New to Soylent-- is my plan a good idea?

Apologies if this has all been covered to death! I’m new to Soylent (and this forum) and I’d like to start using it as a frequent meal replacement, although not 100%. I’ve done a lot of googling and I’m still iffy on the ins and outs, and I’d appreciate any input into whether or not what I have in mind makes sense. Thanks!

Where I’m at: 38-year-old male, interested in meal replacements mainly for convenience but also I’m trying to lose weight. I go to the gym about three times a week and do a mix of cardio and weight training. I’m 5’8" and weigh 187, should weigh at least 20 pounds less, and the main reason I don’t is poor dietary choices. I’m not worried about variety; I just want a convenient, healthy baseline diet that meets all my needs. I don’t intend to give up on actual good-tasting food (instead of or in addition to my baseline), but I’d love it if that could be a treat instead of a necessity.

What I’m considering: typical weekday breakfast will be Soylent and probably a piece of fruit. Typical lunch will be Soylent, maybe a piece of fruit, maybe an RX Bar or two. For dinner, probably sometimes the same as lunch, sometimes real food. (On nights I go to the gym after work, I usually follow that with a sandwich and a protein shake; I’d happily replace that with Soylent, but whether or not it’s a good post-workout food is a whole other question.) I’d probably also throw in one or two additional Soylents (maybe late afternoon). I’ve also been leaning hard on RX Bars as a healthy and convenient midday snack, but I’m worried I’m overusing them; I’m not sure whether it’s healthy to have like two of those every day, and that number may go up if Soylent leaves me hungry and there’s nothing wrong with eating a lot of RX Bars.

I have all sorts of questions about this. Is this a healthy diet that will give me what I need and not cause problems? Will I be missing nutrients? Will I be getting an appropriate amount of calories? Will there be effects, positive or negative, on my weight loss attempts or my energy levels? Anything in particular about my plan that I should modify?

Thanks in advance!

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Soylent is a great option for replacing meals, after all that is what it was designed for! At it’s core, Soylent is food, and with it being food you could gain, maintain, or lose weight with it depending on how much you consume. It’s also a good way to get in all the micronutrients that you might otherwise miss in your diet. Okay, the obvious stuff out of the way, let’s look at the specifics you were asking about.

So your goal is to “lose weight”, huh? Most people say that they want to “lose weight”, but what they really want is to lose fat instead. It might sound like I’m pointing out the obvious, but it really isn’t. Body weight is made up of a lot of things, bones/bone density, water, food, organs, fat, muscle, and more. I could list examples of undesired weight loss, but that’s the obvious part. The part that isn’t so obvious is the capacity to lose fat without losing weight (gaining weight in another category at the same time). Another part that isn’t obvious is how easily weight can fluctuate because of those factors. My suggestion? Take monthly/weekly pictures, do measurements, and record your results on something like Google Sheets (something hard to lose, and easy to maintain).

… MyFitnessPal is useful for making sure that you’re getting your nutrition right, but it’s hard to say anything about your fitness routine without knowing more. I’ll go into more detail with those tomorrow, I’ve got to get up early in the morning.

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Thanks. I don’t really need general fitness advice, though; I’m familiar with all of that. My question is just: will using Soylent the way I described cause any problems for me (including but not limited to unwanted weight gain)?

I really only wanted to be healthier when I started Soylent, cut out fried food and junk. The convenience can’t be understated, to eat healthy and get all the nutrients that Soylent contains would take forever to prep and clean. If you are going to get 2.0, I am not going to be much help, but if you are powder then I can share my experience. Your concerns seem to center around hunger, nutrition, weight, and energy. Hunger was tricky for me, at first I was hungry. I make 300 calorie shakes with 67 g of powder and have one at 1030 AM and another at 230 PM. In between I used to get hungry but I fill with water instead of calories. For every shake I have I also drink a 16 oz bottle of water and that helps. I also drink a lot of black tea. Over time my body got used to my new schedule and now I rarely even notice the hunger, until about dinner time when my body knows that some solid food is coming. I do still enjoy occasions when I eat solid food during the day, not often, for example my office had a meeting catered last week and I ate. But that is a break from the routine which is pretty rigid about 90% of the time. Nutrition is easy, if you read the bag there is a per serving value for all nutrients, I speak from experience in that I am not malnourished and when I had my blood work for my physical this year all of my numbers were normal. Snilloc nailed weight

If you are on the powder each bag is 2000 calories, if you eat 2 bags a day you are probably going to gain weight, conversely I use a scale and can monitor exactly how many calories per day I have consumed. 2 shakes of 67 g for 600 total calories during the day, when I get home I eat a healthy dinner of about 800 calories and have a before bed snack, usually an RX bar, the almond,cashew,date one is good for another 200 calories that puts me at about 1600 for the day so I have lost weight. There have been occasions where I have eaten more than one bar but I try not to because that increases my cals for the day. Lastly energy, I feel like I have more energy on Soylent than with solid food and I’ll tell you why. Last week when I had some pasta and junk for lunch, about 230 in the afternoon I started dozing at my desk, I was in a food coma. It has happened the last couple times I have eaten solid food for lunch where I feel like I need a nap. Makes me hesitant now to stray from my routine. I have plenty of energy to go to the gym, play basketball, golf etc. and I have been on Soylent for more than a year. I hope this helps and good luck on your Soylent journey wherever it may take you.

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Thanks! (And for the record, I’ve exclusively tried 2.0 so far and plan to continue with that, although I’ll happily switch to powder if there’s a compelling reason to do so.)

The food coma thing makes sense, considering all the extra digestion you had to do and the added ingredients you were dealing with.

I hadn’t counted calories in the past because it always seemed like too much of a hassle, especially since I didn’t want to weigh my food or guess at portion sizes. But since Soylent makes that so convenient, I may start.

I keep finding that I feel hungry and full at the same time-- like, my mouth wants food, but my gut can’t handle it. I’m okay with that. I don’t feel very tempted to eat when that’s the case, because I know it’ll make me feel uncomfortable.

My recent experience, just for fun: had a Soylent and some crackers yesterday around 4:30, went to the gym around 6 and drank a bunch of water there, had a Soylent and about eight saltines afterward. Still felt somewhat hungry, presumably due to having just worked out. I had planned on my breakfast being a salad (grilled chicken + vegetables), an RX Bar, a pear, and coffee, but all I had were the salad and coffee, because I barely felt hungry and actually had to force myself through the salad. (This is unusual for me.) I had the bar around 10:30, and then had another one plus a Soylent around 12:45. It’s 1:23 now and I don’t really feel hungry. I’m planning on having an RX Bar as a midday snack whenever I feel like it, and then another one plus a Soylent when I leave work at 5.

I did try the 2.0 and it is way more convenient than the powder but I like the flexibility that the powder affords me. I know that 22.5 g of powder is 100 calories and I can tailor my meals around that, if I am just in the mood for a snack I can do 100 cals or if I get a late lunch and am more hungry than normal I can do 400 cals. The bottles are all 400 cals and yes you can split up the bottles but I didn’t like having to refrigerate the unused parts and keep track of how much is in each bottle etc.

Makes sense. I may experiment with that at some point, especially once I’ve started counting calories (which I think I’m gonna do starting tomorrow).

Okay, sitting down and looking at the diet, it seems okay overall. I do have one concern with it however, and that’s your daily protein intake. If you are doing strength/cardio training, you should be looking to consume 1.5-2.0x your kg body weight in protein. From what I can tell, you wouldn’t be getting enough. Also, for post workout shakes you want to ensure that you aren’t consuming much fat (it slows the absorption of protein), so Soylent wouldn’t be the best idea there specifically.

Here’s what I do for my nutrition through the work week. Maybe it will help give you ideas. Keep in mind that the timing isn’t too rigid, the timing is just my goal.

6:00 - 5 Eggs, 1 Can Black Beans. (Immediately before work)

9:00 - 500 Calories Soylent. (break at work)

12:00 - 500 Calories Soylent. (lunch at work)

3:00 - Post Workout Shake. (after work)

6:00 - Dinner (usually a meat with a starchy side and a fibrous side)

… do what works for you though, what you posted sounds fine with the exception of the caveat mentioned. If you can stick with it, go for it.

Thanks! That’s helpful.

If it makes a difference, I’m not doing any hardcore bodybuilding or anything like that; I’m mostly just aiming for weight loss at this point. That said, can I solve that by adding more RX Bars? Or would that be less than ideal because of how many calories I’d be adding? If it’s the latter, can I solve that by throwing in some protein powder with my Soylent?

And as far as post-workout shakes: thanks, that’s really good to know. I had a Soylent post-workout yesterday, but I’ll go back to regular protein shakes for that.

My most frequent real foods at home are likely to be grilled chicken, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Maybe I’ll keep chicken as a pretty-much-daily thing (which it already was) and get my extra protein that way.

I’d say it probably depends on how close you are to reaching the protein goal. Double check with a TDEE Calculator to make sure that your total calories aren’t too high as well. You seem like you’re on the right track though, so just experiment a bit to see what you prefer and what you can stick with.

I’ve been on powdered 1.9 cocoa for 55 days now down 24lbs so far. I do 360 grams(1600 calories) of powder a day, all I drink is water, coffee, and herbal tea. I try to do cardio everyday and lift 2 to 3 days a week. It’s been a pretty good experience so far. good luck on your journey

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Curious what kind of scale you are using? That’ll given you the .Decimal place for grams :grin: my Taylor scale does not lol but interested!

That being said I’m on 80% soylent (basically only eat food when it involves family or church functions…simply so I don’t appear antisocial haha) and love the powder. So flexible. I typically premix my powder on a washed and dried 2.0 bottle :joy: so far so good

nothing special, just a kitchen scale I got from amazon, think it cost like 8 bucks

got one for home and one for the office

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I had a couple of those back when I was doing DIY soylent. The funny thing was that Amazon started trying to sell me stuff that would be used for drugs. I’m not sure if Amazon though I was making drugs or using them. :slight_smile:

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