Everyone wants to lose weight these days, from the lone man drinking a non-fat latte to the woman surrounded by friends and eating that sad-looking salad.
But why do people want to lose so much weight in days when the definition of beauty has expanded to include all kinds of people?
The answer is easy – Health.
The world is undeniably super health-conscious, and being overweight… well, that can lead to a lot of health-related issues later down the line. Who wants to face that?
Certainly not anyone who’s looking to lose weight.
That’s why the diet craze is just beginning to spread its hold on the world around us, and one of these diets is the CICO diet.
I know what you’re thinking – what is this CICO diet? Why should we follow this diet when we can follow so many others? After all, there are so many alternative options, right?
That’s where we come in! With a guide to the CICO diet in your hands, you can easily figure out whether this is the diet for you by examining a list of the CICO Diet pros and cons, the possible alternatives, and a general overview.
So, what are you waiting for? Hop right in!
What is the CICO Diet?
CICO stands for ‘Calories in, Calories out.’
Pretty simple, right? Exactly! It’s more of a weight-loss strategy than a nutrition plan demanding you only eat certain food items.
In fact, the participants only have to count the calories they eat (calories in) and burn more than that amount (calories out) every day!
The idea of burning more calories than you eat is practically the cornerstone of modern nutrition, and therefore, one of the proven facts of nutritional science. It even pops up in every other diet plan you can google about.
And yet, none are as simple as the CICO seems to be.
A simplified explanation can be as follows:
- Weight Loss: Fewer calories in, More calories out
- Weight Gain: More calories in, Fewer calories out
- Weight Maintenance: Same calories in, Same Calories out
Of course, many variables must be considered that affect the principles of the CICO diet. When eating, you face different demands, from your appetite to your psychological desire to eat.
On the other hand, there is the expenditure of calories, where you have to worry about how much, exactly, exercise affects the burning of your calories and how much exercise is perfect for you.
Of course, none of these completely take away the general advantages of this diet, and complications don’t mean that you shouldn’t try it.
Who knows? Maybe, it is the perfect diet for you. But before you commit, here are some CICO pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of the CICO Diet
Pro 1: Weight Loss
This diet shows results. If you faithfully keep at it and continue burning more than you eat, you’re sure to see the results and lose that extra fat (or maintain the perfect weight).
Pro 2: The ‘Do What You Want’ Deal
As long as you follow the principles of this diet, you’re good to go. No limitations, no demands, no taking control. In fact, you could eat sweets all day… as long as you don’t go over the calorie limit.
Of course, doing what you want has its problems, which bring us to the cons.
Con 1: ‘Quantity, not Quality’
CICO does not tend to focus on what you’re eating. It’s rather about how much you eat. While this is a dream come true in the short term (and still gives great results, despite only eating the food you like), it comes with its issues.
Not all calories are absorbed and metabolized in the body, but CICO ignores that, just as it ignores the nutritional inclination of food items and required nutrients to make your body thrive.
There may be further health-related problems, such as nutrient deficiency and bad eating habits in the long term.
Con 2: Counting Calories
Humans are notoriously bad at keeping track of caloric intake. Most of us, at least. This is why this diet might not even work correctly for a lot of people! Sad story, but true.
Not only do we mess up the counting, but we may as well mess up the values, too, considering the different amounts of calories for different types of the same item (how many kinds of milk are there? A lot.)
What are some alternatives to the CICO Diet?
·The Mediterranean Diet
This diet consists of eating mostly plant-based food items, using replacements with healthy fats, limiting meat and alcohol, and enjoying meals with family.
·The Paleo Diet
Paleo suggests minimal consumption of processed foods and relies mainly on natural resources, such as organic vegetables, fruits, and meats while limiting grains, cereals, refined sugars, and processed dairy products.
This type of diet tries to reset our body’s natural system by choosing two days a week to severely reduce the caloric intake so that the body can release insulin and start working afresh. This works best when someone wants to restart the weight loss process when they’re stuck.
·The Keto Diet
A Keto diet generally removes the carbohydrates from a person’s daily food intake. Instead, it forces the body to use fat as an energy source, burning up the fat in your body and making you rapidly lose weight.
Of course, there are issues with keeping the weight down later, but that’s always a problem after rapid weight loss.
If you look at it from a new perspective, the CICO diet is not just a diet – it’s a way of living. Rather than thinking of it as a hack to lose or maintain your current weight, you should consider it a technique to achieve your means and supplement your other methods.
Be cautious and utilize the advantages of this practice, rather than just jumping into it recklessly. You can even utilize this alongside any other diet or CICO alternative because CICO honestly works anywhere, anytime.
In any case, if you’d like to know more, Everyday Health has a great description and detailed analysis of the CICO diet, and Healthier You Dietetics has a list of possible alternatives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]