Huel and intermittent fasting


#1

Hi everyone, I’m new to Huel and I’m starting to do IF with Huel to lose weight. Any suggestions? And does it work as well? I’m doing calorie deficit with IF, is it worth it?
Thank you and have a good day!


#2

Hey @Raulst. You will lose weight as long as you are in calorie deficit. Intermittent fasting may help you achieve this because you have a smaller window to consume your calories in each day but it is not necessary.

This article may help: https://huel.com/pages/guide-to-fat-loss


#3

Well… there’s more to it than a simple calorie deficit, Dan. Yes, a fasting window may help a person eat less total calories in a day. And this may contribute to the lowering of total daily insulin. But there may also be some benefits from a daily fast towards lowering insulin resistance which then promotes a more favorable insulin response (read: less insulin needed from the pancreas) when the person eats during the feeding window. And this may be independent from any change in total calories consumed. I think there was some research in which people were simply asked to change the timing of their meals but not alter total calories, (i.e. do IF but not calorie restrict) and they experienced some weight loss. There is also something I read where the liver processes fats differently when a person eats starting in a low insulin state verses a state of higher insulin. I.e. a fasted state where the person has low basal insulin causes the body to process food differently when
they break that fast than if they were to eat only a few hours after their previous meal. (I need to search my notes for this reference.). Also, during fasting when insulin levels are low/basal, fat more readily comes out of adipose tissue and is available to the rest of the body. Higher insulin levels keep fat locked away in adipose tissue. So going through a daily period of a fast allows the body some more time to be in fat releasing and fat burning mode.

But I also think there is some evidence that IF causes people to spontaneously eat a little less, so it may be hard to separate the effects.

Fasting has some other beneficial effects apart from insulin. It can raise certain hormones during the fasted state like mildly increase growth hormone and epinephrine. There is some evidence of apoptosis during a fast. Fasting may have beneficial changes for gut biome. And there may be some psychological benefits.


#4

Yes, IF works very well for many people. Not all. Some people cannot go too far without eating. And some people are not that insulin resistant so it may not work as well for them.

In 2018 I basically practiced a 16-hour or 17-hour daily fast, ate an omnivore meal for my breakfast, and then ate Huel as my dinner at work. On my days off I would do omnivore meals during my feeding window but still maintain a 16 to 17 hr fast. In 2019 I have eliminated meat and dairy but still do the 16 to 17 hour fast, and do mostly Huel as my work meal. I’d estimate that Huel comprised about 40 to 50% of my total food intake over the last 14 months. I also exercise most days of the week about 30 to 45 minutes, mostly during the fasted state.

In the start of 2018 I was 2015 lbs. Today I am 145 lbs. 5’ 10" male. Was a waist 40. Now am 32 or 34 inch waist. I am skinny now, but have gained a good amount of strength from exercise.

Many years ago I was 275 lbs and type 2 diabetic. I have a history of insulin resistance, so that may play a role in why IF and Huel combo worked so well for me.


#5

Completely agree Deron but sometimes it’s good to answer a short question with a short answer. We can certainly go into the nitty gritty of why IF works for some, I would argue many is a stretch based on current data.

In the general population i.e. those who are not diabetic or pre-diabetic the issue of insulin becomes less of a factor. Even in type 2 diabetes this is before taking into account other hormones and neurotransmitters e.g. leptin, ghrelin NPY, individual biological and psychological differences and overall fat mass.

I feel you are coming at it from a diabetic point of view, which is just one sub group of the whole population (although a growing one) and even then it can be one method of “success”. Although this does centre around insulin.

Here’s a good comparison of the more traditional continuous weight loss method vs IF: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00873.x

I would love to see the study on altered meal times causing weight loss without a change in calories, feel free to message me it.

Apoptosis has been seen in animal models but this has yet to be demonstrated in humans. In fact, most of the benefits that have been seen in animals in regards to IF have failed to translate to humans.

This paper is not specifically about IF but highlights really well the issue with pinning down benefits of a single diet and applying them to all of the general population. One of the most important considerations is: can you stick to a healthy diet for the long term.

"Yet, no one dietary strategy is consistently superior to others for the general population. "