The Mathematical Diet

I have talked about this before but after a few months of actually doing it and seeing results, I think it’s time to share.

When I first started looking into Huel and what it can do for me, I was amazed by what I found. Not just from a weight loss perspective, but everything else that comes with it. I won’t digress because that’s not what you’re here for.

I have created a spreadsheet based on limited research and the formula on this page:

BMR = 10 * weight(kg) + 6.25 * height(cm) - 5 * age(y) + 5 (male)
BMR = 10 * weight(kg) + 6.25 * height(cm) - 5 * age(y) - 161 (female)

I used this formula to plan a diet that will gradually lose weight at a rate of 1kg every 2 weeks without changing anything else in my life - not even the fact that I do literally no exercise. It works on the premise that if you know exactly how many calories you need to maintain your weight, but deliberately consume 500 less than that per day, you will have a deficit of 3500 calories per week which is basically 500g of fat. I recommend that if you’re new to Huel and want to go 100% you should follow the same rules that I have set for myself.

The first rule, and most lenient, is that when you ramp up from 0% to 100% Huel it should take about a month. In this time you will figure out how much water to mix with how much Huel to give you the texture and consistency that you prefer. You can of course adjust the ramp-up time to your preference or ignore it completely, but know that many people (myself included) will feel a persistent but mild headache when starting out. It could last a long time (6 weeks on and off for me) but I believe it’s simply due to the fact that being on Huel means being off meat and processed foods like sugar and dairy. The headache is like some kind of withdrawal symptom, but it’ll pass. You will probably also have bouts of flatulence while your digestive bacteria adjust to the new vegan diet. If you can bear with these symptoms until they pass, you can go 100% Huel, achieve your goals and feel amazing.

The second rule is that you should set a number of days per month to eat the things you love to eat - like a big juicy steak or a pizza. For me, it’s one meaty meal per month. I don’t have a particular day of the month, but I remember the limit. It will be a lot easier to stick to the diet if you don’t overdo it on your “cheat day”. Pay attention to the calories and you might not even want to eat that stuff any more.

The final rule is pure mathematics. If you follow the plan in the spreadsheet you will lose weight, but naturally, as each person is an individual, your requirements will differ.

I am sharing this spreadsheet on dropbox and I might update it if I can think of anything that might improve it: HuelForecast-Generic.xlsx
You should save a copy and update it with your own info.

But remember, it’s just a guide. The idea is to consume the right amount of calories per day, and it’s very easy to do purely on Huel and water alone. I eat a vegan dinner most days, but I’m careful with the calories.

Just change the orange cells to suit yourself. If you follow this like I did, you should lose a whole Kilo every 2 weeks. Keep updating the values in columns A and C with your actual weight so that the forecast is more accurate. Also remember to weigh yourself with no clothes on after a number two :wink:

I found this spreadsheet very useful and I hope it can help others as well. As always, your mileage may vary. Good luck!


Hi, looking at your sheet - quite a piece of work. Couple of things that I can’t figure out. In the “Calories and Huel Required” section the middle column is returning an error since I tried to adjust the “Weight loss per week” amount. Also adjusting that amount seems to no longer effect the rest of the sheet :frowning:

Is that intentional and meant to prevent weight crashing or have I managed to cods up a perfectly good spreadsheet (again)?

Thanks for this amazing resource :slight_smile:

I don’t get an error like you describe, but the fact that the rest of the sheet doesn’t update is a mistake on my part. I have another version of this sheet with my personal data - I just forgot to amend a formula when I recreated changes from one document to the next.

I have updated the file on dropbox; you should be able to get a fixed version from the same link above.

You shouldn’t be editing the blue cells, they’re just labels and headers.You should only be editing the orange cells and the “Date targets” table. “Weight loss per week” expects a decimal number of kilograms, so the number 0.5 represents 500g - don’t type in “0.5kg” or “500g”

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Hey, thanks for the update. Spread sheet all ticks over nicely now F2 still not working, might be a version issue in Excel though as I can see it’s just supposed to be a string version of the V5 cell. As it stands with my stats and aims in it tells me I have 46 weeks to get to my fighting weight (that’s at 1.0Kg per week!). So long slog ahead of me :slight_smile:

I can see the diet plan columns have to do some rounding to get to portions of scoop and therefore don’t get the exact grams in column G. Also the Date Targets columns is a fixed list that takes a kilo off every two weeks. I’ve adjusted it so that each cell in the C column takes the value of the cell above and subtracts 2 times the value in V5 e.g. (=C3-2*V5). This means at a Kilo a week I’ll get to my target in 23 weeks - that’s more like it :slight_smile:

Here’s what it looks like:

Should be something like C4=C3-(B4*$V$5)
I’ll take a look and update the file when I get home.

Yes, then it takes into account the formula in the start column.
I have also added an “Actual” pair of columns, the first containing my actual weight the next containing the difference between that and the target at the same target point on the journey. If the number slips negative (I am behind) then it colours the cell a light shade of red - very motivating :smile:

oh! Thanks a lot @RDW! I’ve just checked the thread and it looks an AMAZING table! The sad, sad thing is that I don’t have Excel in my laptop :frowning: Do you know if that would work if I download the OpenOffice version instead of Microsoft? :smiley: (crossing fingers!!! cuz I really wanna use that table!)

@RDW The target weight is now correct and has been separated from your actual weight measurements. I have put these measurements under the title “log”. This kind of breaks my preferred behaviour - a shifting target with no regard for the original diet plan. I have titled the target weight column “static” because although its a target, it wont change to reflect your actual weight. I have added a new column named “live” which does change to reflect your current weight. The log column will be highlighted if you are 50% above or below the corresponding live target weight adjustment e.g. if you planned to lose 1kg in 2 weeks, but you lost over 1.5kg or less than 0.5kg, it will be highlighted blue or red.

@vegangirl you can download the excel file and then add it to your Google Drive or OneDrive - both services have built-in Excel spreadsheet editors

oh!!! @Vahan, then I’m doing something wrog because I can’t change the data to my valors (age, weight, target weight, etc.) I’ll keep investigating, because I really LOVED the idea of using this table ! I’ll write again in order to let you know

I’ve amened H2 on mine to read =CONCATENATE("-",X5,“kg/week”) as it was returning a #NAME? error (Excel 2016).

Great sheet works a treat

Thank you @JJMC. I’ve updated the file :slight_smile:

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Hi @Vahan, thanks for an amazing resource! I’m completely new, am purchasing today and can’t wait to get started.

A couple of questions regarding your spreadsheet,

With the diet plan it says 3 meals per day and then the number of scoops, do I have 3 of those amounts per day, or is the scoop number the amount for the whole day?

Is there also after I reach the goal “weight” or a comfortable weight I’m at a way to adapt this spreadsheet to maintain rather than consistently lose?

Is there also a way to factor in any additional calories I might add to the meals, like the flavour sachets?

Sorry if these questions seem obvious at all, I am a complete newbie to all of this :slight_smile:
Thanks so much!

The diet plan section assumes you will split your day into 3 meals and describes what you should consume for each of those meals. So to answer your question: The “Diet plan” section is per meal, not per day. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water! The water you mix with Huel doesn’t count :stuck_out_tongue:

As I’ve said before, I recommend that you get comfortable with Huel before trying to base your entire daily consumption of calories on Huel alone. This will allow you to apply your own preferences to the spreadsheet, such as how much water you like to mix with your Huel (in the measuring section you can set how many ml of water for 100g of powder).

If you look at the “Stop losing weight” section, the rows match up all along the sheet. This is intended to make sure you update your diet plan every 2 weeks. If we take the bottom row as an example with all the default values, at 54kg your daily calorie requirement without weight loss is 1718cal (“Calories and Huel required” section) divided by 3 is about 419g of Huel (“Stop losing weight” section). So when you want to stop losing weight, you simply move on from the “Diet plan” section (100g per meal) into the “Stop losing weight” section (140g per meal), but stay on the same row. You should not be moving down a row every 2 weeks if you want to stop your weight loss.

The sheet is designed to be used like this:

  1. Personalise all the values in orange boxes (cal/g is 4.1 for Vanilla Huel and 4.23 for Unflavoured).
  2. Measure your weight and fill in the Log column at each date of the Start column.
  3. Every time you add a Log, you should be consuming the daily number of grams in Calories and Huel required (Diet Plan is a guide to help you make your portions).

You should be measuring your weight and moving on to the next row every 2 weeks, but life is not perfect. You can adjust the dates in the Start column manually if you like. You can also mix up your meals between Huel and normal food as long as you try to match the daily calorie goal in the centre column of “Calories and Huel required”.

And as I’ve said many times before: good luck!

You don’t have to be strict with this diet, but the spreadsheet will show you in pure numbers how disappointing a weekend of Domino’s and Doritos can be D:

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This is very useful, thanks. Out of curiosity, canI just ask how the “Stop losing weight” section is meant to be used?

Edit: now I’ve had a proper look at it I can make sense of it :slight_smile:

@Vahan just want to thank you again for this great sheet. Just got a new copy because my own additions to your original had made it both unreadable and inaccurate :smile: This is really helping to keep track and motivate, not sure I’d still be doing this without it.

Some great improvements like the colour coded Log of your actual weight and the Live column which shows you your target weight based on your current weight rather than the starting static weight.

On my personal progress I’m a little disappointed with an initial loss above the target (considerably) I’ve settled in to just meeting the target even though I’m probably having slightly less Huel than specified in the sheet. The other odd thing is that I’m continually short of energy. I’ve been on calorie controlled diets before with prepared real food and lower calories but with Huel I’m finding it a real struggle. a) I’m always hungry and b) I just feel at about 60% all the time - I’m putting it down to Huel’s calories not being readily available but others not reporting the same thing - beginning to think I just don’t get on with it - which would be a shame as it’s so easy to count and deal with.

Weekend coming up, so something to look forward to with one normal meal a day :slight_smile:

According to the sheet I should get to my dream weight (if I don’t die first) sometime in the first quarter of September about two weeks earlier than the static, so hanging on in there and looking forward to getting back to some sort of normal diet in the end.

Thanks again

@RDW I set my target as 0.5kg per week and I feel great. Maybe you’re being a little too hasty? Maybe try adjusting the amount of water you drink (up or down I don’t know) and see if that makes you feel any better. I find that coffee suppresses my appetite more than it used to now that I’m on huel, maybe it can help you too. Good luck! I’m glad that my sheet helps with your planning and motivation:)

One thing I had to change was the reference for current weight in the column telling you how many calories to have per day. Even though ‘live’ changes when you add a weight into the log column it doesn’t change the calories as the formula references ‘static’ rather than ‘live’.

@Mattyou This is intentional.

… but just for you, I’ve added an option to switch between using “Static” and “Live” for log warnings. The file is updated on dropbox.

Excellent :slight_smile: thanks!

Think I might be struggling with a virus, having a couple of rough days followed by a couple of good, then rough again. I drink my weight in coffee at work and plenty of water too so not that. Perhaps it’s just age taking its toll - nothing is easy anymore :smile: