As part of my weight loss journey, I had started off by picking up some Soylent at my local FredMeyer. The store had it on sale for $2 per bottle, and I had a digital coupon on top of that through Ibotta which brought it down to a super low price of less than a dollar per bottle, maximum of five bottles per discount.
I bought as many of those bottles as I could, racking up that discounted price through a refund via Ibotta until the price suddenly went up to $4 per bottle.
The Soylent was important for me, because I struggle daily with satiety. My brain doesn’t switch off the hunger signal nearly fast enough, which leads me to overeating because of poor impulse control, and thinking I’m just a little on the full side. I knew this, because I started calculating calorie loads on what I had been eating prior to the in-earnest weight loss attempt.
This is actually an underestimated number, because the nutrition calculator at McDonald’s’ website doesn’t have the Double Filet-O-Fish as a selection. I surmise the second fish patty adds another 240 calories, because I certainly kept the second slice of cheese, and asked for extra tartar sauce.
That was what I called lunch frequently, because marginally unenlightened me kept thinking, “Oh hey, I’m getting a great deal where I can get two sandwiches for super, super cheap!” The drink, a diet Coke or Diet Dr Pepper, of course — I can’t have the sugar because it rushes to my head and makes me feel pretty crappy, fairly swiftly.
It’s a thought process I haven’t needed since I made it out of that homeless shelter over a decade ago — thinking that I absolutely must buy the most calorie-laden food choices in case I can’t afford a meal at a later point in the day. It’s a difficult mindset to break, and it’s helped me push on the pounds, along with not exercising enough.
The Soylent was helping me with managing hunger by tripping that satiety flag that other foods just weren’t doing. I’ve later learned that foods higher in fiber do help me with that, but I don’t see myself eating broccoli for breakfast every day just to not want to chew my arm off.
In the first few weeks, because I had replaced a daily meal with Soylent and was painfully conscious of what I was shoveling into my maw, combined with me starting my gym visits, I dropped an astounding fifteen pounds.
I’ve had a minor rebound on weight gain after that, because of a few reasons: I ran out of the cheap Soylent and started fighting with the poor impulse control for food again. Combined with getting frustrated, I was sabotaging my own weight loss by stress eating again. I had to make it one of my goals for my weight loss group to find something that was comparable to Soylent, so I can get back on that positive, downward trend.
Local searches hadn’t turned up much, and even Amazon searches weren’t the most promising at the time.
In mid-April, while sitting on my lunch break at work, I decided to check the Amazon app, because I had nothing better to do (I could’ve gone for a walk, says hindsight), and I saw a new product prominently advertised on the front page, called Saturo, presented because of my recent searches for Soylent.
“The heck is a Saturo?” I asked as I tapped on it, and started reading.
It ended up being the kind of product I was looking for — a full, balanced meal replacement in a bottle that I could keep a few of in my desk at work. At $16 for eight bottles — two bucks a meal, it certainly seemed promising.
As is my wont, I bought the eight pack of Chocolate so I could give it a shot, and it arrived promptly on the next day. I ended up consuming it quickly — the chocolate taste isn’t unpleasant, but it leans more toward a dark chocolate flavor than a milk chocolate flavor. Combined with the mild amount of sugar (8 grams, or about two teaspoons for visually inclined folks), it helps to like less sweet things.
I’ve also tried the vanilla Saturo, and honestly, I prefer the chocolate one over the vanilla, as the vanilla flavor is too mild and unassuming, lost underneath the oat and soy overtones.
Saturo’s container is smaller than Soylent’s by three fluid ounces (or 84 mL for the metrically inclined), and has 70 fewer calories. At this time when doing the math on how much per meal is being spent, Saturo is still thoughtfully priced. Without any discounts or coupons, Saturo is 5.1¢ per fluid ounce less expensive than Soylent when purchased on Amazon. On a bottle for bottle basis (not mL for mL), Soylent costs 162% of what I’d spend for Saturo.
My use case also makes the 330 calorie bottles more appealing, as I get the satiety I need with fewer calories. I can save those 70 calories shaved off that bottle for other foods, like a treat, a slightly larger portion of something tasty during the day, or as a minor victory if I’m still close to my daily calorie target at the end of the day.
A sad update, however, is that Saturo isn’t readily available in the USA now; I’ve been out, and it’s cost-prohibitive to acquire the pre-mixed version from Europe. I could do the powdered versions for about $40 for 32 servings, and I’m considering it for the new year, but I do hope for more flavors to be available as powder — not just chocolate and vanilla.