Snacking while on Soylent?


#1

I’m on the verge of taking the plunge and mixing up some DIY Soylent (I’m not sure my patience can make it til August :P), but would like to throw in the occasional snack to avoid “atrophy” of my teeth and gums. The formula I’m going to go with meets pretty much all of the recommended values spot on, so I’m worried that snacking will potentially push me over these values.

Am I going to need to closely monitor my intake on extras like a bag of chips or some cookies or are the minerals with (somewhat) strict toxicity limits going to be unlikely to appear in snacks? What’s the likelihood of a few snacks throughout the day pushing me over one of the toxicity limits?


#2

If you’re worried about it, you can definitely keep ten percent low or so of your actual recommended intake, if that makes sense. So you have more wiggle room.


#3

I considered that, but I’m also unsure of the prevalence of the components that would potentially be toxic in various foods… would there even be any meaningful amounts of Chloride or Magnesium (for example) in a bag of chips or in a cup of tea?


#4

I really don’t think so, but I’m not an expert at all. Unfortunately, a lot of things are hard to look up. But I doubt anything would push you into the toxic range, necessarily, unless you were already close to it.


#5

Well, chips have a lot of salt on them, most of the time. Probably also too much omega 6, because the chips is fried in cheap oils like sunflower oil etc. Though its not toxic to get too much salt in one day, it is harmful in the long run.

But its impossible to say which snacks you should be careful of, because there are thousands of different kinds.

If you are unsure of a particular item, you can check the nutrition info from here.


#6

Provided you aren’t under weight, you could simply adjust your calories to be below your maintenance level (TDEE) and then if you lose a little weight one day and gain a little weight the next so be it! If you notice that over time you’re losing or gaining weight you can adjust your recipe accordingly so that on average over time you are maintaining your weight.


#7

If common snack foods contained potentially dangerous amounts of vitamins or minerals, we would most likely have heard sensationalized media reports about toxicity by now, so unless you are planning on snacking on Flintstones vitamins, (or your DIY Soylent is pushing the UL on some things), you’ll most likely be fine.

If you want to be careful, though, you can always include the expected snack food amounts in your DIY Soylent calculations/spreadsheet, but omit them from the actual mix. Research is the best cure for worry.

Remember, most people’s normal diets are much further from the recommended amounts than Soylent is. Most people doing DIY Soylent need to be more concerned about doing the math wrong and adding 10, 100 or 1000 times too much of something to the mix, or missing a nutrient and ending up deficient, than they are about snacks pushing them into a toxic dose of some micronutrient.


#8

Good point, my current diet is probably garbage compared to what it would be like with Soylent…


#9

To avoid atrophy of mt teeth and gums, I chew gum occasionally. If the labelling isn’t misleading, the gum I buy has dental benefits.

If you just feel like pigging-out on junk food between meals, my advice is to split your DIY Soylent up into more portions or use more fat and less carbs so that your body remains satisfied for longer after drinking. At the very least, wait until 15 minutes after you’ve had your next drink and see if you’re still hungry. If so, have some snacks and consider adding more calories to your mix.


#10

This may not be a popular opinion in the forum but here’s my two cents.

(A) Soylent isn’t really intended to be a 100% food replacement. Rob and others recommend incorporating other foods in to your diet as well. I’m at a 85-90% soylent diet right now.

(B) If each batch of soylent is meant to replace one meal with a complete nutritional substitute, than as long as your additional snacks/meals are balanced than you should be fine. That being said, I personally think that our physiology is not so delicate that going over or under one or two days would have us falling down dead. You don’t necessarily want to consume (for example) over 4g of Phosphorous on a daily basis for an extended period of time, but doing it once or twice isn’t going to hurt anything. The RDA’s upper limit for sodium is 2.3g, but there’s up to twice that amount in the average fast food meal people eat, and while doing it to excess is bad, doing it once in a while surely won’t hurt you. It took @rob’s body 3 months to realize his formula was deficient in sulfur.

Summary, being health-conscious is good, but being too obsessive about it when it comes to tracking upper limits of certain things in occasional snacks, etc, might be overkill. Everything in moderation and if your diet is, overall, healthy than you’re far better off than the majority of people in the world.


#11

I agree with @lghaman

Personally I would not worry about snacking at all, unless you are consuming an entire family sized bag of Doritos a couple of times a day. I would do one of those bags a day, but never more than one.

I am trying to replace my full diet on Soylent, while eating a normal meal maybe once a week. But this is just something dumb that I am doing, and I wouldn’t recommend following in my footsteps to most.


#12

I snack daily, to keep my jaw muscles and teeth from atrophying.

Most micronutrients are easily discharged from the body if one is properly hydrated. This means your liver and kidneys are able to filter your blood as long as you are not sorely abusing them.

What I do is lower my macronutrients to an 1,800 calorie per day diet. That is 1,000 fewer than my body needs to maintain its weight. Throw in some light exercise, and my body is guided toward consuming stored fat to make up the difference rather than muscle or organ tissue.

I also lower several micronutrients. Potassium is likely the one micronutrient that is consumed in the greatest quantities. Most food has an enormous amount of it, especially in the quantities most Americans eat. I lower my soylent to about 75% RDA, and make up the rest from snacking. If I go over, it is not so much that my kidneys cannot deal with it. I do not snack much at any one time either, so even if I consume 6g in a day, it is over 16 hours or so. Sodium is the other: I aim for about 1.8g, the other 500mg coming from food. Other than that, I am not too concerned with micronutrients because I am not consuming them in unhealthy or toxic levels.

As for what I eat, I tend toward nuts (almonds, pistachios, peanuts) and berries. I also consume a small number of Fritos or potato chips each day (3-4). I was surprised to learn that many of these junk foods are not exactly unhealthy, they are just not healthy, if that makes sense: they are essentially processed carbs with a little fat and salt. I was honestly shocked that several brands no longer contain any preservatives other than salt. Anyway, they are basically empty carbs: processed into energy with little nutritional benefit. Since I get my nutrition from soylent and am simply looking for a few extra calories and something to fill my shrunken stomach, it seems to work ok.

Anyway, I have had good results so far. I have lost weight and feel great. My first blood test is this Friday, which I consider a baseline. I plan on having another in 2-3 months after I have been doing this a bit longer.

I am also going to do something else important. I am printing out a spreadsheet showing everything I am consuming, and discussing this with my primary care physician.


#13

when you say 85-90% you mean that you have one snack a day or breakfast… ?
In an idea world, I would like to have possibly lunch or breakfast as a regular meal and everything else Soylent. But I am not at all a little scientist and I am reluctant to make Soylent myself (live in the UK). Is it necessary to calculate the levels of everything in order to replace some meals ?..Also, I want to be mindful of calories consumption as I wouldn’t like to ingest more than I should while not even enjoying some gourmet foods :sunny:

thank you


#14

Worth mentioning… Brazil nuts and organ meats (I think) are the two foods you can potentially overdose on with certain vitamins. I can’t imagine anyone ‘snacking’ on liver, but it is possible you could on brazil nuts :wink: Brazil nuts contain an insane amount of selenium (rda is in one nut afaik).

In terms of 85-90%, it just gives you a little scope for snacking… across the board drop your amounts in your daily soylent total. this way, if you go over by 20% in some things its no biggie. (it isn’t anyway tbh, unless you do it every day and are close to the upper limits).

The approach I am currently still using (as I wait for my other ingredients to arrive) - I made a pure ‘calories only’ version of soylent. This was to start working on the taste before I spent a load of cash on ingredients (I figured if I can’t get the taste right, its a no go from the start ;)). Anyway, atm I am eating this ‘noob soylent’ once or twice a day, eating some other regular food, and taking a multivitamin. I am going to be below the rda in a few things, but I have been below the rda in quite a lot of things for years, I won’t die (and even doing this interestingly is helping an awful lot in controlling my overeating).

My current basic mix is, sugar, cocoa powder, protein powder, olive oil, dash of salt, water. The olive oil and cocoa powder have some minerals etc in. The multivitamin covers the basics. The other food I eat probably covers a lot of the rest. Now this is only temporary as I say, but there isn’t any reason why you cant do this fairly regularly as say 1 meal replacement if you eat a pretty decent diet otherwise.

The worse your diet, and the more you rely on soylent, the more exact you need to be in the amounts. The danger in soylent comes from 2 areas (imo)

1)You rely very heavily on soylent, and underestimate some of the components needed. Long term this will catch up with you.

2)You go for a fairly complete soylent, or include some non basic elements (e.g. a form of potassium) and screw up in the measuring and give yourself a massive amount.

Making a very basic calorific style soylent as a simple ‘I need calories’ replacement carries no risk other than that you don’t eat enough other stuff to get the rda long term. If you supp with a decent multivitamin, this is even less of a concern.

Regarding calorie consumption… measure the calories in your basic mix, us it as a rough estimate. e.g. your mix has 700 kcals, and you eat it twice, thats 1400, so 600 left to play with for the day.


#15

As often happens with new ideas I am hearing some extremes here. Yes according to Rob’s research Soylent will provide the “normal Healthy individual” all the nutrients they need. This does not mean ( and Rob you can jump in) that if you eat food in addition to Soylent you are going to od on nutrition. The way a healthy body works is it takes in the nutrients it needs and uses the most available for energy. It then stores those things it may be low on in different places for use later and it eliminates any excess through urine and feces. IS it possible to get too much of a good thing? Yes especially fat soluble vitamins. So for all the DIYers I would suggest you watch those things carefully. I feel confident that with the detailed data Rob has been keeping and his desire to make a superior product the final Soylent product will have a balance of vitamin, minerals and micro nutrients that our healthy body will be able to enjoy solo or in concert with our favorite whole food