Going Soylent - Dieting, negative net calories, and protein


Eagerly awaiting my shipment (as many are) and wanted to toss my plan up to see if anyone has feedback be it from a knowledge/technical background or perhaps experience with BETA or DIY soylent.

I am currently 247 pounds, 5’7 (5’8 on a good day). I would consider myself a physically active person. 4-5 times a week I participate in Crossfit sessions and I try to take at least a 2 mile walk every day and as time allows will occasionally jog a mile. I’m sure to some that sounds like I shouldn’t have a weight problem but I simply do. I am a very “emotional” eater in that food has always been tied to everything in my life. Good day? celebrate with food. Bad day? comfort with food. So despite being a very active person and loving athletics, I have always struggled with weight in an equal or greater measure. I am looking to Soylent to detach myself from that bond and hopefully after a few months reintroduce food on new and healthier terms. So thats my situation in a nut shell.

What I came here to ask was how people are working with net calories. Traditionally I try to stay under 2000 calories a day and closer to 1800 to get a negative net count for the day. With official soylent my concern is that at that many calories I will be consuming significantly less protein then I currently do (my diet is somewhere along the paleo lines when I’m adhering to it). My initial thought has been to cut the Soylent down to 1500 calories or thereabouts a day and then add back in 400-500 calories in Protein supplementation (I regularly take IsoPure do to it’s zero sugar/carb levels). I will likely end up with a better nutrition balance then I currently have (I’m probably deficient in many things) while maintaining the protein levels to support my heavy lifting and related activities.

Basically I simply wanted to reach out and see if anyone had a similar background and has experimented with various levels of caloric balance with protein supplementation. I’m also on of those folks who typically does far better by sticking with low GI foods. The carb load in Soylent makes me nervous (due to my historical experience) but I have to be honest with myself in that when I was eating higher carb foods I was likely eating nutritionally poor carbohydrates. Well thats the end of my rant, my first post at that, so if this was against rules feel free to mod me :slight_smile: Thanks for any feedback, I’m looking to not go into this thing blind.


Welcome and thanks for the background of your situation. I’m not personally experienced with Soylent but will offer my .02 based upon my experience with regular food/exercise. My opinion on exercise and calorie restricting is you have to find a good balance. If you are always feeling hungry (which can happen when working out) then you will not be able to stick to any diet. Since you are going to be consuming a product that may take some getting used to especially in large quantities, you might want to reduce your workout to a maintenance level until you are comfortable with Soylent and then introduce more exercise slowly as you are able to add the nutritionally dense calories that you will need to support the extra activity. I have found that over exercise in my situations has caused me to grab for more food, and if I didn’t have the right foods available would end up consuming back burned calories and not meeting my fitness goals.


The idea that calories from different macro sources are used at different rates in your body is largely unsubstantiated. In fact, the efficacy of ‘ketosis’ have been often suggested to be actually due to the appetite control afforded by protein and fat over carbs. I have read a few blogs where people lost weight eating more calories on Soylent than they were before – I suspect this is because they are getting more nutrients and thus their bodies can run more processes.

I would personally eat Soylent at your original caloric level, keep track of your weight with daily weigh-ins over a month (preferably with a rolling average graphing tool like http://physicsdiet.com). Then, adjust as necessary. If you do want to adjust for higher protein, and do not want to deal with doing DIY, you will be missing some nutrients. But just replacing part of the powder with protein powder to get the right ratios should be fine and has been suggested previously by Soylent.

edit wrt to negative net calories. If you’re speaking about the idea that some things takes more calories to digest than it gives, this has largely been debunked. I wasn’t sure if this was part of what you’re thinking about though.


Thanks for the reply addy! I’m very interested to see how I respond to Soylent compared to my “learned” personal history. I don’t disagree that I could actually lose more weight while consuming more calories :slight_smile: I am an absolute believer in trying to separate causation and correlation. High protein/low carb diets have worked for me and I suspect you are correct in that they typically satiate appetite better and thus inherently end up netting fewer consumed calories. Because I have struggled to keep weight off I am honestly (and I know this sounds like hyperbole) afraid of consuming the regularly daily allowance. I was actually hoping someone would chime in and say something like “I switched to Soylent and had to increase my calories but I kept losing weight” :slight_smile: Appetite isn’t a big problem for me (outside of the emotional response side). What I do struggle with is when I’m sitting at home bored, or looking to comfort, etc. I.e. non-physical desires for food.


I know that feeling of undoing progress, but learning about your body and the way it reacts is progress. :slight_smile:


I got impatient today and ordered everything to make Peoples Chow… wish me luck :smile:


Similar situation here. About your weight (although a bit taller), crossfit 4x per week + regular walking and weights. Concerned about the lack of protein in the daily Rx of soylent. It seems soylent is deriving how much protein they think we need by the FDA’s recommendation, rather than what athletic fitness experts tell us (which is roughly 1 gram per lean body mass pound per day – for me this is double the amount soylent gives).

I believe there was initially some talk about a"weightlifter’s variant" of soylent, but it seems that has been scrapped in favor of a “one size fits all and just drink less if you get full early” system. I am considering drinking 100g of protein throughout my day in between my soylent shakes: 25g protein x4, soylent shake x3. I’ve come to the same conclusion as you – that would put me up at around a relatively stratospheric 2800 calories a day, whereas currently i am down around 2100 and my body seems to like that.

My solution so far is to simply calm down and cross this bridge when I come to it. Sure, 2800 is a big hike up from 2100. But, I do a lot of exercise, and it’s possible I will be able to do even more once I get myself on this ultra-regimented diet. The body works well with consistency, and we are going to be doing just that. If I end up gaining weight, I’m planning on making sure the soylent people know about it, to try and push them into making a custom weightlifter’s formula. No use trying to change their minds now though since it’s clear their current goal is fulfillment.



How do you know if someone does Crossfit? Don’t worry, they will tell you :wink:

@demione - I’m going to use my time with Peoples Chow as a good way to dial in my caloric needs. One reason I wasn’t super worried about spending $106 bucks on 11 pounds of that Rhino brand plain unflavored isolate was even if I dislike the DIY or heaven forbid my order of Official ships sooner than I’m expecting, I can continue to use that Isolate. I also recalled people saying they were using Almond Milk instead of water which would add protein without adding additional sugar or carbs.


My “DIY” wasn’t anything quite like Soylent, but more of an attempt to just get some of the vitamins/minerals I was missing in my regular diet. I actually started with skim milk and Carnation Instant Breakfast as my base, but switched to unsweetened almond milk due to its extended shelf life and better nutritional fit with what I was doing. And, surprisingly, I liked the taste of it, even on cereal.

I’d recommend making use of the DIY site. Add almond milk to your recipe and make sure to adjust everything else down as needed and see if it’ll make the mix any better/easier/cheaper for you.