I went on a Soylent diet and took psychological data and physical measurements of myself



For the last month, I've been drinking Soylent -- that weird replace-a-meal, basically millennial Slim Fast -- every day, in hopes that I would reduce my food spending and also decrease my appetite (I'm a bad over eater). Rather than just keeping a log -- which I did -- I also kept track of my weekly psychological and physical data. I took measurements of my weight, thigh thickness, waist, and chest. I also took two inventories: the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Body Image-Quality of Life Scale.

I didn't look at my data until a few minutes ago. Then I made a few plots in Google Sheets.

I took three weeks of baseline measurements before I started my diet. All data is based on the differences from baseline. You can totally do your own analysis on me if you'd like -- this analysis was the one that I think plotted well on the fewest amount of graphs.

So in the above graph, positive numbers means gains, negative numbers means losses, and if I'm at 0 then I didn't change from my baseline measurement. What is nice is that in the final two weeks, I had some decreases in my weight, thighs, and chest. I'd actually attribute some of that to my new squat form. Waist doesn't really correlate well with my other measurements -- which is surprising to me.



Similarly, I took a baseline measurement of my psych scores and made difference scores per week. Negative values indicate poorer self-esteem or body image/quality of life (QoL). The body image scale was pretty variable. I personally don't think I chose variably, but it looks as though my choices were pretty different from week to week. In contrast, my self-esteem scores didn't change that much.

What was cool was to run some correlation stats. Nothing came out significant, but my self-esteem was best correlated with my thighs and my waist, while my body image/QoL was best correlated with my weight. Overall, the body image/QoL scale is actually pretty interesting since nothing really correlated with physical measurements whereas the self-esteem score correlated with things I never actually measured until this diet.

Overall, I lost almost 2 lbs and my self esteem, body image self-perception, and quality of life all have increased. I wouldn't use this as an indicator for what may happen to you -- sample size of 1 is really not meaningful in terms of generalizations -- but I am happy that my diet dropped me 2 lbs and gained me some self-respect.

See? Soylent isn't that bad after all!

You can read about all the time I put into it here.

And you can get the data I took of myself here.

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