We all love to eat. My entire life I have been addicted to food. I dream of it. I think about my next meal while eating my current one. I plan trips around what kind of exotic new delicacies I will be sampling. What would happen if you just stopped eating and somehow magically got all your nutrition through a few drinks a day?
In February of 2013, Rob Rhinehart decided to find out. He is the inventor of Soylent. The real quick version of what Soylent is comes down to this. Basically you take an average adult person and you figure out what are their daily caloric, nutritional and vitamin needs are. Then you manufacture this vegan, cholesterol free product that each has 1/5th of that daily need. You simply drink a bottle 4 to 5 times a day and get everything your body needs without putting any thought, work or great expense into it.
So I started thinking, what if I could substitute most of my meals with this product. A little background on me. I eat out almost 99% of my meals. I hate to cook, shop, clean up afterwards and also the expense of doing this for one person. I like a wide variety of foods and on a normal day, I would hit at least one drive thru. Would this simple drink take all those bad habits away? Would I be satiated with the same thing over and over again? I figured I would take 2 weeks between my travels when I was home and find out.
A few minutes on Amazon and I had all the Soylent I would need for a while. Amazon sells it for $34 for a case of 12 and if you throw 5 cases on your subscribe and save, you can get another 15% off. I got it down to $2.40 a bottle/meal. My goal was to replace as many meals as possible with Soylent and never have more than one actual solid food meal per day. I had never tasted the stuff and based on all reviews I read, I figured it tastes kinda like a soy milk left over after you finish the cereal. Time for my first sip.
I actually like the taste! Holy cow. The majority of people who just take a sip, don’t love it but there is something about it I find pleasant. It was intentionally designed to be neutral in flavor and taste so that you wouldn’t get sick of it. My first 4 days I only had Soylent and no solid food. I had about 4 bottles a day and I wasn’t hungry enough to want a 5th. The remaining days of the first two weeks, I would basically have one for breakfast, one for lunch and then eat dinner out with friends. I ordered all the same kind of foods I would normally eat (as in not usually healthy stuff but very delicious). I was never really hungry and the best part of the whole thing, I felt much better. I stopped needing my afternoon nap that would happen after I crashed from all the midday carbs and junk I would eat. I was sleeping less hours at night and it felt good not to have a food baby belly after every meal. I loved the ease of just walking to the fridge and grabbing a bottle when I needed to eat. This was the ultra simple solution I was waiting for. Some days I would just grab a bottle as I headed out the door and have it at my convenience. Soylent has a one year shelf life and does not need refrigeration.
Just think about all those meals you skip because you have no time. Think about the garbage you eat because you are in a hurry or don’t want to spend a fortune on a meal. Think about never doing dishes again or really grocery shopping. You have to admit it sounds good right? What are the downsides?
Well let’s start with social. You never really realize how much your social life is centered around food till you stop eating it. It was a little weird at first just watching friends eat while I either drank my Soylent or just sat there and had some water. It wasn’t a hunger issue, it was just feeling like you are missing out. This is when I realized that having Soylent for breakfast and lunch and then eating a normal meal out was the perfect solution. Those first two meals for me are almost never social. If I had a lunch engagement, I would simply eat and then have a Soylent for dinner. I was saving money and feeling much better.
Here are the results after 14 days.
I lost 5 lbs. Soylent isn’t marketed as a weight loss solution but let’s face it, when you substitute a high calorie, low nutrient fast food meal with a 400 calorie high nutrient Soylent, you are going to feel better and probably lose weight. I have decided I love the idea of living like this as much as possible. Unfortunately for me, I travel a majority of the year and packing a hundred pounds of liquid with me just wouldn’t work. Soylent makes a powder version that I want to try in the near future and see if that works for travel.
Should you try it? It depends. Are you going to just hate it cause it doesn’t taste sweet and delicious? Are you sold on the idea that this is healthier than what you may normally eat? Would this save you time and money by not making you have to buy lunch everyday on your lunch break? The idea of having this near perfect meal in a portable bottle that doesn’t need to be refrigerated does sound mighty appealing to me. If I can do it, with my lifelong food obsessions, you surely can.
Good luck and leave me a comment if you try it and what your experiences are. It’s lunch time and there is a white bottle calling my name.