Using Huel for Crash Dieting and TDR

Can Huel be used as part of a TDR (Total Diet Replacement) programme?

How does it compare with TDR foods from companies such as Cambridge Weight Plan, Optifast and Counterweight? I like the idea of Huel as the blends seem more natural than the formulae the other brands use.

If it can be used as a TDR food then it would be good to understand what sort of a programme you would recommend.



Huel contains everything your body needs, so it would absolutely work fine to replace all food with Huel.

The difference between for example Cambridge and Huel is that Cambridge is purely a weightloss plan, and adjusted to Very Low Calories (600 or so?) whereas Huel is rather a normal meal replacement not specifically for weight loss - even if it works fine for that too, and many including me use Huel to lose weight.

Yes but does that not imply that TDR has all your mins and vits in a smaller portion versus Huel which is formulated for full calories use?

Full calorie use is meaningless and depends completely on TDEE.

I’m still unsure about the difference between Huel and the popular dietary replacement companies. Huel certainly seems far more orientated towards ‘real’ food but all of them use the term ‘nutritionally complete’, which indicates that you do not need any further supplementation.

Or is it that Huel is not nutritionally complete unless consumed over and above a specific portion size?

That will be the same for every single meal replacement.

In Huel’s case, 2000 kcal includes all you need in terms of mins and vits.

That is the point. Stuff like optifast gives all the protein, vitamins and minerals needed per day in ~800cals, Huel in 2000cals.

There are very distinct demands a product has to fulfill to be allowed to be called “Total diet replacement for weight control”. See:
800cals of Huel per day (and nothing else) won’t meet these demands.

That said, I see an unfilled niche on the market for a TDR-product that is based on a composition like Huel, but with more supplements added to meet the demands quoted above.

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Disclaimer - I’m not a nutritionist

But I had a similar idea, I was looking at stuff like the Cambridge diet plan, but the problem was it was all so expensive. £50 + per week to begin with? Yeah, if I can avoid that I will do…

I understand that what you’re getting for that expense is 1:1 support, which some people really need. It’s not that I think £50/week is a waste of money so much as just… sooo much money :stuck_out_tongue: (out of our current disposable income that is). Another part of this equation - I cycle about 16 miles in total, 3 or 4 days a week for my work commute - which at my weight burns approx 1300-1400 (I find it hard to tell how accurate this really is, though) extra calories on each of these days, so I was hesitant to go on a full-on meal replacement plan @ 800 cals a day or something similar.

So in the end I decided to give Huel a try instead. I don’t use anywhere near 2000 cals a day of Huel, more like 800-1200, but I take a multivitamin and allow myself a few snacks as well (especially on cycling days), with an emphasis on getting enough protein.

On average I’ve eaten around 1800 calories a day (tracking this accurately has been really important to me - maybe even more important than introducing Huel to my diet) including the Huel, and since starting (about 3 weeks ago) I’ve lost around a stone so far.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend anyone else do exactly what I’ve done as it’s been essentially a DIY “crash” (but surprisingly comfortable) diet that suits me rather than necessarily suiting anyone else - and as mentioned, I’m not a nutrionist.

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The EU Directive on TDR foods is fascinating. I never knew it was legislated but clearly to make a claim that you can live healthily of TDR foods (albeit for a limited period) you would need to follow this guidance.

However, Huel claims that is IS nutritionally complete. So would I be right in presuming that it fulfills the criteria of the legislation, except for the fact that (because of the natural ingredients) it cannot offer ‘completeness’ below the 1200 calorie threshold?