I’ve just started using Huel, and thought it would be good to join the community here.
I’m a bloke in my late 40s, healthy except for being overweight, and inflammatory arthritis that has affected me since 2014 but was diagnosed in early 2015. The arthritis limits my physical exercise (not that I ever did enough!) - for instance, I went to an exhibition in Birmingham a couple of weeks back, and a full day of walking around and being on my feet without resting put me out of commission the following day, and left me feeling still rather sore and stiff the day after that. I have steroid injections at roughly four month intervals, and that helps a lot to reduce stiffness and pain on a day-to-day basis. The main issue, though, is that I don’t get sufficient exercise to burn off calories that I shouldn’t be consuming in the first place!
I’ve been considerably overweight (not huge, but definitely heavy) for many years, not least because I absolutely adore good food, and my career - up until a few years ago - often involved lunches with clients, plus business socialising in the evenings with more food and wine or beer. Not a great environment for weight management
Over the last couple of years I’ve put myself on a few balanced, calorie-controlled regimes (no fad diets - just reducing my calorie intake and eating sensibly) with some degree of success, having dropped a couple of sizes in my clothes, but I’ve not reached my goal and typically edged back up one size, bouncing back and forth repeatedly. A big part of my problem is snacking between meals - dry roasted peanuts, biscuits, the odd chocolate bar here and there. You know the score, I’m sure.
After reading about Huel for some months now, I finally took the plunge and ordered a couple of bags of the vanilla flavour, primarily to try as a weight-loss aid, and with a view to eating Huel only and consuming between 1200 and 1500 calories daily along with my usual multi-vitamin pill.
I started three days ago on the evening I received the Huel and shaker (and free T-shirt - nice). The flavour was OK, but I found the sucralose a little strange to begin with, and noticed some bitterness in the immediate after-taste. Not too objectionable, though.
The following day (my first day intending to consume Huel only) I started with two scoops that I’d mixed the night before and put in the fridge. The flavour, in my opinion, was much improved - I could taste more of the oats and vanilla, but less of the bitterness. The texture was also a little smoother and thicker, which I preferred, and the cooler temperature was pleasant too. So, for me, I’ve learned to prepare my Huel at least an hour or two before I intend to drink it, and if I can cool it too, so much the better. I had another couple of scoops for lunch, then two more scoops late afternoon. I gave into temptation in the evening and ate a (delicious!) ham and boiled egg sandwich in a wholemeal bun, but was annoyed with myself afterwards. I also had a couple of lightly salted rice cakes as a snack around bed-time. The only problem I encountered on day one was quite a strong headache that started early in the afternoon and developed as the day went on. It was bad enough that I took a couple of paracetamol before going to bed. Was this due to my eating Huel? Perhaps… I’ve read about the “sugar come-down”, but wouldn’t have thought it would hit me that quickly.
Day two was spent at the office. Similar routine - two scoops for breakfast, three scoops for lunch, caved in and had a chorizo, jalapeno and cheese ciabatta for dinner (and, again, felt annoyed with myself afterwards), then a couple of those rice cakes as evening snacks. No headache, though I did feel a little “spaced out” in the early morning.
On both days I noticed I had no significant craving for my usual nuts, biscuits, chocolate or any other snacks, and found the Huel surprisingly satisfying - filling but without any heavy feeling in the stomach, and no tummy rumblings or feelings of hunger at any point. Much better than I had expected, in all honesty.
I’m on my third full day today, and still won’t be switching entirely to Huel as Friday night is weekly treat night, with an Indian take-away on the menu - but I’ll be going for something reasonably healthy like a tandoori mixed grill and chapati.
From tomorrow, I’m hoping to go 100% Huel for at least a week, with a view to continuing after that until I feel I’m at the right weight. I believe I’ll be able to… I’m now used to the flavour (including the sweetener) and actually enjoy it. I also think I’m starting to feel a bit brighter in myself - less lethargic, although it may just be placebo effect this early on. Best of all, I don’t feel bloated, I believe I’m getting a much better balance of nutrients than I typically would, and I’m not hungry.
Anyway… I wanted to say thanks to the folks at Huel. I’m very pleasantly surprised and pleased with the product. I’m happy with the flavour, and amazed by the lack of cravings. It’s early days, but I believe Huel will easily meet my requirements as a weight-loss aid, and I can see it becoming integrated into my regular diet once I’ve reached the maintenance stage.
Thanks & wish me luck?