New to Huel but ordered a little of everything* with the goal to go 90% strict (with some vegetables at dinner time) to aid in weight loss. I have about 75 lbs to lose.
How did you all stay the course? I’ve been reading the first 21 days are what sets up the habit, but the first 3 weeks sounds daunting. Eating in the evenings / having a pint are such ingrained rituals…
What did you do when you reached your goal weight? Huel on? How to avoid putting the weight back on?
Thanks for the advice, appreciate having a focused community like this.
*(Initial order: 1 bag Chocolate, 1 bag Berry, 2 bags Vanilla, 1 Berry RTD, 1 Vanilla RTD.)
Honestly, I picked a “weight loss” strategy that was something I could maintain for many years to come. I used 16 hr daily intermittent fasting and eating Huel for meals at work during most of my weight loss. I also exercised in the fasted state which helped burn fat but also limited by exercise capacity (which in turn limits the hunger effects from doing too much exercise). My body weight then sort-of reached its new steady state. I didn’t think of these strategies as temporary, but stuff I could maintain years.
Although not relayed to weight loss, I did decide to cut out all meat and dairy for 2019 to see how that went. I incidentally lost another 15 pounds without much effort. Although I’m learning to eat more volume food now to compensate for the fact that meat is simply more energy dense than many whole plant-based meals. (I overdid it yesterday with my 10 pieces of fruit, though ). But now the diet is heavy into starches with fruits and non-starchy vegetables in minor or moderate portions, with a little bit of nuts and seeds. I found that although I like big salads, they fill me up and then I’m hungry again in a few hours. Focusing on tubers, grains, oats, and pulses as the main part of the meal (with some squashes here and there) is the best answer for me. It allows me to get my energy needs and not go hungry. I am amazed at how much starch I can eat and remain lean. Once I cut out the saturated fats, added sugars, trans fasts, and increased my fiber, along with daily therapeutic fasting, my insulin sensitivity is like a cross country runner half my age. I can eat so much starches and not get fat. It is so easy to remain lean on my current diet plan.
A decade ago my BMI was 38.5. I did rigorous exercise to get down to a BMI around 31. A good accomplishment, but not sustainable. Noone can keep exercising 2 to 3 hours every day, unless they are a pro athlete. Once I started watching youtube videos about intermittent fasting, glycemic index, the effects of added sugars, and the influence of insulin on body fat storage, I developed a much better working model of obesity. (My decision to “go vegan” was something I did later on and this was more for long-term health rather than pure weight loss. Also, there are some pretty compelling ethical reasons, of which I am not going to preach since I spent most of my life as an Omnivore.)
I went from a BMI of 31 to 21 in about a year with the new methods I described above. It was much easier than 3 hours a day of exercise. Now I just exercise moderately.
Thanks, Deron! Your reply is both insightful and encouraging. I used to be a runner and have dabbled in a plant-based diet for a few years throughout my life. Intermittent fasting is a new addition that I’ve experimented with the last 1-2 years, without much consistency. Now that I’ve set my mind to taking health seriously, I plan to employ Huel, exercise, IF, and a whole food plant-based diet to follow. Who doesn’t love a gigantic salad? Always feel great after having one, and the volume helps to feel satiated. From what I’ve read, metabolism can slow depending on input / output … post-diet, did you maintain an adjusted / lowered calorie intake?
These last few months I’ve had to force myself to eat more food since I was getting too skinny without trying to and without feeling hungry. But I’ve never counted calories. I only count the hours from my dinner to my next meal when I break my fast.
Once I regained full insulin sensitivity, I can now eat based on how I feel since it’s true physiological hunger and not psychological. One night I could not continue my fast and was really hungry. I went downstairs and ate a half baked potato plain with carrot slices and felt so much better afterward. I didn’t punish myself because I realized that only people who are truly hungry will get out of bed to eat that.
It helps a lot that my wife also joined me on my new journey of healthy eating. So the house is not stocked with stuff that might tempt me.
Here’s the really big Deron
Here we are years later. Improved but inefficient since I was exercising way too much and just eating all day since it made me ravenous.
And here is 2019 Deron. I actually lost another 10 pounds beyond this by accident and am strength training and eating a little more to bulk up a bit.
Deron! You look fantastic! WOW! Good work sir.
Did you experience any transitionary symptoms as you regained full insulin sensitivity? Fatigue, depression, etc.?
No fatigue or depression. The only issues I had transitioning was learning to ignore the psychological cravings to eat during my fasting window. As I regained insulin sensitivity, I actually felt better and better.
Ironically the biggest problem I have is the unsolicited negative comments from coworkers and family, and even my doctor. People telling me I look sickly or losing too much weight or implying that I have an eating disorder. It’s a testament to our culture of nutritional excess that the idea of going 16 hours between dinner and breakfast is so scary to the average American. Or that a BMI of 21 looks sickly.
Look up on Google what the average or most common BMI was of our soldiers during WW2. They were lean and fit enough to go fight and defeat one of the greatest evils of all time.
There are tremendous physical advantages of being lean. And ironically, being lean allows me to go LONGER before I have to eat again. In an unintuitive way, the fatter you are, the more dependent you become on eating. It’s because even though you have the excess stored fat, the body often cannot access it because insulin levels are too high.
Bottom line. If I can exercise starting at hour 15 of a fast and not feel hungry or about to pass out, that’s a sign that I’m doing something right. I’m clearly eating enough. I’m clearly not sick. So the unsolicited comments from people are based on ignorance.
As we see, 145 to 165 pounds, 32 inch waists. These were the predominant characteristics of our boys in the Army. This used to be the norm for physically fit men.
I can relate when it comes to unsolicited commentary from family and coworkers. When I was lean and living healthy, I remember in those years I’d receive negative feedback constantly. I was a consistent 171 lbs with the 32" pant size you referenced. I ate very consciously, exercise, hiked, ran trails… I definitely felt better than I had when I was in college and weighed 220 lbs, that’s for sure! Funny how the perceptions from others works. Imagine the comments will come back even more so, since present day I am transforming from 255 lbs down to a healthy BMI.
How have you been doing on Huel?