Journal

Fat to Fit: Week 41

August 23rd – August 29th, 2021

I am trying Huel this week for the first time. I discovered the product through Reddit and was intrigued by its hot and savory range. I’ve got a few flavors coming, and I am excited to try this new meal replacement product. My nutrition has been horrid recently, so I am hoping that I can use Huel as a tool to improve that aspect of my journey to a healthier life. That’s what this year has been for me. Learning what does and doesn’t work, adjust to living alone again, and how to be single in a new city during a pandemic. There’s not long left my year, so I hope Huel can help me with a final push.

Body Stats:

Highest Lifetime Weight: ~225 lbs.
Goal Weight: 165 lbs.
Week’s Ending Weight: 181.2 lbs.

Body Fat: 31.8 %
Muscle Mass: 117.0 lbs.

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Monday 23rd

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 329 Avg. HR: 135
Exercise Ring: 98/30
Move Ring: 950/710
Total steps: 9,502

As I was off today, I needed to crank out some exercise to get my body moving – I couldn’t rely on my typical 350 move calories from a shift in the lab! I did go for a walk around the park to crank out some steps after my Huel arrived.

My spin bike required some maintenance as it made a horrendous noise, and today I seemed to fix the issue. So, late afternoon I went for a ride. For the first 30 minutes, I pushed myself hard, keeping my BPM in the 150s. After that, I eased off, cycling to warm down. I was watching television, and I kept cycling until the episode was over. It was a decent cardio session, and I was pleased with the effort.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,500/1,556
Fat: 30%
Carbs: 51%
Protein: 19%

I prepared a wonderful 350-calorie Soylent shake for breakfast today. I had the day off, so I sipped it by the window while I read — a great way to begin the week.

During mid-morning, my Huel delivery arrived, and I was excited to try out this new product right away. I started with a serving of the sweet and sour Hot and Savory. Huel sends scoops with their products, and one scoop is 200 calories. They also provide a plastic cup to make your hot and savory in! To prepare my sweet and sour, I mixed the bag, added two scoops, filled it with boiling water to the line, and let it rest, lid on, for 5 minutes. At first, things didn’t taste quite right. It was rather bland and still a bit crunchy. I let it stew a little longer, which helped with the texture. It turns out I needed to mix the bag more to get the ingredients more evenly distributed.

For dinner, I had 400 calories of the yellow coconut flavor. This time, I mixed the bag more and let it sit in the pot for ten minutes. Perfection. I understand this way of eating isn’t for everyone, but I adore my food having a mush-like quality. Eating my dinner with a spoon is also a preference, so I feel this product line was designed for people just like me.

Today’s snacks were two packets of Lay’s baked chips (one after each meal) for 220 calories total and a strawberry Nutri-Grain bar (130 calories).

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Tuesday 24th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 234 Avg. HR: 87
Exercise Ring: 48/30
Move Ring: 839/710
Total steps: 11,667

Back to normal today, meaning I gained quite a few steps and move calories while at work. It also meant that I was sluggish after a long weekend!

My rings needed a bit of work by mid-evening; I opted for some indoor marching to get my body moving. Initially, I wasn’t putting much effort in, as you can discern from my heart rate. I then grabbed my 3-pound weights and put one in each hand. The weight increased my effort, so my BPM was hovering around 100 for most of the walk. I kept the marching going longer than I needed for my rings to close so that I might get some benefit from the exercise due to length rather than intensity.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,498/1,556
Fat: 27%
Carbs: 50%
Protein: 23%

My great baker friend made these magnificent mixed berry oatmeal bars and brought one for me today. I ate this as breakfast. It’s hard to describe, but there were crushed oats, raspberries, and cream cheese. She estimated that my piece was around 200 calories. My breakfast took an evil turn when there was cake at work to celebrate the August birthdays. I had a 188-calorie piece of a chocolate sheet cake with frosting. Oddly, these 388 indulgent calories kept me pretty full.

I drank the 400-calorie shake that I had brought for breakfast for lunch – which was my first taste of Huel powder. My first order came with a free bag of Caffé Latte, and I could think of nothing better than having that for breakfast. It’s their only powder that comes with caffeine (89mg), so for me, that’s perfect! I made this shake in their bottle (also free), willing to give shaking instead of blending a try. Compared to the smoothness of Soylent, Huel is textured due to the oats it contains. I didn’t mind this, but I will try making it in my Ninja blender tomorrow to see if I prefer it.


Dinner tonight was trying another flavor of Huel’s Hot and Savory product line. I had read that the Mexican chili was one of the best flavors, so I was excited to try it. For me, it was a bit spicy! I must have a sensitive palate as many other users add Tabasco to theirs to give it a kick! Despite the spice level, I thought this was an exceptional meal and enjoyed it.

I had a 200-calorie portion of the sweet and sour after work, along with a packet of Lay’s baked chips as my snacks today.

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Wednesday 25th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Yoga AF+: 121 Avg. HR: 103
Exercise Ring: 70/30
Move Ring: 840/710
Total steps: 9,559

I got through most of my day in a typical fashion, with plenty of steps and few exercise minutes at work. I decided it was time for some yoga by late evening – my body felt stiff from writing at my computer for a few hours.

I selected a 30-minute session with Jonelle, who I find can make my body feel the best after a session. As per her style, the workout begins slowly before progressing into complex moves and holds. My heart rate demonstrated when this happened! I am always surprised by the extent to which my heart rate elevates when I do yoga. Especially when it’s slower transitions between poses, it never occurred to me before that holding my body in a position could work my body so hard. Anyway, pleased with my session here and will come back to Jonelle time and time again.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,350/1,556
Fat: 29%
Carbs: 47%
Protein: 24%

I had a 400-calorie Huel Caffé Latte shake for breakfast. I mixed it in my Ninja blender today, and I must say it was far smoother. The oat texture was still there, but it didn’t bother me. I got Huel for the savory line, but their powders might replace Soylent for me. I am finding myself far fuller on Huel white than I am on Soylent. Further, the shake you get for your 400 calories is larger and thicker.

Lunch was the Soylent that I made for lunch the day before. Alas, it tasted odd. It wasn’t the age of the Soylent, as I have made shakes a couple of days in advance previously, but something was just weird with this particular lot. I drank around 150 calories of my shake before I couldn’t take any more. When I got home, I made myself a 400-calorie portion of Huel’s sweet and sour, and that tasted mighty fine.

Dinner was a 400-calorie serving of yellow coconut curry. I cherish this flavor, and I am delighted how full this product makes me.

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Thursday 26th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 42/30
Move Ring: 759/710
Total steps: 10,451

The pace of work has picked up recently, leaving me increasingly exhausted by the end of the workday. Consequently, my desire for exercise post-work has waned significantly. Luckily, the hectic nature of work currently keeps me away from my desk and on my feet most of the time.

I closed my rings as bedtime approached through some moderate weight work and resistance training. By the time I had completed my session, I had discerned I should have just done an Apple Fitness workout – it would have been the same effort!

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,310/1,556
Fat: 32%
Carbs: 46%
Protein: 22%

I began my day with a 400-calorie cacao Soylent shake prepared in the Ninja blender. This bag of powder tastes just fine!

I had a Huel shake for lunch, opting to use the blender bottle they sent for free instead of using the blender. While more textured, I quite like this. It makes the drink seem a little more like food? Of course, a smooth shake is a food too, but I suppose I refer to the palatable experience. I am also happy to have found a product that I don’t need to blend to enjoy. That was a downside to Soylent powder – I never did want it unless it was blended and sat in the fridge overnight.

Dinner tonight was a serving of yellow coconut curry. I like having a spoonful with sultanas in it! Oddly, this is called korma in the U.K. If it had been marketed as korma to me, I doubt I’d have liked it as much. It’s a bit like the sweet and sour; it doesn’t taste as you’d expect it to based on those classifications. Call it a coconut curry, and I have no objections, though. It’s all about setting the right expectations.

I enjoyed a bag of Lay’s baked chips as a post-work bite today. These are a great snack for me, as for only 110 calories, they satisfy my need for a bit of junk food.

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Friday 27th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Cycle: 349 Avg. HR: 102
Exercise Ring: 151/30
Move Ring: 1,270/710
Total steps: 15,241

The workweek may be over, but there are plenty of calories to burn! After dinner, I cranked the resistance on my Desk Cycle to five and took it for a spin (yes, I was watching television at the same time). I rode for nearly 80 minutes, not aiming for any goal, in particular, just a free ride until I was done. The length of the cycle produced a decent burn, both in terms of calories and in my leg muscles. My heart rate didn’t get too high – indicative of a relaxed cadence.

If I had disregarded my cycle, my rings would have closed anyway. Such stats are pleasing to me, demonstrating that I am moving my body above what is needed. That’s progress.


Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,310/1,556
Fat: 32%
Carbs: 46%
Protein: 22%

I ate the same today as I did yesterday, except the flavor of Hot and Savory I had for dinner. Today, I went for the Mexican chili and once again appreciated the heat from the mix. It is on the cusp of being too spicy for me, but I’m going to try mixing it with the tomato and herb flavor to see if that is a suitable solution.

I apologize for how mundane reading my nutrition has become. I thought it was terrible before with my repetitive breakfasts and prep. I may need a new format to document my food!

I feel full and happy on my shake diet, with my body already adjusting to this new way of eating.

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Saturday 28th

Workout and Movement:
Active Calories, Indoor Walk: 202 Avg. HR: 92
Exercise Ring: 88/30
Move Ring: 858/710
Total steps: 12,374

Today, Apple set its users a National Park Challenge. You had to do a workout of at least a mile (1.6K) to complete it. I earned mine doing an indoor walk. It was hot and humid outside, so I didn’t fancy heading out there in the middle of the day to get this badge. My trace is pretty poor, with quite a few points missing. There is no data for the last 10 minutes of the walk. With that sort of input, it’s hard to judge anything about it.

I was out and about for the rest of the day, gathering steps along the way. While it wasn’t intense exercise, I did get a lot of walking done today, accounting for the relatively impressive stats.

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,410/1,556
Fat: 29%
Carbs: 50%
Protein: 21%

I had three meals of Huel Hot and Savory today. I started with a serving of sweet and sour as a sort of brunch. While eating, I postulated that a breakfast-themed flavor would be excellent for such an occasion. I can’t imagine it would be too challenging to make this stuff egg and bacon flavor.

I had the same for lunch and finally got my water and steep time ratios preferences perfected. Huel has already vastly improved my nutrition – not a frozen pizza in sight!

I mixed things up dramatically for dinner… I jest. I merely went for the coconut flavor instead. I don’t intend on having the Hot and Savory product for most meals – I plan to have one for dinner each night. The cheapest you can purchase it for is $2.50 per 400-calorie serving, so it gets pretty expensive to have it three times a day. For reference, you can get the powder for $1.50 per 400-calorie serving.

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Sunday 29th

Workout and Movement:
Exercise Ring: 88/30
Move Ring: 723/710
Total steps: 13,640

After a busy day yesterday, I had a decompressing Sunday. It was so relaxing that I had to march just before bed to get my rings closed. I hadn’t realized how little I moved throughout the day until then. Of course, I had a nap, which took away a couple of movement hours! I gathered quite a lot of exercise minutes because when I moved, I did so with purpose. Little on-the-spot jogging, some weight lifting, and a few minutes on the Desk Cycle to make sure I got that move ring closed. I don’t want to break my streak!

Nutrition:
Calorie Intake: 1,450/1,556
Fat: 24%
Carbs: 60%
Protein: 16%

Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts, so, unsurprisingly, I had a bowl today. There isn’t time for oatmeal on workweek mornings due to my early start, so it’s something I like to have over the weekend. I find it a filling and satisfying 170-calorie breakfast (I add 1/8 cup of raisins). I’ll enjoy it more when the long Buffalo winter kicks in!

For lunch, I had my new favorite thing – a serving of Huel’s sweet and sour. I felt great after having my 400-calorie pot of warm mush (as some call it!) Dinner was a similar affair, but I opted for yellow coconut curry flavor to add a bit of variety to my day!

As for snacks, I had a bag of baked Lay’s chips after each Huel serving, for 110 calories each. I also enjoyed a couple of Nutri-Grain bars to get a few more calories in me throughout the day.

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Week’s Reflection

Well, it’s fair to say that Huel has changed how I eat! I have grown highly fond and grateful for the Hot and Savory product line this week. I had gone into it expecting I’d need to doctor the flavor a bit or work harder to get it cooked in a palatable way. However, it is as simple as add hot water, stir, and wait.

Eating this way is not a chore for me; in fact, I quite enjoy it. Knowing I am fueling my body with a solid nutritional profile compared to my recent meals pleases me. Am I taking an easy path compared to buying and preparing fresh ingredients? Definitely. Is it a convivence that is best for me right now? I think so. I can use Huel as a tool to give my body what it needs. I showed myself this week that I can happily live this way and don’t see any reason to stop now.

There were a lot of steps in my week, but not a lot of exercises. My heart rate was rarely pushed, except for a cycle and a few minutes during yoga. Such movement is probably enough to maintain fitness, but definitely not enough to gain any. When I reflect on my week, I am often disappointed with myself and my choices. This week is no different.

Upcoming Week

Potential Roadblocks

Nutrition-wise, Huel has me sorted out. However, I will head to Texas for a week and be back to “normal” food for that trip. It will be hard maintaining the intake of good calories while driving for four days across the country (there and back) and spending time with my best friend, hitting the local restaurants. I know that after this mini-vacation, I’ll be back to Huel land, and then I’ll be on course after that for the remainder of the year.

Next week will be a struggle for fitness, too. I am driving to Texas, so two full days in the car. I will then be socializing, and working out won’t be at the forefront of plans. If I can keep my body moving, closing my rings each day, that’ll be a passing grade.

Desires

I say it each week: I want to take my early week’s motivation and extend it through all seven days. If I can’t do that, for whatever reason, getting in three decent workouts a week should be my aim.

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Cat Corner

Gryffin and I were playing with the photo settings on my iPhone. He was more than happy to be my model. What a gorgeous lad. He melts my heart. 💔ᓚᘏᗢ


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Thank you for your support! 🤗

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