Struggled for years and lost with getting started with this

I’ve had a lot of trouble with weight and trying to lose weight, but I am failing with every passing year.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as an Adult, after being referred to a bariatric surgical team where I was fitted with a gastric band, which did not work for me.

I was given support following the failure of the gastric (lap) band to try and determine why this wasn’t working for me, and after several years no conclusive solution was ever reached, before the various support teams had to discharge me without answers.

I also have a physical disability (a mobility issue) and I use a walking aid to support my right side, as my hip, knee and pelvis are all not able to support me, despite being pinned and reinforced where needed.

I find exercising in a gym incredibly dull. The repetitive nature of it really works two ways on me:

  1. I constantly lose count a lot or forget the routine I’m doing.
  2. If I try to write things down, I forget what it was or where I left the paper, etc.

I’ve had lots of people say things like: “You need to work at it, nothing comes to those who don’t work for it. y’know.” and other helpful sayings like: “You got to work hard to get what you want in this life” and “You just need discipline, be firm with yourself.” & “Stick to only eating three times a day.”

You get the idea.

I’m not moaning or complaining, but I find exercising utterly dull and sometimes painful. I’d love to play a sport, like I did when I was younger, but my knee won’t allow it. I’m convinced I could get rid of the walking stick and crutches if I somehow slipped into a medically induced coma for 12 months lying there while living a a drip to wake up to a slimmer me with atrophy (is that right?) in my muscles and a few weeks of daily physical therapy, that would be great.

Another solution I had was if I didn’t have to think about meals at all, and it was all done for me and there was nothing else to eat, I could do it, providing I am kept busy, and by busy I mean able to do things I want to do and not have to do.

I’ve often “forgotten to eat” if I’ve been busy doing things I enjoy or if I’ve been preoccupied with something else and lost track of time, but it’s not until someone reminds me I haven’t eaten, do I start wanting to eat … yeah, I know. I even start to experience physical symptoms, belly rumblings, dizziness, etc.

I also been at the other end of the scale where I’ve forgotten I’ve already eaten! yeah, I’ve had days with 2 breakfasts or 2 lunches or 3 dinners, it’s nuts.

I know the nutrition information, I know the resting metabolic rate and to lose 1 pound of weight you need a negative 500 calories a day for a week, I know a single pound of weight is 3500 calories, etc.

I’m hoping that this product is basically a total complete meal replacement, something I don’t need to think about or plan – I just have one one breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a snack bar and that’s it, that’s the day, every day for a month.

I can’t seem to find a meal plan for this product. I know everyone is different, but how many calories is in one of these? Does everyone make up the powder the same way, or is it dependant on preference, e.g. some like it watery, some like it thick, etc?

I’d really appreciate someone replying with how many of these things they make up a day and if everyone makes it up the same way, e.g. a tablespoon of powder and 500ml of water, etc.

Hi Wavey,
The recommended ratio of huel to water is 1:5, e.g. 100g huel on 500g water. 100g of huel have 410 kcals. The measuring spoon you get with your first order contains about 38g. (Weighing is more exact, as the volume of a powder can vary.)
So if you calculate your daily demand from your weight, height, age and activity, you can calculate, how much huel you need per day to lose weight and divide that through the number of meals you want to take. Then that is your meal plan.

There is also an excel-sheet, which can do all this work for you at The Mathematical Diet (HuelForecast-Generic.xlsx). I personally use it.

Yes, the huel powder is a total meal replacement, but you may want to ease into it by replacing 1 meal for some days or a week at the beginning, then 2 and then go up to 3 or 4. Makes it easier for the intestinal bacteria to adapt to the new type of food - especially if you are used to a diet low in fibre now.


What Flamme said: It is a very good idea to ease into Huel. Huel is convenient, tasty and really easy to use/mix.

You can use as much or as little as you like. 1 gram of Huel is equal to about 4 calories. I use a scale to measure the exact amount I want to use. If you look at this thread: you can get some ideas of flavouring it.
I started using vanilla Huel on its own (which I liked) and then tried the little sample flavour boosts to determine which I’d like before investing in the bigger flavour pouch. This keeps it interesting and avoids flavour boredom.

Around the same time I started using Huel I also began to use an activity tracker. This was really useful as it helped me to see how active I was each day. (Steps counted, and amount of time active.) I get in activity by walking or stepping in place - the latter can be quite boring so I either listen to music or watch a program off my TV or PC while I step.

I think the key is to ease into this (exercise) too. I started out by trying to do five minutes every hour, at a comfortable pace, building up my stamina - use the amount of time that works for you, gradually increasing as you think fit. It really does make a difference. (You can use a kitchen timer, if you think you’ll lose track of time.)

About the activity tracker - it will keep track of your activity for you and, depending on the one you use, the app will let you record what you eat and keep track of your calorie intake for each day. This made a HUGE difference to me. (I currently use a Fitbit Flex 2).

It may take patience and lots of experimenting to determine what works for you as to Huel and exercising but as you are determined to find a solution you’ll definitely get there.

All the best to you as you embark on your Huel journey!

I have similar problems with appetite, sometimes forgetting to eat and sometimes eating too much. I struggled to eat solid food in the mornings on work days so I tried huel. It has really helped me, I whip up a shake before work and drink it while I’m setting up before opening (I work in a shop). I find it’s now my preferred breakfast even on non work days. And sometimes I have it for lunch or dinner too, when I’m tired, busy or just lazy. My favourite ‘recipe’ is water, a dash of milk, azera coffee powder and some cinnamon.
I’ve seen some threads suggesting huel might help with ADHD. Also with activity, look on YouTube for bed or chair workouts. Putting your favourite upbeat music and just dancing whatever way your knee is comfortable with, will help make exercise fun again. It is more difficult to get active and healthy with a knee problem, so don’t let people’s dismissive attitude to weight loss get you down. Huel should help with the diet aspect though which by itself will help you lose weight if your calculations are sound.
I often opt for a 2 scoop meal now instead of a 3 scoop meal, as a 3 scoop meal can sometimes be too filling.

I’ve had a lot of trouble with weight and trying to lose weight, but I am failing with every passing year.

If i can ask, have you followed “low-carb” dietary advice in the last few years?

I’m hoping that this product is basically a total complete meal replacement, something I don’t need to think about or plan – I just have one one breakfast, lunch and dinner and then a snack bar and that’s it, that’s the day, every day for a month.

It may work for a few months but eventually you’ll go back to your eating habits. You’ll go back because powder food is not pleasant to eat. Huel bars are more pleasant but they’re still very far from perfect.

Huel can provide you a temporary/emergency solution for your problem while you’re learning a new way to eat. I can recommend these two books for giving you motivation to change and some practical tips to begin:

I know the nutrition information, I know the resting metabolic rate and to lose 1 pound of weight you need a negative 500 calories a day for a week, I know a single pound of weight is 3500 calories, etc.

Up to 20 years ago or so, more than a billion of people in Asia didn’t know any of these things and yet obesity was almost unheard of among them. Were they starving? No, actually they were eating until satiation. But they were eating the right kinds of food for mankind: rice (and/or some other starchy food), fruits and vegetables.

Thanks for all the replies - it has helped me a lot. I will ease into it, by replacing one meal, then 2 then 3, etc. I was going to buy a starter bundle with a 2nd cup and a small bag of flavour pouches, just to see how it goes for me.
I don’t feel hunger or fullness, so a 3 scoop or a single scoop shake will make absolutely no difference to me as I had a Gastric Band in 2010 and it made no difference, then I waas diagnosed with ADHD and Autism. What really went against me was giving up smoking - a 80 a day habit that went with coffee and alcohol, which I also gave up at the same time, then after 6 months I put on 6 stone plus.
To be hones,t any books on changing my habits are a total wate of time, because my mind is made up that I already know most of the bad habits people make, I know all of them I make and I still fail. Everyone’s got lots of advice and solutions for everyone elses problems, but they ask for help for their own problems. This is simply because we are social animals and we know that someone else needs to do and we even know what we should do, but we struggle to get it done, while some of us who have got it figured out then go on to write books about how to get it right for yourself,

Thwe bottom line for losing weight is the simple truth - eat less, do more. The rest is just technical specifications on how to get specific results in specific areas of the body, etc.

For now, I justr want to concentrate on loosing weight and that’s easy to do when the choice of a meal is taken away from me, I just need to work out the calories of one shake, then my calorie count for the day is the number of shakes plus maybe a huel bar, etc. no complicated adding and multiplying, etc.

My plan is to drop the excess weight first. Then I plan to increase my activities in the gym (and exercise will ALWATYS be boring to me, it was NEVER FUN).

Once I drop the weight, I will be moving on to phase 2, which is to build muscle, A LOT of it. Once I have got myself to somewhere around the 25% bodyfat mark, I’m done.

Then, I will sit down and learn how to eat and live heathily and properly. There’s no point in doing it now when I’ve got 9 stone to lose.

This whole thing is going to take at least 3 years from start to finish, so I know what I’m in for.

Thanks for the tips and advice guys, it’s been very helpful.

Well, the calories depends how many scoops you take. It’s explained in the label. It’s not hard at all.

But my warning is the same, you’ll not stick to this plan you’ve in mind, because it’s so damn unpleasant. Eating Huel every day for months is not a realistic plan. You need to make it more pleasant. Add some fruits and veggies at least. They’re both pleasant and healthy and satiating. And they complement Huel well.

You can also compare Huel with similar products there:

But i repeat, all these powder foods are very unpleasant to use if you eat them every day. They’re designed for occasional use by people that can’t or don’t want to cook. They’re not good for people with eating disorders.

Also take a look at this:

The potato is more or less like Huel, but more natural :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks. The idea of eating the same thing every day, for months at a time is my worst nightmare. I’m a foodie, even before my road traffic accidemnt that smashed up my hip, thigh bone and knee, I was a foodie - I tried and tasted pretty much everytinhg if it was new or I’d never had it before.

But, I’ll break it up like you say. Although, the diea of not having to think about what I’m going to need to buy,. to prepare, cook and then eat and clear up after, right now sounds f&*king fantasitc!

I’ll give it a go for a month and see what happens, then I’ll decide what to do for the next month and so on. My plan is not set in stone - if I worked at it 24 hrs a day 7 days a week, it will take 2 to 3 years. but if it takes me 5 or 10 years I’m OK with that, as long as I have shifted most of my excess weight in the first 3 years, the rest is something I can work at in my own way and pace, because I will need to learn from scratch how to portion my food intake daily, I’d love to brainwash myself into only eating a single meal every day, but that meal is all the right things my body needs to function.

We can but dream.

Ehehe, I had same dream/illusion a few years back. I’m underweight and I wanted to eat 2000kcal of powder food (Huel or Joylent or some competitor) and that’s it. But I couldn’t do it for more than few months. I tried changing (actually i went from MyMana to Joylent to Huel in the course of 18 months) but same result.

Now i’m eating very big portions of real food (whole grain, whole legumes, broccoli, fruits) and i’m happy with it. Some of my health problems disappeared (probably I had a mild vitamin A deficiency). I’ve better mood.

Maybe you can try something like this:

breakfast - 600kcal of potatos with spices of your choice (but no oil or butter)
lunch (i’m assuming this is outside home) - 600kcal of huel bars and/or joylent bars
dinner - 600kcal of something that you like and is reasonably healthy. mostly plant food.

This should deliver results, but maybe not as fast as you want.

I’m not looking for fast, but when I do start to lose weight it comes of fast at first, then it slows down. I want to avoid the bars as they aren’t FODMAPS, which is something I havbe discussed previously with my dietician, although I will order afew of them in my first order, just to try huel as a solid.

I’ve read through sokme of the recipies on here and I find them quite cryptic, for exmaple “chia eggs”, these aren’t a thing you buy, they’re a thing you make to use as an eg substitute?

Also, why hasn’t Huel come up with a recipe book, like 15 breakfasts, 20 lunches and 25 dinners in one book, or something like that, RRP £9.99?

They’ve missed another option there, although now I’ve said it here they won’t miss it for long lol.

I’m not looking for fast, but when I do start to lose weight it comes of fast at first, then it slows down.

Well, when you reduce caloric intake, your body will work against your weight loss goals by reducing its caloric expenditure. This is particularly true when you do a low carb diet. So my recommendation is to target a reasonable caloric intake (if you’re a man, something above 1500 calories), target an high carb intake (something like 80% of calories) and make plans for some exercise (i like bodyweight exercises).

EDIT: Another side effect of low carb diets is dehydration. Given we’re made mostly of water, if we dehydrate ourselves we’ll lose weight. But this is a completely unhealthy way to lose weight. Another unhealthy way to lose weight is by losing muscles. You’ve to be careful about what kind of weight you’re losing.

2nd EDIT: Basically the point is, the human body is not “designed” for weight loss. It’s “designed” for survival during times of food scarcity. Every time you simulate food scarcity with diet, the body works against you.

I want to avoid the bars as they aren’t FODMAPS, which is something I havbe discussed previously with my dietician, although I will order afew of them in my first order, just to try huel as a solid.

Well, the alternative to bars is powder food, and I wouldn’t place too many hopes on powder food. I’ve eaten almost exclusively powder food for many months and I can speak from experience. It may also be dangerous for your teeth if the powder remains somewhere in between your teeth and then rots there.

Huel powder can rot your teeth? this implies it’s got lots of sugar in it? but I thought it was all natural ingredients?

Perhaps, if as User3532 says it is left long enough between your teeth to rot. However, pretty much any food would do that, not just sugars, /&/ kinda crucially, how many people here have oral hygiene so bad they have rotting food in their mouths? I wouldn’t worry about this unless you don’t know what a toothbrush or mouthwash is.

A longer term legit concern if you’re on a powder/liquid diet is that lack of chewing might lead to tooth loss. The uncertainty in opinion on this probably means if you go 100% Huel you should add gum or something similar to your daily routine.

All E&OE. I’m going on general knowledge & mostly what I’ve picked up following this forum for a year or two. I don’t claim to be an expert.

There are very few studies on preventing cavities. The consensus is that most bacteria that rot your teeth feed on carbohydrates. I don’t know if there is any evidence that “simple” carbohydrates (the so-called “sugars”) are significantly worse than “complex” carbohydrates (sometimes called “starches”). But in nature you don’t find carbohydrates (“simple” or “complex”) in a pure state, they always come in the foods. The question is what foods are dangerous for cavities and why. The foods with few or no carbohydrates may be safer for tooth but you’ve to keep in mind that they’re on average very unhealthy for everything else in your body.

Now, why I think powder food is bad for teeth? Well, I’ve had a bad personal experience. But It’s also common sense. I think the granules of powder are more likely to remain stuck in less accessible places. This also applies to juices. On the other hand, according to Dr Greger (of NutritionFacts), fruit juices may be not significantly worse than whole fruits. So we just don’t know, but you should be careful with liquid/powder food.

EDIT: Dr Greger recommends intense washing of mouth with water after eating. Then approximately 1 hour after eating and washing with water, he recommends toothbrush (and water). The general consensus is also to use floss once a day at least. Good toothpastes and saliva also seem to have protective effect. Having no nutritional deficiencies should be very helpful (and if you don’t want nutritional deficiencies, you have to eat fruits and veggies and legumes, don’t place your hopes on supplements because they will not work).

2nd EDIT: And if you google on this topic, you’ll find plenty of low carb cranky websites promoting fat and shunning healthy food because they contain “pythates” that allegedly block mineral absorption. These people are NOT trustworthy. Whatever they say, you should always check for yourself. It turns out pythates do indeed block absorption of nutrients but they’re generally not a problem at all in well planned vegan diets. In well planned vegan diets you do tend to eat lot of food and you don’t really care if absorption is somewhat lower.

That’s terriffic excel chart! It took me a minute to realise the orange coloured boxes would update the rest of the sheet, very clever, thank you for that.

It’s also quite dangerous because if I look at it with my details into it, it’s telling me I can acheive a weight loss of 50kg in just 12 months, which is impossible because it doesn’t allow for the periods when the body refuses to shed weight, typically referred to as plateaus.

I estimate this would happen every 6 to 8 weeks for around about 2 weeks, then going up to about 4 weeks and I get lighter.

I’ve no plans to continue huel for 12 months or longer, I plan to do a month, then do something else, then maybe another huel month, then change it again, or maybe I’ll find the simplicity and convenience of huel attractive and I’ll stick to it for 2 months in a row, who knows.

I agree - exercising is incredibly dull. The only exercise I really enjoyed was horse riding, but I’m unable to do that now due to hip and knee problems. An easy way though to increase your level of activity is to do some kind of exercise whilst the kettle is boiling or during other “down times”. It doesn’t have to be a lot and doesn’t need to be energetic, just some push-ups against the wall or kitchen counter, or knee raises etc. The point is, that any activity you add into your day will help with strength, stamina and weight loss.

I do bodyweight training too. I think it should be enough for preserving basic health. I think it’s also very effective for weight loss. Building muscles requires a lot of energy and if you can do it then it’ll surely help fat loss. But you’ve to be careful and avoid muscle loss. If you do intense exercise and you don’t have enough carbs and protein in your diet, you’ll lose muscle instead of fat. If you’re interested in Huel, and if you want to attempt to build muscle while losing body fat, then I would advise to combine Huel with whole grain bread.

I also like running. I’m sorry to hear Wavey can’t do it due to problems on the knees. Often these problems can be solved by better diet. I recommend the books by Dr. Greger and Dr. McDougall.