Hi all so I’m a big guy about 5.9 265 age 30 I’ve experienced some weight loss using two scoops for two meals. Breakfast and lunch. I do however eat a normal dinner with smaller portions. Is it dangerous or ill advised to go down to one scope ?
With 99% certainty I would say it is not dangerous. I have read a lot about fasting and seen studies and case reports and I know for a fact that some obese people have underwent multiple day fasts, consuming no food at all for 7 to 10 days, and were perfectly fine. So, it is perfectly safe for you to reduce your Huel to as little as you are able to and still feel fine. Restricting nutrients for a period of time for the purpose of health or body fat reduction is common and safe so long as it’s just a temporary thing. Your body and mind will feel tired and hungry if you get to the point where you aren’t eating enough and then you can simply increase the food intake at that point. So go ahead and give it a try. The body is remarkably good at recycling and retaining necessary vitamins and minerals during periods of fasting or eating small. Humans would have died off a long time ago if we “needed” to eat 3 square meals a day without exception.
If you reduce insulin levels low enough, stored fat is then able to come out of adipose tissue and be available for energy. Often times obese people (my former self included) are able to go for long periods of time without food or eat small daily calorie amounts for periods of time, once they’ve been dieting for a while and have mentally adjusted and also gotten back some of their insulin sensitivity. Stored fat begins to mobilize and then supplements their energy needs, thus reducing the need to obtain energy from eaten food, until they reach a lower body weight.
For example, when I first started my intermittent fasting regimen, it was difficult. Once I eased my way into it and got adjusted, it became easier. After a few months of this, I could go for 18 to 20 hours without food, not feel hungry, and feel full of energy. My meals were also relatively small since I wasn’t too hungry. I have done a 20 mile bike ride while 16 hours fasted. But I was still fat then. My body had gotten used to mobilizing my fat and thus I didn’t need to eat much. I now find it much harder to fast and have to force myself to eat more since I’m now skinny.
Starvation and under-eating are not really problems in modern, industrialized societies. (Yes, there are some people who can develop a body dys-morphia situation like anorexia, but that’s more related to anxiety/depression. Those are psychological disorders. That’s not the same as someone intentionally restricting intake for the purpose of health.) We simply do not have dietary deficiencies to any appreciable extent here in the US. Our dietary problem is one of excess. We (me included) become insulin resistant and therefore fat and diabetic because of excess, not deficiency. A temporary, intentional nutritional deficiency (like temporary food restriction, fasting, etc) is actually good for most of us.
I would check out how much you need to consume to lose weight safely Damian: https://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html
This guide can provide a bit of advice too: https://huel.com/pages/guide-to-fat-loss
Losing weight gradually may also help you keep the weight off in the long-term. It is what works for you at the end of the day so if you are losing weight, keep it up!
I dropped from 225 to 195 in 5-6 months using one scoop per breakfast and lunch shake with a fairly normal dinner. I haven’t added much exercise to my routine. I’ve just tried to control calories. It seems it really is all about the numbers (and a good bit of mind over matter!). If I have fewer than 1500 calories per day, I lose weight. It takes real dedication to stick to that number; thus, I’ve stalled out for a while, but hoping to knock out another 20 lbs over the next year or so.
I use ~1.5 scoops since I often add milk & chia seeds to my breakfast Huel. It’s really meant to balance since I really don’t need the full serving size for breakfast. So I don’t see why not, so long as you feel good during the day & have balanced meals, etc. Best of luck @Damian_Jones!
I have been using Huel Powder for about 3 weeks now. I did a ton of research before I went on this journey of finally trying to lose weight. I am 6’ tall, 54 years old and started at 248 lbs. I decided on using Huel based on the fact that it’s the most nutritious powder I could find that is about $1.77 per serving. I also did research on Intermittent Fasting. I am doing the 17:7 cycle. You may want to try the 16:8 cycle first before cutting calories. I am eating about 1600 - 1750 calories per day and have lost 9 pounds so far. I am at 239 - first time I have been at that weight in over 15 years. I would try Fasting from 8:00 PM until Noon the next day (16 hours) During that time, drink lots of water and anything else you want that is calorie free but not diet pop. Then, you are able to eat from Noon until 8:00 PM. I have a Huel shake at 12:30 PM & 3:45 PM then a normal meal around 7:00 PM. Then I am done eating for the day until the following day at 12:30 PM again. I have stuck to this and it’s been very easy and is working. I would not cut your calories too much. Like Dan said, See how much you need to consume to lose weight safely.
Hope this helps and let me know if you have any questions about what I am doing.
[UPDATE 5/20/19] I am now down 16.2 pounds. My weight is currently at 231.8 pounds.
[UPDATE 6/14/19] I am now down 22.5 pounds. My weight is currently at 225.5 pounds.
[UPDATE 7/3/19] I am now down 27 pounds. My weight is currently at 221 pounds.
Glad to see someone else getting a lot of success from Intermittent Fasting. My max BMI many years ago was 38.5. And then when I started my IF routine in early 2018, I was already down to a BMI of 30. Today, thanks to IF and eating plant-based food during my feeding window I am at a BMI of 21, along with a very large clothing budget. (Had to replace everything except shoes.)
I’ve referred to IF as “the fountain of youth”. So it’s pretty interesting that I came across this article regarding dietary restriction, nutrient restriction, intermittent fasting (time restriction), and their effects on aging. It seems that IF is not just something to lose weight. It seems like it might be a life-long health-promoting practice. I’ll quote the opening paragraph.
"Reduced food intake, avoiding malnutrition, can ameliorate aging and aging-associated diseases in invertebrate model organisms, rodents, primates and humans. Recent findings indicate that meal timing is crucial, with both intermittent fasting and adjusted diurnal rhythm of feeding improving health and function, in the absence of changes in overall intake. Lowered intake of particular nutrients, rather than of overall calories, is also key, with protein and specific amino acids playing prominent roles. Nutritional modulation of the microbiome can also be important, and there are long-term, including inter-generational, effects of diet.
Another little interesting article using a prospective trial, looking at diet and “healthy aging”.
This was a prospective cohort trial, over 13 years. Participants were > 45 years age, and had no cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, or mental deficiencies at baseline. n = 2796. Healthy aging was defined as not having diabetes, no cancer, functionally and mentally capable, no limitations to daily activity, no depression, no limiting pain.
“In this large cohort of French adults, there was no significant overall association between adherence to a “healthy” Dietary Pattern (DP) and Healthy Aging (HA) after adjustment for important confounders such as tobacco smoking and physical activity. However, in line with our primary hypothesis, energy intake had a modulating effect on this association. Although among individuals with energy intakes that were greater than or equal to the sex-specific median, no significant results were observed, adherence to the healthy DP was associated with ∼50% higher odds of HA among participants with energy intakes that were less than the median.”
Participants who ate a healthy dietary pattern and ate less total energy/calories than average had a higher rate of healthy aging.
“The specificity of our results concerning the “healthy” DP for individuals with energy intakes that were less than the median suggests that high energy intakes may “counterbalance” beneficial effects of “healthy” DPs. Indeed, a recently published study in a Mediterranean population (43) showed an inverse association between a high energy intake (defined as being in the highest tertile; i.e., consumption of ≥1700 kcal/d) and “successful aging.” Furthermore, caloric restriction has been much discussed as a potentially beneficial factor for increased longevity and a lowered probability of age-related chronic disease (44). “
Allow me to editorialize a bit. Throughout much of human history, humans were forced to undergo periods of dietary restriction or time restriction to eating meals, via economic constraints or food scarcity. It might be the human body was designed to withstand temporary periods of nutrient scarcity. The body had to be able to adapt to burn stored fat as the primary source of energy and to recycle old cells or tissue to “re-purpose” this during fasting times. There were probably many times in history where groups of people had to make do with less food than what they wanted. And, there is some sort of built-in fear of starvation that most people innately have. True famine or starvation can wipe out groups of people, so it’s a legit fear. But many of us here in modern, industrialized societies have never known food scarcity. Since WW2, we haven’t seen any serious food shortages or rationing of food in any form. We haven’t seen military conflict on home soil. We haven’t endured an oppressive government. At the same time, we have grown technologically and now have access to copious amounts of food. And a lot of modern food is packaged and made easier to eat in between meals. It’s incredible easy to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, and not worry about shortages. And even lower income families still can access a decent amount of food. So our current generations are actually experiencing something that is unique to human history: we have dietary excesses. We have too much food, too easily. And we operate under beliefs that we have to get enough protein, enough vitamins, enough essential fatty acids, which only makes it worse. And on top of our excess food we add on dietary supplements. Most of our bodies are fully saturated with essential nutrients as well as unhealthy nutrients. And it appears this pattern of eating is causing our top causes of death: Coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer.
We have forgotten something that ancient humans used to practice. Going for a period of time without food. They may been forced to do it. But it probably helped them to live longer. I know it sounds weird, but it appears as if getting too much nutrition actually causes us to live shorter, not longer. Unabated starvation is real bad. But temporary nutrient restriction seems to be very healthy.