up taking pictures bc the thing is…i’ve realised that when all you drink is Huel it starts to look the same :crazy_face:

  • dinner: 75g Huel (300)

8.23pm—i read a book and then fell asleep again, which might sound rly strange that i’ve had 3 naps but i’m chronically sleep deprived and stressed out and have insomnia so maybe Huel is actually helping me “rest & digest” for the first time. i woke up from the nap actually biologically hungry! excited to eat my next Huel :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: it’s actually really nice anticipating meals and switching my focus to other tasks instead of just grazing 24/7.
hunger/fullness level is currently around a 4.65. time to meet that hunger-need with it’s only solution: nutrients! :relieved:
10.01pm—it’s a lot of liquid (i like my Huel thinner too i’ve realised), but i’m comfortably satiated. fullness level is around 8.9. still thirsty af tho.

  • nightsnack: 75g Huel (3x 25g) (300)

11.01pm—not actually very hungry, but i don’t want to eat below the “floor” of 1200kcal as recommended in some of the Huel articles from the team i read yesterday. i’ll still have a 75g shake i can have after this if i still get hungry, but i won’t force it (especially since i’ve been eating in a surplus at ~2000kcal for the last week or so).
i can pre-empt that i’m likely to get urges to overeat around this time (since i’ve started getting used to that as a habit, to emotional-eat before bed & my night time snacking for months now). i’ll try to plan out exactly what i’m doing to practise a healthier wind-down night routine instead!
my dad brought back my favourite unagi & theres brownies in the freezer so i’m tempted to just start eating those right now…but i can have them tomorrow. today’s just an experiment, and to reaffirm to myself that i can keep to my word and trust myself. i’ll dismiss all thoughts to deviate from today’s plan as neurological junk & lower brain cravings :laughing:
fullness level is around 8.3.

—other mindful observations & thoughts—

  • 12.09pm: i’d gotten woken up by drilling this morning, so i’m feeling pretty sleepy. i do remember getting kind of a brain fog when i ate 100% previously so i’m wondering if it’s a similar effect
  • 5.31pm: definitely feeling more thirsty today, i wonder if it’s the Huel? been feeling comfortably sated and having more headspace & time to tackle other things in life though! a work stressor popped up just now, and instead of turning to food to distract myself as i usually would have, i’d already eaten my huel so i knew food wasn’t the answer there
  • 12.52am: and done! successful day of Huel, and honestly i’m feeling so satiated it cannot have been just ~1300kcal. it’s nice that i’m not going to bed uncomfortably stuffed as i have been for the last few weeks though, and i’m looking forward to winding down and going to bed. i’ve enjoyed having more mental headspace and time not spent preparing food or resisting the urge to eat to avoid my problems.
    i’m grateful for Huel :relieved:
    IM STILL HELLA THIRSTY THO did anyone experience this too??

Hey @ooboo, massive welcome to the forum! Loved reading your intro. I think we can all relate to an increase in emotional eating, lack of structure and routine. It takes so much focus and energy and can seem so futile at times. Well done for taking control and ownership, that takes a lot of self awareness.

This is music to my ears, but I’ve just read your numbers, it seems like your weight is at the lower end of the normal range. So I would definitely say you do not need to lose any weight. Also your measurements are very low. I understand the need to work on your mental health and your relationship with food, so if your diet has been unhealthy then switching it up to a healthy diet is a great goal, however your anthropometry is very normal and healthy so please don’t aim to lose weight/reduce your waist size.

To do this reducing your calorie intake will not help. What you should do is start a strength training regime to gain muscle. This will shift your body composition. Hope that makes sense, I’m sure others will have futher advice about this.

hi Tim,

thank you so much for your perspective and advice, and taking the time to read my ramble! the calculator i used was the one linked by you actually so i’m pretty stoked you commented.

yup, my BMI seems to be 19.6 in the healthy range from that calculator so i’m not actually trying to lose weight, but i seem to be having the dreaded “skinny fat” problem where i look bigger than my BMI and am just all around squishy (especially because i’m a lot shorter & BMI doesn’t seem to be the most accurate representation for both really tall and really short people from what i’ve read). most resources everywhere seem to just give advice on how to lose weight, so i’m not quite sure how to go about starting to do this “body recomposition”.

(im also taking the measurements with a pinch of salt bc it’s my first time using a measuring tape and i’m pretty sure i was taking it at the wrong points; i wrote several numbers down and they all vary by like 3-5 inches :sweat_smile:)

do you have any experiences to share wrt how people have incorporated Huel for body recomposition too? thanks in advance!

Tim is spot on, body composition is key!

The simplest piece of advice I can give is you want to be eating enough protein and calories and then exercising. The exercise provides the body with a trigger to turn that protein and calories into muscle.

I’m assuming you’re a woman (apologies if you’re not) so you may find this article helpful: Huel’s Guide to Weight Training for Women and this is also a great general article: How to Eat When Building Muscle – Huel

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I completely understand this problem. I always struggled with being underweight, but whenever I tried to gain in the past I remained skinny and just got the “skinny fat” problem. Firstly try to reflect whether you have any disordered thinking regarding your shape and size. Sometimes when you’re used to being small or having a low weight you get a skewed perception of how you look as you get bigger. This can take a lot of time to rethink but it’s worth it!

The thing that I found the hardest was the understanding that in order to take away the “squishiness” I actually had to eat more not less! The best advice is to eat more calories and work out/exercise. The extra calories allows your muscles to grow properly and will make you more toned. The added bonus is you’ll have more energy, feel stronger, and will feel better mentally. I’d never really exercised before (other than having an active job) but once I started it really changed how I think about my body. It’s less about how it looks and more about what it can do and how healthy it is. I think the best thing you can do for your body (especially if you have a low weight) is not to worry how it looks, but to eat and exercise in a way that makes it feel healthier.

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hello!! firstly thank u so much for your empathy and solidarity; i feel like not enough resources are out there for “those who aren’t necessarily overweight by BMI but would still like to look leaner or at their best or achieve their body’s potential”, everything’s just so focused on “how do you get a lower number on the scale” it’s frustrating!

regarding thoughts on my shape/size, to be honest i’m alright with it myself at the moment; it’s actually my brother & dad & friends who are commenting that i’ve gotten fatter :sweat_smile: i’ve also noticed that my thighs are starting to chafe again so as much as my weight doesn’t really bother me, i do know that i feel more comfortable in this body with a little less fluff :laughing:
where does one draw the line between that and disordered image of self, do you think? your statement got me wondering.

yes, this is the ideal im striving towards! what movement do you do and how did you get started if you don’t mind my asking? i’m a little overwhelmed by all the different pieces of advice fitness gurus are always shilling :sweat_smile:

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I’m completely with you on this! It’s hard to know what to do because there’s always a huge focus on weight loss or bulking up when you look online. I want fitness, but not weight loss fitness, and not even “build muscle” fitness. I’m not trying to be a body builder, I just want to be a bit more toned. That’s partly why I love Huel so much, because I really don’t know what I’m doing and I’m too lazy to do it myself. I like knowing Huel has done all the work for me in terms of nutrition, otherwise I just eat crisps :joy:

Yes!!! It’s hugely overwhelming and it’s hard to know what you’re supposed to be doing or where to begin. It’s probably not helpful but I’ve been using the Ring Fit for a while. If you have a switch or are into video games I really recommend it! It’s a video game that comes with a resistance ring, and you have to do exercises and workouts to defeat enemies and level up.

But also, Huel have two really helpful videos on YouTube with workout routines!

I like them because they’re 20 minutes and easy to follow along with! And then along with exercise just make sure you’re eating more than you normally would. I think the biggest problem I have with being skinny, is it makes me feel like I can eat whatever I want and do nothing. But then I just become a toothpick with added flab, realise I don’t like it, lose the weight again, and go back to being a toothpick. Eating more calories AND working out means the weight I gain is much better and healthier. It’s an easy trap when you’re skinny to eat total garbage and be lazy because you don’t have to worry as much (or that’s what I do at least) but then end up feeling like trash. Huel helped a lot with this!

Hopefully some of this is helpful for you! It sounds like you’re going in the right direction.

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day-after-Huel-day log

[10.29am]
10h after my nightcap Huel, and im still feeling decently satiated! is this what happens when you genuinely do get your nutrients in?? how wild.
i must say that i was absolutely parched last night, i woke up a couple of times to down a truckload of water bc i was so thirsty! does anyone know why that’s so?

anyway, im grateful that i had a successful all-Huel day.

  • it made me believe in myself and start to trust in my ability to keep to my word and delay gratification again (there were multiple times i thought “maybe i’ll just eat something else, what’s the harm?” bUt i wanted to show to myself symbolically that i can do something if i put my mind to it!
  • Huel is very satiating, i was surprised i didn’t need more to feel satiated
  • my body feels good (digestion-wise) & doesn’t feel “heavy” or slumpy

for the first time in weeks, i went to bed without the endless night-snacking, and didn’t emotional-eat yesterday!

[going forward]
im probably gonna have a small Huel shake to start the day, and have occasional Huel days when im especially depressed or feel like i need a reset to break the habit-cycle of emotional eating.
or when i just don’t have the time or energy to worry about food.

[other observations]
because i’ve had the huel day, it’s made me finally get a bit more excited for “other” food! previously when i ate whatever i wanted whenever i wanted it’s hard to appreciate the food for what it is and build up a bit of anticipation & excitement. i’ve actually really missed this, it makes the food so much more enjoyable than when i’m just pigging out on too much abundance 24/7.

a personal win: i didn’t even bother weighing myself as a before-and-after! because i KNOW this isn’t a crash diet. i am now committed to intrinsic motivation—i drink my Huel meals to get my nutrients in and for good habits striving towards a healthy lifestyle, not because i’m trying to see a temporarily lower number on the scale the next day. idk, i’m just rly proud of that somehow, i feel like it’s character growth :sweat_smile:

i notice that i’m excited to eat—

  • unagi that my dad brought back for me
  • new treats and a variety than just Huel :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

so next time when i stop appreciating the textures and flavours in food due to over saturation of tastebuds, i know i can use Huel to develop a re-appreciation for food, too! (i know that all doesn’t make too much comprehensive sense but in my head it does LOL)

if you’ve read this, thanks for stopping by; i’ll update this thread if i do another Huel day or drink more Huel!

off to go enjoy a breakfast Huel now :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

You’ve got this @ooboo, I’m really glad to hear that you’ve reduced your emotional eating/snacking and Huel so far is making you feel good! I agree with not doing a weigh in before/after. Your goal is not to lose weight but to gain some muscle and I think you can judge this quite easily visually.

Just make sure you’re drinking water alongside your Huel. Huel is really high in fibre and this acts like a sponge and absorbs water so just make sure you aren’t drinking Huel as a replacement for the other water you’re meant to drink.

It’s also quite warm out at the moment so there’s that too. I’m often waking up needing some water in the night too!

Hi @ooboo ,

This may not be what you’re looking for, but it’s my own experience with habitual eating and habit changing. I’m not a nutritionalist or evangelist or anything like that. It just taps into my own habits from a few years ago.
I was working alone on the other side of the world with very little social or interaction outside of work. I fell into a habit of eating/coffee. It was the first and last thing of my day, every day! I’d wake thinking about coffee and I’d end the day at midnight munching on jelly snakes out of a family-sized bag. Weight wasn’t really an issue, but the idea that i was CONSTANTLY nibbling or snacking or fridge dipping was driving me crazy, and I knew deep inside that it was both a habit issues and something that might lead to worse issues over time.
For me, the absolute best thing I ever did, possibly in my life (I’ve no wife or kids, so I can say that!), was to quit sugar and caffeine. Something people, including myself, say they ‘could never do’. I’ll admit, it was hard and a little painful, and was a very difficult first month, but it’s changed my life drastically now that crazy cold turkey is over and it’s simply normal, now. Since quitting sugar and caffeine, I have no snacking habits or issues at all, now… none… and I have good focus and energy all day long, and sleep great at night… and most importantly wake happy and fresh without the need for any sort of hit. The only ‘snack’ I have is an apple mid-afternoon.

My basic meals through the day are:
Breakfast: simple, usually bran and wholewheat toast.
Lunch: wholewheat sandwich and/or Huel 3.0 blended with a fresh banana (the Huel is a both nutritional, provides great protein for my workouts and keeps me full, and with a banana tastes insanely good…!)
Dinner: Typically chicken salad, or stir fry, etc.
I also drink water steadily through the day. But there’s no cravings or distractions at all.

I’m done eating by 7pm. I have absolutely no snacking needs outside of that, aside from my apple, and I don’t feel any desire or urge to eat after dinner. The thought of eating at 10pm or later is a bit scary to me, now. I couldn’t imagine trying to sleep with a full stomach, or any sort of food in my system. My sleep pattern would be nuts and I’d wake feeling awful.

So, before I waffle on too much, the link to breaking my own crazy pattern of eating, snacking, munching, fridge-dipping at all hours was to simply (not quite simply) quit sugar… sweets, chocolate, pastries, ice cream, desserts, tinned food, sauces, ready meals… all that stuff! And then also caffeine at the exact same time. I figured go hard or go home. I only drink water, now. I KNOW it all sounds boring, but I’ve a whole new appreciation for real food (I’m not vegan, btw) and eating well, and then I’ve added Huel into my diet as a quick, nutritional and pretty tasty major treat at lunch that properly fills me up til the evening. It’s not boring at all, and I couldn’t be happier for the energy, focus and freedom it’s given me. To be able to watch a movie in the evening without reaching for jellies or ice cream or chips, or even just thinking about the fridge, is a real blessing. My great food indulgence is when I go out for dinner, on those rare occasions, and not just trying to satisfy hunger all day long with snacks.
On the plus side, too, I also lost all the fluffy weight fairly naturally at the same time. If I need to tone-up or add few healthy pounds in the right places, I add some Huel or chicken to my meals in conjunction with the gym 3 times a week.

That’s me, anyway. I’ve no idea what your routine is like. Quitting anything and changing a routine can be very hard, and feel like it’s impossible, but honestly, habits can change super quickly and it’s well worth the effort… and anyone can do it, whatever it is you choose.

Good luck!

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30 July 2021

back again! lo and behold, fell prey to emotional eating again. alas such a difficult habit to break! so i’m gonna do another Huel day today, since i enjoyed the break in the cycle to eat for nourishment instead of comfort.

roughly the same plan as the last:

  • 3x 75g meals
  • 3x 50g snacks

although i’ll be going out exploring today so i might not do all Huel today. we’ll see how it goes, the main purpose is to spend less headspace on food and more on life today!
—————————//—————————
Huel & food log:

  • breakfast: 50g Huel

11.18am—honestly not feeling hungry yet bc again, ate in a surplus (~2100+kcal) yesterday. but i’ll eat for regular meals & as a symbolic “not skipping meals regardless of what happened yesterday”! LETS DO THIS :sneezing_face::triumph::triumph:
11.50am—really enjoyed the light thickness & oatiness of the Huel. really enjoying the ability to not have to make too many food-decisions, to be able to just drink a shake and move on with life :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

  • snack: 25g Huel

really enjoying how fuss-free Huel is, also liking the lack of washing up and dishes to do :grin: (perfect for my lazy soul or when i have no motivation or drive to get out of bed…)

  • lunch: other food (stir fried eggplant, pumpkin, tofu, egg), other treats (shared curry donut & pastry & bread with dad), fruits (strawberry, kiwi, mango)

enjoyed the food, was feeling kinda bad and undisciplined for “breaking” 100% Huel and was wondering whether i should still have my dinner Huel. but i guess i did pre-empt beforehand that i was going out to eat so it’s not like i was breaking my word to myself or to you guys!

  • dinner: 50g Huel, other childhood treats (biscuits & bread), fruits (peach, grapes), some of dad’s oily noodles & rice :see_no_evil:

had my dinner Huel! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: nutrients are nutrients :partying_face:
—————————//—————————
other thoughts & observations:
4.07pm—got a bunch of other snacks since i’m out and about that i wanna try, but already i catch myself having “all or nothing” thoughts “if i can’t 100% huel might as well 100% emotional eat later”
nope, just gonna enjoy the food with friends and have more huel meals tomorrow or later! it’s not all or nothing, nutrition doesn’t have to be perfect :slight_smile:

8.08pm—i got some fun exercise in today, as recommended by you all above! played some frisbee with my dad and did a bit of strength training on a coupla machines. it wasn’t much nor for long, but i just wanted to get acquainted with the form for today. i’ll ease into it so as not to scare myself off. i’m excited for what the future of working towards a healthier lifestyle could bring! i noticed that after eating some treats, i genuinely wanted to eat more Huel, fruits, and nutrients. that’s kinda cool. maybe my body does know what it needs and knows how to tell me to eat nutrients. i’ve eaten in a surplus today (i’m currently at ~1850kcal) which is kind of still a huge bummer but i’m trying not to throw in the towel and overeat some more. i’m proud that even while going out and exploring new food, i didn’t buy treats i knew i was likely to lose control and emotional/stress-eat on. it’s a journey and that’s okay! i’m happy that i came back to my dinner-Huel that i’d prepared beforehand; it might be a small symbolic gesture but it tells me that i AM working on my all-or-nothing black-and-white thinking :slight_smile:

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planning on (possibly) doing a Huel day tomorrow (or at least one Huel meal), fell prey to stress-endless-snacking while working again; alas WFH is not helping :sweat_smile:

so tomorrow’s theme is: FOCUS

meal times are meal times, work times are work times.

the Huel plan (as usual, if i do a 100% day): (~1500kcal maintenance)

  • 3x 50g
  • 3x 75g
  • water, tea, coffee, gum

i’ll pause to reflect and be mindful after each meal,

  • actions—chew gum & set a timer for 5min after so i don’t just continue snacking like i usually do.

let’s see how many successful meals i can get tomorrow; mindless snacking begone!

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12 August 2021

10.11am—let’s do this! lightly hungry (~5), just had a work meeting. i’ll plan out my work tasks while drinking my Huel, and then make my next Huel & get at least one work task done while blasting music before the next Huel.

—————————————

Breakfast, 10.12-10.20am: 50g Huel

  • I’m noticing that as usual, I have the urge to keep eating and snacking, probably to avoid doing work
  • 11.55am—eh. thinking of and probably will be eating other stuff soRry :sweat_smile: my mind is giving excuses like “you have food to finish up, you can Huel another day” “c’mon you need to snack to comfort you through the stress of work to get it done” and also the fear that I’ll overeat later in the day since night-time snacking gets me. However, I do acknowledge that these are excuses and if I wanted to stick to Huelling I could. I might have more Huel meals later, we’ll see! Rn I’m craving quail eggs LOL. I must say I’ve enjoyed a rather productive morning typing away on my keyboard being focused though, so there’s already that!
  • Huel breakfasts/lunches to start the day are a good shout.

We don’t like food waste though, so good to use up fresh stuff! What I find useful for when I’m trying to reduce the amount of unhealthy snacking I do is to stop myself buying it. Seems obvious, but if it isn’t in the house at 10pm then I’m not going to eat it at 10pm :laughing:

If you don’t want to have 100% Huel days then you shouldn’t. Huel is not intended to be a 100% replacement for all the foods you love and moments you enjoy. I thought I had already said this but perhaps haven’t. The best way to include Huel in your diet is to replace those meals which are really inconvenient and/or you find yourself eating unhealthy foods most. Setting yourself a challenge to eat Huel 100% is arbitrary, what you want to eventually achieve is an all round nutritious diet every day and learn healthy habits that you can maintain for the rest of your life.

Then make some quail eggs? Eggs are hugely nutritious. Honestly, being a Hueligan doesn’t mean you have to have Huel 100%.

Hope that’s all fair, and not confusing or terse! Over the last 5+ years I’ve just seen so many people here try and do this 100% Huel thing, realise it’s too hard or they miss their favourite foods (like anyone would!) and then never come back, not realising that that genuinely is not the intention with Huel.

Some people here have Huel 100%, we aren’t saying you can’t, and it works for many here, but it just isn’t the be all and end all.

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