Seeking advice on tip-toeing towards a healthier life

So, I just ordered my first batch of Huel.

My story is below. I am seeking any advice, warnings, words of encouragement or wisdom from those who have been doing the Huel thing for longer then me (so longer then 0 days, haha) especially if you have a history of being overweight and having a cadre of terrible habits, but all advice is welcome.

I am 33, 5’7 and just got weighed for the first time in a looong time and was horrified to see I am at 330 lbs (I had figured it would be about 300. It is crazy to be in a place where I gained 30 lbs and barely noticed). I’ve been told I “wear it well” and appear in better shape then that, but 330 is a hell of a number - It’s an all time high for sure. I am only getting deeper into my 30s and I obviously need to make some changes.

I live in wonderful but expensive NYC and work an office job at a small non profit. I LOVE it, but it means:

  • A somewhat sedentary lifestyle is hard to avoid. My biggest workout is usually running up and down those subway stairs.
  • I don’t have a car (means grocery shopping is a pain)
  • My salary is rather low (goes with the NP territory I guess)

That means I can’t afford any of the $80+/month gyms near my office
and I live in a neighborhood that is kind of a food desert.

I also am an artist and have a side gigs DJing and doing live art at parties. I’ve been drinking and smoking my way through my twenties and early thirties which doesn’t help at all. I recently quit smoking cigs (WOO!) and have been reducing my alcohol intake for the last year.

I’ve always been on the bootylicious side, and weighed 250+ lbs even when I walked dogs for a living and biked everywhere, but at least then I felt pretty fit and healthy even if I was still on the larger side. Once I started at the office job it’s been a steady climb.

I have been stuck in a cycle of trying to make healthy dietary changes, failing, and then feeling terrible about failing and behaving in a self destructive way over and over again.

Generally my reason for failing is that healthy changes are usually labor intensive - cooking, grocery shopping, meal planning etc - I have just failed over and over again at making those habits stick.

I don’t have the energy to make the changes that would help me have more energy.

So Huel seems like it could be a game changer, because it seemingly takes about the same amount of effort as ordering take out to prepare, and is certainly cheaper.

If I can replace most weekday take-out lunches with Huel then I CAN afford that nice gym next to my office. I will save about $10 a meal. That is a HUGE motivator for me.

Plus, I have been wanting to move in a more vegan direction for a while.

The things I can see being obstacles are overcoming cravings for other food (salty, cheesy, crunchy etc)

I am also a little worried about acid reflux/gastro distress.

I am trying to avoid overwhelming myself by adding too many new habits at once and focusing on just building this one first (replace one meal) and then later adding more (calorie counting etc)

I know I am not the first one to go down this road. I just want to avoid rookie mistakes and giving up too easily…

So any advice would be welcome! I am thinking I will start with replacing one meal a day with Huel and seeing how that goes. If you’d recommend something else, I am all ears!

Thanks for reading! Looking forward to being a part of this community.

Sidenote: Anyone else grow up in California remember Huell Howser’s California Gold? I can’t read the word Huel and not think of him! A true west coast legend.


Hey Maggie!

Did you know our office is located in Los Angeles? We have a couple local Californians on the team and they know this Huell well. :heart:

Anywho, a BIG congrats to you on all the self-care! The hardest part is getting started, but you’re already there - you totally got this! :tada:

I’m going to throw some random things out to hopefully cover all the bases (and I know plenty of Huelers will be jumping in to help too). So, without further ado, here are some of my top tips for new Huelers:

  1. Make sure that you are adding liquid before powder. That will help avoid lumps and get a better consistency. Also, the quicker you shake it up, the better.

  2. If you like a thinner consistency, add more liquid, but also don’t let your Huel sit for too long as it will thicken over time.

  3. If you do like a thicker Huel, leaving it in the fridge overnight creates a thicker, sweeter Huel.

  4. If the unique Huel texture is difficult for you, blending it might seem like a pain, but it is the best way to get a smooth texture. It’s also a good baby step to help you get used to the texture so that you can eventually just shake and go.

  5. Don’t shy away from playing around with different Huel concoctions. Try things like almond milk (unsweetened, chocolate, coconut milk blend, etc.), cold brew (my personal fave), adding powdered peanut butter (I love the chocolate peanut butter), and if you’re feeling really brave, you can try things like spicy V8 or some of the more unique mixes that other Huelers list on our forum.

  6. If you’re using the vanilla, a lot of Huelers mention mixing the U/U Huel with the vanilla for their optimum flavor and sweetness level. If you’re using just U/U then play around with sweeteners and flavoring, such as the peanut butter I mentioned, monk fruit sweetener, our new flavor boosts, etc.

  7. Stay up to date on the forum and social media for recipes, Huel hacks, and more. We also have tons of delicious recipes to play around with, here:

Hope this helps! Let us know if you have any other questions along the way. :blush:

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Huell Howser RIP. The pronunciation I use for Huel is based on him. If he were with us today, he would undoubtedly find this product to be “amazing”.


I miss watching Huell. Funniest one I remember, he was doing a show on skyscraper window washers in LA. He got harnessed up, got in the platform that hangs out over the building. He looks at the cameraman, says “Come on Louie, get in” the camera pans side to side as Louie shakes his head NO! They ended up passing the camera to a window washer, showed him how to operate it, and continued with the show. I remember him teasing Louie about it for a while.

I never met him, but he sure seemed like a nice fellow.


I know that struggle. I was 31 when I hit my heaviest weight. My BMI was 38.5 at that time. I went on a massive weight loss over 2 years, using mostly exercise. I was exercising 2 to 3 hours a day. I did lose w lot of body fat but I got to a point where I couldn’t lose any more and my long exercise sessions could not be sustained. It’s not practical to spend that much time each day. Yes, I was in great shape, but the diminishing returns from excess exercise weren’t worth it.

Long story short, I gained back a small bit of weight, but have now become the leanest I’ve been since high school. My 3 tiered plan is:

  1. Intermittent Fasting for 16 to 18 hours per day

  2. Consume Huel for meals at work. Eat regular food on days off or when at home.

  3. Exercise modestly (30 to 45 min) 4 to 5 days per week.

I now realize that when it comes to losing body fat, the diet is more important than exercise. Exercise synergyzies with diet changes but the dietary changes do the majority of the work. Once I learned about the importance of insulin and the flawed logic of “calories in, calories out”, my situation became easier. Intermittent Fasting took me a few weeks to overcome the psychological changes needed to do it daily. But once I got there, the weight flew off. Almost effortlessly. There’s no miracle. It just lowers insulin levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Fat then more readily comes out of adipose tissue and body fat loss becomes much much easier.

I like Huel because it’s convenient and has a moderately low glycemic index. and then it’s pretty easy to add other things to it that don’t raise the glycemic index that much. Things like applesauce or peanut butter or berries. So Huel ended up being a good match for my overall program of “lower Deron’s insulin”.


Thank you! this is helpful

I was about 330 at 5’10". I was going to crossfit, but was was too pricey. However, it did introduce me to kettlebells . I am now down to 270. The last 30lbs has been over 90 days on a new kettlebell program. Kettlebell take very little space and are highley effective with the proper intensity. It also sits on the outskirts of fitness popularity so I find there is less BS about training.

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@Kbellnick have you ever heard of Michael Skogg? He’s a kettlebell trainer who has some DVDs and a few of his videos are free on YouTube. I used his videos to teach myself proper kettlebell technique, which also stopped the bruising forearms :slight_smile:

I’ve been a kettlebell user for over a year and I agree they are one of the best all around pieces of equipment.

I have not. There is a guy on youtube named Joe Daniels from swing this kettlebell
He has tons of great info .

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Funny, I am currently sitting in a cafe cooling off after my first ever personal training session, which involved quite a bit of kettle balling. Would love any links you recommend!

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The videos are pretty informative and in depth. There is also a Facebook group called 50 Kettlebell swings everyday…