My Huel Weight Loss Journey


#1

I’m creating this thread as a way of both sharing my experiences but also as a way to hold myself to account on my journey. I often find I can stick to my goals if I share the ups (and downs) with people, it’s not really that important that I don’t know those people, in fact it might make things easier to share openly.

I’m a 37 year old male, have been overweight/obese for most of my adult life, and suffer from both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis as well as having other health issues. I lead (led) a pretty sedentary lifestyle until recently and consumed a lot of junk - a big part of this is my work situation as I work from home and spend a lot of time in hotels which leads to both poor diet and exercise habits (if you let it, like I have).

I’ve been following Huel for a while and saw it pop up every now and again on Facebook and thought that it might be part of a regime change to help me shed some weight and improve my overall health and fitness. I knew right from the outset that it wasn’t aimed at people trying to lose weight but I also knew that it would in my situation fit into my regime change by providing me with a balance of nutrition in a way that can easily be accounted for when counting calories.

I started on the 14th of August by having Huel (3 scoops, later reduced to 2) for breakfast and lunch, blended with a banana and some frozen berries. This comes in at around 400 calories per meal. Compared to my usual intake of sugary cereal and toast with butter, this is quite a calorie reduction straight off the bat. In the evening I am making more effort to cook healthy meals and pretty much live off chicken and fish with vegetables and potatoes - the latter a necessary part of my diet as I still need that feeling of being “full” which I miss now I’ve all but given up bread.

I’m on and off the scales a bit too frequently but I only take one reading a week, at the same time, as my “weigh-in” weight. It’s odd to see my weight fluctuate daily when my calorie intake is sub-2000 calories (sometimes sub-1500) but I guess that’s pretty normal and one of the reasons you are discouraged from getting on the scales too often.

When working away I still stick to the Huel breakfast/lunch routine but with lack of kitcen facilities I have to drink it either on its own or with one of the flavours, neither are that appealing to me but I get by. I supplement the meals with fresh fruit which would normally be blended when at home (so a banana in the morning, an apple in the afternoon etc.) to ease the hunger pangs.

I have also started doing a bit of “fatty-friendly” HIIT in the hotel at night - 20 minutes of low impact (good on the knees) training which gets my heart rate up and the blood flowing - this normally knocks 200 calories off my intake plus I’m walking between the office and hotel which I never used to do.

I have also significantly increased my water intake and reduced overall sugar intake (less/no sugar in tea, no sugary drinks, no sweeties…man I miss those) which all helps.

It’s now four weeks to the day from the start and I have lost just under 13 lbs. I’m absolutely blown away by how much has come off in such a short space of time and how “easy” it has been compared to previous attempts. I know it’s only 4 weeks but I am not showing any of the signs of falling off the wagon which I normally do, usually down to missing bread like crazy.

My goal at the moment is to drop below 20st, I hope I can do this by Christmas. As a stretch target, I’d like to be less than 19st by then but that is some asking but it’s good to have something to aim for. Being < 21st will be the lightest I’ve been in my 30’s, less than 20st will be the lighest I’ve been in a looooooooong time.

Below is my diary which I intend to add to as I reach my goals. I’m using MyFitnessPal to track my progress using it’s suggested calorie intake of 2030.

Date: 14/08/2018
Weight: 21 st 5.4 lbs
Loss: N/A
Notes: First weigh-in before starting my new regime - time to shed some timber and ease the pressure on my joints. Let’s do this!!

Date: 24/08/2018
Weight: 21 st 0.8 lbs
Loss: ~4 lbs
Notes: Wow! Totally smashed my 2 lbs/week target. Setting into the new regime now and learning how to manage the hunger pangs. Average calorie intake over period 1925.

Date: 31/08/2018
Weight: 20 st 13 lbs
Loss: ~2 lbs
Notes: Tried some flavour boosts in my Huel whilst working away this week, not blown away but slightly more palatable whilst I have no blender! Average calorie intake over period 1856.

Next weigh in is due tomorrow morning but I can see in my interim weigh-ins that I’ve lost a fair bit again this week.


#2

Good luck with your weight loss journey, I hope you enjoy your Huel


#3

Awesome. Keep up the good work!
Flav drops from my protein is recomended by many - I find them too sweet but I never had much of a sweet tooth


#4

Well done! I like the idea of an official weigh-in once a week and not recording the inbetween ones. I think I’m going to start doing that. I like to weigh myself more or less daily (it helps keep me on track) but it can be a little depressing sometimes :slightly_smiling_face:


#5

Honorable mention:

@jeffy89 Feel like you could do with a watch of that!


#6

Good luck! I started today!


#7

Good work @DJBenson!
It is great to see that you are constructing a habit and a change in your lifestyle. I believe that if you keep taking it with that mindset you will reach your goal all the way.

I also like the idea of having milestones in your journey. It helps you psychologically to affront the challenge, while reducing the stress and increasing the sense of achievement. Everyday (week) you don’t fall in old habits is a win.

Good job on findind some cardio (sport) that suits your needs. You could also try to find an outdoors activity that you like to do, so you don’t always need to do the same (easier said than done).

I’ll be watching your progress and I wish you all the best.

I’ve wrote down few tips in about how to lose weight with meal replacement, getting the idea to help similar trends, but you seem to have a good grasp on the issue.

You got this!


#8

Date : 06/09/2018
Weight : 20 st 4.5 lbs
Loss : ~8lbs
Notes : One month Hueliversary! Huge milestone today, I’ve lost 1 st since I started. Clothes are starting to feel a little looser (especially jeans) and my belly is less pronounced. Worked from home this week so much less active than previous week so losses this week are purely down to calorie deficit. Average calorie intake over period 1766.

I’ve got 6 lbs to go to reach my first target of being under 20 st which is just an incredible thought.


#9

Date : 14/09/2018
Weight : 20 st 2 lbs
Loss : ~ 2.2 lbs
Notes : Tough week this week, working away again and had a real attack of the hunger pangs in work - got through it by eating more fruit but it’s the first time since I started that I actually felt hungry.

The dreaded constipation has hit and right now its like passing house bricks - nothing in my diet has changed in the last 5 weeks so I don’t know what is going on - perhaps by digestive system is just starting to panic :smiley:

Finally I had a bout of self pity (which in my old regime would result in my hitting the fridge of a having a mixing bowl full of sugary cereal) - I know it’s totally normal but after massive losses early on, I was feeling a bit miffed that I wasn’t losing more - a couple of people commenting on how my appearance is changing gave me a well-needed confidence boost.

I’ve now lost 1 st 5.4 lbs - I’m hoping to break that huge psychological barrier next week of being under 20 st - I think that will make a massive difference to my drive to continue on this path.

Average calorie intake over period 1756.


#10

You should find that drinking more (plenty of) water helps with the constipation. A couple of mugs of hot water first thing in the morning too.


#11

Date : 25/09/2018
Weight : 19 st 12 lbs
Loss : ~ 4 lbs
Notes : Didn’t update last week but I think I’ve found a rhythm now and the losses continue. Had a week at home this week so the mid-week exercise was virtually non-existent but made up for it at the weekend. It seems even with less than perfect exercise habits and also a couple of cheat days it’s still possible to lose 2 lbs a week (for my metabolism anyway - YMMV).

So I’m now finally less than 20 st (280 lbs) for the first time in a long time and my target has been smashed. I’m now aiming for less than 19 st (266 lbs) by Christmas. It’s going to be tough as that is 14 lbs in 12 weeks at arguably the hardest time of the year (colder, darker, wetter and the season of indulgence). I’ve already said I will be having two days off for sure (Christmas Day and Boxing Day) where I will not be calorie counting but I’m sure in the days before and after I will be subconsciously offsetting the calories I will/have consumed.

On my latest shipment I split my delivery between berry, vanilla and coffee and I really like the coffee Huel “raw” (with nothing added other than a scoop of chocolate flavour boost, the mocha and caramel was also lovely). I’ve been experimenting with flavours and flavour boosts to find something which works for me when away from home/a blender and have two which I really like now; the coffee + a flavour boost and the vanilla + the chocolate flavour boost - both a really nice.

Unfortunately the constipation continues - I am drinking a significant amount of water compared to normal (2-3l a day excluding the water used to make my Huel and also cups of tea throughout the day). It could well be my medication as that is known for causing constipation.

Average calorie intake over period 1841.


#12

Date : 11/10/2018
Weight : 19 st 08 lbs
Loss : ~ 4 lbs
Notes : Another two weeks, another 4 lbs. I reset my personal goal to 19 st 7 lbs and I’ll pass that next week hopefully and then onward to my next goal of being less than 19 stone. At this rate, I’ll be edging towards sub 18 stone by Christmas which would be phenomenal. As I changed my goals in this period, MyFitnessPal dialled down my calories so I’m now on 1900 (down from 2100) and regularly have a deficit on that. I’m still maintaining a 2-a-day routine; Huel at breakfast and lunch and a “proper” cooked meal, not only does it help me fill up and have something to look forward to, but it’s also something we do as a family, sit down to a meal together.

I had some bad new this week, I had volunteered for Huel’s 100% study, but due to a complex mix of medication I take for arthritis and other conditions, the medication would likely have affected the study results so I’m unable to join. I’m slightly disappointed as I was really looking forward to that trial, both from the point of view of helping Huel with their study but also as a mechanism to stick to a very strict Huel-only diet for the 5 week duration. I am still going to follow a personal period of 100% Huel from Monday but I don’t think it will be 5 weeks. I’ll probably go one week, then build up to two and so on.

I’ve seen some slight cracks of weakness this week, some snacking on sugary snacks and crisps which I’ve not done for a long time, but at least I’ve not binged which was my normal course. Not too worried though, I’d have fallen off the wagon long before now if I was going to (plus I’ve got enough Huel to last until the middle of next year and there’s no way I’m wasting that :smiley: )

One thing I’ve noticed recently, as I alternate between working away (where I can only drink Huel + flavour boosts) and working from home (where I drink Huel blended with fresh fruits) - the flavour boosts appear to cause me headaches. I’m not sure if I’m sensitive to the Stevia used in the boosts or something environmental which gets triggered in the office I work in, but going 100% across the two will help me narrow it down a bit.

Average calorie intake over period 1701.


#13

I’ll be going 100% from Monday, so I’ll be joining you on the journey. :two_men_holding_hands:


#14

Great job @DJBenson!! Dont let the Huel trial get you down- wasnt meant to be!!!

@MarkyT Are you going to start a thread for your 100% Huel time?


#15

@Watsername I started one a couple of weeks back (Newbie & Going 100%), back when I planned to start. I will update my progress on there from Monday.


#16

@MarkyT Awesome!! I will follow along- good luck :slight_smile:


#17

Thank you. Good luck with your journey too. Not that Huel need it. Sorry. :man_facepalming:t2:


#18

@MarkyT :thinking: Huel definitely regret that one :rofl: oh god!


#19

Date : 25/10/2018
Weight : 19 st 03 lbs
Loss : ~ 5 lbs
Notes : Two weeks closer to Christmas, another milestone smashed (19st 07 lbs) so time to reset the goal (next 19 st 0 lbs). I didn’t start my 100% Huel stint as I wanted to, for numerous reasons but it just didn’t feel like a good time to start, when I do, I want to be in a good frame of mind to see it through. However I have done a number of days on 2/3 just Huel (instead of Huel + fruit/berries). I’m loving the coffee Huel at the moment, with either the Mocha or Caramel flavour boost.

What I have enjoyed recently is people telling me how much weight I’ve lost. I know how much I’ve lost on paper but to hear people tell you how obvious it is an how good you look is a really nice confidence boost and something which makes me more determined to keep going. Add to that the fact that my clothes are starting to get baggy - that XXL t-shirt which Huel sent me when I signed up, was skin tight when delivered but I made it my goal to make it fit and it does now.

I think I’m still on track for being < 18 st by Christmas. It’s going to take a bit of a push, so I’ll be upping the 100% Huel days and also the exercise.

Average calorie intake over peiod: 1758.


#20

Well played sir. Keep it up!