The first five days of Huel

I was – perhaps surprisingly – keen to get started on this diet. Maybe because the last few weeks hadn’t gone so well. Maybe I was just ready for a change. And full Huel for a week (with one day off) is certainly a change.

Full Huel for me means about 10 scoops a day. A scoop is 150 calories, give or take, and I’m aiming for about 1500 calories a day this week. I’m sticking to low calorie drinks, Huel and stuff-put-in-Huel (so I’ve had a bit of fruit but it’s been blended in the Huel).  I’ve got two types of Huel – unflavoured/unsweetened, and “new improved” vanilla. Proportions of water to Huel, and additional flavours, are very much up to you. The forums (oh god the forums) are full of suggestions for flavourings and even recipes for cooking with the stuff. Which for me would be missing the point – why would I take a nutritionally complete product then fry it in butter and eggs to make a pancake? That will not make this journey any quicker.

huelbag

So it’s been 5 days with no solids. My teeth have not had this much time off since the mid ’70s – I had to chew some gum because they started to get confused.

I wasn’t particularly hungry for the first few days. This was on 2-scoop shakes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and supper with the other two shakes as 1-scoop “snacks”. Then I did quite a bit of exercise, which changed that. On Thursday morning, I woke up with a headache, stood on the scales, and realised that I’d “lost”[1] 5lb in 3 days. So I decided that 1500 calories (+ fruit) is probably not enough if I’m being active (indeed my Garmin thinks I burned 2700 calories on Wednesday so I was actually way short).  Thursday and Friday I added an extra scoop or two taking me to 1650-1800 calories+fruit, and that was fine.

I actually quite like the simplicity of the thing – no worrying about what I’ll eat for lunch, or for breakfast, or indeed (this week) for dinner. I’m not sure I’ll continue after this 4 weeks but I don’t see it being a problem following Huel short term. That said, I am very much looking forward to my “day off” tomorrow and I know exactly what I’m going to eat for breakfast.

A lot of people online talk about issues with digestion but to be honest I spent most of last week eating mung bean curry so my digestion’s pretty damn confused at the best of times. If anything, this Huel stuff is making me less farty.

Footnote

[1] I realise that level of weight loss in that time window is most likely due to changes in fluid retention, although as all I’m doing is drinking liquid I have to say I feel pretty damn hydrated.

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