Going 100% Soylent. Advice?


#21

1200-1600 calories a day while paying attention to total protein/carbs/fats is widely accepted as medically sound for weight loss. Perhaps if you’re 21 years old and an athlete you can consume 2700 calories a day and lose weight, but for people who aren’t doing hardcore physical workouts that typically won’t result in weight loss.

Look, every circumstance is different, but the formula for weight loss is universal: burn more calories than you’re taking in. If you want to be scientific about it, you need to calculate your base metabolic rate and the total calories required to maintain your current weight, pay attention to how much you’re burning through exercise, and then adjust your total intake accordingly. Spoiler: for most average people, 2700 calories a day will result in weight gain.


#22

Alright, I found some useful information with regards to that…

“Despite starvation mode not being a real thing, I still generally don’t usually recommend very low calorie diets. They tend to cause worse metabolic adaptations, more muscle loss, and sometimes worse post-diet rebounds.”

… also, the video shows a study where participants were “starved” to see what the body did. This was done at 1500 calories a day. I can’t seem to remember the exact number, but it seems like the advise that medical professionals gave my mother (a heart patient who needed to lose weight) is that 1000-1200 (one of the two) is the bare minimum that people should be eating a day. I have a really hard time imagining that 1200-1600 is “widely accepted as medically sound”, much less recommended. Not unless you are a petite 120 lb woman.


#23

I have never heard of anyone getting intestinal atrophy from drinking only Soylent.

I am thinking of going 90% Soylent with occasional meat to get some extra protein in for building muscle.


#24

If you wanted to still do the challenge, but are worried about getting enough protein, you could always mix Soylent with milk or protein powder (for a single “meal”, mixing protein with a day’s worth of Soylent wasn’t too pleasant for me).

… but that just depends on you, your goals/preferences, and finances. (Labdoor is a good impartial website for finding quality protein and other supplements, they have various ratings on them too, one being price.)

As for the whole intestinal shrinkage thing, it definitely never happened to me. If anything, when I’ve taken breaks from Soylent and went back to it, I’ve felt some internal pressure from how literally filling it is.


#25

I’d encourage you to seek-out more balanced sources.

For one thing, some people who drink soylent and who are interested in fitness are indeed women who weigh 120 pounds, and for them, 1200 calories is a safe intake and commonly used as a low target for weight loss. I’m male, weigh 170 pounds, and 1500 is a common low target for my profile. I know it’s a sausage fest here and there’s a tendency to believe everyone in the world is a 20-something dude, but that’s actually not the case.

When I was using Soylent to lose weight I was being medically monitored at 1200 calories a day (3 bottles of 2.0). After losing weight I moved to an 1800 calorie a day mixed diet, which at my age and activity level is keeping me at a steady weight. If you’re an active 20-something you can consume more calories and still lose weight.

The bottom line, however (and this is easily discoverable, and you can verify it with your doctor) is that 1200-1600 calories is a common lower target for weight loss (with the lower end appropriate for women and the upper end more appropriate for men). This range will typically not trigger a starvation response.


#26

Thanks for this. 150-lb, 31 y/o, sedentary woman here, using Soylent primarily for weight loss. Experience suggests I maintain my weight at about 1500-1600 calories per day. I’ve done well using 1200 cals as a daily goal for weight loss.


#27

You would encourage me to seek out more balanced sources? What are you even talking about?

Listen, everyone is different. But the guy making this topic isn’t a 120 lb woman, therefore my advice to him wasn’t in reference to that. But okay, let’s talk about that since you’re interested. A quick google search turns up that a sedentary 100 lb woman should be burning a little over 1500 calories a day (TDEE). Does a 1200 calorie a day diet work for her to lose weight? Sure, but at 100 lbs should that really be a concern? Whether it is or isn’t, every 20 lbs you add to that will add roughly 100 more calories. A 500 calorie deficit isn’t necessary to lose weight, 100 calories works, 200 works, etc. A 1000 calorie deficit won’t create double the weight loss of a 500 calorie deficit, why do I mention this? Because when it comes to calorie deficits, bigger isn’t always better. If 1200 calories a day creates a REASONABLE deficit, then sure, it’s fine. However, 1200 calories a day doesn’t create a reasonable deficit for everyone.

If you read my post, or watched the video I provided, you would find your “bottom line” paragraph a bit silly. The scientific research shows that “starvation mode” isn’t a thing. Despite that, the metabolism will slow down more on a harder deficit than a smaller one. It’s also harder to properly fuel the body on a large deficit. Another problem it has is sustainability. There are legitimate reasons why it isn’t recommended. I have absolutely no doubt that @Jeffrey_Long is capable of losing weight at a good rate doing 2000 calories a day. But I recommended for him to run a TDEE Calculator to see approximately what he should be eating, and I recommend the same thing for anyone else. BMR isn’t important, but TDEE is. It’s applicable to everyone and is without a doubt “balanced” advice.


#28

“You would encourage me to seek out more balanced sources? What are you even talking about?”

Let me rephrase this: I’d suggest you seek out legitimate sources. Your posted source is a Youtube video of a bodybuilder trying to get subscribers to his channel. A balanced source – legitimate, if you prefer – is something that has scientific credibility, not a random dude you want to be like who dropped out of dental school to build a Youtube audience. That’s what I’m talking about.

Just to be clear, “starvation mode” is probably real, although it’s a popular topic of debate. There was a study last year out of Cambridge that confirmed metabolic slow-down. In any case, “starvation mode” isn’t just about metabolism, it’s also about a constellation of bad things that happen when you restrict calories too much.

But anyway, do your thing. I’m sure the dude you responded to can handle multiple perspectives.


#29

He pulls up several scientific studies and cites his sources. That is scientific, that is legitimate, and that is “balanced” as you say. I fail to see the problem here.


#30

Oh, and @Jeffrey_Long. Sorry for hijacking your thread, that wasn’t my intention. Hopefully there was some useful information in there for you though.


#31

Eat Salt. I tried this and after two and a half weeks (about 20 days) I started having issues. I got light headed and had trouble focusing. I found that I was craving beef jerky really bad. It wasn’t just jerky. I wanted something super salty. Turns out my electrolytes were extremely unbalanced. Specifically my sodium. This led to dehydration as any water that I’d drink would just pass right through my system.

My next jaunt is going to start on 2016-05-17. I’m planning on doing three chicken bouillon cubes with two eggs every two days and 1500 calories worth of Cacao Soylent every day. I plan to chase it with a one a day men’s vitamin.

My first time doing a one week test went perfect. I did have some wicked bad farts, but I considered that a perk. I was disappointed when they stopped after two days. People that have bad initial reactions are having them mainly due to a dietary shift. If you go from a ton of junk food to Soylent, it’s hard on your body. There’s a decent video about it on YouTube’s Kurzgesagt.


#32

Strongly agree with this! I also ad a litlte more water to the powder as well, and it keeps me full for 3-4 hours :slight_smile:


#33

I am late to the party, but for me I liked to put in half a tablespoon of psyllium husk and leave it in a blender bottle overnight to thicken it up. In the morning, I would put in crushed ice to the top of the blender bottle and chew on the ice as I was consuming. I also liked using Mio coffee flavorings to change things up from time to time.