Having Meat Cravings


I’ve been trying to get to sleep for the past hour now, but I can’t, I’m too hungry. I don’t want Soylent, I want meat. I’ve just recently noticed that whenever I’ve been eating anything other than Soylent it’s either been sugary snacks or meat products. I figured it’s because dinner with my family seemed to be mostly meat & if it’s just something I’m used to or if that Soylent is lacking something I need from meat. These questions quickly sprung to mind & got me out of bed;

How much cholesterol is in Soylent & what kind? Is there really enough?


Your body can make cholesterol! As only animals make cholesterol (AFAIK) and Soylent contains no animal products, it should contain zero cholesterol.

I haven’t been craving meat, but I’m not on 100% Soylent. I also hadn’t eaten meat for years before I ever had Soylent.

I do crave cheese all the time, but I think that’s just because I like cheese. It’s also been a constant in my life for the past twenty years or so, even when I ate meat. I don’t crave cheese mostly when I am asleep. Mmm, cheese.


Many of the people posting here are concerned about the protein levels in 1.4. They appear to be tailored to minimally active (though not “sedentary”) people weighing 150lbs that are consuming a whole bag a day.

Note I don’t say “most”. Some people still feel it is too much, and there is a probably a large majority that are not concerned enough to comment. Since I work out for a about two hours every morning at least 4 days a week and am trying to maintain a decent caloric deficit to lose weight, I supplement with whey protein isolate to promote muscle gain (or at least prevent muscle loss).


For a 2000 calorie diet, the FDA recommends 50 g of protein a day. Wouldn’t 84 g of protein a day be fine for a minimally active individual up to about 250 pounds? Honest question.


According to Wikipedia, “The generally accepted daily protein dietary allowance, measured as intake per kilogram of body weight, is 0.8 g/kg.[18] However, this recommendation is based on structural requirements, but disregards use of protein for energy metabolism.[18] This requirement is for a normal sedentary person.[20]”.

Note that figure is for a sedentary person and is solely for “structural requirements”, meaning you need that much left over after whatever your body ends up burning as calories. It looks like the suggested amounts for “active” people are about twice that; which I interpret as meaning 84g is the minimum for a “sedentary” 231 lb person, or an “active” 116 lb person.


[quote=“Uueerdo, post:3, topic:21018”]
They appear to be tailored to minimally active (though not “sedentary”) people weighing 150lbs that are consuming a whole bag a day[/quote]That’s pretty close to where I’m at. Except I don’t think I go through a whole bag in a day. I do have a job where I need to walk a lot, but that’s the closest I get to exercising.

I don’t know if it’s protein, because I’ll snack on peanutbutter & it really doesn’t seem to help. It might just be the taste I miss.


Interesting that the sentence before that says, “According to US & Canadian Dietary Reference Intake guidelines, women aged 19–70 need to consume 46 grams of protein per day, while men aged 19–70 need to consume 56 grams of protein per day to avoid a deficiency.” That sounds pretty close to the FDA’s blanket 50 grams per day recommendation (for a 2000 calorie diet).

If I’m doing my math correctly, 0.8 g/kg is 0.45 g/lb [correction: 0.8 g/kg is 0.36 g/lb], which is the same figure as was sufficient to maintain lean body mass in bodybuilders over a two week period. I suspect that’s pretty high for the average person. If that figure is accurate (I don’t think it is, at least for me), one bag of Soylent 1.4 would be sufficient for a 233 pound person’s daily protein requirements. I’m only doing half a bag a day, but I also tend to eat pretty high protein normal food, so it’s not an issue for me either way.

That’s my guess as well.


I can relate Dias. Although I don’t think I “crave” meat per say, I definitely don’t do well without it. I’ve tried to eliminate meat from my diet several times throughout my life, and could never make it more than 3-4 weeks at most. There are plenty of decent faux meats on the market now that satisfy any desire for the taste. I actually just got some Beyond Meat Beast burgers today. I haven’t tried them yet, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out. I used some of their other faux meat products last month when I attempted yet again to remove meat from my diet. After a few weeks I just felt “off”. I started to feel a bit weak and deficient. This always happens when I try to cut meat from my diet.

Cholesterol is something that came to my mind too, since it’s not in Soylent or faux meat. I wonder if some people just need a little bit of cholesterol? Or perhaps something else in meat? I really don’t know enough about the subject. I just know that there’s something in meat that my body seems to need and doesn’t get from any vegetarian source I’ve regularly consumed. I’d like to figure it out though so I can adopt a vegetarian, or perhaps even a vegan diet.


[quote=“Grok, post:8, topic:21018”]After a few weeks I just felt “off”. I started to feel a bit weak and deficient. This always happens when I try to cut meat from my diet.[/quote]That sums up how I’ve been feeling quite nicely. I’ve never tried to cut meat out of my diet before & haven’t considered faux-meat since I have no ethical issues with eating meat & I believe eating red meat isn’t bad for your health. I’d just rather be on a purely soylent diet since adding meat back into my diet would mean more grocery shopping, cooking & cleaning.[quote=“Grok, post:8, topic:21018”]Cholesterol is something that came to my mind too, since it’s not in Soylent or faux meat. I wonder if some people just need a little bit of cholesterol? Or perhaps something else in meat? I really don’t know enough about the subject.[/quote]I’m guessing either we’ve been dependent on meat for cholesterol our whole lives that we’ve never really needed to produce it ourselves, we both have some kind of rare cholesterol-synthesis or regulation disorder, cholesterol addiction or vegetarians just don’t know what they’re missing out on.


Sufficient to maintain for a couple weeks. The studies also seemed to be pushed as “better” because they included steroid users; since I never have, that might decrease their applicability. Also, drawing from the conclusions of the article, normal people may actually need more per pound (at least for anyone that wants to improve their physique) “…used elite bodybuilders and found that less protein was needed than in novice bodybuilders. In fact, the finding that the more experienced you are, the less protein you need, has been replicated in several studies”.

Personally, I’d rather err on the side of a safe surplus, rather than a possible (slight) deficit (It’s not like I am eating a porterhouse every day.) Taking that study to heart though, I’ll make .82g/lb my target though (actually, I think might be very close to my current target). A 1000 calorie deficit is what I shoot for on exercise days, and it said that ratio was enough to protect against muscle loss at that deficit (and slightly suspiciously omitted what happened with a .41g/lb rate).

Edit: Though a little further search results suggest that 20g is the max that can be absorbed per meal, so I may have to adjust my intake pattern accordingly.


Your math and reading comprehension are wrong.

1kg = 2.2lb
0.8g/kg = 0.36g/lb

That article says bodybuilders need 0.7-0.8g/lb not per kg. that is 1.54-1.76g/kg


It was my understanding that the study was a couple weeks long. I think muscle loss would have manifested by that point; although I am no expert. Also keep in mind that these were bodybuilders who were strength training; a minimally active person would not be using as much protein.

I don’t see where it says that:

The 1g/lb Myth’s Origin
People copy the dietary practices of pro bodybuilders on androgens. Steroids enable you to assimilate far more protein than you’d normally could.
The only people that may actually need more protein than 0.82g/lb are people with unusually high levels of anabolic hormones. Androgen or growth hormone users definitely fall into this category, but I don’t exclude the possibility that some adolescents do too.

To me the implication is that unless you are on steroids or possibly an adolescent, the higher protein intake will not be utilized.

When you say “improve their psysique” I think we’re no longer talking about a “minimally active” person. Right after the section you quoted:

In everyone there is both constant protein synthesis and breakdown. Resistance training causes both breakdown and synthesis to increase, normally with a favorable balance towards synthesis. As you progress in your training, the body becomes more efficient at stopping the breakdown of protein resulting from training. Since less protein now needs to be replenished, this increase in nitrogen retention means less protein is subsequently needed for optimal growth.

That whole section is talking about the protein requirements of bodybuilders (novice vs. experienced), not the protein requirements of a minimally active person vs. an experienced (or novice) bodybuilder. So my reading of the text does not imply that a minimally active person would need more protein than a bodybuilder (either novice or experienced), as that minimally active person is by definition not training at all. If you go to the top of that paragraph, you’ll see that it is refuting the myth that an experienced bodybuilder would need more protein per pound (when the study shows the opposite). Continuing to the next paragraph:

Secondly, the more advanced you are, the less protein synthesis increases after training. As you become more muscular and you get closer to your genetic limit, less muscle is built after training. This is very intuitive. The slower you can build muscle, the less protein is needed for optimal growth. It wouldn’t make any sense if the body needed more protein to build less muscle, especially considering that the body becomes more efficient at metabolizing protein.

My reading of this is that someone who is just starting to build their muscles will have the highest protein needs, which makes sense the way they explain it. I don’t think it applies to someone who is just trying to meet their nutritional requirements. I went further and looked up the abstract for the quoted study:

The nitrogen balance data revealed that bodybuilders required 1.12 times and endurance athletes required 1.67 times more daily protein than sedentary controls.

Sedentary isn’t the same as minimally active, but I think it casts doubt on the idea that a normal person would use more protein than an athlete or bodybuilder, unless they were to start training.

I agree, for sure. Even as a large person, I wouldn’t worry unless I was getting consistently less than 50 grams per day of protein. That would be impossible for me on 100% Soylent 1.4 and is even more difficult considering the types of normal foods I eat (two servings of Soylent and a few slices of cheese and I’m at 66 grams of protein by 1300 calories, and as I am quite large I eat over 2000 calories a day (2500-3500 a day if I had to guess, but I don’t count calories anymore).

If you look at the abstract for that study it says that nitrogen balance decreased (whereas it was maintained with the high protein diet), but that resting whole-body protein turnover was not affected by the high protein diet. I’m not sure what that means, to be honest. If the nitrogen balance decreased, that would lead me to believe that the low protein diet was deficient (note that this is with a 1000 calorie deficit, which matches your workout nicely!). The resting whole-body protein turnover was measured while fasting on rest days. I haven’t a clue how to interpret that, unfortunately.


I apologize; I divided 1 by 2.20462 instead of 0.8 by 2.20462. However, that error actually means I underestimated how large of a person Soylent has sufficient protein for. At 84 grams of protein, 0.36 g/lb would be sufficient for a 233 pound person rather than a 187 pound person. I edited my post above to reflect this.

I quoted part of it above, but here it is again:

Tarnopolsky et al. (1988) found that only 0.37g/lb was required to maintain positive nitrogen balance in elite bodybuilders (over 5 years of experience, possible previous use of androgens) over a 10 day period. 0.45g/lb was sufficient to maintain lean body mass in bodybuilders over a 2 week period. The authors suggested that 0.55g/lb was sufficient for bodybuilders.

They suggested 0.55 g/lb as sufficient, but 0.45 g/lb was sufficient over a 2 week period. I’m specifically talking about the research results they cite; I am not parroting the article’s conclusion about bodybuilders (which is 0.64-0.82 g/lb, not 0.7-0.8 g/lb).


Fair enough.


Yeah, I am just leery that the studies were not longer; especially since the same article seemed to suggest the changes caused by altering protein consumption don’t even stabilize for two weeks.

"Furthermore, these studies didn’t exclude androgenic-anabolic steroid users though they studied competitive athletes. (Tarnopolsky et al., 1988).It’s no wonder many of these studies didn’t get tr with it’s overuse of “these studies"ady abstract on PubMeted that part wrong.eatured on there.”

Actually, it seems the article is unclear here with it’s overuse of “these studies”. I could’ve interpreted that part wrong.

That is kinda what I was saying. If you’re not an experienced bodybuilder, you are likely to need more for your workouts than they would (probably for even more intense workouts) since they already have 99% of the structure in place.

Agreed. I am just saying…

It probably doesn’t, but I kind of don’t see a point in Soylent shooting to be the bare minimum nutritional requirements; it doesn’t really bother me much though, it is easy enough to add protein; I just don’t see a reason not to. Taken to the extreme, if you were go with a true minimum, a person would need a supplement just to go jogging or could start suffering atrophy eventually if their needs occasionally fluctuated slightly above the minimum.

Since, as far as I know, there is huge gap between minimum and detrimental over consumption, I see no reason to not give a healthy surplus of protein and cut back calories elsewhere.

I can only speak from personal experience. Before I added extra protein, when I was getting little more than the 63g from 3 servings of plain Soylent each day, I would have a noticeable drop in strength/energy after a few days and start craving protein rich foods like jerky. I won’t go so far as to say my muscles were shrinking, but it kind of felt like it. Granted, I work out 2 hours at a time 4-5 mornings a week, but I don’t think my workouts are that intense.
1hr elliptical on less than a third of it’s max resistance,
20 mins on a treadmill never exceeding 3.3 mph, and
about 20 mins of various weights (never more than 120lbs nor more than 10 reps).

Maybe I am classifying my activity wrong? I mean I might give the exercise more “weight” if I didn’t spend the rest of the day sitting at a desk or on a couch.


I share your cravings. I have never been a big KFC fan, but I think I could destroy a bucket of fried chicken right now. About every other day or so I get intense cravings for a big hamburger as well. I have been on 85-90% soylent for a little over 3 months now. Prior to soylent I would have the occasional hamburger but they were never something I just had to have every day, or even every week.


If one were experiencing severe meat cravings, it would probably be very bad for someone else to post pictures of delicious meat dishes, no?


That made me tear up. I kid.


[quote=“inquirerer, post:17, topic:21018”]If one were experiencing severe meat cravings, it would probably be very bad for someone else to post pictures of delicious meat dishes, no?[/quote]If you posted this two days ago I might have been pissed. Having had dinner with my family recently, It’s pretty easy for me to see that those pictures aren’t that great.


I haven’t eaten meat in years and I have to admit that first photo is legit.