Scientific support for dieting with Soylent

There are many success stories on this forum of Soylent users losing excess weight. Interestingly, there’s some science to back this up. From SlateStarCodex’s review of the book “The Hungry Brain”, he concludes that to a certain degree human food is engineered to be consumed in excess:

In the 1970s, scientists wanted to develop new rat models of obesity. This was harder than it sounded; rats ate only as much as they needed and never got fat. Various groups tried to design various new forms of rat chow with extra fat, extra sugar, et cetera, with only moderate success – sometimes they could get the rats to eat a little too much and gradually become sort of obese, but it was a hard process. Then, almost by accident, someone tried feeding the rats human snack food, and they ballooned up to be as fat as, well, humans.

Likewise, if you engineer food to be super bland, people start to lose weight:

In 1965, some scientists locked people in a room where they could only eat nutrient sludge dispensed from a machine. Even though the volunteers had no idea how many calories the nutrient sludge was, they ate exactly enough to maintain their normal weight, proving the existence of a “sixth sense” for food caloric content. Next, they locked morbidly obese people in the same room. They ended up eating only tiny amounts of the nutrient sludge, one or two hundred calories a day, without feeling any hunger. This proved that their bodies “wanted” to lose the excess weight and preferred to simply live off stored fat once removed from the overly-rewarding food environment. After six months on the sludge, a man who weighed 400 lbs at the start of the experiment was down to 200, without consciously trying to reduce his weight.

Of course, these excerpts leave out a lot of subtlety of the review and the book. Most notably, genetics, as always, is a huge component. However, I thought I would share these two excerpts with the community as they reflect some of our collective experiences.


mmmmmm delicious nutrient sludge…

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