Starting on my DIY soylent journey


#1

I’m on a weight loss mission. I’m 5’5", 176.4 lbs, in otherwise good health. I’m almost 33, quit smoking almost 5 years ago, and just recently decided I want between 10%-14% body fat, to be able to run, and be in otherwise great health. Soylent is going to be the fuel for my health ambitions. I will be eating nothing but soylent for the next 140 days.

I zeroed in on my recipe. It’s got a couple of little bits over the RDA, it’s a tad low on phosphorous, but everything is well under the ULs, and it tastes delicious due to the molasses and vanilla extract. I couldn’t keep myself from licking the mixing bowl. Possibly it’s part excitement, but it’s a great, hearty flavor.

Tomorrow I’ll star the supplement regimen, taking it easy on the potassium. Like a dummy, I purchased a bottle of potassium citrate caps that have 99 mg in each cap. I’d need 33 of them to reach the RDA. I’m going to try out emptying 10 into the mix to see if that impacts the flavor badly. I’ll also try it alongside 4g of regular coffee. That would provide ~40% or so, which puts the recipe at 75% complete. 8 more caps, if the flavor is ok, would get me where I want to be. Makes me wonder how much the lust for coffee is augmented by potassium deficiency.

I’ll be consuming it in 4 daily portions. One for breakfast, one for lunch, one for dinner, one about 2 hours before I go to bed. I’ll take my vitamins throughout the day until I can get a better mix that doesn’t need supplementation (read: real Soylent.) I’m considering adding instant coffee to the mix, since I like caffeine and the taste of coffee. Instant coffee also happens to be a decent source of potassium - if I like flavor, I may use decaf as my primary potassium source and divvy it up between the first two portions. With a healthy mix of caffeinated coffee - I do like my caffeine, even though I’ve been off it for several months. I’ll give it a shot with my first shake of the day tomorrow morning.

This mix has 1700 calories. My BMR is around 2400, meaning I’ll have a 700 calorie deficit each day. I’ll be using an elliptical walker or jogging each morning. I’ll tweak my water intake as I go, until I find the right balance. The RDA’s for water I’ve found vary between 3L and 3.7L, and don’t take into account the lack of real food. I’m also using flaxseed and oats for fiber, so that will bring the requirement up a bit. the macros will adjust as my weight and health require. The micros will adjust as the recipe evolves and I acquire more raw sources.

My goal is to lose 26 pounds and cut my body fat index down between 10%-14%. I’m going to start jogging each morning, until I can run, and then I’ll up the intensity of my running to match my weight loss goal. My New Year’s resolution this year is to be in badass shape on New Year’s eve.

I couldn’t wait. I only ate lunch today, and decided to start on my first meal tonight. I used too much water, but even so, it’s delicious. And everything I wanted it to be. :smile:


#2

Reading this it occured to me that the hopes we can have for the future are among the most beautiful things we can have in life. I whish you good luck with it!

On topic: I’m very curious how it will work out for you to take 700 calories less then RDA and start jogging every morning. Though I certainly hope otherwise, I would not be surprised if this turns out to be a real challenge. The more since your former calorie intake could very well have been a little higher then the RDA. If you report on this coming weeks, I am looking forward to read it.


#3

The 700 is including jogging. My BMR would be around 130 calories/day less without it. As I get healthier, I will increase the calories to meet the additional expenditure. I’ll be tracking my daily progress in a spreadsheet with regular updates (and charts, maybe) on my experience. I might also blog all of it. I’ve already been using an elliptical machine for hour-long sessions for several weeks, so I’m semi-used to exertion. I even have my workout playlists, lol. I just needed to get real about the process.


#4

Not bad. If you’re trying to burn fat, you may want to consider switching out a bit of your olive oil for MCTs (I used coconut oil). It’s supposed to help get your body to burn fat. (That’s why it was in my recipe.) Overall, this is pretty good. You’re going more on a basic meal + supplements route than I like, but I’m having a hard time nitpicking it. Maybe cutting a bit of the carbs in favor of more protein? Again, adding a bit of muscle will help with the fat burning.


#5

Definitely, @SuperRob - I’ll be adjusting on the fly. Over the next month or so I’ll be adding more fiber, more protein, coconut oil, and fewer carbs. I’m thinking psyllium husks would be good because the mix is a little thin, and would make it more filling. Got in 30 minutes on the elliptical today, so far everything’s still tasty. I’m definitely not doing this many pills longer than I have to.


#6

Re recipe, I would suggest you up the protein, significantly. Losing weight with that low protein might mean your body drops muscle as well as fat, which you don’t want.

You might also find it easier to skip the jogging entirely (for now).

Firstly, its almost impossible to estimate the actual calories you are using via exercise (may not be much of an issue, but something to bear in mind if you find you aren’t losing). Secondly, calorie use is typically vastly overestimated from exercise, cardio often just isn’t worth it. Thirdly, a lot of people (I am one) overcompensate hunger wise, in that the exercise makes them hungrier and they eat more than they burn off, partly because you can’t tell how much you actually burned. Fourthly, cardio sucks balls for most people to actually do. If you make it necessary to your weight loss regimen, if you quit the jogging (fairly high chance you will because it sucks) there is a greater chance you will drop the diet too.

i.e. cardio is in no way necessary to lose weight, and might be counter productive. Not saying you shouldn’t do it, just with weight loss you should make up the deficit in the easiest way possible. If this includes running (and it might depending on you) fair enough. For a lot of folks it is easier to just reduce the calories slightly.

Far more beneficial is to do resistance training, as it preserves muscle mass as you lose weight. Higher protein + resistance training = almost no muscle loss as you lose weight.

Interesting article about it all here (see part 2 as well): http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/exercise-and-weightfat-loss-part-1.html

A quick question though, is that 2400 bmr estimated or via experience?


#7

Estimated. As I’m tracking my calories in and weight loss I’m going to try calculating a more accurate figure. I’m interested in finding some sort of plyometric/yoga/pilates system that won’t require any equipment. I’ll be sticking with my elliptical for the time being, since I’m not able to get up early enough in the morning (I’ve got a mid-day shift.) I’m aiming for around 150 calories a day from exercise, and 500-600 from calorie deficit. I’ve tried the exercise thing before, I know exactly what you mean about it sucking. 150-250 calories is in the “bah, ok, I’ll do it range” versus the “oh God, please, no” category.

Maybe tai-chi would be good. Now that I’ve got my soylent project rolling, I’ll have to find some sort of optimal fitness routine. I really love the graceful motion of tai-chi. Might as well learn something instead of mindlessly burning calories. Plus, it’d be great at some point in life to be able to say “I am a master of the supreme ultimate fist.” :laughing:

Tai-chi would stimulate my metabolism without requiring heavy exertion. 30 minutes of tai-chi would be around 120 calories from what I can search, and another 15 minutes on the elliptical would be around 50 calories, ~170 total. It amounts to a low-impact, medium intensity routine that will let me burn calories, and not burn out. I’ll have to do some digging to find something worthwhile.

The bulk of my weight loss will come from caloric deficit. I’ve upped the protein in the recipe by 50% and dropped the maltodextrin a bit. That should work out.


#8

Good luck losing weight!

My biggest critique would be the iron level, which shows as just 4.7mg. Also, 80g of NOW whey protein isolate will give you about 3g of the sulfur-containing amino acids. Are you planning on adding a sulfur supplement, or just using the protein?


#9

Probably just the protein. The recipe is a moving target, and I’ll adjust on the go - once I come up with a good hack, I’ll probably be able to switch over to official Soylent and be good to go.


#10

So usually the first thing to go is the water weight. Too bad weight loss isn’t linear! Today I weighed in at 173.4 lbs. I’m adjusting the recipe today with more soluble fiber to make it more filling. I’ve also started drinking tea in addition to my water. I’m working on a blog / information hub and will be posting more later. So far so good!


#11

Weighed in at 171.2 today. Something is working. So far so good :smile:


#12

169 pounds even, 7.4 lbs lost in 15 days without much effort. It’s been fun so far - I’ve cheated and had a couple real meals and don’t feel at all bad about it. Lots more energy and I’ve started walking several miles a day instead of mindlessly abusing the elliptical. I’ve used canned coconut milk some days, foregoing olive oil, due to the potassium. Coffee in the mix tastes awesome, as well. I’ll be putting up some modified recipes soon - I recently got a new job so my life has been hectic. I’ve not had (I’ve’nt’d? lol.) much time for tinkering with recipes.


#13

how is your progress moving along?


#14

I checked in at 166 pounds and have been holding steady for about a week. I’ve had more cheat meals than needed, but I’m still happy with my overall progress. I’ve been looking into different exercise regimens. Overall, It’s been a success. No digestive issues, and I’ve experimented with cane sugar (tasty) coconut sugar (tastier) and some variations with cinnamon and so forth. I mixed it in half and half with regular oatmeal and microwaved it, with a little butter and raisins. Excellent stuff.


#15

cheat meals because you were hungry? or out of habit?


#16

Out of habit and desire for good food - I am a bigtime foody. I had barbecued steak, potato, and parmesan curry grilled corn on the cob (oh, man. total food nirvana.) I’ve also had a couple hot burritos with green chile, Wendy’s chili, and donuts at work. I’m still on track to hit 150 by the end of the year.


#17

well if your still on track and in food nirvana you are doing alot better than me, i just ordered stuff for a diy, hopefully i will follow in your footsteps and become the handsome man i know i am under this beer gut


#18

I’d say I appreciate eating more since I’m paying attention.