What a great community! I’m hoping someone can give me some advice or share their experiences. I’m a male 35, 168cm, 79kg. My BMI is currently around 18 (overweight).
My goal is to lose weight (fat), but at the same time gain muscle mass. I workout in a group coached environment at a fairly intensive level 3-4 times a week (one hour per session). The sessions are quite variety, but includes weight training and conditioning.
The calories calculator shows my result as needing 2,589 to maintain my weight and 2,089 to lose 0.5kg per week and 1,589 to lose 1kg per week.
I’ve been using Huel since mid March and after the adjustment period, I’d have two meals of 3 scoops then normal food for dinner. This means I’d be having no more than around 1,500-1,600 Cal per day. I was losing some weight (around 0.5kg per week, although the calculator suggested I should be losing more?).
It was then I had a question in my mind whether I’m losing the fat or muscle? I talked to my trainer (not about Huel in particular), but about how much calories I should be consuming. The guideline I was advised was that since the main goal is to build quality muscle mass (fat will be burned as a by result of increased muscle), I’m to consume 2g of protein per kg of body weight. This would mean roughly 160g of protein. Does it matter that Huel’s protein are from pea and rice rather than meat, in terms of building “quality” muscle?
My trainer stressed not to consume too low calories as the body will starts to cannibalise itself, eating away the muscle and damaging the metabolism (this was really concerning!).
With this in mind, my plan of eating 1,500 cal per week is out the window. I’ve been increasing my Huel intake to 450g per day (1,845 Cal, protein 138.15g) + whey protein (protein 24.3g) + normal dinner (small portion). This way I can ensure that I’m getting at least 160g of protein daily.
My weight has been fairly stable, but I’ve noticed some improvements to my physique (small changes, but definitely some changes).
I guess my question is in this kind of situation, should I just ignore the weighing scale completely? If I keep this routine up my weight is likely to remain where it is? If I increase my Huel intake (to get 2,000 Cal, 100% RDA for example), will my weight increase instead? But on the other hand if I reduce to 1,500 cal, will I damage my metabolism? Just not sure what I should be aiming for as it seems playing with the calories calculations aren’t enough when fitness and strength training are involved?
Any input would be much appreciated!
I’d also like to say thank you to the people who’ve posted their progress on Huel, really inspiring and great for motivation. Thank you @JamesCollier for formulating Huel to be the amazing product that it is! Although, I have yet to reach my goal, my daily routine has already improved immensely. My energy level has never been higher and I can feel my body thanking me for it!