Soylent vs "Real Food"


Yes, I am well aware that Soylent is real food. Hence the quotation marks…

My wife and I are about a month into Soylent, and neither of us have been able to make the transition to 100% Soylent. Just about every single day, by the time we get home from work, we are both craving food you eat, rather than more soylent.
It doesn’t seem to matter how full or not full we are, and we usually aren’t craving anything specifically. It just feels like we are missing the actual eating process too much.

Have any of you experienced this or a similar bump in the process? If so, how did you deal with it? We are rather unhappy with the thought of just going with 60% Soylent, and one meal of regular food, due to the fact that we both work in a hospital, and by the time we get home, neither of us are remotely in the mood for making anything healthy, if we even really have the time…

Thanks for any & all feedback / suggestions, and I’ll do my best to answer any additional questions that may arise…


ive had the same issue and ive been on soylent from the beginning, sometimes i just skip dinner because i would really like to make that final step on being on just soylent


I’ve tried various powdered products (including several versions of Soylent) and even when I really really like the product, my system goes into overdrive craving for solid foods. It’s not hunger. It’s not distaste for the powdered food. Perhaps it’s just something the body is used to. But I find my insides start to behave like an insistent toddler and it’s a huge distraction.


Maybe you could try going from 60% to about 80%. You could have some ‘real’ food in the form of an appetizer / something small just to get over you cravings. But you could still then have another Soylent meal after that. It could be the sitting down and having a meal together is more of what you’re missing.

How much Soylent do you eat now per meal? I eat about 500 cal for breakfast and 500 cal for lunch then another 500 when I get home from work. I’ll then sometimes have a snack or a small meal in addition to that.

I’ve been trying to get through 2000 cal a day of Soylent, but most days I have 1500 Soylent and then some snack.


I went away over the weekend and stayed with a friend and brought my soylent with my blender and everything. I ended up finishing my day’s Soylent earlier than normal. By the time I got back home I was itching to munch something as I caught up on some videos and articles and such. I ran by the grocery store on the way and picked up a tiny bag of broccoli and cauliflower. I got home and settled in and after one floret I… I was done. I just didn’t want it anymore. I used to be able to mindlessly eat, which was a terrible thing for me. I could down an entire bag of apples and two jars of peanut butter in one sitting just munching away as I watched tv or something. And I have. Several times. I’ve never had a great relationship with food. Obsessive eater or something. But I gave myself the opportunity to do it again, to just snack away at something mindlessly and… I didn’t want to. I still felt that craving to munch something, but after eating one floret I just wasn’t wanting it. I downed a few more cause hey I paid for it but. I dunno, I found I just didn’t wanna anymore.

I dunno, take that what you will.


Radiolab did a great story about this whole idea in their ‘Guts’ episode—it’s a story about a guy who gets intestinal surgery and has to be fed intravenously for a while. The food that he’s fed (through a tube), like Soylent, contains everything he “needs,” but because he isn’t actually eating solid foods he starts to go crazy. His story gets pretty bizarre by the end.

Highly recommend checking out this story. Also, that whole episode is great.

But anyway, I’m somewhere around 20% right now, so I’m not having the same problem you are, but I am aware that the problem exists. It’s probably the reason I’ll never go 100%.


I have been on 1500 calories per day of Soylent since some time in February, to lose weight. I mainly get cravings for meat, like any meat… Most of the time when I feel the urge to snack on something and Im done with my 1500 calories for the day I will grab 2 or 3 pepperoncini peppers and that strong taste helps me, also lots of coffee. At the moment I am 5lbs away from my target weight, at which time I will change gears to maintain weight mode, and be consuming at least a full bag of Soylent per day. I do not see myself having any problems 100% Soylent then, that fourth glass a day would be really good these days…


How many calories of Soylent are you drinking per day? Is the craving for a specific food or kind of food?


Thanks for the replies, everyone!

To answer the asked questions, My wife and I are currently between 1000 & 1500 calories a day. (We were up at the 2K mark, but were jonesing for something to eat, so we cut back, to avoid too many calories…) I don’t usually eat my Soylent as meals, per se. I have a blender bottle, and keep pre-portioned scoops of powder at my desk. I just sip it fairly consistently throughout the day, and make more as needed.

I can’t speak for her, but as far as I am concerned, I’m not usually craving anything specific. I think, to be perfectly honest, it is psychological. I just want the act of biting, chewing, etc. You know, traditional eating. I think @EveB nailed it with her description. It isn’t a hunger, nor a feeling of something lacking, it is just the desire to EAT. We have recently started adding a bit of protein powder, in hopes that it may help, but it has only been a couple days, and I think it is a bit soon to speak on the effectiveness of that…


This is to be expected - you’ll miss the big part of experience, the smells, the taste variety, the way it hits taste buds while chewing and so on. You’ve been enjoying it since you were a baby.
Being almost 100% on Soylent, I feel this too. In my case though, I snack on regular foods mostly to remove aftertaste - or “the last thing I ate” taste. I’d much rather feel it was a strawberry, small piece of bread or grape than the boring starch. The variety of “finger foods” combined with satiation of Soylent keeps me satisfied and not missing much.


Yep. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I feel that consuming Soylent shouldn’t be some sort of ordeal where one has to fight to stay on course. Because no matter what, Soylent won’t replace those enjoyable sensations you get from a variety of one’s own personal fave foods.

For me, that’s stuff like cheese, curry, BBQ foods, fresh berries, and poutine. Nothing wrong with eating enjoyable stuff sometimes. So how I do this whole Soylent thing is 100% Soylent on work days, 0% Soylent on weekends. Win-win. :sunny:


Ideas to try;

  1. Planned breaks. Decide on three nights this week that you’ll have real food. Since you’ve decided ahead of time, you can plan what/where to eat, so it’s not a terrible last-minute convenience choice. Planned breaks an important part of any long-term diet, psychologically speaking. On the other nights, stick to the Soylent, whether you want to or not. You may find that knowing there’s a break coming helps you stick to it.

  2. Pre-empting: if you’re always craving by the time it’s dinner time, maybe you need to hit the Soylent a littler earlier, or to increase your meal size in the prior meal. Try not worrying about the total calorie count as you find what levels you can be comfortable with - you may find that you can consume more Soylent calories than you think without weight gain, or perhaps even continuing your fat loss. When on an overall weight loss diet, it doesn’t matter what you’re consuming, you’re liable to have cravings from time to time.


And you could see if snacking on things like celery, which would contribute not many calories but a whole lot of eating and chewing, helped your conventional-food cravings.


I remember that, it was really disturbing. (He wrote a book too - I came across it by mistake and recognized it by the grill story.) I can absolutely imagine that happening and I felt really bad for the guy.