PCOS, Type 2 Diabetes and starting Huel

Hey Everyone,

My first Black Edition Huel order is coming today. I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes (HbA1C is 13) and PCOS over 8 years ago. I’m only 30 and want to get my health back. I am about 80lbs overweight. I have tried soo many diets and none of them seem to shift the weight. I don’t quite believe the whole calories in and calories out for weight loss as it hasn’t really worked for me. I have tried the 800 calorie diet and that didn’t work after a while. My metabolism is awful. I calculated my BMR is 1450

Does anyone have any tips for me? I am planning on having Huel for 2 meals a day. I would really appreciate any guidance or tips as I really feel like just giving up.

Thank you

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Good afternoon, @Simpops:

I realize this is a bit long, so I’ll summarize the tips here and let you read my response at your leisure:

  • Be gentle on yourself; diabetes is hard
  • Focus on simple changes that you feel you can do so it nurtures into a habit
  • Check your glucose before and after Huel (or any new food) to see how it affects your body
  • Utilize the plate method to build your meals: 1/2 non-starchy veggies, 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole grain/starchy vegetables
  • Keep food you love in your diet, but just see how it affects you and how you can work it into your day
  • Have “movement snacks” like jump rope without the rope to incorporate more activity each day
  • Have “de-stress snacks” like deep breathing exercises to help reduce your stress each day

I’m glad you asked for tips. Although I’ve just started myself, support is really important, and I hope you find something supportive in something I wrote.


I just started my T2DM journey in October 2020 with an HbA1C of 13 and overweight by BMI by 20 pounds. I can speak a little bit about my experience with Huel and diabetes in general, though I caution that everybody’s body is unique and what works for me may not work for you–at least says my DSME.

Firstly, though, I want to say it’s alright and diabetes is hard. So please be gentle on yourself.

Incorporating Huel into my meals has made my meal planning significantly less overwhelming. Feeling less overwhelmed means less stress–and a positive effect on glucose levels–and increases the likelihood of sticking to your meal goals. My initial post about me using Huel in my meal plan has my pre-meal and post-meal glucose levels, and replacing 2 meals each day with Huel Black Edition and Hot & Savory with a regular meal for dinner has lowered my HbA1C to 5.6 and lowered my weight to 10 pounds overweight by BMI in January 2021.

For meals and snacks outside of Huel, I tend to follow the plate method whether eating at home or ordering takeaway. I will admit, though, that I don’t always stick with a recommended 9-inch plate, but I keep the same ratio whenever I plate myself food: 1/2 Non-Starchy Veggies, 1/4 Lean Protein, and 1/4 Whole Grains or Starchy Vegetables. My family and I have a very Asian diet (read: rice tends to be the staple grain and usually ends up being 1/2 of the plate), so I’ve been using non-starchy vegetables in my rice (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) to increase veggies and decrease carbohydrates.

Related to the rice, it helped me a bit to make a list of my regular and favorite foods and look at their nutrition facts. Diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t eat food you love, but sometimes it’s required a bit of planning and portioning to make sure it doesn’t screw me up too much or affect any of my ABCs (A1C, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol) too negatively.

Also make simple changes that you can stick to. I appreciate the desire for quick results, but for me I’ve put the mentality that diabetes is going to be a friend sticking with me for a long time. I could probably make faster changes if I want to, but simple changes are a) easy, which reduces stress, and b) more lasting–especially once they become habits.

If you can afford and budget it, I also recommend checking your glucose before and after eating something new when you don’t know how it will affect you. I appreciate that strips, lancets, control solution, and other DMEs are expensive and not everyone has an option to get unlimited strips and lancets like I have with my insurance, but having the data was really instrumental to me to figuring out how and if I can eat certain foods. As every diabetic is unique this data is important to figure out what is working for your body and what isn’t.

Try, also, to incorporate some exercise each day and de-stress each day, too. My mailbox is about a half-mile walk from my house and takes me about ten minutes when walking briskly. I also take “movement snacks” during my work breaks by either going up and down some stairs or doing jump rope without the rope. If you aren’t active at the moment I suggest being gentle and adding simple “snacks” that you can stick to. For de-stressing “snacks” I like to do breathing exercises and journaling.

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Hey @Simpops, welcome to the Huel forum! Thanks so much for posting.

And thank you @sentamalin for your post, as well. I could not agree more with what you’ve said and I want to reiterate a few of the points that you made because they’re so important.

I agree that the most important is to be gentle. A lot of nutrition information that’s out there can be very confusing and complex. In addition to that, diets are largely unsustainable (due to massive restrictions or changes) which is why they don’t quite work. Please know this is not on you. You are here looking to make positive longer term changes and that is amazing.

I also agree that the focus should be on smaller changes to dietary intake and lifestyle which add up over time, knowing that not every small change you make will be right for you and if it’s not, you can learn and adjust from there. It can be easy to focus on what we should be taking out of our intake; however, it’s important to shift this focus onto what should be added/included to ensure that you are fueling your body adequately with the nutrients it needs as this will help you feel your best.

If you’d like to include Huel in your intake, I’d suggest that you start out with Huel once per day a few days during the week to see how you tolerate it. You can then adjust from there to either increase or decrease the amount consumed depending on how you feel.

And don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any questions/concerns along the way or if you’d like to share any additional insights into your experience too!

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Just to add from what some of the others have said. I was a personal trainer for several years and have had clients that lost in the 100s of pounds. I would suggest doing what I’m doing, which is to eat more meals, but single scoops at timed intervals. I have an alarm that goes off and when it does I down a Huel shake with one scoop in it. It will help even out your energy levels by splitting up the meals and because the meal prep is super easy, pretty much any average person can do it and STILL save time and money over the old fashioned way. Bodybuilders would spend/WASTE HOURS prepping meals in those stupid tupperware containers, and while the prep is obnoxious, it works but is also very hard to sustain from a practicality standpoint. The big secret for me training my clients was to (build muscle). Muscle consumes calories, if you only focus on burning fat, you are only working through half of the equation. Because Huel is absolutely loaded with protein you WILL start to build muscle if you become a little more active. Maybe work out, maybe if that is tough or monotonous pick up a sport like pickleball or something else to get you moving. If it’s really really bad, you can start with walking and some other light calisthenics. Work up a sweat. Building muscle will raise your basal metabolic rate and that is when you will really start to shed the weight. So, early on the weight trade is fat for muscle and the ticker on the scale won’t move much, but you will start to feel better! As it goes on if you keep your mind right and stick with it, you will start to see the pounds shed off. Hope this helps.

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Thank you everyone for giving me such in-depth responses and tips. :blush: I am so overwhelmed by the support. I really wasn’t expecting such amazing support.

I lost 4lbs in my first week of trying to lose weight. The second week I stuck to my calorie deficiet and uped my exercise. I was really shocked when I lost nothing that week. It really made me feel down about it and I ended up eating really bad for 3 days. Then I saw Huel and decided to give it a go. I’m hoping I can get some consistent weight loss. It’s very demotivating when you don’t lose any weight one week.

@Charlotte_Huel Yes Nutrition information is soo very confusing. I have tried nearly every diet and everyone keeps telling me to try Keto for my diabetes but to be honest the thought of eating a lot of meat makes me feel queasy. I am also dairy intolerant so I cannot turn to cheese on Keto. Does Huel offer any weight loss resources? I tried to find some on their site but it took me to an error page.

@Simpops Again, see the end of my post about trading muscle for fat. Weight loss is NOT a linear process. Most people think 10lbs fat loss= 10lbs weight loss. When in actuality it’s more like 10lbs fat loss+5lbs muscle gain=5lbs weight loss, or 10lbs fat loss+10lbs muscle gain=Zero weight loss. Then you have to factor in water weight and other things like that(so if you are going to weigh at all, only weigh in the morning and forget about it). Honestly if you were living right you can probably dodge the scale for the first month. It’s not productive. Focus on healthy! Things will fall in line. Based on what you said you already have problems with binge eating. That is a psychological issue. Eating right and exercising works. It didn’t just magically stop working for you. Most people just don’t have the drive. So, find what drives you and get to work.

You don’t have to follow a Keto diet if you don’t want to! It comes down to what works best for you and ensuring you are providing your body with appropriate amounts of nutrients throughout the day.

And yes, Huel does have articles/guides on weight loss! But oh no! So sorry the website was giving you an error message. I’ve linked the page here. Let me know if you have any difficulties when you click the link!

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@Simpops, do you by chance have access (financially, insurance, free clinics, etc.) to get a session or sessions with a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) or a Dietician to talk about some concerns you have? I know for me the moment I got my diagnosis I got a referral from my Primary Care Provider (PCP). My feelings are that, if you have access, someone like that may coordinate with your PCP and may help you create plans that are individualized to what makes you unique.

I also concur with @Charlotte_Huel’s sentiments that you don’t have to follow a Keto diet if you don’t want to. Anecdotally I know a lot of my friends and loved ones had success with it, and I’ve tried it myself, but I found it incredibly strict, hard to stick to, potentially difficult to get the right blend of nutrients in without supplements, and a whole lot more meat than I would want to eat. My weight also returned once I stopped following the diet. My CDE also did not recommend it for me just on the basis of fat consumption as depending on the kinds and quantities of fat you eat it could jeopardize your cholesterol levels.

That being said, if you choose to follow a Keto diet for your non-Huel meals, you could get a lot of the fat requirements from non-meat sources like avocados, olive oil, and nut butters. Proteins can come from leaner meats, fatty fish (like salmon), or plant-based protein sources like tofu or seitan.

My CDE did not recommend coconut oils to me due to saturated fat content and its potential effects on cholesterol. I only bring this specific up because when I followed Keto I was putting coconut oil in my coffee with heavy cream in the morning for a fat bomb. Internet searches, in my opinion, were very confusing to me in that matter which is the reason I brought up the question to them in the first place. Ultimately that decision will have to be made by you, but I decided to follow my CDE: “If the fat is solid at room temperature it’s best to avoid.” (What I told them when I was summarizing the information they gave me).