Is anyone gaining weight from Soylent?

My sister nearly did an intervention because she thought my meal replacement was causing me to gain weight. I thought it was due to drinking more beer than usual. Maybe it was both?

Read this article and share thoughts.

My thoughts:
I wish there was a sweetener-free version. I don’t care if I have to wash it down. My reason for trying Soylent (still working through 1.0!) is efficiency, added productivity day by day.

Even if it has made me fatter, it was worth it to get my company up and running. A good sacrifice.

But I guess I’d only continue buying it if:
A. It ships to Canada
B. Sweetener free, ideally no GMOs as well.

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Beer and other alcoholic drinks are definitely empty calories, and sometimes a lot of them. I’ve known plenty of people who ballooned up in weight despite exercising etc. and one thing they all had in common was alcohol consumption. Then again Soylent is not a weight loss product so if you were consuming more calories of Soylent than your metabolism could burn, you would certainly gain weight from that too.


I have been following the reports of artificial sweetener problems and am trying to curb my own use of same. I am not gaining weight from Soylent, however.

I would suggest either drinking less Soylent or going DIY because drinking less beer is just crazy talk. With DIY you can hit any calorie count you want and make it way cheaper than Soylent in Canada. Also no artificial sweeteners if you don’t want them.

I am way too busy to go DIY. And yeah I love IPAs and Wheat beers too much to sacrifice them. My exercise amount per week is about to shoot way up with the weather. I have no problem exercising to get from any point A to B.

I wonder if some people are more sensitive to artificial sweetener gut bacteria changes than others. I only have ~1/2 package of Soylent a day on average.

I have been losing weight on Soylent, FWIW.
I did eat very, very poor before starting it though, so that may not mean much.

After consuming the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s maximum dose of saccharin over a period of five days, four of the seven subjects showed a reduced glucose response in addition to an abrupt change in their gut microbes. The three volunteers whose glucose tolerance did not dip showed no change in their gut microbes.

This study is looking at people taking the maximum recommended dose of saccharin. Soylent has very little artificial sweeteners by comparison. In the study less than half the people experienced a negative effect at the maximum dose, so I wouldn’t imagine you would have much to worry about with the amount that is in Soylent.

Beer is much more likely to be a problem as many IPA’s and craft beers today are well over 200 calories per 12oz.


I’m curious. How much do you weigh and what are your non-Soylent meals like?

I’ve been losing weight with Soylent (as I mentioned in another thread, ~10 lbs a month for the past three months), and while I haven’t given up beer, I definitely have cut back on my beer and whiskey consumption. When I do plan on having a few, I compensate to maintain the calorie deficiency I want.

Soylent has actually helped me a lot in losing weight because it’s so easy to track calories when that’s most of what you’re eating. I’d rule out excessive calories before diving into figuring out if artificial sweeteners have something to do with it.

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Plus, Soylent has no saccharin in it whatsoever. So the study really doesn’t say anything one way or another.


DIY actually takes a lot less time than you’d think. Once I found a recipe that worked, I could mix up a whole week’s worth of food in about an hour. Not as good as having pre-mixed pouches, certainly, but not too bad.

As for keeping the thread on-topic, I did gain some weight from my DIY despite working out every day, and I’m pretty sure it’s because liquids don’t keep you sated like solid food does. It got to the point where I’d drink a bottle of Soylent (400-ish calories) before bed, then wake up starving at 5AM and drink another bottle before going back to sleep. I was almost definitely taking in more calories than I was burning, especially since a bunch of them were carbs in the middle of the night.

It takes me 5-10 minutes to mix a days worth, so yeah, less than an hour for a full week. If I ever stop tweaking the recipe it would get even faster. :slight_smile:

Read the whole study though. It tested sucralose and aspartame positively for weight gain as well.

I have avoided artificial sweeteners for my entire life, until Soylent…

Pertaining to weight, I feel like I should at least mention the link for those trying to lose/gain weight as a way to figure out how many calories per day you need to do so, given your height, weight, age, sex, and activity level.

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In my reading, saccharin, sucralose and aspartame were all found to cause the same effect. The effect was largest for saccharin, and most of the followup work was done on saccharin so they had a clear signal to work with - sucralose adn aspartame had significantly smaller effects.

Moreover, Soylent does not use a sweetening dose of sucralose. The purpose is not to sweeten, but to mask the flavors of the mutlivitamin/multimineral ingredients. The tiny amount of sucralose used is far below the dosage that was likely to induce the microbial effect, which already was weak for sucralose.


The theory that artificial sweeteners can cause weight gain in humans is still unsupported by evidence. Most articles that claim a link cite an animal study, followed by wild speculation on the possible mechanisms (gut bacteria, insulin resistance, neurological responses, etc.).

The trial mentioned in the article you posted was on mice; as any bench researcher will tell you, results in mice rarely translate to results in humans.

Although observational studies tend to show a correlation between consumption of artificially sweetened beverages and overweight or obese BMI in humans, this could simply be because people who are already overweight tend to choose to drink “diet sodas” more often than people who are not overweight. This is what is called “reverse correlation,” where the perceived effect “high BMI” is actually the cause.

It’s virtually impossible to do randomized controlled trials on diet in humans over long periods, so we may never know the answer to this. Having said that, there’s no reason why anyone has to drink artificially-sweetened drinks, so if you want to avoid them, there’s certainly no harm in that!


Watch the date when reponding to messages. It has been a year, so most participants are probably dead from consuming sweeteners.