I’m going to add my (limited) experiences here too. I’m 36 (37 this month), 22 stone and suffer from arthritis - I have tried many diets and always (ALWAYS) fall off the wagon due to missing bread, sweets, basically all the stuff that is really bad for you.
I’ve been following the Huel movement for a while now, and read lots about it, including the fact that it’s not marketed as a dieting aid but a nutritionally balanced food replacement product which to me is as good as being a dieting aid. Having the ability to mix up a meal, with the right amount of nutrients and a consistent calorie count is one of the best tools I think I have in my quest to shed the timber.
I’ve only just started on this journey, I’ve been using Huel for four days, replacing both breakfast and lunch and having a proper evening meal and a snack later in the day if I am still peckish. I thought I would be starving after a day, but I’m not. What hunger I feel I think is psychological - the desire to be eating rather than the need - and I think I’m coping with that incredibly well (even if it is only four days).
I think I must have been pushing 3.5k calories on a bad day and now I am consistently around 2100 a day, I’m drinking more water and taking gentle exercise (well I say “gentle” - I did 20 minutes of up and down the stairs yesterday and my thighs are killing, but I think that’s more the rheumatism than anything).
I am a really fussy eater, and by that I mean I crave salty, sugary and fatty foods normally, and I did not think I would get on with Huel at all. I opted for the berry flavour and I add a handful of frozen fruits (Morrisons “wonky” range at 3 quid for 1KG) and a banana to each shake - which I make with three level scoops of Huel. It tastes really nice to me - I’ve had smoothie with grain drinks that have tasted much worse. I find the drink filling and I have not found myself snacking (or wanting to snack) between “meals” (be it breakfast to lunch on the shakes or lunch to tea when I eat “proper” food).
My biggest nemesis is bread, we go through 3-4 loaves a week - I absolutely love bread, and as I said above, it’s normally the reason I fall off the wagon - but I’ve cut out bread almost altogether (having Huel for breakfast and lunch reduces my bread intake from 4-5 slices to zero) which in itself is normally enough to help me shed 2lbs a week - albeit this time I’m not feeling hungry, grumpy and generally miserable like I normally do.
My first target is 21 stone, and according to MyFitnessPal, my current calorie intake (with some deficit) and exercise will see me do this in five weeks. Longer term I’m hoping to be < 20st prior to Christmas which will be the lightest I’ve been in…well forever.
I’m actually quite optimistic about this attempt at losing weight, as I think Huel is going to be the difference between me reaching my goals and falling off the wagon - there will certainly be challenges along the way but I’m sure there’s enough support here to help with that too.
Sorry for the long post but I’m really happy right now and just wanted to share my experiences so far.