Feel awesome but gaining fat :(


#1

I’m new to Soylent. For the most part I LOVE IT. I love the convenience, I’m fine with the taste, but mostly, I love how much better I feel. I’ve had problems with energy for years, and in just 2 weeks I have more energy than I know what to do with. I no longer need afternoon naps, and I actually have energy in the evenings to do things after work.

But it seems to be making me fat.

I’m a 40-year old female. 5’11", 157 lbs.
I have 1-2 10 oz servings of Soylent a day, and my lunches and dinners are small and light.
There’s no way I could be consuming more than my maintenance intake of 1700 cals a day.

The fat on my abdomen is getting firmer and larger, and my “muffin top” is starting to overflow. However, my scale hasn’t really changed.

I do not believe that consuming fat makes you fat. I believe excess calories make you fat. But when I consider what a high percentage of fat I’m consuming since starting Soylent, I have to wonder. Ironically, I also believe it’s the fat that’s giving me all this awesome energy.

Anyone run into this problem? Anyone figure out a solution? I don’t want to stop, but I’d really rather not get heavy.


#2

Two 10oz servings of 1.4 would mean you’re consuming about 650 calories in Soylent. Are you certain that your lunch/dinner doesn’t go over 525 calories each?

If your scale hasn’t changed, I’m skeptical to believe that it’s making you fat. It could theoretically be a number of different things including water retention/bloat?


#3

When you/and people in general say consuming fat doesnt make one fat, do you/they mean consuming fat doesnt make one gain weight? or does it literally mean consuming fat doesnt increase fat in the body? The answer to this could help with your answer too.


#4

It means dietary fat does not automatically turn to body fat. It affects fat about as much as an equivalent amount of calories in another form.


#5

I find this subject very interesting.

I used to believe that triglycerides in the blood stream would always be absorbed by the liver, the muscles, and inevitably go to adipose tissue. Whereas glucose would always be stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver first, and only when this reservoir was filled would glucose be converted into triglycerides and stored as fat. This made sense since converting glucose into fat is an expensive process, metabolically speaking. I am certain now things aren’t this simple.

The culprit has one word: genetics. Our metabolisms differ wildly. You can see it everywhere. Those skinny persons who eat nothing but McDonald’s every day and have not one ounce of fat in them. Or the super fit, muscular kind that eat whatever they want and barely do any physical activity and they look like bodybuilders.

I blame this phenomenon on a subjective term: “carbohydrate sensitivity”. Some people are less carbohydrate sensitive. While some of us are so sensitive to carbs that no matter how small amount we consume, some will always be stored as fat. In the presence of insulin, adipose cells, as if it were any other cell, will absorb the glucose and store it as triglycerides within.

If this hypersensitivity to carbs is possible, it is entirely possible that some folks are more likely to store consumed fat into adipose tissue.


#6

I forget who said this ( @vanclute maybe? ) but some people have experienced muscle gain on Soylent with no other lifestyle changes. The physical changes you describe sound like something that could happen if you have had no change in body fat but have gained muscle mass, but the fact that your weight hasn’t changed is more consistent with a decrease in muscle and a gain in fat (else you’d be LOSING inches). So basically I’m stumped.

If you’re really only eating a little more than 1/3 of your calories in Soylent then, like @Nikve pointed out, you might be consuming more than you think with lunches and dinners. I have no reason to doubt you when you say you’re eating light, but I would recommend really paying attention to those calories on a typical day, and also on any atypical day (maybe you ‘cheat’ once or twice a week, I know I do). The first time I really tracked calories I was shocked with how big a seemingly-modest-sized lunch could really be.

In any case, glad you’ve been feeling well!


#7

My usual advice for posts like this is to head on over to the Soylent calorie gestumator and see what it suggests your calorie intake should be. Each 10 fl oz service of Soylent is 296 calories depending on how OCD you are with your measurements. 1-2 servings of Soylent should leave you between 1400 and 1100 calories for rest of the day. I would suggest confirming that your other meals don’t go over those numbers. Count EVERYTHING you consume and see what numbers you come up with. Fitbit offers a free smartphone app and has a lot of typical food items already in their database. You can also create pre-canned meals instead of entering each ingredient separately every time you eat your typical tuna sandwich.


#8

Yeah that was me, a bioscan 2 months before and 2 months after starting Soylent, showed a 10% increase in my lean muscle mass despite not a lick of exercise in all that time. But I agree with the premise that everyone’s metabolisms & genetics are different, so one person’s results are not likely to be the same as another’s.


#9

Thanks for your help everyone. There’s some info in the replies here that are getting me thinking.

Genetics is something I think could be worth considering. I come from a generally trim family, but we do all put our extra weight in our bellies - even the women. I wonder if my metabolism is just inclined to store fat easily. I’m curious to know if the Soylent users who gained muscle mass were men.

Though I don’t count calories, I am still eating the same sorts of meals I ate before Soylent, and I maintained my weight easily. In fact, I was slowly losing weight.

I think I might reduce the protein and fat in my food meals and focus on veggies. It’s what I crave more often now, anyway. Or - I might just try all Soylent all the time for a week or two and see what that does. I also ordered some 1.3 to see how the lower fat content treats me. Or - I might use this extra energy to increase my exercise.

In the end, I’d rather feel great and have a thick waist than be thin and feel like crap. I do look forward to a female-targeted formula with less calories. 2000 is waaaaaay too much for most women.


#10

For whatever it’s worth, I had never tracked calories in my life until 2 years ago. I was the heaviest I’d ever been (pushing 200lbs at 5’9") so started tracking with a free iPhone app. I was STUNNED at what revealed itself. Hidden calories to an insane degree. I found it super easy to start moderating my intake just by choosing very slightly different things. Changing brands of stuff in some cases, or moving to lower-cal versions of the same basic product, etc. In no time at all, without any consistent exercise (I tried on occasion but was really bad about it), I dropped 30 lbs and felt better than ever. And this was all before Soylent.

So yeah, tracking works. You don’t have to be a nazi about your eating or anything, just track what you DO consume, and you’ll find you want to start making different choices automatically.


#11

No, don’t cut the protein. During weight loss extra protein helps you keep more lean muscle. You will lose the same amount of weight if you cut the same number of calories from fat and/or carbs but the difference will be that a higher percentage of the weight lost will come from fat than lean muscle.


#12

I second what vanclute is saying. About 5-6 years ago I was around 250lbs. I’m 5’ 6" so that is significantly overweight, but my frame is such that it’s not as overweight as you’d think; I start getting to be “skin and bones” below 180. So, that 5-6 years ago, I started exercising regularly (not intensely or anything, a 30-60 mins on a recumbent stationary bike 4 times a week, but I never ate real poorly anyway, it was more from having a desk job). I got down to about 225 lbs within the first 2-3 years of change in my routine…and then got stuck there fluctuating up and down +/- 5 lbs until late last October. That is when I began using fitbit’s free app and started seeing the numbers. I still probably don’t exercise quite as much discipline with my caloric intake as I should, though since I finally got soylent it is so much easier to track (and I get less hungry). But I’ve dropped as much weight in the last 5 months (through the big eating holiday months!) as I have in the preceding 5-6 years…I am about to drop below 200 lbs for the first time in over a decade. That is mostly from paying more attention to what I eat. I would say almost solely, but I’ve increased my exercise significantly to make sure I am losing fat and not muscle (which I think, ironically, has me stalled just above 200 lbs right now because I think I am replacing fat lbs with muscle lbs at a 1:1 rate).

How much soylent may or may not help has yet to be determined, I’ve only had it for a couple weeks now; but it sure makes tracking calories a whole lot simpler when 90% of them come from it.

Edit: On second though, Soylent is probably helping. I had an early birthday dinner out last weekend that was insanely indulgent/gluttonous, and my wife made me a lamb burger on my actual birthday this week, and my weight has not changed.


#13

Oh you just reminded me of an important detail! My pre-Soylent weight loss was both fat AND muscle, as shown by a bioscan before I started tracking, and after I’d lost the weight. Obviously, that’s not really good! But then by adding Soylent and NO exercise whatsoever, I gained 10% muscle mass back again.


#14

That is good advice. Thanks! Though I must admit, protein without fat… blaaaaaah. If I cant ENJOY my meal I might as well just have Soylent and spare myself the time!!


#15

Thanks! I tried a similar app once. You’re right - it helps you make better choices. It got tedious for me after a while though. Perhaps it’s time to give it another go. Congrats on all your success!


#16

Just curious - are you a guy? The idea of gaining muscle without exercise sounds to me like something that could only happen with a decent amount of testosterone in your system. I’m not sure we lady-folk can do it!!!


#17

I don’t foresee there being a formula for women available as, I believe, they did that in earlier versions and then cut it to one streamlined version. If 2000 calories is too much for you, you could easily use 3/4 of the packages and get into a 1500 calorie diet without sacrificing too much of the recommended DV of nutrients?

As far as it goes with me, I’ve been both chemically female and male (I’m Transgender) and I have found, in general, muscle mass has come far more easily to me now than it had before. Granted, I was not eating Soylent then and I’m new to the forum so I don’t know any women around here to ask.

EITHER WAY I’m very glad to hear you’re more energized and healthy feeling than before, and I wish you the absolute best of luck!


#18

Sounds exactly like what happened to me. I also got a big energy boost from Soylent, but also gained weight. I exercise a lot so I was concerned that I was gaining weight but it was fat instead of muscle.

I’ve cut back on the amount of soylent I have for breakfast. Now I have about 10oz for breakfast, 20oz for lunch (when I have a Soylent lunch, about ½ the time), and about 30oz for dinner (on the rare occasions I have soylent for dinner). By switching to this, I’ve lost about half of the 10lbs I gained from 20oz soylent breakfasts. (It took about 4 months to gain the 10lbs, about 6 weeks to lose 5). Hopefully if you just cut back your weight will balance out as well.

I’m still planning on doing something with more protein, but am waiting until I finish up the soylent I have.


#19

I’ve been thinking of trying all Soylent (at least during the work week) and will likely do it this way. Perhaps taking a supplemental multivitamin will make up for the 25% loss in nutrients.

VERY interesting to hear from someone who has experience from both perspectives!!! Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:


#20

Has anyone tried adding a protein powder to decrease fat percentage? It may reduce nutrient intake, but maybe altering the carb/fat/protein ratio is what I need. Beside seeing fat gain, I walk around all day with that heavy feeling you get after you eat too much ice cream.