Impossible to lose weight with soylent

#21 is a long but great look into it. Some highlights:

This is actually a topic that I intend to cover in greater detail in a later article series but the realities of exercise are that most will not and can not burn a ton of calories during activity of any sort. Under most conditions, 5 cal/min is pretty common for a beginner

Because while increasing activity by 500 calories/day (assume 50-100 minutes of moderate-low intensity activity) is usually unrealistic, that same deficit can generally be created through diet much more easily.


I speak from experience here: when you have excess body fat, the most miserable thing on earth is getting all sloppy with sweat and making it flop around. The good news is you don’t necessarily have to do sweaty exercise; if your diet is good then weight training for about 3 sessions per week (with a rest day in between each) will burn enough calories to keep your metabolism active. You’ll also have loads of energy the rest of the time.


Exercise is great for your overall health, but terribly ineffective for weight loss, dietary restriction is where you see progress in losing weight.

If you do want to exercise for weight loss you should lift heavy things. Adding muscle helps you burn more calories when you’re doing everything else.


Yeah… be smart @renniks, don’t do crossfit…


It seems like you have had an eye opener, and now you have to find a way to mesh the unhealthy old life you had with the healthy new life you know you need. I think one thing that is underrated in weight loss is culture. I live in Wisconsin where people drink and go to restaurants for fun. Our diet includes tons of meat and cheese. The portions here are very big (unless you go to more of a fast food national chain). So I know that if I’m going out with my friends, I need to cut out 2 meals, and I’ve taken a page out of the books of many females in my area of eating half and getting half to go (although with things like burgers that is awkward to do so I try to order things that I can split more easily). Going to a restaurant around here and eating a full meal easily means 1500 calories or more. We have appetizers like Poutine which are over 1000 calories, and you can even order a cheese curd burger (literally cheese used for cheese curds turned into it’s own patty that they slap on top of a meat patty with a buttery bun), Wisconsin is home to things like Frozen Custard (fattier and more delicious ice cream) and butter burgers (, etc.

These are the temptation I grew up with and have to avoid that many people on the coasts will never understand. This is the culture I have to break free from and yet somehow still be a part of a society with doing big meals with family, going to restaurants with friends, etc. For me, Soylent has helped exceptionally with the fact that when I go out I know that I’m not going to eat what I used to. I can’t put down a full meal anymore, so I purposefully order smaller stuff on the menu. It’s common for me to order an appetizer as a meal or pastas I can split in half. The reason it’s so key is that you can’t expand your stomach because if you do then you will start snacking more the next day and add on more calories to your “reward” meal. So maybe have it be a date night where instead of going to a restaurant you get some frozen custard, see a movie, go to a park, etc. a little more appealing, and then you can mix in a restaurant occasionally. I’ve even known couples to get a burger, cut it in half, and eat that and split the fries. It’s not a bad option, especially if you don’t want leftovers, and especially for food that is hard to split in half for yourself (weird cutting a burger in half to bring half home but not weird cutting a burger in half for two people to each have half). Sorry if I rambled, but I was kind of thinking out loud and this is the stuff I deal with and how I’ve helped myself (still have a ways to go). Oh, and don’t add those extras like pie or appetizers if you are getting a meal. Your hypothetical caloric debit card will have some overdraft fees if you do that.

EDIT: A picture of the Cheese Curd Burger I’m talking about for those who have never heard of one: (Yes, that is a pretzel bun with so much butter it is soft.) You can see the size of what I call the cheese patty compared to the 1/2 lb sirloin burger. (And no, that’s not too much cheese.)


A handful of fresh blueberries aren’t going to hurt you. But a handful of nuts is a lot of calories for someone trying to lose weight. You’re simply eating too many calories.


I had no idea what a cheese curd was, but just had to like the idea of a cheese patty on top of a burger patty. I need to get out to Wisconsin. Mmmm… cheese…

We have similar issues with portion size and calories per plate here in NM, what with all the New Mexican food stuffed and drenched with the aforementioned awesomeness that is cheese. I have no doubt I have had meals in the 3-4k calorie range. I do think that’s a fairly common problem though, and would expect to find it in just about any westernized place, just substitute your traditional local flavors.

And just for y’alls reading pleasure, and since I didn’t know and had to attend Google University…

[quote]What in the world is a Cheese Curd?

“A cheese curd is an orangish cheese byproduct that feels like Silly Putty but tastes a lot better. It was invented accidentally by UW cheese scientists attempting to create an object of pure cholesterol that would still squeak. Rats who are fed this remarkable food develop an unusual capacity to polka and drink beer.”[/quote]



Nothing wrong with crossfit, its not for everybody but I just dropped 40lbs in 3 1/2 months doing it. Im already very muscular from years of weight training when I was younger so I’m not going to be able to pack on much more muscle so crossfit makes sense for me, plus I enjoy it. Like others have said losing weight is all about caloric intake, building muscle will definitely help though.


Ahh well you have experience lifting, which might put you at a slight advantage.

There is plenty wrong with CF but my biggest pet peeve is that it’s a group exercise. Heavy weights + a bunch of people moving around you = not a good idea.


@ renniks

All the ‘conventional diet concepts’ have one big flaw in my opinion. They need loads and loads of discpline.

A recipe, which worked for me, and may work for you, too:

Weekplan, choose one day (may use a rng, or a dice (7-sided)). Consume solyent on all ‘normal’ days, according to you calorie target (i.e. 1850 kcal)

On that one chosen day, you are without limits, you can consume whatever you want. This can work because:

-> It’s much easier to tell yourself ‘just waits 2 more days’ than ’ I am on a healthy diet now, i can never do what I want again’
-> Eating normal amounts on the normal days gets your body used to these amounts. So when you big day of the week finally comes, you (generally) be satisfied much earlier.
-> The one day off limits and the random date tricks your body (according to my research it prevents the body from switching to save-mode)
-> You can use this day to have social meals and drinks, barbecue etc.
-> Don’t keep foodstuff around your house/flat. Eat out on your big day.
-> Avoid sweet soda on the ‘normal days’ at all costs. Use Coffee / Tea / Water.

The biggest problem of weight loss is, that people will tell you ‘You just need to have the discipline’. But in the long run (for most of us, personal opinion) this is impossible. The recipe above gives some credit to this fact.


That seems a little overly dramatic. Just skip a day of Soylent.


But it IS that dramatic for people who are addicted to food.Our society does nothing but promote this unhealthy lifestyle in our day to day interactions.


I’ve Been using Solent for two weeks now as a mean to loose weight it makes super easy to watch your caloric intake. Once a week I have a cheat meal, what ever I want . But every day I have 3 Solent meals and I know I’m gonna catch heat for that . But with each meal I have something salty, mainly chips, but I watch what eating I am eating under a hundred calories for my treat but it’s enough to satiate My craving. So two weeks in I’ve gone from 214.6 lbs to 203.2 lbs, for me it’s not impossible to lose weight on soylent but no doubt it’s hard


I know that feeling all too well. But it’s not all over. If you’re anything like me by now you’ve eaten many many things. One trick that helped me out was when I got those cheese burger cravings I just imagined the cheese burger. Like really, it sounds silly, but I’ve had plenty of burgers in my day. I can picture the taste, smell, and texture of those foods. I think of it like seeing a movie or something. I’ve already seen, I dunno, the Goonies a dozen times. I know what’s going to happen, I know the overall experience. I don’t need to watch it again. It’d be nice, but I don’t need to see it. I think the same way with food. I’ve “seen”, experienced that food before. I don’t need a rerun of it. I dunno, I’ve employed that little trick to make it easier to handle those cravings when I know eating the food will do nothing but harm me. And also when you think of it, well, for me I also eat so fast that the experience is over so quickly. That old adage “a moment on the lips, a life time on the hips” or whatever? It’s pretty true. What’s the worth of tasting that burger you’ve tasted a dozen times before when it only lasts a few moments? You gain a momentary happiness along with negative health consequences and unwanted weight gain… I dunno, I dunno, reasoning things like that has helped wean myself off of food as entertainment. I also got off soda by realizing that I wasn’t actually tasting it when I was eating. Like I noticed during a dinner that I was eating and chugging down soda and that I was only really noticing the food. The whole washing it down thing was just that. So what was the point of having a flavored drink if I wasn’t actually aware of it? Water from then on out.

No idea if that will help anyone or if I’m just crazy enough that it works for me, that i can trick myself. But it’s not the end of enjoying food either. Now the few times that I do indulge I pick the best foods and I now seemingly naturally take it slower and really taste the food. Being on Soylent’s bland flavor sorta, I guess, made me more aware of my taste buds. So when I have something it’s even better than it was before. And I can rest easy knowing I prepared and calculated for this food like taking the day off for Soylent for a special dinner I knew was coming up. I also have future events set up. The next one will probably be my best friend’s wedding in a few months. I won’t have my Soylent that day instead I’ll sample and indulge at the reception. And on top of that being on just Soylent for so long my appetite is suppressed. And I feel fuller quicker. Before I could eat and eat and never stop. Now I can actually feel when I hit my threshold. I never had that before restricting myself, before Soylent.

Soylent is a great tool for me. I don’t know if I would have been able too do this without it. Not as effectively, that’s for sure. I tried eating healthy before and I don’t think I ever calculated my calories correctly. I mean, a chicken breast has so many calories. But no two chicken breasts are made the same. There was too much guess work in normal food. With Soylent I’m much more confident in my numbers. But like any other food Soylent can have negative effects when abused, when overeaten. And also negative effects when underused! Be sure you’re getting the right amount of calories that’s healthy for you.

No Pain... Great Gain! :smirk:

This sounds similar, though much more…uh, hardcore?, than my current system. When I go to the supermarket, wife still has to eat, I tell myself “I’ve already tried/had that”. I try to treat food similar to other entertainment; it’s been years since a movie was good enough for me to want to watch it twice in a row, why should food be any different.


It may be easier I’m all on my own. I forget how much more challenging it is with food when you live with other people. That’s a whole other bag I’ve no experience combating. I remember my brother went vegetarian for a period of time so the whole house became vegetarian. It was better than preparing a second meal just for him. We weren’t eating healthy, really. Unless you call vegetarian lasagnas and homemade mac n cheeses healthy.

Something like a strict diet or a Soylent-led lifestyle is harder to convince others to adopt with you. But as long as they’re supportive in your efforts and understanding I’d hope it’d be possible. Maybe even beneficial to have them around.

Reminds me of another trick that helped me. I’m not too accountable to myself. Or, at least, I wasn’t. So I’d be accountable to others. I’d sorta, well, not exactly brag but I’d make it known to my friends and coworkers that I, for instance, gave up soda. That I gave up processed foods. What have you. And in a way it was like a promise, a contract. If I cheat and have that soda then I’m breaking my word I made to my friends. There’s even a bit of shame in there. What if a coworker of mine saw me drinking a soda after all that talk of quitting? Stuff like that. If it was just being accountable to myself I’d find ways to slip. Like oh it’s okay if I have this donut, I’ll just not have so much for dinner tonight or tomorrow. And it’d snowball from there to it’s okay if I have this box of donuts, I’ll just not eat for the next week, or something ridiculous. But I know I would cause I’d just make another excuse for myself.

Being accountable to others helped too. Much more than it would for myself. Maybe doing the same when living with that person could be even more effective? Who knows. Again, just some rambling pseudo advice. Maybe it’ll help, maybe not. Either way best of luck.


What’s wrong with 3 Soylent meals a day?


Perhaps each meal is a liter.

Jk that would be painful.


It’s not that simple. You pretty much need both.

Trying to control through calorie restriction alone often means either losing weight so slowly you get frustrated, or eating so little you lose the willpower to continue.

Exercise alone isn’t enough (usually) because it takes a lot of exercise or very high intensity exercise to make up for even a bag of chips.

Meanwhile if you eat a little less and exercise a little more you can more easily create a calorie deficit without feeling like you’re starving and wanting to give up.

@renniks Don’t be so hard on yourself. This stuff is hard, especially when you’re starting out.

Go ahead and have your cheeseburger if you’re craving it that badly. Just work the rest of your calories around it, or exercise to make up for it. The great thing about Soylent is a bag is 2,000 calories. So if you want that burger just find the calories for the burger and drink less soylent to make up for it.

An hour of walking makes up for a McDonald’s cheesburger (calorie-wise at least) so you could do that too. Maybe walk first and make the Cheesburger a reward/motivation.