Having done an 8 week Clean Eating Challenge at the start of the year, where the goal was to eat as close to how nature intended, I have decided to do something on the other end of the scale. For a week I’m going without food, and instead trying a Soylent variety from SoylentLife.
Why am I doing this?
The Clean Eating Challenge took a lot of time out of my days. Shopping for food, preparing it, cleaning up, putting it all into MyFitnessPal, and of course eating it. The diet was fantastic, I didn’t get sugar cravings, I felt good, it seemed to improve my fitness and I lost body fat during the experiment.
It not only took a lot of time, but it was also fairly expensive.
I was interested in Soylent the moment I heard about it. Created by Rob Rhinehart, Soylent is a complete food replacement. It is a powder that you make into a drink that contains all of the nutrients in their recommended levels. Simply put, it contains everything your body needs.
Unfortunately Soylent isn’t available in the UK – however a company called SoylentLife ship from the Netherlands. SoylentLife’s service was fantastic, and modified their product slightly for me as I wanted to try consuming a higher than advised calorie diet. I’m quite physically active, so figured I’d try 3000 calories a day. SoylentLife provide Soylent in 5 different flavours, Strawberry, Forest Fruits, Banana, Chocolate and Vanilla.
I’m curious what effect this diet will have over my fitness levels and body composition. Whilst I intend to only be strictly ‘food free’ for a week – I may continue to use the product for longer depending on how this trial goes.
The Benefits of Soylent
So far, I’ve been blown away with the advantages of Soylent.
- It saves time. When I say it saves time, it saves a lot of time. I think I’ve gained at least 2 hours a day. I’m not shopping, I’m not cooking, I’m not washing up – it’s great.
- My kitchen is clean. During the week, keeping the kitchen clean feels like a bit of a chore. It tends to get messier as the week goes on.
- It’s cheap. The current price of Soylent works out at just £4/day. That’s far less than I was spending on food before.
- I feel good. It’s early days but I’m feeling good. I’ve not been tempted by chocolate, or craved food like I worried I would.
The Disadvantages of Soylent
I’ve not found any disadvantages – yet.
My experience of day 1
Today was a typical day. I went to work, strength training at the gym, then home. The 2 differences – no food, and much more spare time. I was thankful for my quick meal when some meetings over ran and I only had 15 minutes for lunch.
I’ve felt fine all day. I’ve felt a little hungry in places, but it’s been a different kind of hunger. I’ve not been tempted to eat bad food, if anything I felt like I could have just done with a little more of the Soylent.
The 5 flavours from SoylentLife are all really tasty. It takes no time at all to make – rather than making a whole day’s worth in one go, I make it up a few time a day having chosen to have 6 meals a day.
A bag of my slightly modified mix weighs just over 700g – so I put 1/6th of this into a bottle, add 330ml (1/6th of 2 litres) and quickly whizz it in my Breville Blend-Active. The blender is fantastic, no time wasted shaking things, no clumps.
At the gym, I didn’t feel like I was lacking in energy at all. When I’ve eaten badly (chocolate, Mc Donald’s etc) I really feel the difference when at the gym – everything feels harder, and I just feel like I can’t work 100%. I felt as good as I do when I’ve eaten ‘properly’.
My end of day 1 conclusion: This stuff is great, and I’m about to click ‘buy’ on ordering a month’s worth. I have however booked a table at one of my favourite restaurants (Aurora in Nottingham) for dinner on Sunday. The money I’ve saved on food this week easily pays for a meal out!