Glycogen restriction vs. calorie restricted diets

A post by a computer programmer turned health advocate blogger (attention, Rob), makes a convincing case (in two posts) for avoiding carbs, summarized by him in the subject line. I find these carbs in Soylent.
The posts:

Last summer, this subject was covered well here:

IMHO, the best grip on a hack was from @atheist4thecause, who sips his Soylent meal over an extended time, to reduce the Glycemic Loading/Insulin response.

From a post in that thread by @MentalNomad, I understand that some carbs are present to powder the oil, and yet addition carbs are present to push the carb ratio higher. Is the higher carb % really needed? Would not the ulimate mix be using carbs, but only to meet the optimum fat/protein percentage? To do otherwise increases the risk of provoking an insulin response, which seemingly benefits no one.

(my apologies, if a new thread was inappropriate)

[edit, the above links are no longer available. The author has another post, that covers the material, glycogen stores:]

Soylent 2.0 has an incredibly low glycemic index, though – unless I’m misunderstanding the relationship between the glycemic index and insulin responses, I’d think they’re going in the right direction?

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Soylent 2.0 is at GI=49.2 (I am on 1.5)

Not incredibly low, (perhaps middle?) compared to other foods.

But Glycerine Index is one step removed from Glycerine Loading, which is one step below Insulin response. Check the first link, bottom of the page, to find 1.5. Apparently filling your glycogen stores, will put you on the edge on an insulin response. An insulin response, puts you in fat production mode, and leaves you at risk of hunger pangs later. Perhaps debatable, and I refer to the thread’s original links for clarification.
To answer your question, yes the right direction. And it appears (yes, appearances can be deceptive) that the next step is easy.

Sorry, Ravenvii, I thought that I hit your reply button, but posted in the main thread. Thanks for your response.

Having an insulin response is completely fine and healthy, there’s nothing wrong with having insulin in your bloodstream. The problem is having a high insulin response.

Insulin is not like lead, where you don’t want any of it ever. It’s totally healthy to have a normal level of insulin in your blood.

Fat (kcal/d)
Actual (1.5) 790
IOM (min) 400
IOM (max) 700

Protein (kcal/d)
Actual (1.5) 316
IOM (min) 200
IOM (max) 700

Carbohydrates (kcal/d)
Actual (1.5) 917
IOM (min) 900
IOM (max) 1300

I wish he would use some sort of formatting for emphasis. Maybe some italicized, bold, and underlined text?


I thought that it was a ransom note.


@Sententia, it would seem that from the original links, that you want a low level, so as to not reach your maximum glycogen storage level, otherwise the body wants to convert it to fat storage. Yes, your level rises, perhaps still inside of normal levels. Fast digesting carbs can be counted on increasing your glycogen stores, yes? Very slow carbs, fats, and proteins may match your metabolic rate, never increasing your stores level of glycogen.

While I agree that excessive carbs, particularly simple carbs, are bad I object to the author’s implications that all he did was go on a keto diet and suddenly was able to run half marathons. I’m sure there was a fair amount of training and exercise going on in the amount of time it took him to lose those 60 pounds.


What you say is obviously true. The author has described his own path in past blogs, but generally he focuses on what the public needs to do, and the outrages of some experts that advise otherwise (Part 1, for example). I recall the author’s past blogs involved months of time, but not formal training, and only exercise in the form of, “how far can I run, today?”.

My dad runs marathons and says that when he is training he could eat nothing but pasta for every meal and he would still lose weight. So it’s probably not good to associate the effect of diet without factoring in other aspects.


more than four years ago led to the loss of 60lbs

So he lost about 1 lb per month. You can achieve that by cutting out about 120 calories per day. No need to go crazy.


Apparently, running depletes your glycogen stores. But under more sedate situations, here is the question; is Soylent pushing glycogen stores beyond their limit, when it provokes an insulin response? If so, consuming in hours rather than minutes would seem the most direct the avoidance strategy. Comment?

Thank you for your response. From the original links, calorie math is purported to be far more intricate. For instance, cutting 120 calories of insoluble carbs has no impact. And the complications are far beyond that, as described in the links. But he maintains there is a cardinal rule, the subject of this post. That is the path to weight loss, that successful dieters, perhaps inadvertently, follow. But that is not the purpose of Soylent; good health is the goal. Does Soylent push up glycogen stores, with high glycemic carbohydrates? It would seem to be a border line “yes”, to that question.

I know this is anecdotal evidence but there have been a number of posts on this forum of people lowering their A1C and being able to be taken off of some of their diabetes medication. I don’t think this would happen if their glycogen stores where being kept full and overflowing.

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BTW, a third post was published today, tying the other two together. For those interested;
The “commandment” was refined, "Thou shalt not completely fill thy glycogen reserves."
From the details, it is again claimed that carbs formulated for easy consumption are problematic. IMHO, it seems that Soylent needs to loose the easy carbs, or go to a solid form that effectively offers “time release”. In the meantime, I am still left with @atheist4thecause solution, drink very, very slowly, or small amounts over time.
Any other suggestions?

You don’t digest incrementally, you digest in batches. Your stomach fills up and then to a certain point, pre-processes the food with digestive juices, then releases it into the intestines in one big go. The point of this is that sipping is not going to have a noticeable impact, except psychologically in terms of hunger management. Soylent 2.0 isn’t sweet enough to trigger any major insulin response. In a healthy adult, sipping isn’t going to do you a lot of good vs just chugging it down, unless you’re talking sipping constantly throughout the day, little portions every 10 minutes or so.

Kimo, isomaltulose isn’t “easy carbs,” because chemistry. The carbs in Soylent are “time release”, again because chemistry.


Here’s the real cardinal rule. Cut calories. In the end, that’s all he’s doing.