Going 100% for a few days feels like death


#1

Hi.

I got my shipment of 1.4 two weeks ago. As advised, I’ve been easing into it - 1 meal / day for a few days, then 2 meals, and last weekend I tried going all-in for three days (Fri, Sat & Sun). One meal occasionally seemed insufficient - if I had it for dinner, I’d get really hungry right before bed. Going 100% on Fri seemed okay, but Sat and Sun felt like a slowly-progressing brain rot.

Saturday I felt high all day. Like I’d had 2-3 weed cookies for breakfast. I couldn’t focus, or think deeply about anything for more than 30sec or so. My mood crashed over the course of the afternoon, leaving me feeling absolutely awful.

Sunday I could hardly move. I was exhausted, depressed, and couldn’t think at all. I managed to get a sandwich for dinner, and immediately felt way better.

Fri, Sat and Sun I could not get to sleep. I felt super tired, but even taking melatonin sleep just would not come.

I know I’m sensitive to blood sugar, and kind of dependent on high-carb foods. I’m not hypoglycemic or diabetic, but when my blood sugar gets on the low end of normal my mood and cognition nosedive. If I fast for a day, I get similar symptoms (depression, mental dullness, irritability, difficulty moving and basic life functioning). I was hoping Soylent would work out okay since it still has some carbs - I’d maintain a reasonable blood sugar level without spikes and sudden drops. But that’s not how it worked out.

My experience in the past with low-carb and low-calorie diets is that these symptoms do not go away. I don’t adjust, even after months, I just get used to feeling horrible all the time. The minute I go back to a high-carb diet I feel awesome and I can function again.

I was really hoping Soylent would let me have quick and easy meals that don’t require a lot of cooking and cleaning, and provide better nutrition than dining out or something. I was kinda hoping I’d lose weight with it (I’m 240lbs / 5’5"). But right now that seems impossible - I can’t work with these symptoms, and I have no idea how long it would take to “adjust,” or even if that would happen at all.

Any advice?


#2

Sounds like you need to add salt to your Soylent. I don’t mean to get to personal but have you been peeing a lot? When I finally went 100% it seemed like I was peeing ever couple hours. This flushes out a lot of electrolytes like salt and potassium and can give you that brain fog feeling.

A sudden drop in carbs can also cause many of the symptoms you are describing. Your body is trying to maintain an artificially high blood sugar level. As your body burns off its reserves of glycogen to keep your sugar up it will release lots of water and you will pee like crazy and possibly get low on electrolytes. Good news is your body will adjust after a week or two.

I have found that I don’t seem to need as much sleep on Soylent.


#3

Well, I have found 1.5 more satiating than 1.4, so it might work better for you. Yesterday I accidentally tried an interesting experiment with 1.5. I drank my whole day’s 2000 calorie allocation by 11 a.m. Then I went the rest of the day on nothing. At midnight, to my surprise, I was still reasonably full.

This is not a low carb or low calorie diet. It aspires to be a normal diet. If you are used to consuming more calories, maybe you should add something to make the transition more gradual. I added whey protein isolate to 1.4. (and stevia). With 1.5 I am not adding anything.


#4

How much Soylent are you eating per day?

(I don’t actually know if that’s particularly relevant, but I figure it’s useful information. Are you on one pouch a day?)


#5

I think when he referred to 100% and going all in, he meant one bag a day.


#6

Sure, that makes sense.


#7

@agius, Once when i took choline supplements in the morning… i couldnt sleep properly that night. And since soylent has choline, you could try avoiding consuming it at night and possibly afternoon too, for a few days, to see if it makes a difference with regard to sleep.


#8

Yes, one bag over the course of the day. Tried 3 servings on Fri, splitting into smaller and more frequent on Sat, and “whenever I get hungry” on Sun.


#9

Right, not low carb, but probably lower calorie and definitely lower in refined starch or “fast carbs” than my normal diet. One of the issues I have with cooking and dining out is how much harder to measure it is. Calories, vitamins, macronutrient breakdown, etc would be infinitely easier to track with a largely Soylent diet.

Might be worth trying the all-in-the-morning approach. My hypothesis is that with Soylent my blood sugar drops to the low end of normal, which causes the stated symptoms. So I’m not sure how this approach would affect it, but might make it balance out differently.


#10

Not peeing any more than normal - seems to be entirely dependant on how much water I drink & how quickly. Adding salt might help, though, I’ll give that a shot.

And hey, we’re trying to debug nutrition - questions like that are relevant data :blush: I’m an open book, AMA

Thanks for the advice, folks! Definitely appreciate y’all helping me out.


#11

I didn’t mean to recommend all in the morning, but it was interesting. Some people get fixated on using Soylent the “right” way, but within limits, the right way is the way that works for you.


#12

Do you know about how many calories you burn in a day? You can roughly figure this out if you track your normal caloric intake for a few days, or you can try using a calorie calculator. Depending on how old you are, how much muscle you have, and how active you are (desk job vs. semi-active job vs. physically demanding job plus exercise) you could feasibly be burning anything from 2500-5000+ calories per day just to maintain your body weight. You won’t know if you’ve never meticulously tracked your caloric intake. Suddenly switching to a 2000-calorie diet could easily cause most or all of your symptoms.


#13

Since your normal macros are very different from Soylent’s, you may just need a few days to a week to adjust to digesting and using more fat for energy. Your gut flora adjusts over time to what you put inside. After that your blood sugar levels should be way more stable. You may be able to speed up this process with good probiotics and prebiotics. Resistant starch formed in potatoes 24 hours after cooking (pan fry ideally) is supposedly one of the best prebiotics.

Also it could sound like you could have a yeast/candida overgrowth problem or possibly SIBO. If you ever (say after a few days of soylent or eating a bit of coconut oil/milk) experience flatulence and more that smells like sewage or other non-human that points to some kind of overgrowth in die off phase. Everything ok in the bathroom dept? (you did say AMA :smiley: )


#14

I only did two weeks, but I went to 100% right away and ate no other food. Well, I got through some snacks along the way, can’t give up Pringles!

I felt great every day and never hungry at the end of the day. I guess it affects all people differently but for me it was perfect.


#15

Calculator says:

Yep, 2k / day would be way too low, put blood sugar through the floor, and cause any / all the symptoms I experienced. I think we have a winner! Thanks for the link.

Basically not an option when the symptoms are this bad - I’d have to take a week off of work, and it may take even longer. I write code, so if I’m depressed, tired, and mentally dead I really can’t produce anything of quality. It would hurt my team to add a bunch of terrible code they’d have to fix.

No noticeable changes, but thanks for the insight! If I can make it work, I’ll keep an eye out for these effects.


#16

Wait wait… have you drank a day’s worth at once more than one day? I would be super concerned about food coma or crazy blood sugar issues… but if I could do it without those problems, I’d love to just get eating over all at once every day


#17

Make sure you are drinking a lot of water as you adjust! Dehydration also contributes to some of those symptoms you are experiencing.


#18

Blood sugar is easy to track. Just use a glucometre every 4 hours and see for yourself. No need to guess


#19

I didn’t say more than one container a day, and I haven’t been.


#20

I worded that poorly… I’m wondering if you’ve downed your day’s worth all at once for more than one day in a row