Struggling Newbie

Hi. So I’ve just received my second delivery of Huel. When my first order arrived a month ago, I read all the online info; did the weight calculator and started with replacing breakfast and lunch with Huel (800cals) and then eating a balanced dinner in the evening.
I’m vegan and like to think I eat healthily, although I am tempted by the odd portion of chips!

Fast forward a month and I’ve given up the breakfast Huel (found I was doing it through habit rather than needing it. I actually don’t feel hungry in the mornings now). So during the day, I’m having two scoops of Huel (400cals?) at lunchtime and an evening meal. Over the month I’ve lost a grand total of 2.5lbs

I have to be honest, I was expecting more than this. I do feel better in myself, but I need to loose around 14lbs to ease my chronic arthritis.

Any tips???


Have you worked out how many calories you should be consuming a day to lose the weigh? Also Have you been checking how many calories your evening meal contains? Using Huel is great but if you’re then having a meal full of calories and going over the daily total goal then losing weight will be difficult.

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Yea I worked out that I would need around 1,200 calories a day to loose weight. I haven’t been counting my evening meal calories as I reckoned I had around 800 left. There’s no way I’m going to eat 800 calories in a meal - I don’t have pudding; just a plant based, home cooked meal.

Before starting Huel, I would eat muslie for breakfast, probably have a biscuit or banana snack mid-morning, then sandwiches and crisps for lunch, with another afternoon snack. Just can’t work out how I haven’t lost more than 2.5lbs in a month.

I’m by no means an expert and I’m sure somebody with more knowledge will pop by but did you have more success when you used Huel for breakfast as well.

If you’re only having 400 calories before dinner is your body working as effectively as it could? I know in the past if I’ve skipped meals I’ve not had any success with weight loss.

As I say, I’m not an expert so this is just a theory. Hopefully somebody can give you some answers. I really would recommend using My Fitness Pal or another food tracking app as it makes everything so much more accurate.

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That seems like very little weight loss considering the amount of effort you put in.

Few questions come to mind: Do you exercise? What do you drink? And do you drink enough?

I’m also no expert but i have been on a weight loss track for the last 9 months and from my own experience I can say that drinking enough can be a dealbreaker.

Have you ever thought about where the fat goes? If you lose weight, where does it go? I hadn’t… Turns out you sweat, pee or poop it out. Processes which all require enough water.

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Don’t exercise much because of my autoimmune condition (psoriatic arthritis), but I try and do 30mins of fast walking on the treadmill 3 times a week - followed by a bit of weights, but this hasn’t happened lately (the weights) due to swollen joints.

I drink coffee with oat milk during the day (4 cups?), and usually a glass of water with my evening meal. Probably not enough water then…

It’s the hidden calories during the day that you don’t think about that is usually the difference between a large or small weight loss.

For example, if you have 50ml oat milk in your coffee that’s 25kcal each time or 100kcal a day you are using on coffee which it doesn’t look like you are counting. So now your evening meal needs to be 700 kcal instead of 800 kcal to get the weight loss you are expecting.

That’s just one example. If you use vegetable oil to cook your evening meal with that’s 135kcal a tablespoon. Did you have a biscuit with your mid morning coffee? Sauce or dressing on your meal? When you make up your Huel is that with just water or with oat milk or a mixture of oat milk and water?You get the idea.

As you can see it doesn’t take much for your hidden calories to suddenly be 300 - 400 kcal a day. It’s worth spending a day tracking everything you eat and drink, and I mean everything, so you know whether this is what is making the difference.


Actually you breathe most of it out as carbon dioxide and water vapour :grin:


Thanks @Liath. I’ve just looked at the oat milk in my coffee, and no - I wasn’t countil it. Thanks for the tip.
I make my Huel with water, so no hidden calories there. I don’t eat ANYTHING else dureing the day apart from my Huel at lunchtime.

I’ve just downloaded My Fitness Pal to track calories. I’ll see how it goes now

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I’d second using my fitness pal to create “recipes” to work out the actual calories of your evening meals. I never realised how much the oil, a dollop of mayonnaise, an avocado or a sprinkle of cheese added. I’m not vegetarian but I try and have at least 2 plant based meals in a week and those are usually the ones that end up highest in calories :confused:
Of course the alternative is that you’re not eating enough, so if you track and you’re still way under then you might need to bulk up your evening meal or eat something else during the day.

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If you’d like to lose the 14lbs quickly, I recommend that you try Dr Michael Moseley’s 800 calories for 8 weeks diet. Huel is great for keeping tabs on this. I found that I lost 14lbs in 2 weeks but didn’t lose any more over the 8 weeks, so keep an open mind. Michael says that it’s a myth that we need to lose weight slowly and steadily. I lost that stone 4 years ago and have kept it off. Good luck.

Isn’t that diet aimed at people with type 2 diabetes. Having bought Dr Moseley’s blood sugar book. It’s purpose is sudden weight loss including visceral fat that surrounds internal organs.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes back in 2017, weighing at the time 16 odd stone, lossing 2 stone in around 6 months. I’d already lost a stone leading to the diagnosis following a gaul balder infection. However, I’ve maintained my weight at around 14 stone, I wish to lose another stone before year’s end.
My reason for starting huel is to reduce my cholesterol levels as it a high for someone with type 2 diabetes. Though, if I do lose another stone I might have reversed my diagnosis.

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I’m not looking to loose weight quickly. Just need to loose around 20lbs to ease the weight on my joints/allow me to move easier and build up my strength and stamina

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Interested in the visceral fat around organs. Due to the medication I’m on, I’ve had to see liver specialist as bloods were showing fatty liver disease. However latest appointment in January said the no longer suspect this. I’ve given up alcohol (strain on liver) and I’ve tried to cut back dramatically on processed sugar. I’ll research Dr Moseley diet advice.

Yes, that diet is aimed at reversing type 2 diabetes. That didn’t apply to me but the diet appealed to me.

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Don’t put yourself down - a 2.5lbs loss is still a loss. Slow and steady wins the race. I’d actually say that’s pretty ideal - with the limited information I know about you from this post.

Don’t get caught up in “weight loss” weight loss is easy. I can go up or down about 10lbs in the space of 24hrs if I do certain things to manipulate my diet and activity - does any of it matter? No! It’s water and glycogen.

The important thing is the weight which you lose should be fat. If you try and go too fast, you’ll lose muscle mass, and that’s not good for anyone. Slow and steady means you’re a pretty safe bet that you’re losing fat.

Just consistently monitor the calories which you consume, and then make small adjustments as necessary

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There’s no way I’m eating 800 calories in a meal

It’s actually super easy to eat 800 calories! And a whole lot of vegan food is very calorie dense. If you’re trying for 1200 calories you’re either pretty small or aiming for a VERY ambitious deficit. If you’re a smaller person then it won’t take much to tip you over from a deficit to maintenance or a surplus.

That said 2.5lbs in a month is fine, so long as you are comfortable adopting this eating style permanently. If you aren’t, then you ought to reconsider the way you’re eating until you find a way you can sustain for a long period. Once you’ve lost weight you will need to stay at a lower calorie intake to maintain your weight loss, so it’s vital that your dietary journey is concerned with building eating habits you are happy to maintain for a lifetime.

The 1200 calories was worked out using the Huel online calculator

I’m now recording everything I eat, and my evening meal isn’t going beyond 800 cals. I realise this isn’t a way of eating forever but thought that if I can shift some weight, whilst measuring all that I eat, and then reintroduce a more healthier balanced diet to replace the Huel and maintain my weight

Thanks :blush:

I’m actually feeling a lot better about the plan now. I’ve got into a grove; cooking more healthy evening meals and recording it all on My Fitness Pal. I’m more aware of balancing my protein fats and sugars and I feel healthier’. I’m not over focussed on the weight- it’s just I know it will be better on my joints (knees) if I don’t carry as much weight. At the gym yesterday I was able to do much more than usual


This may sound counter-intuitive but you may not be eating enough. I stop losing / gain weight if I under-eat. 1200 calories is not a lot. Definitely track your food for a while