Overweight sugar addict trying Huel for the first time!


#1

As a mother of 3 children currently on maternity leave with number 3 and still nursing her, I have fallen into some bad eating habits, basically relying on carbs to get me through sleep deprivation and ‘rewarding’ myself with treats after a hard day (every day!) Over 3 children (over 10 years) I’ve basically put on 1 stone per child :\

In February I decided to do something about it. I was 13 stone, 82.7kg with an initial aim of 11 stone, to get me back into my BMI healthy range. I’m quite muscular, after a youth of dancing, so I’ve always tended towards the top end of my BMI healthy range.

I swapped my usual breakfast of nutella on multigrain toast for 2 poached eggs on multigrain toast. I tried to eat healthier lunches and dinners, I tried to cut down on portions, and I seriously reduced my sugar, going from about 200grams of Cadburys a day or more to a few squares of Green & Blacks dark chocolate after each meal. I began taking a walk, carrying my baby, for 30-60 mins per day. I measured myself as another way of checking progress.

By March I had lost 7cm from legs,tum & bum areas, 4cm from my waist, but my weight had gone up to 13 stone 1.4. I tried not to be disheartened, thinking I’d probably gained a lot of muscle with my walking, much of which was cross country.

By April I was 12 stone 12, and my measuring tape was lost to one of my children :stuck_out_tongue:

From April to now my weight plateaued, no matter what I seemed to do and then I basically just gave up, thinking what’s the point being this good when I was just hovering just below or just above 13 stone no matter what.

Last week I weighed in at 13 stone 4, a new high or a new low depending on how you look at it…

So late one night I saw an advert for Huel and on a whim bought it. I went to bed feeling very positive. My hope being it will fill me up and stop me craving crap because all my nutritional/protein needs are met.

After ordering it, I tried to reduce my eating and sugar intake in preparation. The Huel arrived yesterday. I cracked it open and made a small portion to try. I don’t mind the oaty taste, but the sweetener, oh yuck!! I should have thought this through! I hate sweeteners like aspartame, I can always taste them. So I’m sending back the unopened pack and I’ve ordered some unflavoured Huel, arriving tomorrow. In the meantime, not to be deterred I started Huel for breakfast and lunch today.

Weigh in this morning I was 13 stone 2 (I only weigh first thing, naked and after my morning ablutions! :joy: ), so a bit down on the 13 stone 4 high point…

I decided to add 2 big tea spoons of raw cacao in with 3 scoops of Huel and 500ml of water, plus a bunch of ice cubes and shake the hell out of it. The result is not as bad as plain vanilla. The strong and unsweet taste of the cacao seems to cover the awful sweetener taste somewhat.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night. This is not uncommon. Middle child woke me at 5.20am after I went to bed at midnight. So I generally feel a bit headachy on these days, therefore I can’t say if the mild headache os Huel related of just sleep deprivation related!

Day One

I made up a 3 scooper for breakfast, with 500ml water, 2 heaped teaspoons of raw cocao & some ice. Drank 2/3rds of it and put it back in the fridge.

Soon after I drank a mug of nettle tea, which is usual (I don’t drink coffee). After the hot tea I felt full.

I ate about 4 fresh cherries a little after that, but only for the taste, I didn’t feel hungry.

About 11am I finished the rest of the breakfast Huel.

By 12.30pm, my usual lunch time, I was feeling hungry, so I made a new batch of Huel, as above, and drank 2/3rds of it.

Each time I drink it I feel a bit odd in my tummy, hard to describe, quite ‘weighty’, but I’m assuming that’s my gut getting used to it!

I had another cup of Nettle tea after. It definitely helps me feel full and the hotness helps with feeling satisfied.

Starting to feel hungry about 3pm, so I finished the last 1/3rd of the lunchtime Huel and had another cup of nettle tea and about 5 cherries.

Starting to feel peckish now and planning dinner, which is a 5pm family affair - thinking of trying vegan chilli tonight, let’s hope the kids eat it :wink: After dinner, once the kids are al in bed (about 8 - 8.30pm) I usually have (when I’m being good!) a nettle tea and about 20 grams of Green & Blacks dark chocolate. (If I’m not feeling good, I make chocolate brownies and eat them warm, so yeh, wonder why i’m fat… :stuck_out_tongue: )

Overall I’ve been pretty pleased with my hunger levels, though this may have been helped by my efforts in the days before in cutting back snacks. I like the fact I don’t have to think about what to eat, or spend lots of time making it. Also, not thinking about food at all and not having to make a decision I think helps avoid bad choices, because there’s only one choice and it’s instantly there! I’m really not a fan of the sweetener taste though - looking forward to receiving the unsweetened Huel tomorrow!

A small note on wind… I have read on the forum some people get nasty wind with Huel. This was a concern, since I’ve had IBS since my teen years (much better controlled these days since my diet is a heap better than when I was a teen!) but some foods can give me terrible wind (poor hubbie!) However, other than a few Huel tasting burps soon after eating (and that’s probably because I’ve been chugging the stuff due to the taste not being the best :wink: ) I’ve not found any windy problems - let’s see how it goes tonight after my first 2 Huel meal day!

I’ll do an update tomorrow on progress on the scales and how it’s going…


#2

This was a great read! Welcome to the forum, I shall be looking out for your updates on how you get on with the unsweetened variety!

I have only tried vanilla so far, but I am curious to try the unsweetened Huel, I might order some next time. Good idea on adding the cacao! I have been living on Huel with cocoa powder added for about the last week, it’s good :slight_smile:


#3

Good luck, I think when you have children and you are ‘the cook’ it’s very hard not to nibble, I made pancakes the other day for my boys…so tempting :slight_smile:

I’ve gone on 100% Huel, just to see how I get on, no windage problems of any sort…so everyone will be different. :slight_smile:

It’s tough going, but looking forward to hearing how you are getting on :slight_smile:


#4

Wow, 100% Huel, that’s full-on - I’ll have to follow your progress! Is it weight loss you’re after?

I usually bake with my children a lot and make them pancakes most Sundays - though I’ve secretly moved them onto pancakes made with half buckwheat flour and half wholemeal flour :wink: Mind you, once they slather them in Nutella it probably doesn’t make much difference :joy:


#5

Ok, time for my Day 2 update!

DAY ONE EVENING RECAP

Before bed last night I started a little food diary just to see what I had eaten, it looked like this:

6 scoops of Huel with 1 litre of water and 4 heaped spoonfuls of raw cocao (over 2 meals and 2 snacks)
10 cherries
6 blackberries
Large serving of vegan chilli with avocado chunks
4 mugs of nettle tea 4 large glasses of water
20g of Green & Blacks dark chocolate with ginger.

I was amazed! That has to be the smallest amount of sugar and radically, carbs, that I’ve eaten for years. Even when I had gestational diabetes with my last 2 pregnancies, the nutritionists recommendations meant I was still eating some sugar and regular carbs and even then I felt like I was eating a fraction of my usual carbs :stuck_out_tongue:

After dinner I was super full (I ate a heap of vegan chilli, it was so yummy! Recipe - http://www.veganfamilyrecipes.com/red-lentil-chili/ ), but despite a cup of nettle tea and 20g of dark choc I felt really hungry by 10pm, so I scoffed a few more mouthfuls of chilli and 6 blackberries, plus a glass of water. I still felt a bit hungry, but I just went with it.

DAY 2 WEIGH IN - so this morning the scales confirmed I was 13 stone 1, hurray! Another 1lb down :smiley:

I felt really positive about this, because it was a real tangible difference from the day before and I began to fantasise about actually reaching my goal weight in under a year (10 stone, or even below :open_mouth: ). But I’m trying not to get ahead of myself, first goal, get back below 13 stone!

I made a Huel with 3 scoops of vanilla, 2 teaspoons of raw cocao, 500 ml of water & some ice. I resisted finishing off my son’s boiled egg. 2 of my children asked to try the Huel because it smelled nice, both declared it ‘disgusting’ :joy: I was inclined to agree, but I went with it and drank 2/3rds, finishing the other 1/3rd for ‘morning tea’ at 11am (showing my Aussie influences there :wink: ). I also ate 6 sugar snap peas for something to crunch.

I made the same again for lunch (where are you unflavoured Huel delivery?!) and drank it over an hour or so.

By 3pm I was feeling really tired and a bit spacey, but the unflavoured Huel had arrived, so I decided to crack it open and do a couple of experiments…

UNFLAVOURED HUEL REVIEW

First up I made a plain sample to try with 165ml of cold water & 1 scoop of Huel. I was overcome with a sudden urge to sing the musical hits of Oliver! With it’s bland oaty taste, it’s exactly as I imagine Gruel would taste :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

So I grabbed some raw honey out of the cupboard and added about 1/3 of a teaspoon to the sample. I also tossed in a healthy shake of cinnamon, which I’d heard was a nice addition to Vanilla Huel, so I thought why not! Now this is something I could get behind, provided I can avoid the temptation of adding more honey… The cinnamon added a nice flavour enhancement. I think this combo would be nice made with warm water, or even warm milk (if you take in to account the extra calories).

After my porridge sample shake I felt a lot more perky. I decided to try one more idea that i had been thinking about. I made 1 cup of Marigold vegetable stock. I absolutely love that stuff, all natural, no MSG and the ‘secret’ ingredient in all my soups, spag bol, casserole, chilli, etc! The packet said add 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water (about 225ml) is 12 calories, so basically nothing at all. I used 2/3rds boiled water and 1/3rd cold water to make the broth warm, then I put it in my shaker and added 1 scoop of plain Huel. The result is a pretty tasty ‘soup’ consistency and taste. Definitely doable.

So in conclusion, I much prefer the plain Huel. Whilst on it’s own it’s definitely got that 1900s orphanage taste, it allows you to do so much more with it and, best of all, no awful sweetener taste, hurray!

Wonder how the scales will treat me tomorrow after the 2 extra scoops…

Right, time to cook dinner, though I’m not all that hungry after my 2 snack/sample Huel’s…


#6

Well done on the weight loss! And I’m glad that you got on with the unsweetened variety, I think I’m definitely going to get some to try. Keep going, you got this!


#7

Gotta say, I’m struggling with fatigue today. Can feel myself craving sugar to keep me going! Am going to resist and try and get an early night, see if getting enough sleep helps… #novelidea :joy:


#8

CharlieMay, low carb diet = fad diet and pseudoscience.

Do not trust advice of random anonymous people (like me) over internet! :slight_smile:

P.S: I had recommended the books by McDougall to “compensate” for your anti-carb bias but I’ve edited this away because his advice is not entirely in agreement with nutrition science as we know it. In nutrition it’s better to be balanced and prudent. We should probably eat a decent amount of fat and also plenty of carbs.


#9

Not necessarily, keto works for a lot of people.


#10

Skipping meals altogether also works great at weight loss and appetite control for a few months. In fact years ago I did manage to (almost) kill my appetite completely with this strategy (this was well before the craze for intermittent fasting). I think keto or low carb diets are based on the same principles and they’re not recipes for living an healthy life. They’re recipes for a life of deprivation and long term damage to your own body.

P.S: My father recently did a weight reduction diet based on low carb pseudoscience he read over internet. He has lost weight but I think he almost died and he surely compromised his long term health. So, this is why I’m here warning people. It is immoral and irresponsible to promote these fringe and extreme diets.


#11

Please stop hijacking my thread with this :frowning:

I’m here to share my journey, support and be supported. I have good nutritional knowledge, I don’t need to be lectured. Please take your negativity elsewhere, your warnings are not needed here. In fact I’m using Huel for the sole reason it’s a complete food and I’m NOT putting my body at risk by using it.

Please don’t post in this thread again :frowning:

PS skipping meals completely and ‘killing’ your appetite is really dangerous and can screw with your metabolism and thyroid - that’s a dangerous thing to advocate.


#12

Ok, an early update today as I’m super busy today!

DAY TWO EVENING RECAP

For dinner I made green salad with my own homemade balsamic dressing and thin base supermarket fresh pizza. I was still feeling pretty full from my extra Huel sample snacks so I ate about 1/3 of 1 medium size pizza and a pile of salad. I felt satisfied after. Though I must say my gut got a bit gurgly for a while until I went to the toilet (you know what I mean!), same thing happened yesterday after dinner, I just thought that was the chilli, but maybe not…

Once the children were in bed I had a mug of nettle tea and 20g of Green & Blacks ginger chocolate. I then ate nothing else and drank water until heading up to bed about 10.30pm. Gotta say I was hungry before bed, but again I just went with it.

DAY TWO FOOD DIARY

8 scoops of Huel
4 teaspoons on cocao
1 teaspoon stock powder
1/3 teaspoon honey & cinnamon
About 12 sugar snap peas
1/3 thin supermarket pizza
Salad with balsamic dressing
20g green & blacks ginger
4 mugs nettle tea
2-3 large glasses of water

DAY 3 WEIGH IN - 13.04 Stone, so over half a pound down from yesterday. Perhaps less because of the extra 2 scoops of Huel, perhaps less because weight loss does slow down (sadly!), but hurray, it’s still less! Maybe tomorrow I can crack (back) through the 13 stone barrier to lord it up in the upper echelons of 12 stone :wink:

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY

My god, was I hungry this morning, not craving something, but gut deep, completely empty stomach, hungry. for the short time it took me to rustle up some Huel, I was eying off my kid’s boiled eggs and marmite on toast like my dog sitting under my baby’s high chair… but thinking on it, I think that it is good to sometimes feel hungry, to understand what hungry actually feels like. So often I think I just eat because I’m craving something, or I’m tired, or I’m stressed, or because I think I deserve it. Hunger has become secondary to the consumption of food. It’s not that I even eat terribly bad food all the time (I mean, sometimes I do… the chinese takeaway each Friday followed occasionally by half of tub of Ben & Jerrys is not one of my finer moments…), but I also eat lots of home cooked, healthy food, full of vegetables and protein, etc. But, I eat too much, I eat more than I need to and after all, it’s really an equation - eat more calories than you need, gain weight, eat less, lose weight.

I’ve also been thinking about what I want from Huel. Ultimately, if I’m honest, I don’t think Huel and me is a long term relationship. It’s just not the same as eating food. I mean, my usual breakfast of 2 poached eggs on multigrain toast (even with butter) is not actually that bad, and often I’ll make a salad with chicken/poached salmon or something for lunch. My problem I think is my relationship with food, it’s a deep, emotional relationship and I quite literally eat my feelings - whatever those feelings are, stressed? Eat food! Tired? Eat food! Happy? Celebrate with fooood!

So, I guess that I’m hoping my Huel fling can help me rebalance my sugar intake and portion sizes and my overall relationship with food, so that when I kick it to the curb and go back to my true love (food…) our relationship will be that much healthier. Perhaps in fact, Huel is the marriage counsellor for my relationship with food. At the moment we’re on a residential retreat, full immersed in therapy, but once I leave the retreat I think I’ll still come back for therapy sessions to keep me on the right track :slight_smile:

BREAKFAST HUEL RECIPE

Today I cooled about 400ml of boiled water so it was on the hot side of warm, then added 1 teaspoon of raw honey and let it dissolve. I then added 3 scoops of plain Huel and a shake of cinnamon. On a whim I also added a drip of natural vanilla essence. I shook the hell out of it and, well, it’s kind of like shit porridge, reminiscent of ReadyBrek.

I drank 2/3rds for breakfast, then added a bit more hot water to the remaining 1/3rd and had that for morning tea.

Lunch plans are Marigold veggie stock (3 cups) mixed with 3 scoops. I’m heading out to town, so I’m going to take it with me in a insulated metal bottle. Let’s see if I can avoid the flirtatious glances of the M&S belgian chocolate coated raisins whilst I’m in town!


#13

Ok Charlie, I’m here to help, but if you don’t want to be helped, then so be it.

Beside, how long have you been using Huel? A few days? I’ve been using powder food for more than a year, so maybe I’ve learned something, you know. But you’re free to rediscover it for yourself.


#14

He wasn’t advocating skipping meals, just relaying that he had done that before and warning of potential dangers of choosing extreme diets. Don’t think he meant you to take it as negativity, more encouragement to being as healthy and successful long term with your diet as possible!


#15

Thanks. I wanted to help. In fact let me elaborate more. i think addiction to sweetness is an entirely valid concern. It should be possible to cure this by not using sweeteners of any kind. So for example Huel unflavored could come handy for this purpose.

On the other hand, addiction to carbs in general, that is to glucose in the blood, I’ve plenty of doubts on this concept. As far as I know, glucose in the blood will help you feel satiated. Satiety and satiation are complex topics and I’ll just post a link to wikipedia for anyone interested:

An extreme summary can be this: among nutrients protein are the most satiating, carbs second most, fat the last. But having your stomach full with something is probably the most important trick for controlling appetite.


#16

I love that you’ve found a savoury option you like! I have tried the UU with stock and liked it well enough when it was warm, sort of like a thick soup. Cold though… eurgh, had to throw it away.


#17

Green, for me the attraction of powder food has always been precisely that I don’t need to cook. If I’ve to work half an hour for cooking it, then, hmm, it’s not clear what’s the purpose… hehe :slight_smile:

Anyway, for me, huel unflavored with some added olive oil and salt had a decent (but weird) taste.


#18

Ok, I’ll let you off. I thought you were trolling… :wink:

Also not eating sugar makes me cranky :joy:


#19

A note on fatigue…

Now, I’m not saying I’ve never had a mid-afternoon slump, of course the slump is a common friend among all sugar/unrefined carb junkies, but omg, the slump on Huel is intense!

I was in a meeting this afternoon and could literally have fallen asleep around 3pm. I grabbed my thermos and drank the rest of my Huel Soup and some water. Sadly I still felt totally flat and a bit spacey, even though I did not feel hungry.

Once home I cooked tea and opted for breaded fish with lightly roasted new potatoes and green veg, a firm family favourite for when mum can’t give a fuck :wink:

After eating I felt satisfied in terms of hunger, but I still felt like I could crawl into bed and stay there (this was 5.30pm…). I decided to have my 20 grams of chocolate early. I looked at the packet and noted it equated to 100 calories and around 10 grams of sugar, even though it was a dark chocolate (Lindt dark chocolate with salted caramel this time…). After my chocolate I felt about 200 times better.

After the children were in bed I ate some cherries and drank a huge mug of nettle tea and I don’t feel too bad, though my tummy is starting to grumble…

A note on nutrition - I read the article about hunger. Interesting that a well-nourished person can survive for weeks without food, but of course, they’d still be bloody hungry! I personally would consider myself very well nourished. My diet contains heaps of healthy food (just probably too much of it and then some unhealthy stuff too… :stuck_out_tongue: ) and just to make sure I’m getting everything I need (since I’m nursing a baby too), I take vitamin and mineral supplements, omega oil supplements, evening primrose oil (for pmt mainly) and a live culture capsule for my gut. Though since starting Huel i’ve dropped the vitamin/mineral tablets and omega oil supplements, because I figure that should be covered by Huel. The point being, I’m nourished, but right now, I’m still hungry :wink:


#20

Yeh, I can’t imagine the Huel Soup would be nice cold :expressionless: But the insulated metal bottle I decanted it into to go to town kept in a good temperature :slight_smile: