I did not go 100% Huel. The wife is a really good cook (and my skills are on par), so I’d be missing out. But I use one dose of Huel as my dinner at work. I found that I could not consistently get to break at the same time and sometimes I didn’t have a good option to heat up my food. So I bring Huel and then I can drink it whenever I need regardless of how busy it is at work that day.
So I started my second weight loss journey around Jan 2018. I adjusted myself into a daily 16 to 17 hour fast. I would finish my Huel by 18:30 and then would not break my fast until 11:00 or 11:30 the next day, eating a regular meal for breakfast. Between my breakfast and my Huel dinner I would have a snack if needed, mid afternoon. After a month of getting used to fasting, I began to re-introduce exercise but in the fasted state. That actually took longer to get used to than the 16-hr daily fast. Trying to do strength training at 10:00 each morning, near the end of my fast, was something that took a while to get used to. But as I got more insulin sensitive and used to fasting for longer periods, I found I was able to exercise 30 - 45 minutes with little reduction in my capacity. But this was during the period of weight loss, so my exercise was being fueled by my excess body fat stores. Then around January 2019 I had made the decision to remove all meat/dairy from the diet. I had been researching the negative health impacts of animal products on human health. I also realized that a good portion of my total food intake was plant-based anyway. So, I gave it a beta test in Jan. And I haven’t felt the need to go back. I’ve been plant-based since. The combination of daily fasting and removing meat/dairy really accelerated the weight loss beyond what I imagined would be possible. My original goal was to get down to 86 kg since I didn’t even think anything less was possible. Boy, was a I wrong. I am not trying to minimize anyone’s weight loss journey, especially since I had struggled for years and was even a type 2 diabetic at one point. But, I am surprised at how stupid easy it is to be thin once the science of insulin resistance is understood and a proper long-term diet program is chosen. Removing meat/dairy really improves insulin sensitivity (as does intermittent fasting). Weight loss became automatic and “effortless” once I learned the science and directed my discipline to be able to fast and not need meat/dairy. But to answer your question, my second weight loss journey using Huel took about 15 months. I still stick with the program and the weight has then remained the same for the last 5 months or so. So I basically changed my dietary patterns, weight loss then naturally occurred and now I am at a new plateau with the same program. It’s a way of eating rather than a temporary diet.
Now that I’m a lean 66/67 kg and 32 inch waist, I don’t have those fat stores anymore. These days I will sometimes break my fast at the 14 hr mark with fruit, then exercise, then eat my first real meal. I found that if I exercise fasted these days, I conk out too quick and my workout becomes ineffective.
Note that I originally lost a good 28 kg before 2018 doing the vigorous exercise thing. I would exercise up to 3 hours a day some days and then try to restrict calories. Obviously this is not great for being lean. yes, I did improve my health some and got less fat. And I was quite strong. But the exercise regimen made me hungry AF. Trying to count/restrict calories and maximize exercise is futile. Once I understood about insulin resistance and it’s roots for abdominal obesity and diabetes, I found a much better way. The second weight loss journey was way easier. I still exercise, but not nearly to the extent I used to. I no longer have to panic eat. It’s freedom.