Vampire-like cravings after work


#1

Pretty much every breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack for me is 2.0, and I usually space it out like so:

Bottle 1: 8:00 AM
Bottle 2: 12:00 PM
Bottle 3: 4:00 PM

Bottle 3 I sometimes skip if I’m not hungry. During my commute home, I often naively think I have enough self-control to have a bottle of 2.0 for dinner and maybe another later on if hunger dictates.

But then I get to the kitchen, and all hope is abandoned. Popcorn materializes in the microwave and pops itself, cheese leaps onto bread, snacks appear from the far reaches of untouched cupboards. Burritos are rolled. Veggie burgers are fried. Pizza is ordered. The simple life evades me once again.

Thing is, I had a good run at one time. I did three weeks with ~90% calories from 2.0, with coffee drinks and a snack or two thrown in. Then I did another two weeks of the same after a one-week hiatus. The holidays killed the streak, unfortunately, and I haven’t been able to get there again. During the day, resisting unhealthy food is only a little more difficult than turning down raw iceberg lettuce; after work, it’s like someone is offering me thousands of dollars to eat Ben & Jerry’s.

Ideas?


#2

Get rid of the junk food in the house.


#3

My experience is similar. Sticking with Soylent early in the day is relatively easy, but the cravings for cheesy, carby, salty and crunchy things get strong in the evening. I believe I read something recently about there being a connection between circadian rhythms and evening food cravings, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find the study. Whatever the biological basis, I can relate.


#4

I start getting cravings too, usually around 3:00. I’m hesitant to drink another bottle because I eat a regular meal for dinner. I find the cravings start (in part) because I’m starting to get hungry.

Maybe eat a regular meal at dinner time, and do it before the cravings hit (so an early dinner). I usually drink a Soylent for breakfast and lunch, and sometimes an afternoon snack, and then eat a regular meal at dinner time.

You could also try adjusting your schedule, like this:
8:00 bottle 1
11:00 bottle 2
between 2:00 and 3:00 bottle 3
and then a small non-Soylent dinner.


#5

The bottles are tiny because that makes most fiscal sense as a company.

Three bottles is only 1200 kcals, four only 1600. How many kcals do you need in a day?

I find with my DIY that small meals means I need more food during the day. I have ~650 kcals in the morning, 650 at noon and 650 for dinner, total about 200 less than I need.

I personally need the larger meals to turn the hunger off for good. It gives me atleast 4 hours of silence from any kind of thinking about food. When I did 5 meals a day I was just never satiated and needed more self control than I have…

Try having 1½ or 2 bottles in the morning and see how long you are satiated. If larger meals is not for you, maybe intermittent fasting is.

I found the easiest is just not taking in any kcals before noon and none after dinner. Getting all kcals in that window of time means high satiety. It does take a few days to get used to not having food in the morning, after that it feels very natural. It’s easier in the evenings and gives you something to look forward to in the mornings…

Also it’s crucial to learn the difference between thirst that feels like hunger and real hunger. It’s an amazing feeling when you kinda feel hungry, have a gulp of water and realize you weren’t actually hungry…


#6

Your gut bacteria want food. You still have a healthy complement of bacteria that eat all the bad things in those other foods. You have to actually starve them out completely in order to get rid of those cravings, and it may take a couple of weeks. Stop eating that stuff. Yes, I get that the cravings are strong, but the best time to exercise your will is when you’re at the grocery store. Stop buying popcorn and burritoes and veggie burgers and bread and cheese.

Also, drink another bottle of Soylent during your commute home. You won’t be hungry when you get home, and it will break your routine.
Additionally, change your habits. You stop by your kitchen, and you start looking through cupboards and refrigerator for food - if you don’t plan to eat any of it, then don’t look for it. Don’t go into the kitchen. Do something else.

But understanding is half the battle - the little bugs that live in your gut are influencing your behavior. Who’s in charge - you or them? They don’t have your best interests in mind, they’re in this for themselves. Let them die. :wink:


#7

I’ve always thought it was very kind of the company to take into consideration sendentary (disabled) females like myself, and create 400 kcal bottles. I get three meals per day out of 3 bottles of Soylent - one per meal - on a reasonable weight loss diet. No leftovers. It’s perfect.
So don’t think they are just trying to get people to spend more. So, great big active guys may need to drink a few more bottles - but it’s not all about you, after all. :wink:


#8

That’s a terrible thing to say! :wink:


#9

This, definitely. Having to leave the house or engage in serious cooking to get solid food really keeps me on track.


#10

OP is a guy who is not feeling full from 4-5 bottles per day, I’m just trying to help to make it work. You are not an average person, yet it suits you perfectly as a meal and you are full from three meals per day on a reasonable caloric deficit - so you’ve demonstrated both my points, bottles are small and three meals per day is easier to handle for some.


#11

Thanks for the advice, folks! To clarify a few things:

  • It isn’t only junk food I have an issue with – it has much more to do with portion control than anything else. Even when I have only healthy options available, I tend to overeat.
  • As much as I’d certainly be willing to ditch solid food (or at least calorie-dense food) in the house altogether for a bit, my girlfriend would still have a lot of her own stuff around, including junk food, and she’s, well, nice and willing to share… I suppose the answer there is to tell her to keep her food off-limits and not buy my own.
  • Regarding the bottle portion size, I think a 400 calorie bottle is actually ideal because I don’t have to commit to too much at once. 1600 calories from 4 bottles plus a couple coffees with creamer puts me around 1750, which is about where I need to be for noticeable weight loss. I can still lose weight steadily if I go for black coffee and 5 bottles.
  • Oh, THIRST. Right. I definitely don’t drink enough water most days, and that isn’t helping at all, I’m sure.
  • I don’t know a lot about the science of intestinal bacteria, but what I’ve read seems to indicate that it effectively takes a healthy-food-only period to induce changes in a short time. That’d be difficult, but I could certainly give it a try.
  • Timing certainly is an important factor. An early dinner would work, but I’d have to take it to the office since I usually work until 6:00 and get home around 6:45. I think a Soylent bottle on the drive home would be more manageable.

Good advice all around, thanks again! For others who have this problem and who also enjoy sweetened drinks, one thing I find helps immensely is shifting whatever you normally drink to an artificially sweetened version. In addition to being calorie-free, it gives me something with flavor I can sip and enjoy. It takes some adjustment, but it’s certainly easier than jumping right to water. I do eventually want to switch to mostly water since many artificially sweetened drinks are caffeinated and can erode tooth enamel.


#12

You make your own decisions.

When your body signaled that you were hungry, you decided to eat.

You could have eaten soylent. You could have ate an Apple or an Orange. You could have drank a glass of water to see if that curbed the craving. You could have eaten a handful of nuts for a high protein snack.

Heck, A Jimmy Johns Roast Beef Sandwich on Wheat Add Mustard and Peppers, no mayo comes out to 650 calories, for a 1/4 of roast beef. Thats a HUGE sandwich that I can only finish half of it.

I have been eating 1,000 calories of Soylent for Breakfast and Lunch since January. I eat whatever I want for dinner keeping my total day between 1800 - 2000 calories.

Sometimes between Lunch and Dinner I do feel hungry so I have a snack, usually and orange or apple. I will often drink a full glass of water if I am feeling hungry to see if I am still hungry in a little while. Usually after drinking the water I am not hungry anymore, go figure!

Do I have cravings for other food? Yes I do. If I want pizza for dinner, I get a small pizza for my wife and I to share for dinner. Two slices is about 600 calories of the pizza we get, the pizza is only 5 slices so there is only enough left overs for my wife to take the work the next day.

Pick up some Green Giant Steamers, they put a sauce on their vegetable steamers, they are about 160 calories per box.

I do make sure to leave enough calories open in my diet to have a piece of dark chocolate or two at the end of the day for desert, or enough for a girl scout cookie or two.

You need to have a little more self control and make smart decisions when you do snack. You can get a entire large orange and its only 85 calories. You can eat a cup of broccoli and its only 31 calories.


#13

OP: Hey I am having difficulty not doing Thing, does anyone have any advice?

Response: You should try not doing Thing. I don’t do Thing. The answer is not to do Thing.

hashtag least helpful


#14

Right, and what I’m trying to figure out is where the deficiency in my habits or my mentality toward food comes into play. “You make your own decisions” sounds like a clear-cut, easy answer, and although I appreciate the attempt to toughen my resolve, it’s not a useful answer for me. I simply make unhealthy decisions more often than I’m comfortable with, and I’m trying to figure out if there’s a way to change my usual patterns so I can get to a place where healthy decisions are my default. I could certainly use more self-control when it comes to my diet, hence the reason for opening up on a forum to a bunch of people who are more knowledgeable than average about food and nutrition.

I appreciate the rest of the advice you’ve given. Keeping very low calorie, high fiber options on hand is a good idea, and as I mentioned I don’t get enough water. High protein snacks and I don’t get along because of the calorie density, unfortunately.


#15

You know what the right decision is, its up to you to make it.

TL;DR

My name is Nate, when I was 12 years old I was drinking a 12 pack of Soda a day. I still know all the menu numbers at all the fast food restaurants. My favorite cheeseburger comes with a 1/3# patty, bacon, hamsteak and egg. I love food.

I love food, I love sugar, I love salt, I love fat.

In my 20’s my weight yo-yod from 160 - 200 # with my average being 175. I loved my midnight runs getting an ultimate bacon cheeseburger, Large Dr. Pepper Jalapeno poppers and mozzarella sticks.

Starting my early 30’s, I did a complete opposite. I stopped eating enough, I started my career and would go an entire day eating 500 calories, eating 2300 calories on each day off. I ballooned to 200 # on this diet of eating less than what I had before.

I started eating Soylent for one reason: To make healthier eating choices and habits. I think you can understand this very thing, you know you need to do something about your diet or chances are you are going to die sooner, at least that what I thought.

Well, being a stupid kid that I am - I never planned life passed 30. So, now that I am older than 30, I can feel and see my body changing and getting older, for example my hair is thinning, I have knee aches from old injuries. I want to live as long as I can. Overeating and Under-eating simply was not working for me.

When my friend told me about Soylent, I was skeptical, but interested. My friend is a programmer that has lived years off Ramen noodles, very unhealthy person. He gained weight off soylent to a healthy weight, he is no longer malnourished most of the time, he was able to make better eating decisions with Soylent.

So, going into Soylent I was scared that I was going to gain weight. I would be eating more calories per day than I had before. Additionally, all the back and forth if Soylent is infact healthy for you or not made me worry.

Since January I went from 180# to today, I weigh 162.3 #, and still dropping. I have tracked my progress and calories in a log book. I have more energy today than I had on any of my past “diets.” I am having regular bowl movements which is something new to me. Additionally, before starting Soylent I was averaging over 14,000 steps a day, because of my employment that dropped to under 3,000 - so I am less active than before as well.

When you have impulse issues, which I do as well, its hard to make the right choices. Your telling yourself not to do something and hating yourself for it as you do the thing your telling yourself not to. I know the feeling I really do. Short of therapy, the only thing I know to say is…You know what the right decision is, its up to you to make it.

I think your on the right track, you have identified what your problems are, you just need some motivation.

I suggested nuts because they are high protein and help you feel full longer. Another suggestion is to fill up your stomach, you are feeling hungry, your stomach is empty. Fill it with low calorie items like vegetables. Yes, I understand they aren’t flavorful but then again if you just want to get rid of the hunger, you don’t need pizza for that.

Me personally, I don’t pay super close attention to macro nutrients like others here do. I don’t dissect Soylent then add additional things here or there. I like Soylent, it works for my lifestyle, it keeps me full, I am regular, I feel that I have more energy for longer periods, and I continue to loose weight and feel great.

The biggest downside to losing 20# in three months is going down two pants sizes, buying new pants… now the new pants are loose! WTF. Im not buying to pants until I plateau.

I didn’t mean to sound snarky, I promise! :grin:


#16

Thanks for the reply, and for the background. I have a similar trajectory, but I went down the path from obesity to better health once already in my late teens, learned a lot about nutrition in my early 20s and made great use of it, then my weight ratcheted back up starting in my mid-late 20s (I’m 29 now). The Second Fattening, a title I just made up, had a lot to do with lower activity levels: standing job changed to desk job, couldn’t bike to work since it was much further, etc.

Also of note:


#17

My impressions with my experiences are that my cravings might mainly be serotonine deficiency, blood sugar and habits.
I succeeded in changing my morning and afternoon habits by introducing a pattern that i stick to. Serotonin helped me curb part of my evening cravings. But i’m still working on the blood sugar and evening habit. I’m going to try replacing my evening meals with somethong else and just up my meals earlier in the days.