First timer. I have a series of weight loss/nutrition questions

Hello all,

A little background: I’m a 22 year old female who is currently 5’2 and 227 pounds. I’m really trying to get my life together as an adult and that includes getting my health together for the first time. I don’t want to do any kind of magic pill or yo-yo diet thing. I just want to get to a healthy weight to help my PCOS and sleep apnea in a way that is sustainable.

Soylent seems perfect for me since my biggest problem with health is that I hate cooking and meal prep in general, so I feel that 2.0 could be a really good, sustainable lifestyle for me, but I do have some hangups about it.

So here are my questions:

Firstly, I’ve already tried an initial 12 pack shipment of soylent to see how it is. I liked the taste and didn’t feel too hungry. I thought that doing 4 a day would be good, since I’m a short female and am trying to lose weight. However, I got headaches in the evening from either not enough calories or from sodium withdrawal, or maybe a combination of both. I’ve looked at calorie calcs and apparently 2400 cals is sustainable for me because of my high weight. (I’ll also be power walking every evening to burn at least 100 calories, hopefully putting me at the 1 pound per week mark).

 1. Would me drinking 5 bottles a day, for 2000 calories be an okay start for someone my size?

  2. Any advice or info on how to prevent any kind of sodium withdrawal, as I've read that it can cause headaches               
      and  such for people who are used to a high sodium diet (I've never paid attention to sodium, so I'm assuming 
      I've been having a lot)?

As for the nutritional aspects of Soylent, I have a few hangups, the chief of which being that maltodextrin is the second ingredient, which is apparently has an even higher glycemic index than sugar BUT doesn’t have to labeled as sugar, and is often used for athletes to GAIN weight. In addition to that, each bottle contains 9 grams of sugar, and since sugar is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest thing to avoid for weight loss, that seems like a huge amount. I mean, I think the golden standard for daily sugar intake is 25 grams per day when you’re only trying to maintain weight, let alone lose.

  3. Why is maltodextrin so high up in the ingredients list, and won't that make weight loss with 5 bottles a day
      extremely difficult?

  4. How can I justify consuming 45 grams of sugar per day on top of the maltodextrin that probably isn't included
      in that sugar figure? 

Lastly, because I have PCOS (which is a hormonal disorder in women that makes it more difficult to lose weight by increasing insulin resistance, among other things), I do feel a bit hesitant about the whole soy thing and its supposed relationship with estrogen. More estrogen would only exacerbate my PCOS symptoms. There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about this, and though I know that a lot of companies will put horrible things in food, I’m also skeptical of the organic food industries’ tendency to demonize everything.

   5. Just general info about this would be helpful. Any PCOS ladies out there that can chime in with how they've felt
       consuming that much soy?

Sorry for the extremely long and wordy post. I know so little about anything health-wise, but I really want to be as informed as possible when trying to make real changes in my life. Thanks for any answers/advice you can offer.


1: 2000 might be a bit light for you. Maybe go for 2400 initially to get used to the diet. Then after a week or 2, drop to 2200. As your weight drops, slowly lower your calories as well. Move on only if your comfortable.

2: Eat salt. Maybe half a teaspoon. Straight, with water, in your soylent, in a snack, or whatever. Again, give yourself a little time to adjust, then cut back slowly later. If you sweat a lot, add a bit more. And don’t forget to drink water. Soylent provides about half or maybe a little less, and again you’ll need more if you sweat.

3: Maltrodexterin is a quick-ish burning sugar. It’s in to give you a boost of energy quickly while the calorie sources are still digesting. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, it’s just a matter of balance. Weight is simply calories in - calories out. Where you get them from doesn’t directly matter.

4: I’m pretty sure maltrodexterin is the only source of ‘sugar’ in Soylent.

5: Soylent doesn’t use the whole soy bean. So you only end up with trace amounts of the plant estrogen. And even then the science isn’t very clear as to weather it actually has any effect. At the very least it’s effects are vastly over hyped. Million live on soy without issue.

“News” in general is mostly fear mongering. You wouldn’t watch it if someone just said "everything’s pretty ok today’. So they instead tell you things to be afraid of to keep you watching.

Not that Soylent is perfect, but it’s the easiest way to eat well.


Thanks for the reply. I’ll definitely try to pace myself more. Dropping to 1600 calories was pretty naive on my part lol. And I’ll do a shot of salt water every day this time and see if that eliminates the headaches.

But as for your answer to 3, it doesn’t seem to be as simple as calories in vs. calories out. The quality of the food, particularly how fast the body processes it, is still a factor. If I ate 2000, calories a day of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream, there’s no way I’m losing weight because a large portion of the sugar and fat content ends up being stored. From what I understand, foods that take longer to process like protein are much better than foods that the body immediately absorbs like sugar and bread. Timed release matters because it’s much easier to put fat on than it is to get it off again.

At least that’s what I’ve learned when trying to research and learn about all of this. I would be fine if maltodextrin was like the 4th or 5th ingredient, but the second? It makes the product look like sugar water with some vitamins in it, you know?

If maltodextrin is the only source of sugar referred to on the label, that would make me feel a bit better about it for sure. Is there any way to confirm this?

And as for the soy, that makes sense. I was super skeptical about the whole soy/estrogen debate in the first place, so I do feel good about that now.

One quick note I wanted to add:

When you go to the main page, they list the main ingredients to explain how/why the product is healthy, but they skip right over maltodextrin, even though there’s clearly more of it than the 4 ingredients they highlight. Why is that? If maltodextrin is a good choice, and is the second ingredient (the first being water), why wouldn’t they take the time to explain their choice?

I’m not trying to be a complete nay-sayer here, in fact I’m really hoping this is a good product because it would be a great thing for me if it’s good, but I really don’t get the whole maltodextrin choice at this point.

I refer you to the Twinkie diet. While not a serious long term diet the person was able to 27 pounds.

That is a little misleading. Athletes use it to spike their insulin strategically at gain muscle.

The 9 grams of sugar is from the Isomaltulose which has a lower blood sugar spike, no blood sugar crash, and a slower/gentler digestion than table sugar.

i also refer you to the below thread.


[quote=“Matom_Bomb, post:3, topic:25632”]
If I ate 2000, calories a day of Ben and Jerry’s vanilla ice cream, there’s no way I’m losing weight because a large portion of the sugar and fat content ends up being stored.
[/quote]Nope. If you ate 2000 calories of ice cream a day, you would lose weight.

You might end up with a bunch of other health problems, like diabetes, energy swings, mood swings, vitamin deficiencies, and being hungry all the time. I wouldn’t recommend it, but you would lose weight.

[quote=“Matom_Bomb, post:3, topic:25632”]
From what I understand, foods that take longer to process like protein are much better than foods that the body immediately absorbs like sugar and bread. Timed release matters because it’s much easier to put fat on than it is to get it off again.
[/quote]Time release does matter, but for energy. And if you have more consistent energy, your less likely to eat excessive calories. You don’t reach for the candy bar, handfull of nuts, or soda which will put you over the top. Your also more likely to exercise. That’s why Soylent has a mix of energy sources, starting with fast and moving to slower ones so your energy is more consistent.

There are certainly many other factors that go into “calories in” and plenty of factors contributing to “calories out”. Like socially pressure to eat, food addictions, or a desk job. But the core weight equation remains the same. Calories in - calories out.


I just Googled the words “maltodextrin” and “Soylent” and found interesting threads. This has been discussed many times. Rob, the inventor of Soylent, is out there, and many other well-informed Soylenters.


I think others have covered most of your questions, but I would like to reiterate the importance of drinking liquids. If you’re replacing food with Soylent it may feel like you’re having a lot of liquids, but don’t forget that regular solid food contains liquids as well. If you no longer eat those normal solid foods and only eat Soylent, you will not have enough liquids and your headache symptoms could be dehydration (especially if you’re taking up a new exercise routine). General recommendation is to drink the equivalent liquids of one Soylent per bottle of soylent you drink.

Also, it’s okay to gradually ease into soylent. You don’t need to go 100% right away.


Don’t look at the glycemic index of a single ingredient. You’re not downing a bottle of maltodextrin. Look at the glycemic index of the whole bottle of Soylent. You’ll find it is quite low.


The GI of 2.0 is 49 which is the high end of low.


Yes and no. Strictly speaking, that’s true.

But the biggest advantage of Soylent is that it’s so easy to be certain of how many calories you’re eating. With ice cream, unless you’re eating the whole tub (which ok, you might be if it’s your entire diet), chances are you’re miscalculating how much a ‘serving’ is. And unless you’re keeping careful count of how many servings/scoops you got out of the container, you’ll never notice that your servings are each 25% more than the serving size shown on the label.

Then oops, turns out you’re actually getting 2500 kcal a day when you were aiming for 2000, and you’re putting on a little weight instead of losing anything.

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To be specific…

2000 calories / 250 calories per serving = 8 servings.
8 servings * 1/2 a cup = 4 cups.
4 cups / 2 cups in a pints = 2 pints, or half a gallon.

If you ate a gallon tub of ben & jerries ice cream, you would get 4000 calories. Twice what you want.

I know this is a bit tangential to your actual questions (which are detailed and awesome), but I thought it was worth mentioning that Soylent isn’t particularly designed for weight loss (if I understand correctly).

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You couldn’t also paste the URLs of the threads in here?

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I could, but I didn’t memorize the URLs, it happens. I could Google again, and I will, if you will explain why Googling those two words would be easier for me than for you.

P.S. If you do Google them, please post any useful URLs you find!


Interesting. When I was looking things up, I googled maltodextrin by itself to see what it was in its own right, then I went on here and searched maltodextrin, and didn’t get any real results. Either way, I had several questions and decided to include that one. Thanks though.

That’s a good point! I know that it’s mostly designed for consistent and convenient nutrition, and not necessarily to lose weight, but given that weight is a huge part of my current health problems, I created this thread to see if this could be an option for that, and for me specifically. I’m actually glad that it isn’t toted as a “magic weight loss serum.”


Alright, I’ve ordered a one week’s supply, and am going to pace myself and see how I feel. Thanks so much for everyone’s input. It can be difficult to self educate online with all of the conflicting information out there.

I’m going to:

Stick to my 5 bottles a day plan, allowing myself to snack a little for the first few days.

Consume enough water based on my body weight.

Make sure to have one serving of salt per day.

Soylent seems like a great product, from a company with actually good intentions. I look forward to seeing where this goes. I’ll likely post some kind of update on how I feel in a few months.


I didn’t even know they sold gallon tubs of Ben & Jerry in grocery stores. I’ve only seen pint and cup (or possibly even half-cup?) tubs. I have no interest in looking it up, but I assume that a full pint of ice cream is less than 2000 kcal.

If you’re concerned about the GI of Soylent, there’s a simple solution: add fiber via psyllium husk powder. You can pick up a large container of Metamucil at your local Walgreens. 1.5 is actually lower on fiber compared to previous versions (probably due to Rosa wanting to control the gas issue.) Some people add 1-2 tablespoons (about 6g of fiber), but others a bit more. Just don’t add too much because then you’ll be dealing with malabsorbtion.

Another solution (what I do) is to add powdered peanut butter (PB2 brand). In addition to the fiber content, it also enhances flavor and adds additional protein (which many here say 1.5 is lacking.) From what I understand, protein also contributes to lowering GI so you’re actually getting multiple benefits.