Huel is a popular meal substitute that can be used for a number of different reasons. Although some people use it to get extra calories in, it can also be used as a weight-loss aid. It comes in a variety of flavours and is a nutritionally complete product—this means that it contains all of the micro and macronutrients that your body wants and needs.
Losing weight is a complicated topic and it’s not something that I believe anyone should do unless they truly want to. Too often, weight loss is advised by medical professionals for unnecessary reasons and portrayed as being desirable by the mainstream media. This article is not suggesting that we should all be striving towards a ‘goal weight’, but simply serves as a guide to those who wish to lose weight, and specifically those who are interested in doing so using Huel.
Huel weight loss
Using Huel to lose weight is helpful for two main reasons.
First of all, using Huel enables you to have greater control over the number of calories that you consume each day. We’ll get into this in more detail later.
Secondly, Huel is incredibly convenient. You can make a Huel shake in advance and always have it with you or nearby in the fridge. Not having easy access to convenient options on the go can quickly sabotage healthy eating efforts.
Making a shake in the evening to have for breakfast the following day is a great way to start your day with an easy and nutritious meal.
I’ve been using Huel for several years, for different reasons at different times. In the past, I’ve used it to gain greater control of my diet because I was having trouble with portion control, and more recently I use it as a gym supplement. I also now use Huel Hot & Savoury on a daily basis—more on that later!
Since there are so many different products available—and in a wide selection of flavours—there’s definitely going to be one that you enjoy. This means the majority of the population will find Huel to be a suitable addition to their diet.
Calorie counting with Huel
In order to lose weight, the body will generally need to be in a calorie deficit. This means that you’re expending more calories than you’re consuming.
Counting calories can become harmful over time and is not something that I suggest should be done long-term. However, when this process is utilised temporarily, it can help to develop a greater understanding of what we’re consuming each day. It’s very easy to underestimate how many calories are in something if you don’t know for sure.
When you make a shake in the suggested amounts, you have complete control over how many calories you’re consuming. A typical shake is 400 calories, but you can opt to add less powder if you want to. This shake will be consumed in place of one of your regular meals.
Remember, when you make a Huel shake with milk, you’ll have to account for the extra calories that come from the milk. You may also want to consider the additional carbohydrates if you’re tracking them.
Note: Try not to focus too much on counting calories when you’re working towards weight loss. When you start to add in healthier options, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains—while eliminating processed convenience foods and those that are high in sugar—you’ll naturally be opting for lower-calorie foods.
How many calories is Huel with milk?
The number of calories in a huel shake made with milk will depend on the type of milk that you use.
Typical values for 500ml of different cow milks are:
- Whole cow’s milk – 340kcals
- Semi-skimmed cow’s milk – 235kcals
- Skimmed cow’s milk – 175kcals
It’s harder to estimate the average calories in plant-based milk because this varies depending on the brand, and there are so many different brands. However, typical values for 500ml of different types of plant milk are:
- Sweetened soy – 270kcals
- Unsweetened soy – 169kcals
- Almond – 86kcals
- Oat – 225kcals
To get the full number of calories for your shake made with one of these types of milk, you’ll simply add the calories of the milk to the calories of the shake.
Black Edition Huel for weight loss
You’ll likely already know that there are two main options when it comes to Huel shakes. The traditional product that comes in a white bag, and the Black Edition variety.
Black Edition Huel is much lower in carbohydrates than the white variety and it’s also higher in protein. The combination of these two things makes this the better option for people who are looking to lose weight.
Black Edition Huel is used as a weight-loss tool by a lot of people. By using it one or two times a day, it’s possible to have more control over what you consume in a day. This makes it very simple to adhere to an optimum macro split and to follow a calorie-controlled diet.
Regularly consuming too many carbohydrates can be detrimental to weight loss efforts, and this is why the Black Edition variety of Huel is a good shout. Therefore, I believe Black Edition Huel can be an effective weight-loss tool if that is a goal of yours.
What about Hot & Savoury?
If you haven’t read my review of Huel Hot & Savoury yet, then there’s a lot of information there about this product. In a nutshell, this is a solid food version of Huel, while still being nutritionally complete in the same way as the shakes are.
A great thing about the Hot & Savoury line of Huel products is that they are arguably more satiating than the shakes, while still containing the same amount of calories. Satiety is key to healthy, sustainable weight loss. This is because when you feel full after a meal, you’re less likely to feel deprived, and less like you’re ‘on a diet’.
What do you mean by ‘on a diet’?
The way that the word ‘diet’ is used to describe a restrictive eating regime can be a bit misleading. The word diet simply refers to the food we eat in a general sense. Whatever you eat, that is your diet.
The meaning of the word has somewhat changed over time, and now refers to a particular food plan—usually one that has the intent of losing weight.
Following a fad diet in order to lose weight can be extremely harmful, both to your physical and mental health. Often, these diets require cutting out entire food groups. They also often demonise certain food groups—usually carbohydrates and foods that are high in fat.
However, the fact is that we need to consume a wide range of different foods in order to help the body function at its best.
For example, carbohydrates are the preferred energy source of the body. Therefore cutting out carbs entirely can lead to low energy, anxiety, confusion, excessive sweating, excessive thirst, nausea, and more! This is often referred to as the ‘keto flu’ as these side effects tend to present as your body enters a state of ketosis.
Similarly, the body needs fat in order to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, and E. Therefore, if you’re severely restricting your fat intake, you increase your risk of suffering from a vitamin deficiency.
Is Huel suitable for a keto diet?
The definition of a keto diet is to reduce carbohydrate intake to below 50g a day. If you are going to include Huel in a keto diet, then you will have to pay close attention to how much powder you are using.
The traditional powder in the white bag contains 38g of carbs per 100g serving. The Black Edition contains 18g of carbs per 90g serving. Therefore, if you were including this product in a keto diet, then the Black Edition would naturally be the obvious choice.