Experiment About To Begin


#1

I ordered a two week supply of Soylent all the way back in August, and yesterday it finally arrived. Unfortunately, I was not present for the delivery, so I may not get my hands on it until tomorrow.

I’ll try to avoid too much detail about myself, but in a nutshell I effectively work two jobs, each about 30-35 hours per week. That’s been the situation for several years and will be the situation for several more. That is a lifestyle that does not leave a lot of time for eating well, especially if one just does not like (or feel satisfied) by a fruits, nuts, and salad lifestyle. If I can carve out a half an hour in the morning or the evening, I don’t want to spend it cooking. Even if it means stopping for fast food or getting delivery, that’s a half an hour I can just sit, collect my thoughts, and recover from the day. As a result, my weight has plateau’d between 235 and 240 which is… too much for my 5’ 8" frame.

Here is what I am hoping for from Soylent:

  • Convenience: if I can spend 10 minutes every evening making a day’s supply of Soylent, and if I can eat that while commuting, I put a substantial amount of time back into my week.

  • Satiety: This is one of the more interesting aspects of what I’ve read. The crap I’ve been eating lately is satisfying in the moment, and still more satisfying to me than a more vegetarian diet, but it’s not satiating in the long term and it leads to snacking. If my system takes Soylent as something long term satisfying, so much the better.

  • Portion control: This really goes hand in hand with satiety, but I’ve found in the past that just knowing there is a limit to what you should eat during a day is a powerful thing.

  • Nutrition: I am under no illusions. There is no such thing as perfect food. If there were, Soylent wouldn’t be it, although it might come reasonably close. But the garbage I’ve been eating lately is much farther.

Here is what I fear from Soylent:

  • Gas. 'Nuff said.

Here is my plan:

I have a two week supply of (I assume, the package is sitting at a depot) v1.3. From Friday through Monday I’ll be working mostly away from other people, so gas issues won’t be devastating if they occur. Even so, I’ll be starting out with something like a 50/50 blend to see how it goes. I’ll be aiming for about 1000 calories worth of Soylent and somewhere between 500 and 1000 calories of typical food.

In specific, I’m thinking about 500 calories of Soylent as breakfast, 500 for dinner, a nice bagel and cream cheese for lunch (roughly another 500 calories) and if that’s not enough for one day, perhaps a light snack of lean cold cuts in the evening. 1500 calories in a day is light, but I’m interested in testing the satiety aspect.

By Saturday, I would expect I’ll know if I need to supplement with Beano, and by Monday I expect I’ll know if I can tolerate the whole regime… and critically, whether I can tolerate the regime through days when I work closely with other people. (I also expect by Saturday that I’ll be cutting the Soylent with some sort of flavorant. I have a bottle of coffee extract already for just that purpose.) And after a week or two, I expect I’ll know if I want to continue and if I want to try for more than 50%.

(I doubt I’ll ever get truly up to 100%. I reserve entirely the right to treat myself to a good restaurant-- not fast food, restaurant-- meal a few times a month, or to go out with friends. But if my system tolerates it, I can see going to 90% for a while.)

Advice and feedback welcome.
Comments on my lifestyle choices, or exhortations to spend the hour a day I save exercising are not.


#2

Assuming you got version 1.3, I expect you’ll be fine in the gas department. So far I think every single report I’ve read (including my own) has stated that 1.3 has effectively solved the gas issue. So, I think you’re on the right track. No need to go 100%, very few actually are. It’s cool that it’s an option, but certainly not a requirement. Like you said, no matter what Soylent is going to be better than what you’re doing currently so… go for it! Looking forward to hearing how it goes for you.


#3

I think you’re going to be pleased. I’m currently taking in between 1500 and 1700 calories a day on Soylent. I’m about the same height as you and was also heavier than I desired. I’ve steadily been dropping the pounds over the last 2 months, and this week had to move my belt in a notch to keep my pants from falling off.
I use myfitnesspal to track my daily intake and weight every day. Having the data right there in front of me makes it very easy to keep track of my success.
That Soylent is so convenient and tastes good as opposed to so many “diet powders” is certainly am added bonus.
Good luck on your journey!


#4

Well keep us posted. I’m going to go 100% for at least this first month and observe the changes. Only day two, but so far so good!


#5

I like your idea of easing into it with breakfast and dinner (and now I want a bagel). As far as exercising, if you are working 60-70 hours per week, unless that’s entirely sitting at a desk, you may be surprised by how much physical activity you’re getting. Just walking around a lot during the day is a lot of “exercise” even if you’re doing it for other reasons. If you are sitting at a desk for the entire day, I hope you at least travel up stairs at some point.

I wouldn’t worry too much about gas with 50% Soylent 1.3. I ran out of Soylent 1.0 and my 1.3 was delayed, so I was back on normal food for a couple weeks. I had no trouble transitioning from 100% normal food to 50% Soylent 1.3 (and by “normal food” I mean mostly mac & cheese, pizza, cereal, and chocolate, because I don’t eat particularly well).


#6

Day 0:

Now that I have it home, I find it is indeed v1.3, probably some of the last of that type shipped. Pity.

First impressions: It is certainly easy enough to prepare. Even with the last of the oil bottles as an extra step it took no more than five minutes to prepare either a day (at 100%) or two days (at 50%) worth of the stuff. I’ll count that as a win right there.

I can see how this stuff can be filling, though. I didn’t take more than a taste so I don’t have a sense of it that way, but just the sheer volume and weight of the stuff… It’s one thing to think about drinking a liter and a half of the stuff a day. It’s another to see and hold that much in your hands.

I can also see that I will never, ever put this stuff in a transparent thermos and take it out in public. I really would choose not field questions about why I am drinking something of that flavor and texture. I could see putting it in a metal thermos and drinking it in the car or on the train, though.

It smells a little bit like cookie dough. It looks like watery cookie dough. It tastes… nothing like cookie dough. Unfortunately. Having taken a few spoonfuls tonight out of curiosity, I can see I’m going to want to flavor this with something as it has almost no flavor at all, just viscosity and texture.

Has anyone had any success getting Soylent flavored to taste savory or salty? All the obvious choices to flavor it seem like either breakfast (coffee) or dessert (chocolate, vanilla, mint, cinnamon…) which is not bad but a little monotonous.


#7

What kind of “savory”? Like, chicken bullion? Lol

Today I put a small amount of salt and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to my pitcher. Added too much salt yesterday and it was kind of gross, and tomorrow i think I’ll only put 3/4tsp vanilla in. The whole teaspoon is tasty but it’s just a little bit much; but just barely.

I imagine adding some brown sugar to this would make it taste like cookie dough(?)

There’s a thread dedicated to flavoring soylent and one solely on flavoring with hot sauce. My so sure about that one, but hey…?


#8

I can tell you from experience that consuming it out of a transparent pitcher is basically guaranteed to summon a horde of people asking the same questions, alongside comments that assume it tastes terrible and that they’d like to try it when they decide to try and lose weight.


#9

I like the concept of 50/50, but you clearly laid out a 67 soylent/33 food blend. To reinforce, 1000 out of 1500 calories a day is 2:1, not 1:1.

I plan on a true 50/50, and unsure why more don’t follow this plan (apologies if that reads pretentious): every two days, alternate meals between soylent and food. According to soylent, “Prepared Soylent must be kept refrigerated (40 degrees Fahrenheit or below) and consumed within 48 hours.” So, if you mix one full batch in PM, and refrigerate overnight, you can soylent breakfast/muggle lunch/soylent dinner/muggle breakfast/soylent lunch/muggle dinner. Rinse and repeat.

Then you’ve gone fully 50/50, no need to mess with preparation of pesky fractional portions, and you get to experience a full array of foods (rather than just dinners).


#10

That seems very odd to me because Soylent looks just like a coffee beverage IMO. I would think most people would assume it’s a mocha or frappacino or something and not even blink. Unless you mention something about it being something else, in which case yeah the questions would start…


#11

My husband and I have been on Soylent since May 2014. It’s basically our normal diet except for the occasional office lunch, or dinner out, etc. He drinks it “as is” which is kind of boring in my opinion. I tinker with my batch on a regular basis. Today I added almond extract and some dark cocoa powder, and a squirt of agave. Sometimes I add a couple drops of roasted sesame oil, vanilla extract, and agave, or cocoa powder and mint extract. It’s a rather fun experiment :smile:
My husband has lost 6-8 pounds and I have lost about 15 with not too much effort. We love all the extra time we have with no cooking, shopping, and dishes!
Good luck to you. There’s an adjustment to be sure, but you can overcome it without too much effort!


#12

I’m another one that adds nothing so just for the sake of perspective let me chime in on what people like me are thinking, since it seems many here add something to their Soylent.

For me at least, Soylent is akin to turning food off. Of course you can’t turn it off completely because then you go hungry, so Soylent is the next best thing. I don’t think of it as I “add nothing” to Soylent, rather I think of it as, I don’t even ask the question of whether to add anything. I just want cheap, healthy nutrition inside me, period.

So when I see these threads discussing whether to add this or add that I’m like, okay, whatever floats your boat. But as long as it tastes decent then that’s good enough for me. When I want “tastes good” I go to real food.

Maybe I can do this because I’m on Soylent only 25%. If I was consuming it most of the time maybe I’d need more stimulation.


#13

I mostly agree with your sentiment, though I happen to also think Soylent tastes fairly good. Not as good as it used to (1.0 is still the best tasting IMO) but a few drops of Stevia puts it back in the “hmmm that’s pretty darn good” camp for me. I’ve wanted to “opt out” of food my entire life. I remember in elementary school (was probably around 7 or 8 years old) looking forward to “the future” (which was roughly the year 2000) when we would be taking vacations on the moon and our food would be a single pill. LOL


#14

'Cause it’s gonna be the future soon
I won’t always be this way
When the things that make me weak and strange get engineered away
Gonna be the future soon
Never seen it quite so clear
When my heart is breaking, I just close my eyes
And it’s already here


#15

Day 1:

Stuck pretty much to plan: A quarter pitcher in the morning around 9:00 AM, and then a bagel and cream cheese at noon when I was hungry. Another quarter pitcher around 8:00 PM, and then another bagel and cream cheese about an hour and a half later when I was hungry.

The satiety doesn’t seem to kick in as a result of the Soylent alone, but when combined with something as comparatively small as a bagel, the combination satisfies me for quite some time. I probably could have gone without the second bagel, but I made a plan and I’m not going to try to drop too much below 2000 calories per day (if I do at all) for several days. Basically, I can live with this.

No outgassing issues, at least not as yet, but I’m not going to declare a success on that until at least the end of the weekend or Monday, which is probably when I will update the experiment next.

Also, a few comments in response to various people here:

  1. On taste and the experience of food, I am not going to try to convince any one person that their preference is wrong. But I will point out that purely on the basis of observation, the experience of food is important to almost everyone. Consider that most festivals involve feasts. Consider travelers often want to try local cuisine. Consider how ethnic foods diffuse and both recombine and stay robust in the United States. It’s important to a lot of people… including me. Circumstance makes this a good idea for me at the moment, not preference.

  2. This moves into taste. V1.3 tastes like… almost nothing, to me. Even after putting 2 tsp of coffee extract in 8 oz of the stuff it still had very little flavor. it wasn’t unpleasant, but it wasn’t pleasant either. Not at all.

  3. On the cosmetics of it, I can see why some people might think it looks like a coffee drink at first glance, especially if it’s blended better than mine. But mine is every so slightly gritty and clumpy, and is more viscous than any coffee drink. It doesn’t slide down the surface of a container like a latte would, and it doesn’t smell like coffee at all. The people I work with would notice.

  4. Still, it is fast and easy to prepare, nutritious, will be portable once I get a decent thermos, and is at least tolerable to the palate. Much more win than lose so far.


#16
  1. Oh, yeah, and I bet citrus would be a decent flavor as well.

#17

Citrus is AWESOME in Soylent (assuming one likes citrus anyway!) It makes for tremendous smoothies. The last two times I’ve bought a Jamba Juice, I’ve cut it by half with Soylent and it improves the overall experience 1000 fold.


#18

They ask if it’s coffee first. They quickly find out what it is, after, and then begin the interrogation. When they’re genuinely curious, it’s fun, but when they think I’m gargling industrial waste… Not so fun.

Also, just had someone sincerely tell me that I should switch to a meal replacement instead. When asked why it’s better, his actually answer was “it’s been around longer”. He thought it was complete because the name had " total "in it. When I pointed out the insufficient levels of potassium and protein, his response was that clearly it was enough or else it wouldn’t be "total ". I’m so tired of this particular individual…


#19

It’s this kind of thing that makes me so cynical about both the food industry and humanity in general. :stuck_out_tongue:

Just kidding, I’m only cynical about the food industry. :wink:


#20

Days 2 through 4:

The experiment continues. Unfortunately, I am suffering from a cold, so even these anecdotal observations are more suspect than normal. (And let me dispense with even the hint of the notion that the two are somehow connected. They’re not. That would be absurd. It didn’t cause that guy’s appendicitis, either.)

That said:

  1. For me, the secret to palatability is artificial sweetener. A packet or two of equal in a large coffee mug, and a teaspoon of coffee or vanilla extract, makes an immeasurable difference in how this stuff tastes. With those additions, the stuff is somewhere between “good” and “delicious,” if ultimately monotonous. But if I keep switching up the flavoring extracts, I suppose I can live with it.

  2. No outgassing issues. I am a go to continue the experiment for another half a week, this time in close contact with other people. I am not worried.

  3. I find myself very surprised that I can get by on about 500 calories of Soylent in the morning, another 500 in the evening, and 500 worth of solid food (usually a bagel and cream cheese or something comparable) as lunch. I strongly suspected that I would need another bagel equivalent later in the evening, but it turns out I do not… although that may be the cold reducing my appetite. I don’t _think_it is. We’ll see.

  4. If that level of calorie intake holds true in the coming weeks, I’ll be very happy, because it will mean something like 4-6 lbs weight loss per month, I would think. This would be extraordinary for the level of effort. Again, we’ll see. By the same token, even though I monitor my weight every day, numbers are pointless right now. They’re just noise until a diet has been in effect for a few weeks.

  5. Tomorrow I have a social engagement which involves dinner, so I will have my first full meal in about half a week. I intend to enjoy it, although I’ll still try for Soylent in the morning and for lunch. We’ll see how that works. Wednesday and Thursday will be back to the more conventional bagel routine.

  6. Starting on Friday I am strongly considering trying all Soylent (or 90-95%) for a few days or even a week. I don’t think I’m going to stick with it. I struggle to describe this, but I am skeptical that pure Soylent will really satiate me. A quarter batch in the morning holds me for a few hours, but the addition of a bagel or a cup of soup on top of that holds me for another 7-8 hours. Then a quarter batch holds me for a few more hours, but then it’s time to sleep, so I don’t care.

But hey, I could be wrong.