What Is the CICO Diet, and Can It Help You Lose Weight?

If you burn adequate calories, is it feasible to enjoy your dessert and eat it too? In a sense, that is the gist of the "calories in, calories out" diet, a variation on an established weight-loss essence: You will lose some weight so long as you expend more than you consume in calories.

However, some individuals see this as permission to consume junk food for as long as it adds up. Photos of Pop-Tarts, potato chips, pie, pizza, or poutine are posted on social media with the hashtag #CICO as proof that one can enjoy and yet lose weight. Other platform users also have written thousands of posts regarding the diet.

We will explain the CICO diet in detail and debunk any myths you may have heard about before reading this article.

The CICO Diet

If it is the first time you've heard of THE CICO Plan, it's not a new concept. Even "new" diets claiming creativity are not always founded on cutting-edge research.

You see, the most recent fads for losing weight do not work. The regulations of each diet, the items or food groups that are set with limits, or the daily limits on major nutrients are used by diet makers to try to achieve this separation.

So here comes the CICO or "Calories In, Calories Out" diet trend, which emphasizes the caloric intake approach to weight control.

The CICO plan is based on the idea that weight loss occurs when you consume fewer calories than your body needs to carry out daily chores.

It is not a particular diet. It is instead the idea that losing weight results from producing a calorie deficit, which is achieved by ingesting fewer calories than one expends each day, whereas gaining weight results from taking extra calories.

This indicates that regardless of the number of macronutrients consumed or the quality of the diet, losing weight and weight growth are entirely a function of caloric intake.

Most diets for losing weight aim to cause a calorie deficit, but some are more significant than others. However, in addition to establishing a calorie deficit, the most widely adopted diets advise adhering to a particular macronutrient proportion and avoiding certain foods and components, such as added sugar.

According to the CICO approach, burning more than you consume in calories is the sole element that counts for weight loss.

Benefits of the CICO Diet

You must reduce your caloric intake to put the body into such a negative feeling balance for CICO to work. Simply put, calories are a unit of energy. Consider your body as little more than a bank with calories as money.

The calories you consume must be used up immediately; else, they are retained as body fat and muscle. Most excess calories will be retained as fat if you are not a bodybuilder or exercise enough to change your enzymes and hormones toward muscular growth. You encourage the body to burn reserve calories by consuming less and providing fewer calories.

Your body weight is subsequently reduced, with stored fat accounting for 60 to 80 per cent of your total weight. Many people's agility and general quality of life can be improved by reducing body fat and consuming a low-calorie diet.

Nevertheless, there are significant drawbacks to concentrating entirely on calorie consumption, even if calorie counting, including eating within the same calorific deficit, may lower body weight and enhance several health-related factors in many persons who are overweight or even obese. Let us discuss the drawbacks of the CICO diet further.

Drawbacks of the CICO Diet

Our body runs on calories in and calories out, modifying our body composition as a result. We risk developing poor eating habits if we indulge in food throughout the low-calorie diet. If we indulge in cake exclusively while maintaining a calorie restriction for our diet, our health will undoubtedly suffer. However, the CICO represents the most realistic strategy for most of us who want to lose weight. How can we prevent ourselves from yet another limited diet that will ultimately fail? Implementing a few tactics as you enter CICO, or what I'd like to refer to as a calorie deficit.

CICO emphasizes calories while ignoring the various types of calories. Every item contains calories from different macronutrients (e.g., fat, carbohydrates, and protein).

Each macronutrient has a varied effect on your body, but CICO does not consider these variations. For instance, diets high in fat & protein may promote satiety. Additionally, when digesting protein-rich foods, more calories are burned. Consuming whatever you like is one benefit of working at CICO, but it also has drawbacks. CICO also disregards the beneficial vitamins, nutrients, and phytochemicals in fresh produce, whole cereals, and oats.

Myths about the CICO Diets

The difference between CICO and "eat less, exercise more" must be understood. However, people frequently confuse the two, particularly certain CICO supporters.

The experts consider the calories you consume and the caloric you expend through exercise or other everyday movements as "eat less, exercise more." However, CICO is a less formal means of stating the more complex energy balance equation.

The complicated internal processes of the body are all considered by the balance equation, or CICO, along with the external variables that eventually affect "calories in" and "calories out." Your brain is essential to this and frequently disregarded. It oversees and manages CICO continuously.


The ideal diet, in the end, consists of one that doesn't dominate your ideas. Diet becomes problematic when you choose not to eat only if you are hungry.

This is a sophisticated method, to be clear. Furthermore, since metabolic processes and energy balances are dynamic, different people may respond differently to this strategy. Additionally, only some are motivated or able to spend additional time exercising. That's fine too.

However, by being open to new ideas and willing to try alternative approaches affecting CICO, one can develop a unique plan for tipping the energy budget in his favor.

Updated on: 15-Feb-2023


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