Switching from soylent to whole food


Yesterday was the first day in a month that I went without Soylent. I had great results for April: I gained 8 pounds (gaining weight was a goal of mine), I was more energized, and I slept much better. One downside was that I neglected to take in enough sodium, potassium and calcium for a while so I was low on electrolytes a few times, which was noticeable especially during rigorous activity. I was drinking it exclusively for about 2.5 weeks, which was great, but I was missing so many opportunities to eat with friends. I decided that I would continue the Soylent regimen, but I wouldn’t forsake food altogether. That last week and half was great. I only ate when I was invited to, or when food was readily available, and if I went a day or three without eating food I knew I was still getting all my body needed from my Soylent. I had a month’s worth of my mix, which ran out on April 30, exactly as I expected. Yesterday was almost like torture. I was hungry all day and no food looked appetizing. All I wanted was my Soylent… and maybe some bacon. The thought of eating wasn’t really appealing and I felt like it was forced. I was tired for most of the day, and once again leaned on coffee to stay focused. I kept wondering if I was getting all my nutrients, and worst of all, my digestion cycle is now thrown all out of whack, which is abundantly clear to me throughout the day in the bathroom. Today is not much different, except that I know what to expect.
I was curious if anyone else has been on a regular regimen of soylent and then stopped as abruptly as I did. Were your experiences similar? Thanks for the feedback.


This is interesting.


Interesting testimony.

[quote=“dancdow, post:1, topic:2120”]
That last week and half was great. I only ate when I was invited to, or when food was readily available, and if I went a day or three without eating food I knew I was still getting all my body needed from my Soylent
[/quote]During these weeks, did you had any problem on (e.g.) drinking Soylent at breakfast and 12:00 and whole food in the evening?


I didn’t notice much of a difference during that time, except for more frequent BMs.


Had you gone without coffee/caffeine until you ran out of your soylent?


I didn’t have as much caffeine when I was on soylent only, but I love my coffee, and I wasn’t willing to go without.


I haven’t made it through all the topics in the forum, but I think there should be discussion about what may be a more “proper” way to switch back and forth between an all soylent diet, and including food (and by proper, I just mean creating as little discomfort for yourself as possible.) I was thinking yesterday about some of my experiences juice fasting. While there is definitely still digestion going on while on soylent, some of the effects are similar to fasting. Your digestion will slow down, as well as the motility of your intestines. Going from a liquid diet to real food is somewhat of a shock to the system, and there are some protocols that are suggested in fasting communities.

From what I understand of digestion, this is why people are feeling so tired when they eat a meal. Digesting soylent seems like it would be the easiest thing in the world for your body to do…hardly any energy required. Then you dump a bunch of solid food in your stomach? That’s SO MUCH work for your body - and then WHAT are you eating? Soup? Well cooked vegetables? Fruit? <–all things that require less work - or a chunk of steak? Raw veggies? <–way more work.


I dont see how fasting and consuming soylent are all that similar. When fasting you arent consuming any more than water and/or a little juice? Very few calories/carbs, no fiber, no protein, and no fat. When on soylent your body is still consuming your daily supply of carbs, fiber, protein, and fat. I dont know that your digestion is slowing down when on soylent. Unless you consider digestion being easier to slowing down. As far as intestines and motility goes elimination on soylent is more how your body is supposed to do it. According to what my doctors have told me elimination should look more like a cow patty than a solid. So I would think that soylent would be pretty much optimal for your intestines. Maybe you are coming at it from a different angle.


I meant that they’re similar only in as much as how much energy the body would have to expend in order to digest it. People use a lot of things to fast, and when juice fasting, there can be quite a lot of juice consumed so there are more than a few carbs and calories consumed. Some people even mix the pulp of their fruit/veggies into their juice (or use something like a vitamix to mix it) either way, in that case, fiber is present. Admittedly, there is not a lot of science (or at least, there wasn’t years ago when I did my fast) on the effects juicing has on digestion. I’m not sure “slow it down” was the correct phrase, medically speaking.

In regards to the intestines and motility, there is a LOT of controversy regarding how the intestines are actually supposed to work and I have yet to find any kind of definitive source how it’s supposed to be. The only consensus that I have found is that bowel movements should be “easy”, there should be no straining, and almost nothing to “clean up”.

There’s a lot of controversy between the older, more conventional wisdom about how much insoluble/soluble fiber is required in the diet and a lot of the newer diet movements that are using newer scientific information about how much is required. Regardless, whether that’s how it supposed to be while on soylent or not, the question is - how to easily move back and forth between eating nothing but soylent, and eating actual food. Any major change in diet is going to disrupt bowel function - as many people who have tried to go from the SAD diet to a more whole foods/paleo type diet will confirm - although, it sounds like the op is having the opposite issue of constipation, which is what I would have suspected.

The thing I’ve been considering since chiming in here is the issue of probiotics. I need to search the forum for the topic to see what’s already been said, but including probiotics seems like it would improve any digestive issues that might occur from going back and forth, or as the op found themselves - having to stop suddenly. I have come across information that talks about how bacteria actually make up the bulk of our stools, not fiber. (When we aren’t consuming supplemental fiber). From the descriptions that I read of Rob’s and others bowel movements, if the bulk has been reduced by that much…there could definitely be a connection to beneficial bacteria that needs to be addressed. Either they aren’t getting enough soluble fiber to eat, or their numbers are being drastically reduced. Neither of which are good.


Thats definitly a great use for the left over fruit and veggie fiber. I bet that really cleans you out. I use a masticating juicer and the only thing I ever see to make out of the pulp is crackers. Going to ask my physiology professor his take on soylent. And the digestion issue.