What is CICO diet? All about the CICO diet


CICO refers to Calories In-Calories Out method. You simply count Calories going in, and keep it under the mark of calories out (calories used); voila there goes your weight down.

It doesn’t really matter if:-

  • The cavemen ate it or not.
  • The food is local or was in a Boeing cargo for 24 hrs before reaching your local market.
  • The food follows Keto or Low-Carb benchmarks.

It doesn’t really matter what constituents you eat and at what time of the day, till the equation stays balanced in favour of Calories out; you are on track to lose weight.

cico diet

Does CICO work?

In principal if you eat less and burn more, you are destined to lose weight. Pundits from various school of thoughts might argue to the facts of constituents, macronutrients; but the overall reality of weight loss is simple we just complicate it.

Here are few things that can go wrong in CICO diet: –

  1. Your appetite generally depends on lot of physio-social factors around your life. Sleep patterns, Stress patters, Biological changes, temperatures you live in, PCOD, PCOS there are multiple individual factors which tip the balance.
  2. Calories absorbed or cooking styles. Total energy of same food in form of a Salad stands different from a partially cooked vegetable, to a fully cooked bowl. The individual differences might not be gigantic but in totally can make a significant difference when accounted across a larger period of time.
  3. Do you fidget, tap your feet, always re-fill your small water bottle, using your hands while speaking, through NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity thermogenesis) you can burn an approximate around 300 calories in an hour which is a significant number in terms of daily diet.

This is only scratching the surface when you are evaluating a diet plan. The basic premise of weight loss remains the same, but one needs to deep dive into a holistic learning rather than simple numeric.

There are other key factors one should also evaluate when charting out a meal plan. For example: –

  • Eating a lot of protein. Proteins make you feel hungry, it in no way changes the premise of CICO, but you tend to feel full which helps you get across the day easy. So starvation and binge eating rarely kick in keeping the Calories In part under control.
  • Eating lean protein and topping it with muscle training will help in building muscle. More muscle mass will lead to more calories consumption to feed the muscles.

What makes CICO so popular: –

Rise of fitness trackers and gadgets which count every ounce you consume and every ounce you burn is making CICO a worthwhile and popular diet. In principle it sounds easy, if your body demands a 2000 calorie diet, you kick off the day with margherita pizza of 1000 calories. And balance the remaining 1000. Ask an individual forced on a diet they will quote “nutcases, pizza in diet why didn’t you tell me this earlier.”

Problems with CICO: –

  1. Discussion with CICO is only revolving around Calories in and Calories Out, and not about type of Calories. Ignoring the type of calories, you consume is like leaning to be a singer without having music around. CICO limits the amount of How much on the calories you consume and nothing on the nutrients. With no label on the type one generally moves away from the radar of healthy foods.
  2. What is going in as a replacement for one product also matters, then just the jargon of sugar free. Replacing equal amount of sugar with fats leads to a higher calorie count than having sugar itself. So if you are replacing your carbs with refined carbs in equal proportion you are actually putting in larger calories and nutrient starved calories. This shall lead to aggravated hunger pangs further.
  3. Estimation problems

CICO diet

Blame it on the tech or our inputs, fitness trackers are just not dependable. As study published by Stanford university quotes inaccuracy from 20-93% in actual calories burned and data as per trackers. The substantial difference can be a game changer for your weight loss gain, assuming your plan shows consumption of 1500 calories and you end up consuming 1800 weight loss is a far far sight for you. The biggest problem with CICO is the guesswork. You are as good as your guess and accuracy of your tracker. Else its just impossible for humans to count every ounce one swallow.

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