Been reading all of these amazing posts all day and it has inspired me to try Huel, but I really need a little bit of help understanding portion sizes and routines.
A little about me first… I am an Associate Ambulance Practitioner who works 12 hour day/night shifts. I am 5ft 7 and weigh approx 157 pounds. I am hoping to lose a little bit of weight, increase my energy levels and to stop my naughty habit of snacking on sweets and crisps. The reason I am trying to lose a LITTLE weight is that we are trying for a baby (unsuccessful so far ) and my fertility doctor suggested to lose a little weight to lower my BMI to 19-23.
I have purchased the starter set with 2x Vanilla powders and have calculated my TDEE score, which suggest that to maintain I require 2,010 calories per day or 1,510 per day to lose weight.
To me 1,510 sounds quite low and I am worried about burning out and becoming tired, especially while on shift where it can be next to impossible to find food.
Also how would you split that throughout the day? I am planning on using Huel for breakfast and lunch as these are the meals I am generally worst at as I am working and I also will still need to cook dinner for the husband anyway. Do you have the same amount for breakfast and lunch? And how many calories do you leave over for dinner?
Apologies for all the questions and I hope that it all made sense! Thanks for looking.
Remember the TDEE results is only an estimation based on a formula. It’s a starting point but you will want to monitor how this works out for you. To lose weight, ie, lose body fat you will feel hungry during the process. This is your body acknowledging the calorie deficit. But if you feel like you’re about to eat your husbands arm then you’ll want a little more food.
I’ve lost a lot of weight over the last few years by keeping a net calories of around 1500. So 1500 on days I don’t exercise, 2000 on days I do.
My breakfast is Huel and is 370kcal. I have a 160kcal snack around 11. Lunch is about 550/650. from 3pm till bed I have whatever is left. On days I exercise I have another 360kcal Huel around 5:30pm and a Huel bar for after with probably a little bit more snacking than if I wasn’t training.
In addition, RTD is now here but there are also the bars for taking out with you. I also take a shaker and a small pot with 90g of powder in so I can buy a bottle of water and make a shake up wherever I am.
How long have you been trying for a baby? From experience I can say that your fertility doctor is right. Having a bmi in the green zone (19-23) increases your chances. Personally I think a good vitamins balance also increases your chances and with this Huel can help you a lot! Of course there are a lot of other factors but I hope this works out for you!!
First thing to recommend is that you only introduce one small Huel meal per day e.g one 100g shake which is 400calories. So you could have this as your breakfast or a snack or whenever it suits you best.
Stick to this amount for one week to give your digestive system time to adjust to Huel.
Build up slowly each week, until you reach your ideal amount of Huel - I’d suggest for your lifestyle how about aiming to build up to 2 shakes of 120g which is 960 calories (roughly total 2 x 3scoop shakes if you’re not using scales). This would leave you 550 calories for an evening meal.
Maybe carry a Huel bar (250cal) for emergency snacking if you get shaky or drained during your shift.
You will find Huel surprisingly satisfying and filling and you will also find your appetite, cravings, and energy levels stabilise really quickly.
Ideally Huel is nicest when fridged but it’s not essential and I frequently make up my shake from powder and water while I’m out and enjoy it just fine.
The transition to Huel slowly is important as you don’t wanna be needing to run to the bathroom at short notice! So take it slowly.
Don’t stress too much about having a firm plan straight away - it’ll take you a week or so to figure out what works best for you.
You might find that drinking the whole shake in one go fills you up and suits your lifestyle best. Or you might find that drinking it bit by bit over a couple of hrs suits you better. Or it might vary day to day.
You’ll soon find that replacing all your daytime food with Huel is really easy and works really well to manage your energy and hunger.
And then all you have to worry about is making sure your evening meal is nice and healthy and at the right level of calories so you are losing about 0.5kg a week.
We have been trying for about 4 years in total, however that hasn’t been constant due to shift work, holidays etc… We are going to take this year to do everything within our power to make it happen and for me that means being as healthy as possible. Thank you for your kind words and support.
Thank you @ChristinaT, this has been super helpful.
I think your advice of weening myself in is perfect. Definetely don’t want toilet troubles when the next loo could be several hours away
Having an ‘emergency’ snack bar is a good idea also, hadn’t thought of that.
Thank you for all of your help, feeling less overwhelmed now aha x
You’re welcome! And I really hope it works out for you.
Something I did, which worked really well for me, is to not worry about counting calories at all for the first couple of weeks of introducing Huel.
I just replaced my breakfast with Huel and then ate as usual for the rest of the day.
(Edit: or you could take a shake with you to work as your emergency snack or as part of your lunch)
Counting calories in regular food is really time consuming and stressful if you have a busy life.
So for the first two weeks, I literally just introduced Huel, built it up slowly til I was sure it was good for me (it was!), and once I knew how I liked it (number of scoops, fav flavours, how much water etc etc), I then decided to replace most of my calories with Huel and started calorie counting, which is SO easy when you are eating mostly Huel !
So - don’t try to do everything at once ie dont try to introduce Huel, and figure out what consistency and flavour you like, and when you are to drink it, and count all your daily calories, and try to cut calories all in week one!
Give yourself a couple of weeks transition time, then once you know what you like and what works for you, then set yourself a daily calorie target, and how many grams of Huel a day you will have, and then you can start cutting calories and not have all the other stress to deal with aswell.
You will also find calorie cutting much easier once Huel is already in your diet because you won’t be getting all those cravings for crisps and chocolate etc!
Huel is so perfect for a busy stressful lifestyle - you literally won’t have to think about food at all, all day, you will have it there, ready to shake, as soon as you need it.
Lovely to meet you Sophia, welcome to the forum! I see lots of lovely people have been giving some stella advice already. Make sure you take a look at our guide to fat loss as it has some other good information.