Losing weight with Huel

Background

I never intended to start using Huel for weight loss, but the combination of lockdown in the UK, my love of baking and some early Christmas gift buying sort of pushed me into it.

UK lockdown

When lockdown happened in the UK in March, one of the fears I think a lot of people had was that we'd run out of food. My local Tesco in the first couple of weeks was almost stripped bare of tinned food and pasta, and you just couldn't get bread anywhere. The reality was that there was plenty of food, and being made to stay at home every day meant that I started eating it all, because it was just there within easy reach of my desk

Baking

Since I discovered the easy ratios for cakes and shortbread, I've been baking almost every weekend because it somehow feels like 'the right thing to do' on a Sunday afternoon while 5 USA is showing another Columbo repeat. (I've nothing against Columbo; I think it could possibly be the greatest TV show ever made). For reference, the ratio for cakes is equal weights of eggs, sugar, flour and butter (weigh the eggs first). The ratio for shortbread is 1-2-3 as I talked about here.

Early Christmas gift

A family member is a gym goer (I am most certainly not a gym goer) so I was thinking of something I could buy them that would actually be useful instead of some random gift they'd never use, so I looked at Huel. The more I read about it, the more interested I got, so I found a discount code on Twitter and ordered 2 bags for £40. I wasn't sure if I'd try it or not, but as the minimum order is 2 bags, I'd have time to think about using one myself and gifting the other one.

As it turned out, my need for weight loss and having something that appears to be ideal food in the house meant that I decided to give it a go. After 2 weeks I've lost about half a stone and I can honestly say that after the first day, I've not felt hungry once.

Daily meals

Every day (yes, including weekends) I have Huel for breakfast, Huel for lunch, and a sensible solid meal for dinner. For an afternoon snack I have an apple

Taste and texture

In my initial order I went for 1 bag of banana and 1 bag of vanilla Huel, as these were the most popular according to the web site. The banana tastes like real banana and not the artificial banana flavour you often get in ice cream or milkshakes. It wasn't quite sweet enough for me, so I added a tablespoon of erythritol to each meal and for me it was a very nice taste; not too sweet but the flavour seemed stronger. Vanilla is definitely sweeter than the banana flavour so I didn't add anything to that one. The texture is an odd combination of smooth and... what I'd call 'fibrous'. It's not what I was expecting, but after a couple of meals it was quite satisfying and I think it's been tricking my brain into believing it's had a normal meal and not a milkshake.

Preparation

I found that provided shaker to not be that good at removing the lumps, so I take a blender jug and fill it with about 900ml litre of water (the instructions say 1 litre, but I prefer it a little thicker), add 4 level scoops of the Huel powder and blend for a few seconds. This gives a very smooth result, and I pour it into the Huel shaker and another shaker I had leftover from something else. Both of the meals go into the fridge overnight and by morning they've thickened up and after I give them a final shake, I just drink breakfast and lunch straight from the shakers

Snacks

After the first day, I found that not only was I able to resist snacking, I wasn't even thinking about food until about 3pm and then all I needed was an apple to keep my mind off food until dinner time.

Evening meals

I tried to restrict evening meals to 400 calories each, and found that it's actually very easy. One example is: 2 turkey steaks in a frying pan with a spray of oil, cooked at high heat for 3 minutes each side, then some chicken stock, lemon juice and garlic left to bubble in the pan for 3 minutes before adding the turkey steaks back in for a couple of minutes or until the liquid has gone a bit sticky. Serve this with some vegetables and you've got a very filling meal.

Conclusion

I know a lot of people recoil in horror when meal replacements are mentioned, but I've read through the ingredients and everything looks ok to me, I've managed to lose half a stone in 2 weeks without feeling hungry, and my supermarket shopping bill is a fraction of what it was before because I'm only buying food for one meal a day. I was going to say "I'll stick with it", but that suggests it's some kind of endurance test. It isn't, because I really like Huel!

Huel web site

Get £10 off your first order (I also get £10 off) using a code from here: Get £10 off