Fat Loss Nutrition

The CICO Diet: What is it and does it work for weight loss?

Weight loss diets are so popular, but they can be really dangerous if you don’t fully understand what you’re doing. You could end up gaining weight or getting more unhealthy if you do a diet incorrectly.

As a personal trainer and nutritionist for over 10 years, I feel like I’ve seen it all! I’ve seen my clients try out new meal plans and restrictive ways of eating and it just ends up crushing their spirit in the end.

There’s a new fad running through the internet called the CICO diet. Lots of people are reporting that they are seeing success! I am so glad they found something that works for them. Let’s be cautious, though, before trying a new fad diet.

What is the CICO diet? If you’re on Reddit, you’ve probably heard of CICO and wondered if it could work for you. I want to help answer your questions about CICO and help you see if it’s a good fit for you. Let’s go!

What is the CICO diet?

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CICO stands for “Calories In, Calories Out”. Basically, the CICO diet is eating fewer calories than you burn every day through exercise and basic functions like breathing. There are no other restrictions–can you believe it? Simply monitor the calories you intake and make sure it doesn’t go over how many you’re burning in a day.

People burn calories all day long, just by being alive! Your lungs need to breathe, your heart beats, and your body warms itself up. You can figure out how many calories you burn in a day using a total daily energy expenditure calculator online.  

The CICO diet does not limit anything other than calories. You can eat potato chips, cake, ice cream, and pizza as long as the calories stay below what you are burning. That doesn’t sound very healthy, does it?

Will CICO Help You Lose Weight?

cico diet

In theory, you want to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. Controlling what you put into your body is a great way to limit overeating which leads to weight gain. Eating fewer calories than you burn will help you lose weight.

The CICO diet allows you to eat whatever you want in limited portions to stay in your calorie range for the day. If you’re looking to get healthier and improve your quality of life, I do not suggest using just the CICO diet.

How to Modify the CICO Diet

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Controlling your calories is a great start for weight loss – but let’s try to make a healthy lifestyle change instead! Instead of eating cake, cookies, and chips all day, use your daily calories in a smarter way.

Fill your food log with quality sources of lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. I suggest using an app like MyFitnessPal! The free app will help you calculate how many calories you need to take in to maintain or lose a healthy amount of weight.

When you’re tracking your calories with the MyFitnessPal app, you can see more information about the foods you are choosing. You can start choosing better foods–switching out high calorie or high sugar options for foods with lower calories, higher protein, and lower sugar. You’ll start feeling more full with healthier options!

If you need some help with finding good choices for your calories, check out my 15 Day IdealShape for Life Challenge. It’s got free workouts, meal plans, and exclusive access to an online community of people just like you. The meal plans are delicious and super simple to incorporate into your life.

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Questions?

Do you have any more questions about the CICO diet? Drop them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer your questions!

 

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Kami Price

Kami Price

Head Trainer & Nutritionist

Kami Price is the Head Trainer for IdealShape. She is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, a Pn.1 Certified Nutrition Coach, and Certified Yoga Instructor. Kami has been in the fitness world for over 10 years and prior to joining IdealShape owned one of the biggest private gyms in Utah.


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