Huel, exercise, and results


#1

I am using Huel for breakfast every day, and lunch most days. I am going to start exercising soon. My goal is to lose some fat and get in shape. I wouldn’t mind staying the same weight if I lost some fat and gained some muscle. Or I wouldn’t mind losing some fat/weight and just being in better shape.

Personally, I will be using just my body weight for working out, and some jogging.

Anyone else? Hows about a facebook group of several people Hueling and exercising and cheering each other on?

Ideas?


#2

Since December 2017 my BMI went from 30 to 21 (today’s). I pretty much attribute this to two things:

  1. 16 hr daily fast
  2. Eat Huel for meals at work

I am now transitioning to a mostly plant based diet for all my meals, but I was an omnivore during my weight loss. I also exercise mildly during my fasting window. However, exercise contributed only mildly to my fat loss in 2018.

Before this, I went from a BMI of 38 to 30 using vigorous exercise for 2 hr (sometimes up to 3 hr) per day. I was in shape but still overweight and not satisfied with the way that clothes fit. Also I was hungry AF all day, panic eating if I went too long in between meals. It was inefficient and limiting. Not worth the hassle. Besides, at my age, who am I trying to impress by how much I can bench?

Once I learned about insulin resistance and it’s contribution to adiposity (as well It’s role in type 2 diabetes and heart disease) and stopped trying to “out-burn” my calories in, and realized that energy intake and energy expenditure are interdependent, then I realized there were better ways to lose excess body fat.

I am not saying that you should not exercise. Exercise has many benefits. it can make you stronger and increase your endurance. It may also increase longevity, independent of any effects on body fat. It may also help promote better sleep. But in terms of pure impact on body fat, exercise is complicated. Exercise stimulates appetite which compels us to eat more. I know on days that I skip exercise I can get by with eating less, and I can continue my fast even longer. Also, the studies have mixed results. Some show neutral effect on body fat composition. The studies that are the most compelling however are for people who are diabetic. In other words the people who are the most insulin resistant are the ones that tend to lose the most body fat from an exercise program. This leads me to theorize that the true mechanism of exercise and fat loss lies in its ability to improve insulin sensitivity, not necessarily because exercise “burns calories”. We burn more calories in a night of sleep compared to an hour of exercise. We always burn calories.

Also, most people don’t begin exercise program without also making corresponding changes in their diet anyway. they kind of go together as a pair. People will join a gym but then they will also Val to cut out sodas or doughnuts or whatever. So it may be hard to fully elucidate the true impact of exercise.

None the less, I am writing this while waking up this morning. Gonna get my black coffee and get ready to do my kettlebell and steel-bell workout in the upstairs room. Got me a door frame pull-up bar and push up hand stands as well. I keep it simple.


#3

I would be interested in a group. I have lost 17 lbs since I started Huel on 10/29/18. I have been doing a 16 hour fast (or close to it) from 7pm-11am, then having Huel for lunch. Usually a small snack/meal in the late afternoon, then either Huel or traditional food for dinner. My biggest struggle is wanting to snack after dinner.
In the next week or so I am hoping to transition to consistently having Huel twice per day, and even some days only consuming Huel shakes. I have been doing some light exercise 2-4 times per week, mostly walking/running on a treadmill for 15-30 minutes.

I have really come to believe (like Deron) that what you eat and how much you eat contribute way more to losing weight than how much you exercise. Trying to “out-burn” my calories consumed in years past was incredibly difficult and time consuming. Focusing on what I eat vs working out takes so much less time, which is good for me right now!


#4

I agree. I am down 70 lbs since starting my Huel diet eight months ago, and have not exercised during that time besides walking to and from my car. Definitely plan to eventually (don’t we all) but exercise makes me hungry as hell, and busting my ass in the gym and then sitting down to a giant bowl of mac n cheese is kind of like trying to scoop water out of a boat that still has a massive hole in it. I feel like exercise and weight loss are so overly conflated that many people never even bother trying to lose weight because they aren’t motivated enough to do cardio, which is a shame, as exercise is a secondary factor at best when it comes to weight loss and can in fact make the whole process way more stressful than it needs to be.


#5

I’ve been embarking on a personal research project, looking at the expert panels recommendations as well as primary literature regarding subjects such as diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity, plant-based diets, etc.

There is indeed one underlying theme tying many of these issues together. Insulin resistance. It appears that insulin resistance is the mechanism driving the metabolic syndrome, which is a condition where a patient has 3 or more of the following: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, low HDL, high triglycerides, and/or elevated blood sugars. Yes salt does play a role in high blood pressure. But it also appears to be associated with insulin resistance as well. And the metabolic syndrome substantially increases risk of heart disease and all-cause mortality by around 40%.

Treating metabolic syndrome has traditionally been about treating each individual aspect (BP, triglyderides, glucose, etc). But experts are encouraging a more root-cause treatment, focused on reversing insulin resistance. The weight, BP, triglycerides, HDL, glucose, etc. will then begin to normalize once the root cause (insulin resistance) is treated.

The literature is clear: diet is one of the most important factors influencing insulin resistance and obesity. It might be the single most important. In essence, insulin resistance is a dietary problem that needs a dietary solution. Medications (and even exercise) should only play a secondary role. Exercise is good, but should be considered an add-on to the main treatment of better diet.

I just wanted to kind of expand the discussion beyond “losing weight”. There may be too much focus on losing excess body fat for aesthetic appearance. But, if we see excess body fat as more of a “canary in the coal mine”, it makes more sense. Excess adiposity is usually the first recognizable sign of insulin resistance. And chances are, by this point we have already begun having mildly elevated blood sugars and triglycerides. We may have already started the early stages of atherosclerosis and the microvascular damage seen in diabetes.

The good news is that it can be reversed and we can improve our health. But, it must start first with the things we put in our mouth. This has far more influence than how much time we spend exercising.