Am I the only one whose life has been transformed by Soylent?


#1

It must be a personality trait, but I find the process of deciding, procuring, preparing, and cleaning up after meals to be a real drag. Some people see it as an adventure that adds excitement to life. I get that, but that’s not me.

So, I started my Soylent trial full of optimism that it would fulfill it’s promise of delivering complete nutrition in as little time as possible…

Version 1.0, 1.1, and 1.2 delivered on the nutrition and time savings, which was great. Unfortunately, they also caused me to perpetually produce putrid emissions, which was horrible. My hopes were dashed, and I suspended my subscription in order to let my intestinal track heal.

When version 1.3 was released, I mustered the courage and tried again. Much to my delight, I was able to gain all of the nutritional and productivity benefits without any of the heinous side effects. The same was true for versions 1.4 and 1.5.

After 3 months of at least 80% Soylent, I am blown away by how it has transformed my life. I realize that it is hard to establish a hard causal link to Soylent for some of the physical benefits I have experienced. More than a few may be a result of the weight I have shed since going on Soylent. Regardless, Soylent is the only major change I have made in this period, so it has to be playing a big role somehow.

Here are just a few of the ways I can think of. Please feel free to comment and add to this list. I’d like to know I’m not the only one.

  • I’ve lost 16 pounds in ~3 months.

I consume 1,500 calories of Soylent and then another ~200 calories in small treats such as dark chocolate at night. I was horrible at making food decisions, as my eyes were often bigger than my stomach. Soylent has neutralized my poor decision making, so the weight is just falling off.

  • I have lost my sweet tooth.

Before Soylent, I used to find it impossible to not grab a gooey looking chocolate chip cookie. Now, they hold no power over me. In fact, I find them sort of repulsive. I think it is simply because I know how badly I will feel after eating them.

  • I am saving at least 2 hours a day (but it’s probably more).

I spend an average of 5 minutes per meal to prepare and consume Soylent. Compare that to the time required to decide, prepare, consume, and clean up a home cooked meal. Same goes for eating out, where you trade prep and cleaning time for travel, order, delivery and payment.

  • I feel more emotionally stable.

I used to experience mood swings before and after traditional meals. Perhaps it is blood sugar, I don’t know. Solent has put me an an even keel. I am able to cope with stressful situation more efficiently as well. It’s not that I don’t get angry, fearful, etc. It’s just that they feel less intense.

  • I am able to focus for longer periods of time.

I used to feel more distraction before starting Soylent. Now I can sit down and focus for longer without my mind wandering. I have no idea why, but it’s made me much more productive (and thus less stressed out).

  • I am spending ~70% less money on food each month.

I have a monthly subscription to Soylent, and only consume 1,500 calories a day, so I pay just over $2.25 per meal or $6.75 per day to eat. Compare that to an average of ~$30 per day when I am eating “normally.” Spending less and feeling better. Pretty amazing…

  • It feels weird to go to the supermarket.

I walk in, buy coffee and dark chocolate squares, and leave. No more roaming the aisles to find something I actually want to eat that won’t kill me.

  • I am drinking less coffee.

I used to drink way too much coffee. I used to drink it through out the day. Now, I just have a nice big cup in the morning and I am good to go. I suspect I was using the coffee to smooth out dips in my blood sugar (or something).

  • I feel less stiff.

I am not sure why, but I used to get muscle aches and joint stiffness. I told myself I was just beginning to experience the normal signs of wear and tear as I aged (now 47 years old). I won’t say they have gone away entirely, but they have reduced greatly since I went on Soylent.

  • I am happier.

Perhaps it is just all of the outcomes listed above, but I there is something more. Ever since I have gone on Soylent my wife says I am a happier person. This makes sense, as I feel more happy in the moment and optimistic about my future.

  • I create less garbage.

I just came back from taking out the garbage, and on the walk back to the house it dawned on me how much less garbage I create each week. I can’t say for sure as I have not done an empirical analysis of volume and weight after compaction, but anecdotally I’d estimate I have cut down the amount of stuff I throw away by ~60%.

This is easy to believe when one thinks about all the packaging involved in the sale of groceries. I recycled what I could, but there is still material that wasn’t suitable for recycling. While better then tossing it into the landfill, recycling consumes a lot of energy. There is also the uneaten and spoiled food. I could compost, but never did as I have not real use for it.

Soylent could not only transform the planet from the food production side, it could also greatly reduce the amount of trees and petroleum needed to package food for sale, and landfill space needed to house all of that discarded material.

Ok. So that’s it. Am I the only one having this profound transformation?


#2

Amazing! Soylent should put you on tour to travel around and spread the word, haha.

Edit: I should add that my blood panels were all improved after 3 months on Soylent. I have been on Soylent for around 7-8 months now and have lost some unnecessary weight and feel much healthier. In addition to health, I have also gained time to pursue projects and have saved money over my previous diet.


#3

Soylent has been transformative for me as well, and I’ve only been on 50-75% - When I went 100% for a month during the 1.0 release, I felt amazing! So no, you aren’t the only one.

In your case, I would add that those little snacks you allow yourself are probably putting some of the weight back on you by spiking insulin. Have you tried or plan to try doing away with that?


#4

I was the same way. I always aspired to be a healthy eater who cooked his own meals (at times), but transforming there from a junk food diet felt like an impossibly daunting task, much more than just a “drag”.

(Small-s) soylent is also proving transformative for me, not as a permanent solution, but as a bridge. I phased in powdered foods and phased out junk food. That was doable, because it diminished rather than increased the effort involved in feeding myself, while improving my nutritional consumption somewhat. Now I’m starting the process of phasing in better “normal” eating, starting with NutriBullet smoothies, hopefully moving on to occasional cooking. This is also doable because I can phase it in with small baby steps and build my skills gradually.


#5

@Dybbuk I agree Soylent can either be a bridge or a destination.

As a bridge, it is a simple, “go to” alternative to junk food - a way to make better choices in a pinch.

I might be happy if this were the final destination, but judging from clues they are giving, I think they are in the 1st inning of this game though.

It also feels good to be exploring ways to build a sustainable food supply.


#6

To gain an even deeper appreciation for Soylent, see what it’s like to go, say, a week without it. It’s eye-opening. I have lowered my overall consumption of Soylent–my life just includes other foods and other people who won’t touch Soylent–but my dependence on Soylent is total. I honestly don’t know what I would do without it at this point.


#7

It will get even easier for me once they come out with solid Soylent, as I can more easily take it on the road.


#8

Watching other people eat sweets these days makes my stomach turn and my teeth ache.


#9

Interesting. @AgentSpiff Do you think 3 Dove Dark Chocolate squares (126 calories and 11.4g of sugar) would spike insulin and keep weight on? I wash them down with green tea. Usually, around 10 pm. My last Soylent meal is usually around 7:30pm. I’d be interested to know.


#10

Dark chocolate has a low GI of 23 http://www.glycemicindex.com/foodSearch.php?num=67&ak=detail , and does not spike insulin much


#11

Thx… Wish I could say I chose it knowing that, but I started eating it a while ago and now prefer it to milk chocolate.


#12

This is not terrible snacking at all, and from your description is miles better than how you used to snack, so I wouldn’t worry. I also used to eat a lot more junk food before Soylent became the bulk of my diet.


#13

It is not a life-altering concern, but something you should be aware of. If you don’t exercise regularly, your glycogen stores are probably full, especially if you are eating Soylent. In these conditions, 11.4g of sugar (about 1/3 of a can of Coke) with no fiber can cause your body to store some small amount of body fat, even if you are in a caloric deficit.


#14

@AgentSpiff Good to know. I’ll give it a shot. Thx.


#15

I don’t want the thread to move off of its original direction, which is a great one. But since a couple of folks have mentioned that they anticipate/would like a solid version of Soylent in the (hopefully not-too-distant) future, I would like to take this opportunity to heartily endorse this plan. However, I would definitely want to see flavored “Soylent bars,” since you can’t add flavor to a nutrition bar the way you can to a pitcher of it. Right now, I find the room-temperature flavor to be at the low end of palatability, so a solid Soylent bar would be great for backpacking, and many other uses besides.

Carry on with the Soylent life-transformation discussion.


#16

There is fiber in dark chocolate, 7.5g per 100g


#17

I think the most life changing thing about Soylent to me was just hearing about it.

I remember growing up, when I would eat salads, eating leaves. I would think “I’m a human, I live in an artificial home, I go to school, why am I eating leaves?” - Rob

I think that is some profound thinking. Food is certainly advanced for humans in the wider scope of things, but in the last few hundred years there haven’t been many fundamental improvements. I consider Soylent to be a fundamental software update to food.


#18

Great thread! I’ll be celebrating one year on my diy soylent next month, and I’ve been reflecting on this transformation. My diy is a “whole foods” version - I liquefy a variety of vegetables then add protein, carbs, wheat germ, yeast and lecithin. According to the diy app, It’s nutritionally complete, except for vitamin D, which I supplement. I tried Soylent 1.0 and had a similar experience to what you describe.

  • weight loss. A few months ago, I started cutting back on the added carbs (ModCarb) in my recipe. I could reduce the carbs to sixty grams and still feel great. The reduced calories let me lose weight for the first time in years - or I can substitute beer without gaining!

  • cravings. I’m no longer interested in snacking or dining out. If I must for travel, I can’t wait to get home to soylent.

  • time savings. Not as dramatic for me, but still significant.

  • psychological effects. I’ve been on antidepressants for years. I still am, but it’s not working as well as it once did. My soylent seems to pick up the slack. My mood’s more stable and I have more focus and energy.

  • physical effects. I experienced some chronic pain which subsided before starting soylent. So far, it hasn’t returned.

To me, the overall effect feels like liberation from food, which I believe is consistent with the motivation for creating Soylent. I think it’s some combination of supplying all of my nutritional needs and knowing that I’ve supplied them. Maybe the desire to overeat was really the result of some unknown deficiency.

For me, this isn’t entirely positive, psychologically. It enables reclusive behavior that’s probably undesirable. Once I lay in a weeks supply of ingredients there’s no longer much reason to leave the house. When I do visit friends, I reluctantly nibble on whatever they serve, just to be polite.

Time to make today’s batch!


#19

This is good to hear, because one of my goals is to cut back on soda. I’ve only been on Soylent for a few days and it probably helped that I am coming off of being sick so I wasn’t drinking soda and my stomach was shrunk from not eating, but I really haven’t been having much soda. I had one at a movie I went to recently, but if I only have soda when I go out then I’m fine with that. Thanks for the information on how it has been helping you!


#20

I consume about 60% DIY soylent a day, the rest is semi-healthy muggle food. (I’m particularly fond of Triscuit ‘Hint of Salt’.)

The huge, major change for me is – my IBS symptoms have dropped about 99%. That’s a huge life-changer for me, it’s at least 3 hours a week that I’m not “indisposed”.

Other than that, I’ve lost weight. It’s hard to say how much of that is soylent, and how much is the walking I’ve started to do; but the walking was kick-started by a bit of weight loss when I first started the soylent. I’ve got more energy, and I’m pretty sure that my depression is under better control than before. I’ve nearly kicked my (diet) soda habit, and I wasn’t even trying.

I do still have a sweet tooth. But now a small package of cookies will literally last me weeks, instead of days.