My wife and I did Weight Watchers about 8 years ago, under the old points system. It’s a good system overall, and both of us hit our goal weights and held it off for a time… Then over the course of about 5 years we gained all of the weight back.
For me, the biggest problem with WW (and presumably any other counting-based diet system) is long-term maintenance. It’s just not realistic to count every point of every bite of food every day, quite possibly for the rest of one’s life. I also feel that WW’s guidelines for daily points are geared to aggressive weight loss, which for me also meant a lot more hunger pangs and other cravings. That’s not to say it’s a bad system, just that I think it falls short with long-term maintenance.
Enter Soylent. I’ve been having 12oz breakfasts (~375 calories, ~9 WW points) and 14oz lunches (~450 calories, ~12 WW points) for the past six months now, plus have made a few other modest changes… smarter about snacking, moderately healthier choices at dinner, and taking care to stop eating before I get full. (Oddly Soylent seems to have made this last bit easier; I don’t really put more thought into it, I’m just somehow more aware that I should stop eating sooner than I used to. YMMV.) I’m guessing I’m hitting in the 1800-2000 calorie range every day, which is nicely in the weight-loss zone based on BMR.
Just on those changes alone, I’m down 25lbs in six months. But the best part is, it’s sustainable indefinitely… As long as I keep my Soylent pitcher full in the fridge, it’s easy to stick to the plan. No tracking, no calculating (beyond eyeball-measuring my Soylent pour), and no need to save up points for that special meal, because I’m eating the same foods for dinner that I always have (yay taco night!), just in better moderation.
My current method is surely not the fastest way to lose weight, and I’ve got another 50lbs to go so I’ll likely need to make a few more adjustments. But I didn’t put the weight on quickly either so I’m fine with the pace. Plus my real goal is keeping the weight off long-term in a sustainable way, versus quickly crossing the goal line just to bounce back up yet again.
The biggest challenge I’ve had (and it’s not really that big) was adjusting to feeling only satiated versus full. It took about a month to adjust, but now I rarely crave anything more after finishing my serving. What really works for me is to get away from the table once my glass is empty… I don’t usually feel “done” at that moment, but if don’t sit there and stare at my empty glass, any lingering hunger pangs disappear after only a few minutes. I never feel full like I would on a solid meal, but I’m definitely no longer hungry, and it’s a good 2-3 hours before thoughts of food or snacking drift back in, longer if I follow my meal with a cup of hot tea.
I’d recommend sticking with the 10-or-so point Soylent meals. Give yourself a few weeks to try to adjust to feeling satiated. And don’t be afraid to adjust the Soylent upwards a bit to help get used to satiety.