I started Huel about a month ago and it’s been pretty amazing so far.
A little background: I was and still am overweight, pushing obesity. I absolutely love food, but alas I wasn’t built with the metabolism to sustain my voracious appetite for savory foods. I knew I needed to make a change because I’m coming up on 30 and I noticed that I was settling into a routine of stress-related overeating. Portion control, for some reason, didn’t seem to work - something psychological/emotional about depriving myself of good things or something. I was looking for filling, nutritious food that could somehow trick me on a deeper level to shift my mentality about what it takes to be content and have energy throughout the day. Huel appeared out of nowhere and I was really skeptical. My mind wandered to all of those strange, high calorie, low-volume diet drinks like Boost and the lot. But after watching a lot of the testimonials on youtube and reading various experiences on the internet, I decided to take a stab. Below are the high points of my experience with explanations.
The Price Point: Huel is more than affordable - something that’s sort of framed as an added benefit when reading about it. It might be the most surprising/amazing thing about it for me. I have a wife and three kids and we were somewhere in the neighborhood of USD $750 - $800 per month on groceries/food. With Huel, I paid the ~$115 per month (4 packs) for me and then quickly realized that all the crap I was eating for breakfast and dinner was a huge culprit of high grocery bills. We cut out the crap and a lot of the eating out too. We’re down to just over half of our original number, including Huel. That’s $300 per month either shuttled into savings or toward retirement investments. $3600 a year looks pretty nice, especially with employer matching programs for 401k.
Family Health: Huel has dramatically changed what we’re bringing into the house from supermarkets. Chucking some blueberries in the Vanilla flavor, apart from being delicious (definitely try!), drove us to bringing in all sorts of fruit and fresh foods into the house. My kids are reaching for mandarins and strawberries now instead of some of the Easter sweets flooding the US supermarkets. My wife has even lost weight (not that she struggles with it in the first place). I think it speaks volumes about the product that it can really change your way of life as a family.
Personal Health: This one will be a bit long because it hits the heart of what most prospective Huelers want to know. Understand that I was coming from a diet that had me taking in ~3500+ calories a day. I was treating my body like trash: burgers, pizza, pasta, and I was drinking my beers of choice 2-3 times a week. When the box with my subscription came it was a really bittersweet moment because I knew I had to change, but somewhere in there, I was excited about it. I started from day 1 replacing breakfast and dinner with Huel. My wife, who is from Latin America, recommended this configuration to me based on common weight loss programs from her country. I wanted to keep my journey a bit more discreet at work too, so it works to eat lunch and replace the others. The first week was damned hard. Not going to sugar coat it. I experienced some level of dizziness, dry mouth, tension headaches, and hunger pangs the first few days. I honestly hardly slept at all the first couple of nights and had pretty bad mood swings. It’s a dramatic change and I quickly realized that I was addicted to refined sugar and other substances. I combated this by taking in more water, and snacking on fruit once or twice a day (everything I was reading pointed to rapid swings in blood sugar). I decided to set apart 1 day a week that I could treat myself and add a controlled dinner with drinks [hey, don’t scold me, I’m still young people!]. I did that on Friday the first week. The second week rolled around and by this point, it was pretty routine and I started experimenting with different flavors combos. Strawberry banana is really good but the ultimate for me has to be blueberry. I do the 400 ml of water with 3 full scoops of Huel and then 100ml of liquid coffee in the mornings. Then I do 400 ml of water with about 2.5 scoops and fruit for dinner. For me, the fruit at night carries me through without hunger while sleeping. Also, “prepping” fruit and different color and tastes makes me feel content about it being a dinner. At lunch I can afford to eat somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 Cals, which is great because I don’t have to decline to go out with coworkers or be that cliched overweight dude trying the millionth way to lose weight. If you’re really sedentary, to experience the same impact and weight loss, you’d probably have to whittle that meal down to ~750 or so. I don’t snack anymore unless I’m putting in extra time biking (which I do to commute anyway). There’s so much more to write here but let me boil down what I’ve seen: lower blood pressure, lower pulse, more stamina, clearer skin (hugely underrated, btw), and ~8lbs lost. Biggest piece of advice: drink lots of water at first if you’re doing the cold turkey thing. This is oversimplified and I’d be happy to reply to anyone with more questions about the personal health aspects.
Versatility: As I’ve touched on earlier, Huel combines well with a lot of stuff. As someone who loves to cook, it brings me at least a little piece of mind to be able to experiment with flavor combinations. I’m trying to make sure to stick to healthy additives though, and often cut out some powder when doing so to make sure I don’t crack the ~500 Cal threshold. The coffee in the morning gets me ready to go for the commute and pretty easily/comfortably gets me through to lunch. I drink tea once or twice a day too. Huel goes well with most mild, non-citrus fruits. Again, I highly recommend blueberry. I want to experiment with some veggies (sounds gross I know, but it’s lacking in my diet). I think at a minimum carrot juice and grated zucchini/pumpkin might be pretty good. I’ll report back next month with some new stuff, but I’m trying to avoid the easy refined stuff (i.e. cocoa powder, starbucks flavors, etc.)
That’s about all I have time for now, but really the list goes on and on. Huel has changed me and continues to do so in new ways. I’m really impressed and hopeful that I’ll find new ways to spice things up, continuing to optimize my comfort levels and weight loss.