Soylent 1.0 Experience - OmegaJeff


#1

Such that I have anything novel to report and the discussion doesn’t become toxic, I’ll follow the lead of others and keep all updates within a single thread.

My wife and I have finished our first week of Soylent 1.0, which arrived last Tuesday. I will say we are mostly happy and cautiously hopeful we can resolve any issues. I will try to be as clinical as possible for some of the more… taboo, topics. Before anyone asks, we are adding the salt, and we are drinking plenty of water.

On the first day, we had regular meals for breakfast and dinner, only replacing lunch with 500cal of Soylent. Within an hour of finishing, I got a tremendous headache that lasted another 2 hours. I’ve had sinus headaches, hunger headaches, the occasional migraine. This was something entirely different. Resonating, light headed, distracting and disorienting. I wasn’t sure if I was dying or gaining super powers. My wife got no such headache.

On the second day, we cautiously followed the same plan of only replacing lunch. This time I had no headache, but still got some resonating light headedness. By day three, no light headedness either. A positive sign! However, both my wife and I were beset upon by gas and a drop in the consistency of our bowel movements.

Through to day 6 we began replacing breakfast and dinner with Soylent until we were both at 100%. I noticed that with each additional meal we replaced, I would get a return of the lightheadedness which would go away as we settled into the next day. The digestive troubles came and went and came back. I also noticed some brief cramping on either side of my upper abdomen that would come and go. At this point it seems to have gone.

Day 7 and now day 8 have been a bit troubling digestively. My gas has lightened up faster than hers, but we have both continued to experience soft, burning/acidic stool. Following some advice we’ve seen elsewhere on the forums, we’ll be adding a small portion of psyllium husk to our soylent and taking one of the better clinically tested probiotics.

I have personally noticed my dandruff and some recurring pimples around my nose have cleared up, though my wife is noticing the opposite for herself. It may be too early to tell if this is related to the Soylent, or to natural cycles of breakout and healing.

I’m feeling a strange combination of spry and fatigued. The fatigue I can tell comes from calorie restriction, it’s familiar as I’ve dieted before. But unlike other dieting attempts, I don’t feel HANGRY. I feel content, my stomach feels full. And I feel strangely light. I don’t have terribly much endurance at this point, but I do feel like I have a bit more spring. It’s hard to describe any differently than that.

My wife (5 foot, thin frame, 35) has settled at 1100 cal, while I (6 foot 1, broad frame, 31) have settled at 1500. I tried 1250, and that lead to a pretty bad Monday. The goal is to each lose a portion of weight and ease into 1250 cal and 2000 cal respectively (she hasn’t as far to go as I). After perhaps a month, we’ll begin incorporating one or two date night dinners each week. We are also supplementing lutein and lycopene into our breakfasts, I’m also looking at creatine and nootropics as well. We don’t want to get too carried away with additional supplements, as we’d like to ensure we keep cost savings as a check mark in the benefits column.

Day 16 Update:
We’ve been adding acacia fiber, 1tbs per pouch, since day 9. We’ve also been taking store brand align each night, and emptying one capsule of lutein and lycopene into each batch.

First up, just by adapting my eating patterns I’m having a much more consistent energy curve throughout the day. The bug remaining problem is bursts of more intense activity. Walking a mile on flat terrain, not a problem. Walking up a steep SF hill 3 block to my car, sprinting a block to catch the bus, big problem. If it’s been more than an hour since eating, I don’t feel like I have any reserve and I just shut down for a couple minutes. My wife has not noticed this “empty batteries” issue as much in her experience.

Our BMs have also been more consistent, more solid and less painful/acidic. Our gas is less putrid and less uncontrollable, however the frequency has not been reduced to normal levels and we’re both still getting upper abdominal cramping/pain from it. Gas X mitigates but does not fully control the frequency.

When I say less putrid, I mean to say that I’m no longer burning my own nose hairs off. They typically smell more like a normal release, but slightly stale. I made the mistake of letting myself get comfortable at my desk and stopped taking fart walks, and before I knew it there was a wall of warding to enter my cubicle. People would drop in to talk, step in, and immediately take a large step back without saying anything. It’s funny for now, but it also really needs to stop.

Day 24 Update:
Is it really day 24?

Bowel movements are much improved, downright normal, for both of us. The frequency of our gas remains problematic, but in general the smell has reduced to a sweetly stale stink. It can still build after while. I’ve also noticed that the off brand Align we’ve been taking causes the smell of our gas to become MUCH worse about an hour after we take it, for about two hours.

Starting today we’ve stopped adding the acacia fiber. My hope is that it has served it’s purpose in easing the ‘detox’, but that perhaps all that extra fiber is still contributing to the volume of the gas. Fingers crossed this will bring things back to a normal level.

My energy level is overall pretty good, very even through the day. I’m still on a moderate calorie restriction with the exception of days where I know I’m going to be highly active. I still feel I have to carefully manage my intake and plan ahead if I’m going to do anything really strenuous.

I’m not completely free of acne and dandruff, however it is clearly lessened. Before Soylent 1.0 I would typically get at least one cyst-like pimple every couple of days, sometimes in clusters. I’ve had just two since the start of the second week on Soylent. Similar story with dandruff, I’ve only had one flake out, whereas typically that was a twice weekly occurrence.

We are also starting to incorporate date night dinners back into our mix. So far we’ve done sushi one night and curry another. These are places we’ve frequented before, great places. But my god, the flavor. The sushi in particular, with all the delicate flavors and textures. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.


#2

Hahahaha, awesome.

I like your use of the word “hangry”, lol.


#3

I lold at super powers.


#4

Since a lot of folks seem to be attributing the headaches to the sucralose content, have you had that part of your diet in the past at any point? I’m wondering if its just a tolerance thing.

Also, have you dieted before? I’ve done a strong caloric deficit before and experienced many of these symptoms. I wonder if it’s just the calorie restriction and not anything specific to the Soylent.

I’ve got my first batch in the fridge overnight. Tomorrow is my first day. Very excited!


#5

I stopped by the WholeFoods planning to get some whole psyllium husk, but stopped to speak to the supplement expert they had on staff. Assuming she didn’t know what Soylent was, I explained that my wife and I had shifted to a diet that was “heavy on rice and oats” and explained our distress.

She joked that, “well, that’s just all the junk getting cleared out”. I explained we were hoping to ease things back a little, and she actually veered me away from psyllium. She explained that, while it would bulk things up, it can also act “like a push broom”. She also said you have to drink it right away, or it turns into a heavy paste. I figured that may be problematic with trying to keep a 2L pitcher drinkable for a day.

Then she directed me to powdered acacia fiber. She said it was a lot gentler than the psyllium, and that it would firm things up, calm down the gas and reduce the acidity in the lower gut. So, we put 1/2 teaspoon in our dinner, and starting tomorrow we’ll see how a tablespoon per pitcher works out.


#6

I’ve had sucralose before, but not with any consistency or in large amounts. I actually looked into potassium as a possible cause, and I think that’s what did it. We were taking daily vitamins, but they only had 15% of daily potassium and we were probably not getting enough fruit. Apparently ramping up from that extremely low level very quickly can cause very intense headaches that go away quickly. I sense that if I were sensitive to the sucralose, the headaches would probably still be hanging around.

Yea, I’ve dieted a few times. Last year before finding out about Soylent I tried doing something on my own kind of similar, by combining some green food meal replacers, fresh berries and various supplements. I was actually down to about 1000 cal per day, which is why I thought I could pull off 1250 on Soylent (which I found out to be quite untrue). Even then I only got to about 50% potassium. The only reason I stopped was because it was getting quite expensive to maintain (and the dirt like flavor and consistency of the drinks was injuring my soul). So no, I think there’s something specific to Soylent’s formulation that is offending our stomachs and that gave me those headaches.

Again, the headaches I still want to point at the potassium on. The tummy stuff, we’ll see how the acacia fiber helps. My suspicion is that the fiber balance is way off. Raw oat fiber has an equal amount of soluble and insoluble which. You actually need slightly more soluble fiber to keep things bulked and smooth. Keeping things balanced or leaning towards insoluble can cause exactly the problems some people (including my wife and I) are reporting.


#7

Let me know how the acacia fiber works. I personally didn’t have problems with psyllium husk, so long as I didn’t add too much (I think I went a day without pooping with the highest dosage).


#8

I am on day 4 of my Soylent and I also get light headed after I drink it. I get lethargic too and my eyelids get heavy. I almost feel like I’m on some kind of mild drug. Eventually it goes away but it makes me wonder. I mean, I don’t get this effect after eating a tomato and mozzarella salad!


#9

Granted, I know nothing about you two, but the calorie amounts you listed seemed extremely low to me. My suggestion to you would be to drink as much as you want and see what happens. If you’re not losing weight, then cut back, but I’d first try it without arbitrary restrictions on how much you drink. 2000 Calories of Soylent should be much better for you than 2000 calories of a standard diet, so even if you were gaining weight at 2000 calories, you may lose some with the same amount of calories of Soylent.

–Not a doctor, dietitian, nutritionist, expert, superhero, nor did I stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.


#10

@michael_slosson
You input is well taken. We’ll definitely tool our calorie intake based on how we feel (like I said, I tried 1,250 and that was an exceptionally bad idea). Prime example being that if I start biking to work again (12mi round trip), I’ll definitely jump to 2k with an extra 250 before hoping on each way. I have looked into calorie calculators that use various metrics though, along with goal weight recommendations that take into account more than just height as a factor.

My wife’s goal weight is 120lb. She doesn’t have far to go on that, and with our lifestyle her recommended intake is 1250-1500 for her height, frame and goal weight.

My goal is between 200lb and 210lb. The lowest weight I’ve been as an adult was just under 190lb as a starving art student. On my frame, that is definitely an unhealthy, nearing skeletal weight. I felt atrophic, sickly and listless. I’ve been a fit 230lb before, but that requires inconveniently frequent exercise and a fair amount of extra supplements. Depending on the weight end up settling at and what my activity level is, my recommended calorie intake is 2000-2500.


#11

@davidhunternyc

I’m no expert, so I can’t say for certain that the headaches are from one thing or another. I can say that I’m confident it’s from something in the Soylent. The timing of the headaches, the fact that the related lightheadedness only returned when I increased my daily intake.

If it is the potassium, my layman’s guess is that it must be the high availability of it in the way it’s packed in the micro-capsules; compared to the slow absorption it would have when getting it from food. That certainly doesn’t rule out other possible factors like Sucralose. But whatever it is, it didn’t bother my wife much and I’m adapting to it as I’ve not had any recurrence yesterday (day 8) or today (day 9).


#12

I’m on day 4 and I have the same symptoms. As we speak, I’m standing behind my bar, I’m lightheaded, I have a headache, and I feel lethargic. I feel like I’m on cold medicine or something.


#13

@davidhunternyc
If it makes you feel better, I’m headache free with none of the associated lightheadedness. The only fatigue or lethargy I’ve had has been from caloric restriction so, knowing absolutely nothing about your body’s needs or your intake habits, I’d say make sure you get a full serving in the morning and don’t go more than 4 hours without drinking a little more.

My worst day was this Monday, which was my first day at 100% Soylent when I tried to stay at 1250. The headache last Wednesday was bad, but Monday I really felt like I had starved myself. After work I had to walk about 2 blocks uphill and it felt very much like the “all systems shutting down” sensation I had seen someone else reporting. It’s been crazy how big a difference an extra 250 cal has made.


#14

@livingparadox
We each had 1/2 teaspoon of the acacia last night with our 250ml dinner. Then we put 1 tablespoon (which is the amount the container recommends daily in 8oz of water) into our 2L batches for today. So far it’s had no noticeable impact on the flavor, texture or smell of the Soylent.

Today we both noticed that our morning movements were improved, but still not ideal. Halfway through the day we’re both noticing that our guts feel a bit less volatile, but we’ve also been taking GasX since Sunday so we’re not sure how much that could be mitigating. If things continue to improve, then tomorrow we may go off the GasX and see how we feel.


#15

I was suspecting sucralose, but for me it seems that vanillin is the more likely culprit. Just FYI. :stuck_out_tongue:

What’s interesting is that the acacia gum (aka “gum arabic” - not sure if that’s the same as fiber) is one of my top suspects for Soylent ingredients causing gas. I like psyllium husk myself. If you come to any conclusions, let us know in this thread, maybe?


#16

We’ve been adding the acacia fiber, 1tbs per pouch, since day 9. We’ve also been taking store brand align each night, and emptying one capsule of lutein and lycopene into each batch.

First up, just by adapting my eating patterns I’m having a much more consistent energy curve throughout the day. The bug remaining problem is bursts of more intense activity. Walking a mile on flat terrain, not a problem. Walking up a steep SF hill 3 block to my car, sprinting a block to catch the bus, big problem. If it’s been more than an hour since eating, I don’t feel like I have any reserve and I just shut down for a couple minutes. My wife has not noticed this “empty batteries” issue as much in her experience.

Our BMs have also been more consistent, more solid and less painful/acidic. Our gas is less putrid and less uncontrollable, however the frequency has not been reduced to normal levels and we’re both still getting upper abdominal cramping/pain from it. Gas X mitigates but does not fully control the frequency.

When I say less putrid, I mean to say that I’m no longer burning my own nose hairs off. They typically smell more like a normal release, but slightly stale. I made the mistake of letting myself get comfortable at my desk and stopped taking fart walks, and before I knew it there was a wall of warding to enter my cubicle. People would drop in to talk, step in, and immediately take a large step back without saying anything. It’s funny for now, but it also really needs to stop.


#17

I call it my “fart field” (instead of “force” field). The wife complained about my gas when I started doing DIY 6 months ago. Things got better after a while. About a month ago I started to take a probiotic and that took the gas to another level of evil. I would fart and 20 minutes later the wife would walk in and asked if I “shit my pants”. I would usually say “yes”, but that was honest. I’ve stopped taking the probiotic and things have went back to their normal levels.


#18

I’ve laughed at many things on this forum, but that one really got me. You’re a good writer @OmegaJeff. You have a knack for this.


#19

Is it really day 24?

Bowel movements are much improved, downright normal, for both of us. The frequency of our gas remains problematic, but in general the smell has reduced to a sweetly stale stink. It can still build after while. I’ve also noticed that the off brand Align we’ve been taking causes the smell of our gas to become MUCH worse about an hour after we take it, for about two hours.

Starting today we’ve stopped adding the acacia fiber. My hope is that it has served it’s purpose in easing the ‘detox’, but that perhaps all that extra fiber is still contributing to the volume of the gas. Fingers crossed this will bring things back to a normal level.

My energy level is overall pretty good, very even through the day. I’m still on a moderate calorie restriction with the exception of days where I know I’m going to be highly active. I still feel I have to carefully manage my intake and plan ahead if I’m going to do anything really strenuous.

I’m not completely free of acne and dandruff, however it is clearly lessened. Before Soylent 1.0 I would typically get at least one cyst-like pimple every couple of days, sometimes in clusters. I’ve had just two since the start of the second week on Soylent. Similar story with dandruff, I’ve only had one flake out, whereas typically that was a twice weekly occurrence.

We are also starting to incorporate date night dinners back into our mix. So far we’ve done sushi one night and curry another. These are places we’ve frequented before, great places. But my god, the flavor. The sushi in particular, with all the delicate flavors and textures. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.