Until quite recently, I was eating mostly frozen foods, fast food, and an all-around unhealthy diet. As a programmer, I’m generally sitting at my desk most of the day. Luckily for me, my metabolism is pretty good, and I’m no more than 20 lbs overweight. I’m a man in my mid-30s with no major health issues, but I know this is unsustainable. Soylent seemed like a great solution for the time being.
I ordered 21 bags of v1.6 powder which arrived in early October of 2016. As this month nears its close, I’ve been on roughly 75% - 80% Soylent powder for the past three weeks. With my first few servings, I felt immediately energized. I likened it to drinking one of the popular energy drinks. The flavor was passable (I’ve grown to rather enjoy it), and I immediately felt I could consume Soylent long-term.
But after about a week, my energy plummeted much lower than when I was on a diet of primarily processed foods. I endured diarrhea almost daily, often didn’t feel full (even at 2,000 cal daily), felt tired, irritable, and an all around sense of “meh.” I am a person with a naturally high energy level, so I noticed the feeling of general fatigue as rather unusual for me.
After the second week, I was still experiencing the diarrhea a few hours after ingesting the 1.6 mix. I didn’t always get it, but when I did, I noticed I needed solid food to put a stop to it. I still felt less-than-average with respect to energy level, mood, and cognition.
By the end of the third week, I noticed that my symptoms of irritability, diarrhea, and fatigue diminish greatly when I eat a solid, processed meal at least once during the day. It could be my imagination, but it seems the salt content in such processed foods helped me feel better.
I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing wrong or right, so here are some questions:
With all the processed foods I was eating, I was clearly ingesting much more salt than I am now. Could this be my body adjusting to a new, lower salt intake, or should I consider supplementing more salt into my diet? Keep in mind, I’ve been drinking Soylent at least 75% of the time for the last three weeks.
Is there an argument to be made that Soylent could in fact be less healthy for me than my previous diet of mostly processed foods? Is there just something Soylent is missing that is in other foods?
Is there potentially a longer “adjustment period” for someone coming from a diet rich in processed foods? It’s been three weeks – should I be fully adjusted by now?
Lastly, are there any tips from anyone who might be more adept at understanding nutrition and how Soylent might be causing me fatigue, irritability, diarrhea, and generally lowered cognitive ability?
Thanks for your help!