Weight loss shakes vs Huel - Any science?

Would consuming the same amount of calories of a typical ‘diet/weight loss meal replacement’ shake as calories of Huel (e.g. 1600 each), lead to additional weight loss?
Are there any scientific studies supporting or not supporting this?

Why would it lead to additional weight loss? If you are working on the basis that weight loss = calories in - calories out then the amount of calories are the same. It’s also plausible that because Huel is high quality and nutritionally complete when consumed instead of products which are generally neither of those things the weight loss may actually be slower, but healthier.

The only mechanism by which identical calorie consumption can lead to more weight loss is if something in the other shake increased your energy expenditure. The extent of this varies from ingredient to ingredient, but with very few exceptions is exceedingly minor.

However, something like 2,4-Dinitrophenol (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,4-Dinitrophenol#Dieting_aid) being included would lead to more weight loss on an equal caloric intake. It is extremely dangerous, has led to many fatalities, and I believe it’s illegal. Essentially it works by blocking the mechanisms via which our mitochondria produce ATP (energy) from our food. The higher the dose the more this process is inhibited, and hence the more energy from food you require to generate the amount of ATP required to fuel your cells (aka increasing your energy expenditure). The reason this is so dangerous is because the energy from that food still needs to go somewhere, and in this case it is released as heat. Higher doses of DNP carry a big risk of death via hyperthermia.

But for the purposes of this thread, yes it is technically possible for a weight loss shake to lead to more weight loss at the same caloric intake as Huel. It would just be either an extremely minor effect, or incredibly dangerous.

EDIT: I’ll add a disclaimer here - it shouldn’t be necessary but I want to put it anyway. Products like DNP are incredibly dangerous. Unless you absolutely know what you are doing, please do not decide to use it for whatever reason. There is a very real chance of death from its use without extreme care, and that risk is never worth taking purely for weight loss when there are other methods available. The information above is purely for informational purposes to the topic at hand, I absolutely do not recommend using it.


I believe Lauren was asking the question the other way around? Could 1600 calories of Huel lead to increased weightloss over 1600 calories of a weight loss drink?

I may have misinterpreted. If that is the case, any differences would be very minor indeed, probably unnoticeable.

To be fair, I think she could have worded the question better.

If helibactor pylori or salmonella was added to either shake, it would definitely lead to additional weight loss due to vomiting and diahhorea.
I’m not being serious.
Don’t do this.


Ah I remember reading about that ionophore, thanks :slight_smile: super dangerous, I’d recommend keeping well away from all of the weight loss supplements (and shakes too tbf).
I’d be interested in hearing about studies that showed either Huel or weight loss shakes were superior at losing weight, and maintaining a lower weight long term - there just doesn’t seem to be much science been done (just the rational ‘a calorie is a calorie’)

Hahahaha I agree

Huel isn’t actually a weight loss product though - so it wouldn’t make any sense for them to do a study on how effective it is as a weight loss product in comparison to another weight loss product. Huel is a complete food. So like any other food it really is as basic as calories in minus calories out. On this basis it could be used to lose weight. But who would do a study specifically on this and why?


I was speaking in general ‘complete food’ terms. Huel iss the most researched scientifically, and has the most active forum from what I’ve read - so thought if any brand had done studies or consumers knew of any research, it would be Huel related :slight_smile:

Why not search on Google yourself and see if there is anything out there… I doubt it but maybe in the future when some university professors or scientists start using Huel

1 Like

I will jump in the DeLorean and head into the future, say 5 years to start, and bring back any scientific studies. And check out who is still on this forum :grinning: and what next weeks winning lottery numbers are