Looking for honesty


I haven’t been as meticulous as some on the forum, because I didn’t have the interest in being/ability to be - that focussed.

As TheTrickster says, Huel allows even someone who isn’t going to take the time (like me) to do the detail, to get a good balance of nutrients & calories on a daily basis.

Once I knew it was approximately 150 calories per scoop, then counting scoops was & is as far as I’m prepared to go.

It’s worked well to date and although I haven’t weighed myself much, I do know that my clothes fit a lot better and I feel fitter. Not all down to Huel by any means, but it’s definitely a great enabler.

Interestingly even those who can see the positive change, are mostly dismissive of the idea of Huel & other similar foods. So I’ve taken to responding to questions only now and don’t really try to interest people I think might benefit.

Better to let people ‘discover and educate’ themselves in my limited experience - ymmv depending on your circle of friends / colleagues!


Wow, thanks for your informed words. I will not revert to your level. At one time, people thought the world was flat.

My experience is not “nonsense” or “utter rubbish”; it is my experience. To reiterate, I ate a bowl of pasta each evening, typically 600 calories. I was running at a reasonably fast pace, just under 7 minute miles. I felt fine.

You accept only 1 possible explanation for weight loss/gain; I was simply pointing out that there can be other explanations.

Are you saying that yours is the only possible explanation, and people shouldn’t post their own experiences?
Do you think it is ok to rubbish other people’s actual experiences?
Is your mind so closed that you cannot accept the possibility that there might be other causes?

Finally, why bring the lord into it? :slight_smile:


I’m saying that the only fundamental reason for losing bodyfat is a caloric deficit. Whether this is achieved through caloric consumption or caloric expenditure, it’s the only reason for losing bodyfat other than reasons which warrant immediate medical assessment.

If the experiences lead to misunderstandings and false expectations from a demographic who are desperately trying to improve not only their lifestyles but also their health, I will rubbish your claims until the cows come home. Especially, as in this case, if these claims are anecdotal with no evidence or data provided to support them.

My mind is open to evidence, data and studies suggesting that consistent and sustained fat loss can be achieved by anything other than a fundamental caloric deficit. Again, whether this is achieved through exercise or diet and excluding reasons for which a medical professional should be involved. Until this point, I have seen no such evidence.

A figure of speech should not and will not be brought into a discussion around the fundamentals of successful weight loss. If this phrase has unrelated meaning to yourself aside from its context here, this is none of my business and I’ll leave that to you to do what you wish with.

I guess what I’m ultimately saying is that if you can run 10 miles a day on a mere dinner of 600 calories not only without being admitted to hospital with chronic fatigue and exhaustion, but also without losing weight, you are superhuman.


Well, there is not much more I can say. All your responses question my integrity, or whether I am human. I am a normal person getting through life.

The “lord” quote was an attempt, failed clearly, to try and bring some humour.

I will repeat, I have not dismissed your theories, yet you question my actual experience. Anyone else with a similar experience will certainly think twice before posting here.

We don’t have to agree, but, I believe you could have got your points across without using the words “nonsense” and “utter rubbish”. You may want to think about that in future responses.


No problem. Will consider it when further data is brought to the argument instead of anecdotes.

Apologies if anything offended on a true level, but it only takes one anecdote of “calories don’t matter bro ur genetics are different u just don’t have the weight loss gene keep trying xxx” to send someone who’s potentially on the right track off the rails and into a delusional state of thinking they’re different and that the laws of energy in vs energy out don’t apply to them.



When I was a young man, I knew everything. I was possibly a little arrogant. As I became older, I realised how little I knew. All I am saying is keep your mind open to new ideas.

The Flat-Earth society is still recruiting :):grin: Again, another joke!


The problem with the argument against calories in vs calories out when it comes to weight loss (not fat loss) is the alternative is a breach of thermodynamics, specifically that energy cannot be created or destroyed. Now obviously hydration level would mess up weight results somewhat, but if we put that to one side and assume equal hydration prior to your 12 week experiment as well as after, what we are left with is a position that is seemingly impossible (where you gain weight (aka energy) without taking that extra energy in). However obviously you have your results, so we have to look at alternatives (unless we assume your results are invalid which would be bad to do without looking into them further).

So the first possibility, as mentioned before, is that you were simply more hydrated - or at least retaining more water - than you were prior to the experiment, and this countered any weight loss you experienced from the caloric deficit.

The second possibility, as has been mentioned, is that you were either miscalculating your calories consumed or your energy expended. A lot of people do do this, but if you were weighing all your food out and checking calories in every time you ate anything, we know calories in is correct. Assuming none of the other possibilities I mention are plausible, the only logical result therefore is that your calorie expenditure dropped below your (extremely low) intake. Personally I’m sceptical of this as your intake was so low and changes in BMR are a) not rapid enough to have such an impact in 12 weeks, and b) not as severe as it would have to be for you to gain weight on such a low intake.

Finally, another possibility, though a particularly weird one, is that there was, in fact, no fat gain (despite the weight gain), but that fat was being burned for most calories due to the deficit, whilst muscle was being gained somehow which contributed to the weight gain (probably along with increased water retention). So how could this be? Well, it would depend on how muscly you were before the experiment and how much protein you were consuming amongst other things. I’m sceptical of this too as I’d be surprised if you were even meeting maintenance protein levels with your reported intake, but we’ll continue with this train of thought for now. As a rough approximation, fat contains 9 calories per gram and protein (ie muscle) contains 4 calories per gram. Now let’s assume each day you had a caloric deficit of 500 calories once BMR changes had occurred due to low intake. For ease, we’ll also assume this is all fat, though some would likely be glycogen and muscle. Anyway, that would be 55.555g of fat lost per day. It wouldn’t be completely impossible, though it would still be unlikely, that you could replenish 55.555g of muscle, or let’s say 75g due to your weight gain (which would be 300 calorie’s worth) whilst losing this amount of fat. So in the case above, you would be consuming a caloric deficit, but due to an extremely weird and very improbable set of circumstances, you would gain weight (though again, not fat) due to muscle gain. Note also that similar body composition changes can occur in response to changes in hormone levels, particularly demonstrated in individuals with thyroid issues

The one thing that is certain, though, is that you can not gain weight whilst maintaining a caloric deficit without a) increasing your water retention, b) having a weird redistribution of your body composition from fat to muscle (or glycogen), or c) you are subjected to a stronger gravitational pull. Assuming you didn’t lose fat, weren’t more hydrated, and weren’t subject to a stronger gravitational pull, you must have a higher caloric intake than your expenditure if you gain weight, or else you are breaching the laws of thermodynamics. If this were not the case, people with chronic anorexia would not look dangerously skinny - they’d simply look normal. In your case though, I suspect it was simply a case of increased water retention.


I see that I am fighting against a digital-wall. Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F5o0a4p_3U&t=1217s


I see that I am fighting against a digital-wall. Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F5o0a4p_3U&t=1217s


Interesting you quote a video that mentions decreased energy expenditure and increased hunger due to hormones to argue against my post that mentions that you are likely either miscalculating energy expenditure or having hormonal changes (or hydration ones). I’ll continue watching the video but so far it’s basically just reiterating my post - again, you don’t breach thermodynamics, it’s all down to calories in vs calories out, and the video you yourself link agrees with that when he says decreased expenditure and increased hunger due to hormonal changes

Edit: ok, having now watched the whole video from the point you linked, I stand by my previous post, and I fail to see how you think the video applies to you. The instances it mentions of insulin causing weight gain, for a start, refer only to a gain at - at most - a 300 calorie reduction, and we have no idea how far above their TDEE they were eating before so they could still have had a caloric surplus. Again though, yes, hormones play a role, but as he keeps referencing, the hormones lower your expenditure and increase your hunger (which leads you to eat more) - again, whether or not you gain weight is calories in vs calories out, and he hormones referenced are slightly lowering your metabolism (by up to 300-500 calories per day), and increasing your hunger leading you to eat more and increase calories in.

The reason none of that applies to you is because, assuming you weren’t miscalculating, your caloric deficit was greater than the amount the amount hormones would change your TDEE (unless you had a severe thyroid issue that I have to assume you would have brought up), and again unless you were miscalculating, your calories in didn’t increase either. Thus the video doesn’t apply to you. The main part that does apply to you is insulin because you were only consuming carbs in the form is pasta, which no doubt has led you to think your weight gain was entirely insulin. That would be all well and good if not for the fact that you said you were eating only one meal per day, aka intermittently fasting, which drastically decreases your insulin levels throughout the day - so in fact based on the video you linked, assuming you aren’t misremembering or miscalculating, based on hormonal changes you should actually have lost weight, not gained.

Again, it’s likely just a hydration thing, but if you dropped your calories in that low you would definitely have lost weight aside from hydration or gravity. Hormones only explain so much, and when they do it’s because they lead you to eat more or burn less, but the amount less that you burn never drops as low as the amount you’re taking in from one meal of pasta. Once again, if that were the case anorexics wouldn’t look skinny. You can not create energy, and hormones only affect so much.


You’re fighting denial, credible evidence and scientific fact.


I shan’t repeat what others have said here about Calories In Calories Out, but I’ll just share my experience

1. I have lost weight while drinking Huel, I have gained weight while drinking Huel.
Like everyone said, your total calories matter. When I lost weight, I had a caloric deficit, when I gained, I was eating like 2500-3000kcal. That being said…

2. It’s not enough to say “calories in calories out”, because I believe the METHOD matters.
Like you, I’ve been a chronic dieter before. At some point in time, because I so fervently believe in CICO to lose weight, I figured it was much more worth it to eat 2 McDonald’s ice cream cones (250kcal), than to eat a whole meal with veggies and meat and rice (500kcal), since I’d like the taste of ice cream more. I ended up binging in the long run, counter-productive.
But what Huel does is that Huel makes it sustainable. Huel gives your body actual nutrients and satiety, which many here have reported reduces their cravings for sweets and snacks. That’s why Huel can be a huge help to weight loss: it helps you to better stick to a calorie deficit without starving and having weird insulin spikes.

3. Since you wanted honest experiences,
I’ve gradually lost around 7kg over the last 4 months with Huel replacing lunch. I ate 1400kcal of Huel for a week and lost 0.8kg which stayed off.

Huel isn’t a fad diet. It’s literally food, so it’ll do you good to treat it as such, not something you “go on” or “come off”. Hope this helps! :slight_smile:


The irony here is that the idea that weight could be put on by some method other than inserting more matter into your body than it’s physically able to use and dispose of, is more of a flat-earth kind of theory. If you’re eating only a tiny amount, exercising a lot, and not suffering some chronic inability to defecate, the only way you could possibly gain weight is via some unheard of mechanism for producing matter out of nowhere.

In other words, if you really are gaining weight on a huge caloric defecit and lots of exercise, forget the nutritionists, the physicists would probably love to have a look at you and work out where all this matter is coming from - not to mention the biologists would love to see if your gift can be passed on to others to solve world hunger.

I’m not meaning to be mean here, it’s just that even given your point about intellectual humility, it’s much, much more likely that you have a dodgy scale/wore heavier clothes/drank masses of water/ate more calories than you thought - or some combination of all four - than that your body is producing matter out of literally nowhere. That really is a theory something like saying that the earth is flat… More specifically, it’s a little bit like the defunct idea of spontaneous generation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spontaneous_generation - although that was more to do with whole organisms generating out of nowhere (e.g. maggots spontaneously generating on rotten flesh) rather than organisms producing more of their own matter out of nowhere


I maintain that I am a normal person, with weighing scales both in the gym and at home :slight_smile: There is no point in repeating my ‘anecdotal’ story as it has already been totally rubbished. Obviously, I drank, but just water and tea (with milk). Maybe I pooed less? I don’t know.

We disagree. That is fine. However, I didn’t like my own experience being, essentially, called fake.

I gave my own personal experience, and this, was dismissed as ‘anecdotal’, ‘utter rubbish’, etc. Ok, my experience was anecdotal, but, this is a forum whereby we aim to help each other. I have no desire to deceive, I only hope to assist.

The laws of thermodynamics are clearly not broken if you have hormonal sensitivity, you are simply burning less. That video is a very short snapshot of the book.

I would urge people to read ‘The Obesity Code’ by Jason Fung. It is not the easiest read, very repetitive, but lots of evidence to prove what some people have known for many years. It explains why it is not so simple as a kiddies diagram regarding calories in/out. I know that the calories in/out image that was shown earlier makes it easier to perceive in the brain (“A picture paints a thousand words”) etc. However, hormones play a part. Insulin, and specifically insulin-sensitivity.

“Too many calories” is correct. However, that is the proximate cause, not the ultimate cause.

Again, I wish no malice. This is the first time that I have become engaged in an online ‘spat’, and I do not like it. I am a lover not a fighter. It makes me want to not comment further on this forum. The OP asked for comments, I replied.

I hope the OP has got something out of this :slight_smile:


Finally, as an act of friendship, I offer this.


This is where I struggle to believe what you’re saying though. It’s nothing to do with an absolutist view of calories in /calories out and a slight inconsistency in your story. You’re talking about running 10 miles on a daily basis, on a single meal of pasta. That’s not burning less - burning less would involve not running 10 miles a day.

I could accept that you simply burned less if your story was that you led a completely sedentary lifestyle and despite a drastic cut in calorie consumption, you still gained weight - it’s the specific extremes of your story that make it hard to believe.

It’s less to do with confidence in calories in/calories out as a perfect predictor of weight loss, more to do with how on earth you managed to burn less energy than a sedentary person while running ten miles a day.

BTW I don’t necessarily doubt your story, in that I don’t think you’re lying. I just assume that there’s some explaination (dodgy scales etc) that explains the results - because otherwise the results would appear to suggest you might be powered by nuclear fusion, or something… Taking your story at face value, you’re essentially claiming to be starvation proof - which if true, would be fantastic and the greatest achievement in billions of years of evolution so far


I find most often stories like this boil down to some significant source of calories that someone was forgetting to count.

I remember one friend who didn’t understand why he wasn’t losing weight, because he was counting all of his calories very carefully and was consuming just the amount the doctor had recommended, and then whenever he’d get hungry he’d “have a cup of coffee, which has almost no calories”.

Except that he liked his coffee really sweet and heavily creamed, and so he was having multiple cups of coffee with a good amount of sugar and a good amount of cream every day, and was not accounting for the several hundred calories they were adding to his diet.

It is perfectly possible to absolutely BELIEVE that you’re not taking in any calories, and then realize something you never thought of was adding a lot of calories.

You haven’t said how large the bowl of pasta was, it’s not impossible to consume huge amounts of calories in pasta, especially if you’re using alfredo or other cream based sauces. How much is “a little” sauce, is it objectively a small amount, or just a small amount compared to the amount of pasta (last night I had a salad with “a little” salad dressing, but it was actually quite a lot of salad dressing in absolute, it was just a HUGE salad, so any given bite had only a small amount of dressing.)

But as has been said here, if in a controlled environment where everything has been properly weighed/measured and you’re really taking in a simple meal of under 1000 calories per day and running 10 miles every day, if you’re still gaining wait, you’re a medical miracle and should be studied.


At least now the responses are less antagonistic. Maybe I was not totally honest when I mentioned running 10 miles per day, as, I sometimes ran more. Monday to Thursday, I did a typical 10 mile road run. Whereas, on Friday and Saturday, it would be 13 miles, in training for half marathons. Sunday, nothing, TV and tea.

My pasta bowl was a normal bowl, typically a mug of normal pasta, sometimes with 1/3 of a jar of pasta sauce, this one.

I do drink a lot of tea, as much as 8 cups a day. However, it is always unsweetened, apart from a splash of semi-skimmed milk.

I would also like to add that I have received several private messages from people who did not feel confident posting on this thread, fearing a backlash. I hope we have moved past that now.

I am no miracle, but thanks.


In terms of the doubts I have, I’m just going to have to accept that this isn’t going to get settled over the internet. The only way of getting any further is to do some kind of controlled experiment, which isn’t particularly feasible.

One genuine question though - how is it that you think insulin/hormones allows you to both maintain weight and also have enough energy for such a long run, on such a huge calorie defecit? As far as I’m aware, insulin/hormones have more of an effect on the management of energy sources, rather than being a (somewhat perpetual) energy source in themselves.

So for instance I can see how someone might eat a bunch of high calorie foods, and then that energy gets stored away in body fat, and then when the body tries to draw from that stored energy, that persons hormones might act in such a way as to tell the body “NO!”. (I’m being overly simplistic and I know it - I’m not all that knowledgable on hormones)

I’m fine with that, but on the other hand I don’t understand how exactly you would have the energy to do 10 or 13 mile runs if that’s how your body is managing it’s energy stores and your daily input is well below 1000 calories. If anything your body should be making you lethargic and making it pretty much impossible to do that run because it doesn’t want to release the energy.

Is there anything in what you’ve read that proposes not only the locking down of bodily energy sources, but also where this extra energy would come from?


Also, it’s a shame that some feel they can’t add to this discussion as they’ll only be shot down. I’ve tried to be respectful and hopefully that’s how I’ve come across (but I do understand that some people have been slightly more aggressively skeptical) - the last thing I want to do is just dismiss what someone’s saying outright, that doesn’t help anyone at all