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Huel Guide to Fat Loss

Losing weight can be both a challenge and confusing. There are thousands of different dietary regimens which claim to be the most efficient way of dropping fat, many of which over-complicate things when keeping things simple is the best method. Below is our beginners guide to losing fat.

Firstly, let’s define the goal. Most people say they want to “lose weight”; this is not the right goal. If you stop drinking water for several hours you will lose weight but you will regain this as soon as you rehydrate. The goal is “lose fat”.

How do I lose fat?

Basically, to lose/burn fat you need to consume fewer calories than your body uses. When your body doesn’t have enough calories for energy it uses the energy stored as glycogen in your muscle first, then your fat stores. We recommend you aim to lose 1lb of fat per week, any more and it gets hard; see the numbers below:

  • To lose 1lb of fat per week you need to consume a deficit of 500kcal per day
  • To lose 2lb of fat per week you need to consume a deficit of 1,000kcal per day (this is very tough and not recommended)

How many calories do I need per day?

The amount of calories you need depends on your gender, age, height, weight, and activity. Use this calculator to calculate the amount of calories you need per day. Then take 500kcal off to lose 1lb per week, and 1,000kcal to lose 2lb per week.

How do I count calories?

Most foods today have the calories printed on them so you can keep a running total during the day. There are also some apps out there to help, such as myfitnesspal, which makes tracking calories over the day a bit easier, but it still takes some effort. Huel makes it even easier by providing all the nutrients in one product, thus removing the need to add the calories for different ingredients together.

Which foods should I eat?

Whatever you eat, make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need for good health. If you want more information about what each nutrient does and what you need, read our article The Beginner’s Guide to Nutrition. Basically, you need to consume a balance of protein, fat (don’t avoid fat, it’s an essential nutrient; fat doesn't make you fat, excess calories make you fat), carbs and all 26 essential vitamins and minerals.

What should I drink?

We advise you to drink plenty of fluid every day. This can be in the form of water, tea, coffee, green tea, diet sodas, or sugar-free cordial. Include at least seven or eight cups of fluid per day.

What should I avoid? (sugar and alcohol)

We suggest you avoid sugary drinks and foods. Sugar is not satisfying and it’s also addictive; after eating it, you will feel hungry quickly and get a craving to eat more sugar very quickly, so it’s best to stay clear. Alcohol is also addictive and high in sugar. For example, a can of Bud Light is 110kcal (5 cans is 550kcal, nearly 25% of an average man’s total calorie intake). These are empty calories, i.e. they contain little nutrition other than calories (mostly sugar). Sure, you can enjoy the odd drink, but make sure you add the calories to your daily total.

Summary:

  • Calories are key - as the old saying goes "you can't out work a bad diet". If you consume 500kcal less than you use per day for 1 week, you will lose 1lb.
  • Ensure you get all essential nutrients - your health is vitally important.
  • The best diet is the one you can stick to - nothing is perfect, but it can be perfect for you. Paleo is hot right now and fundamentally it’s pretty good, but if you don't like a lot of meat it's a terrible diet.
  • Optimal health goes beyond just nutrition - ensure you get quality sleep, reduce stress, and ensure hydration.
  • It will take time - plan in your head. It is going to take at least 3 months to lose 12 pounds, 6 months to lose 25. There is no quick fix. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
  • Be consistent - you can’t starve yourself for 2 days, then reward yourself by binging. Get into a routine, it will get easier.
  • Consume 500kcal per day less than you need - get to understand calories and the amount each food and drink contain so you can adjust if you need to.
  • Don’t drink empty calories - it’s pointless, so no drinks with sugar, no fizzy drinks, no alcohol, etc. Black tea, coffee, water, etc all good, once you get used to it it's easy.
  • You may feel tired - but this feeling should pass once you body adjusts.

Good luck. You will do it if you follow the guidance above.

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