2300 calories... too much... how to make it less?


Hello there,

I’m a small person (woman) who would love to try out Soylent, but I don’t want to drink that many calories as that’d make me extremely fat. I should have approx. 1500 cal per day. Can you adjust?


The female version will have around 1,800 calories (last I heard). To get 1,500 calories, you can drink less of it.


Yeah, you’re talking about the male version there.


Someone doing a review of soylent last week was told that they would be fine with the nutrients if they ate as little as 2/3 of the recommended amount. That seems to me to mean that they’re putting 130% of the recommended amounts into 1 “day” of soylent. If that ends up being the plan, you could go as low as 1200 calories on the female version, giving you lots of breathing room to diet.


That doesn’t seem right. I thought they were meeting nutrient RDIs with this daily formula. Exceeding certain nutrient RDIs by 30% would be toxic, so I doubt they’re doing this, especially since that would be an extra expense per portion for them. It’s more likely Soylent meets RDIs, which means reducing your intake by 30% means you will only be getting 70% of your recommended micronutrients. My guess is they made the decision that this is “healthy enough.”

Please correct me if I’m wrong…


You’re wrong.
I did a little math and no nutrient becomes toxic at 30% over the RDI.


All we can do is assume until they publish their actual numbers on the v1.0 recipe.

First off, there was an error in my math. You’d need to have 150% of the required micronutrients in order for 2/3 of the recipe to give you 100%.

I know of no vitamin, mineral or anything which has a safe upper limit that close to the recommended intake. The closest that I am aware of is sodium with an RDI of 1500mg and an upper limit of 2300mg (150% of 1500 is 2250). For everything else, you could double up and still be safe.

Keep in mind every RDI list I’ve seen has the caveat “assuming a diet of xxxx calories per day”. I am unaware of how changing the calorie intake changes the body’s need for micros. [edit: likely just to quantify %s for macronutrients, not micros]


Yep, and that’s a point I really wish would be brought up because I think the micronutrient values are based on a 2000 calorie diet and would probably increase when your calories increased. A good rule of thumb then would probably be RDI * CaloricNeed/2000. That should theoretically give you your “real” RDIs. For me, then, all of my RDIs would have to be increased by 6/5.


I think it’s dubious to assume that the amount of energy you burn is linearly related to what micronutrients your body needs. If you do high intensity exercise, I understand your body’s demand for nutrients that are lost in sweat (sodium, potassium) rise, but even that is not technically a function of calories burned/consumed.

I recommend against any rule of thumb until we find out why that caveat is listed on nutrient labeling. But that’s just my 2 cents ^_^.


I would actually call it rational to assume that your nutrient intake increases linearly with your basal metabolic rate. It’s the same system but scaled larger, assuming an increase in lean body mass. I can’t come up with a rational explanation why you wouldn’t need more nutrients with a higher BMR.


I didn’t bring up that point to suggest anything other than “I’ve seen that on labels, but I have no idea what it might mean.” I regret saying it now, because it’s probably just to quantify the meaning of the percentages for macronutrients, which DO scale with your energy intake.

The point is whether or not drinking less than the recommended 100% calories would give you less than 100% of your micros. Women have lower BMR than men, but their RDIs are not uniformly lower by the same ratio. It makes sense that you might need more calcium if you have more bone bass, but the RDIs are designed to be valid for everyone and include margin for error.

Everyone IS different and it’s probably true that smaller people need fewer micros than larger people, but perhaps you’re not entirely clear on what a linear relationship entails. If it were a linear relationship, then losing 10% of your body mass would mean your RDIs would all drop by 10%.

It may seem logical at first but just think about it. Why would your body need any more or less calcium, for example, if you gain lots of weight? Gaining fat or muscle raises your BMR. What difference does it make if we’re using 1200 calories or 1500 calories to maintain body function? What difference does it make how much energy the heart and liver use?

The concern about how many calories you need to intake in order to get 100% on your micros is valid. The vague answers to this issue from the people at Soylent are not good enough. I can forgive them for now, but that wouldn’t have been an acceptable answer had it been a customer contacting them after sales had been made.

This is a study that shows people who try to restrict their calorie intake are at high risk of ending up with micronutrient deficiencies as a result of eating less.


Oh yeah I agree with all of that, but I think that your micronturient needs might scale with your basal metabolic rate – the minimum amount of calories that you need to maintain your bodily functions at rest and maintain lean body mass.