Being sated on Huel vs other meal replacements

I can’t figure this out. Why am I so hungry?

I’ve been drinking a variety of meal replacements for years, for about 1/3 of my daily calories. My most recent shake is one that is designed to be mixed with milk, and I enjoy it. However, I have been considering replacing more of my daily calories with a drink, and decided the superior ingredients and nutrition of Huel are the way to go. And I really like drinking Huel.

So, for about a week I’ve been mixing up the same amount of calories of Huel as I have been consuming every day with my previous shake. The macros are just a little different:

90g Mixed with 4oz of homemade kefir, 1tbs acacia fiber

cal: 460
carbs: 50
fat: 16
Protein: 30
sugars: 6
fiber: 14

My previous shake:
56g mixed with 4oz homemade kefir, 1tbs acacia fiber, 8oz nonfat milk, 2 tsp fat (olive, avocado, or coconut oils)

cal: 464
carbs: 60
fat: 17
protein: 22
sugars: 17
fiber: 15

The macro values are close, but Huel is superior in higher protein and lower sugar. The previous shake keeps me going for 4 hours, sometimes a little longer, and there is never a crash or cravings. The Huel shake is barely giving me 2 hours before I’m hungry again. Really hungry. It shouldn’t be like that. I assumed that the food based nutrition of Huel, along with the better protein and sugar numbers, would satiate me for longer.

This is not a “what can I do to be less hungry” question. There are many of those on the board here, and plenty of good answers. I’m trying to understand why I am less satiated on Huel than on the other shake. Thoughts?

Not a doctor or nutritionist…

Is it the type of fat? If your old formula was more oils and they moved slower you’d have a sensation of fullness for a longer time.

Also, type of carbs can have a similar effect. Fewer total carbs and also slower metabolizing might leave insulin, leptin, and grehlin levels in different states after 2 hours, 4 hours, etc.

Maybe also milk? Maybe some combination?

I’m interested to know if you reach a conclusion after more observation/testing. Please update this thread if you do. :slight_smile:

This is strange. Based on the information you’ve given (which is a lot) it’s hard to say why you feel hungrier with Huel. As you rightly said you should at least feel at least as satiated if not more so with Huel.

Are you consuming Huel quicker than your old shake by any chance?


Thanks for the replies. @miked There may be something to your suggestion regarding oil. I added a teaspoon of olive oil yesterday, and it was better. But I also increased the Huel by 10grams, so it isn’t certain.

@Dan_Huel I don’t think I’m drinking the Huel more quickly, but I will consciously slow it down today and see what happens.

There may be something about the milk content though. I came across this piece of information by Dr. Jason Fung, who writes about the effect whey has on insulin and incretin, as whey stimulates both.

" Dairy also shows the largest discrepancy between the blood glucose and insulin effect. It scores extremely low on the glycemic index (15 to 30), but very high on the insulin index (90 to 98). Milk does contain sugars, predominantly in the form of lactose. However, when tested, pure lactose has minimal effect on either the glycemic or insulin indexes."


"The incretin hormones have multiple effects, only one of which is to stimulate insulin. Incretins also have a major effect on satiety. … Incretin hormones play an important role in the control of gastric emptying. The stomach normally holds food and mixes it with stomach acid before slowly discharging the contents. GLP-1 causes stomach emptying to significantly slow. Absorption of nutrients also slows, resulting in lower blood glucose and insulin levels. Furthermore, this effect creates a sensation of satiety that we experience as “being full.”

There is more information there, but maybe this has something to do with it. However, I don’t want to continue to drink that much milk, and I’m going to do what I can to make Huel work.


Let us know how you get on :slight_smile:.

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@Desert_Way I have heard that the casein protein in milk elicits a rather strong insulin response. In general, protein generates a lesser insulin response than carbohydrates when compared on a per gram basis (same “dosage”). But I think casein is one of the exceptions. I believe it has one of the strongest insulin responses of all proteins.

Milk is supposed to be a very anabolic food since it has been designed to be consumed by growing infants. And the chemical makeup of cow’s milk is different from human milk, containing more protein, since a baby cow is about 80 pounds and will eventually grow into a 1000 to 1500 lb mammal at adulthood. Milk’s high insulin response and the large amounts of fat and protein are perfect for a rapidly growing large land mammal.

And Dr. Fung notes that lactuose by itself doesn’t invoke a strong insulin response, but the milk itself does. So it makes sense that it’s the casein protein.

Thank you @Deron. I don’t have much knowledge in this area, so I’ll just link the article from which I quoted. The information is from Dr. Fung’s The Obesity Code, so if you have that book there’s no reason to look at the article.

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Hunger, a fascinating phenomena!

Oats. There is some anecdotal evidence from 12 step food addiction programs that the consumption of oats can trigger hunger addiction (anomalous usage maybe) . One 12 Step food program I was in, forbade all flours (powders) as they were considered to be similar to sugar. Flours are highly processed so are converted into sugar quickly by the body, albeit not as quickly as eating processed sugars. The program also warned against eating oats recommending to only 3 times a week or abstaining completely because, anecdotally, a lot of food addicts felt it trigger their physical hunger addiction.

Being aware of this, processed flours, and in the case of Huel, processed Oat powder, when I started trying MRs, first Soylent last year, then Huel this year, I’ve paid attention to my own hunger cravings.

I wasn’t satiated with Soylent the way I am with Huel, when first consuming the products. That said, I find that sometimes, but not often, at this time, I do want to have another Huel shake, earlier than I feel I should desire it. This is always in the morning.

I, loosely, schedule my meals for every 2.75 hours. My philosophy is not to suffer hunger as its affects on my physical, emotional and productive wellbeing outweigh any sort of rigid schedule I might believe is healthy or I believe should be (adverse affects of Hangry/HALT). So when I crowd my meals closer together when hunger strikes, in the morning, I do find I naturally space later meals farther apart so that I don’t consume more than the 6 meals I’ve planned for the day anyways. Net result, equal but without having to tolerate maddening hunger, so plus for giving into my hunger.

I don’t recall if this was the case with Soylent…long term satiation. But I honestly, just don’t remember.

At this time, I am more satisfied with the sense of satiation when I consume the meal than the occasional need to consume another meal(s) earlier than planned as long as I am not feeding on Huel all day long :slight_smile:. I hope it doesn’t grow into a serious hunger problem.

This isn’t really true. Flours, especially wholewheat flours have a lower glycemic index than most sugars so are digested slower than most sugars: Additionally they can provide a variety of micronutrients that sugar does not.

I can’t comment for Soylent but Huel powders have a very low GI of 17. You can find out more here: and here:

There are also more factors to satiety too! Speed of eating, whether you eat with distractions e.g. having the tv on, the presence of protein and fibre which increase satiety (Huel is high in both) amongst other factors need to be taken into account too.

I find this too which is why I never skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast has been shown to lead to snacking later in the day, although it varies and some people find fasting works for the opposite reason.

It’s great you’ve found what works for you and hopefully, Huel continues to as well.

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Agreed slower, but if the article is read on the site you suggest, the word similar is apt.

The anecdotal evidence of feelings of hunger was in reference to the OP personal observation that Huel, despite all evidence that it should satiate better than other powders, causes her hunger earlier than she thinks it should. Oats being the primary ingredient could be the cause of her hunger being triggered as oats has anecdotally been observed to do the same in others enough for some 12 step programs to forbid it or moderate it.

On paper, your position is good as both the OP and I agree. The problem is that some people’s hunger are more triggered than others by processed grains, and some grains more than others.

If I were to choose a grain for an MR, I’d also have chosen oats. That said, it is impossible for it to be the ideal grain for everyone.

Completely agree Billy! Just be careful with anecdotal evidence as I have done this before and you can pin one culprit down but actually find out it is something else or multiple culprits.

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