Reducing body fat advice

I’m using Huel to try and reduce body fat before going on slow bulk.

Last week using fitquest machine in my gym I was 16% fat, 68.3 kilos and 50% muscle.

Previously for the past 6 months, I’ve been going to the gym doing a program I got online 5 days a week (Push/Pull Split/No Cardio) and whilst getting much stronger I’ve not seen much difference in the mirror - whilst my gym has been strict I’ve just been eating what I want I estimate around 2700 cals a day (inc some huel occasionally)

I decided to try and see if I could get down to 10% with calorie reduction then slowly try and bulk keeping low body fat.

My diet for past week has been:

Breakfast: no sugar Beans on toast without butter and two poached eggs

Snack: small handful of nuts and a banana

Lunch: RTD huel

Snack: RTD hurl

Dinner: cod, rice and veg

It comes in at roughly 2000 cals which is a deficit as my job as a massage therapist is physical plus my 1 hour gym and I usually hit 13k steps a day.

Yesterday, one week after following above diet to the letter inc no alcohol etc -I used the fitquest machine again and I’ve lost lots of weight, now 66.8 kg, but it appears to have ALL been muscle as my body fat has gone UP to 18% and muscle down to 49%

I’ve not struggled in the gym to lift has heavy as last week.

What do I do from here?? How do I lose body fat rather than muscle?

Do I need to up calorie a little or just be patient and carry on as I am?

Any advice appreciated.

Loving RTD HUEL I don’t have any digestive issues at all from it but I do from powered, strange as think it’s the same ingredients but very true.

Hey @Kevinphall

Glad to hear Huel has been helping you out!

I would suggest taking a step back & keeping it simple. Firstly, decide on one goal at a time, as you currently seem to be reaching for conflicting goals. To bulk you need a calorie surplus (building muscle is energy expensive), inc enough protein spread throughout the day & the correct stimulation i.e heavy weight training. So having a calorie deficit & aiming to bulk at the same time won’t work. Many people choose to cycle their goals by firstly bulking & then cutting to reduce their body fat, whilst keeping protein intake high to maintain muscle mass as much as possible. It’s normal to lose some muscle mass when reducing fat mass & overall body weight.

Also, take Fifquest & other bioelectrical impedance machines with a bucket of salt. They can be inaccurate, & are affected by hydration status, e.g if you use it one day dehydrated compared to your previous measurement, your results can vary greatly. I suggest taking images of your body & referring to those instead of solely relying on body weight or body fat % machines.

Great to hear you’re getting on well with the RTD too! Keep up the hard work :muscle::muscle:


Thanks Rebecca, sorry I mustn’t have been clear, I am just cutting at the minute with a view to then bulking once I have my BF level where I want it - I didn’t realise that the machines can be inaccurate so I will keep that in mind and take your advice to go off how I look - thanks for reply

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Yeah those machines aren’t that accurate at all… they are ok for a ball-park figure but not really helpful to watch your trend over a short period of time.
Body fat calipers are probably the most accurate way of measuring. If there’s a PT at your gym they may be willing to show you where to measure and how to calculate.

Make sure when you’re cutting, you’re doing plenty weight bearing exercise to minimise muscle loss, and keep your protein intake high and try to have good quality protein with every snack and meal.

It’s a shame that you found powdered Huel gave you digestive issues :frowning:
It has a higher quality nutrional profile so would be more beneficial to you especially as you have specific body building goals.
Did you try leaving the huel in the fridge for 4-8hrs? I find ‘soaking’ it greatly improves the texture and also helps make it more digestible. If I drink it straight after mixing it, I can get indigestion. Might be worth giving it another go…

I don’t understand what you are trying to do but if you see no result in the mirror after 6 months training well it’s clear there is a big problem in your training.

If food was the concern and the training was good, you would have lost a lot of fat and gained muscles or won some fat and some muscles.

You get stronger with no additionnal muscle mass when you enhance your nervous system and your adroitness.

You are talking about 2700 kcal per day. For your weight, it is enough at least to maintain weight in the worst case but i think it is even enough to have a calories surplus.

I really don’t understand why you would like to lower your calorie intake.
If you keep the same training and lower calories you will loose weight by loosing both fat and muscles.

My advice: eat well and enough, change your training
In 6 months you can see clear results. You won’t TRANSFORM your body heavily, but anybody who hasn’t seen you since months should tell you immediately: wow something has changed!

Probably a fair amount of that weight loss is water loss.
The machines like the fitquest one you are using are very inaccurate and massively impacted by hydration levels. You can check this by measuring yourself using one before and after a workout.

If you are serious about your body fat measurement then the most accurate would be a dexascan or bod pod. But if you just want to look better then a tape measure is a perfectly good tracking tool. Pick 5 or 6 key measurements and track them over time.

Also, if you’ve been doing the same program for 6 months without consistent progressive overload (i.e. increasing reps/weights) then you are unlikely to make much progress in your body recomposition.
Have you chosen a program geared towards your specific goals or just picked something you liked the look of? There’s a big difference in training to gain muscle mass (hypertrophy) or strength or endurance.


If you’ve got the spuds I’d highly recommend Nsuns 5/3/1. It’ll shatter any plateaus you’ve established but you’ll need a couple of years of experience to hit it at a deficit.

I’d stick to a surplus and try that?