I’ll give you some background leading me to Huel. =)
For most of my life I’ve had a very easy time staying slim, but in the past eight years or so I went through rough times that led to frequent comfort eating, and I guess it doesn’t hurt that I’d surpassed the age when I could get away with that sort of thing every now and then. That eating, with special thanks to the fact that I never learned to pay much attention, became habit.
Coming from a family of perpetual dieters and disordered eaters, I was resistant to making any changes or experimenting with dieting for fear of inducing the disordered eating behavior I’d seen growing up. To this day, my mom and sister are still suffering the effects of bulimia, despite no longer purging. My sister recently has had success with the “keto” diet, and like clockwork my mom started a new diet of her own after seeing her results, and I vowed not to follow suit. For as long as I can remember, my mom has been religiously fat-phobic, and in defiance of dieting, as an adult I’ve indulged in full-fat everything.
But I’ve been on a steady trajectory of weight gain, and while I don’t have an impressive amount to lose, so to speak, I figure it will be much easier to lose a little now rather than much more down the road. I am unhappy with how I look in clothes, even when they “fit," and the fact that I have “outgrown" a few sizes now is getting frustrating and costly. I have been hanging onto a favorite pair of jeans I wore ten years ago, along with a couple pairs from about eight years ago, and ideally I’d like to fit those again. Even if for no other reason than it’s hard to find the same quality of jeans nowadays! lol
As you can see, it’s important to me to be careful and gentle with myself about this. I strive to be body positive and believe that how much you weigh does not reflect your value as a human being. And it is still extremely important to me not to fall into unhealthy, obsessive patterns. That said, I am having a hell of a time corralling these other unhealthy, obsessive patterns I have developed. =/
I did try to count calories with MFP at the first of the year, and that worked and helped me lose about five pounds or so, but I quickly fell off the wagon. One thing I know for fact about myself is that I struggle mightily with self-discipline and am very easily tempted by thoughts of junky foods. And as much as I genuinely love the taste of healthy foods, I am somehow extremely thoughtless about planning ahead for meals and find myself ravenously hungry with absolutely nothing on hand to eat. Add to that, I’m extremely lazy about food prep, anyway. =/ It’s not hard to see how I frequently wind up eating fast food.
Enter: Huel. I figure with meal shakes I will have absolutely no excuse. I’ll always have a quick, easy, nutritious meal on hand.
So I used a TDEE calculator and I’m getting back into MFP and I’m thinking I will use Huel for 2-3 meals per day, or about a bag a week, to make it easier to stay at a 500 calorie deficit. I think for me it would not be realistic to do 100% Huel all the time, so I will have a handful of nights each week where I’ll have a regular solid meal.
However, I have some concerns…
I tried my first Huel for lunch yesterday and then had another for breakfast today, both 100g/400cal servings. Both times I found myself quickly hungry again, within 2-3 hours. =( As I have never dieted for any extended period of time, I am not familiar with handling the inevitable feelings of hunger that come with eating at a caloric deficit. That hunger is the habit trigger that has brought me to the fast food window time and again, and without well-exercised discipline, I worry that I will easily give into it. Satisfying hunger is such a primal human imperative, the idea of overwriting a pattern linked to it feels nearly impossible!
How have you all managed to overcome triggers such as that and exercised discipline until it became your new habit? I will obviously avoid watching the Great British Baking Show, or any other obvious tempters like that. But other than that, I got nothing.
Also, how can I be sure that I’ve accurately estimated my activity level when using the TDEE? I mean, a few days a week I’m completely sedentary, a few days a week I work for 4-8 hours on my feet, once (or more?) every week or two I ride my bike or take a hike, a couple times a year I do a long hike or bike. It’s really pretty erratic, tbh. I never really go to the gym. I chose “light” activity level on the calculator, so as to be realistic and not exaggerate. Maybe my activity level is more moderate though? Maybe that’s why I’m hungry? I feel it’s important that I get enough calories because eating too little could be just as bad for me as eating too much. =/
Anyway, thanks for reading and I’m looking forward to getting to know you all better through the forums!