Many people are constantly looking for ways to improve their health and physical condition through weight loss. Good thing there are various food items, health products, and diet programs that can help individuals achieve their goal of losing weight and attaining enhanced health.
However, all these options improved health can be intimidating to some people, especially to those looking for the ideal diet program. One such diet is called the CICO diet, which simply means the Calorie In- Calorie Out diet. The real question though is this: does the CICO diet really work and is it effective? In this article, we will look at the CICO diet and if it is effective as a weight loss program.
What is the CICO diet?
CICO is a simplified form of a diet based on the counting of calories consumed and physical activities conducted, hence the abbreviation CICO, which stands for “Calories In, Calories out.”
According to experts, the CICO diet has been around for many years. This is because the basic tenets or principles of CICO is based on the fact that weight gain or loss is affected by calories consumed versus the calories burned. The said principle is true and there has been a lot of generated interest to CICO without any fancy or hyped endorsements.
Counting calories is actually manageable. Dieters just go online via their device and monitor what they drink and eat and the calories burned on a daily basis.
CICO Diet Advantages
As stated earlier, the CICO diet is all about eating less than what is needed to survive, which will ideally result in lost pounds. This is the main advantage of the CICO diet. It is a very simple diet that can easily be adhered to based on the basic principles of calories in, calories out.
Individuals who find other complicated and more technical diets to be confusing can gain a lot from the simplicity of the CICO diet and what it can offer in terms of weight loss and potential health benefits. In the CICO diet, there is no forbidden or taboo food item. The only basic thing to follow is the calories consumed and the calories burned regardless of the source of the calories.
Knowing how much and what kinds of calories an individual consumes is also very informative as it can help the individual make better food choices based on the said information.
CICO Diet Disadvantages
Ironically, the main advantage of the CICO diet may also be its downside. For all of CICO’s simplicity, the said diet may oversimplify things to the point that the other variables of a healthy diet may no longer be considered or looked into. One example would be taking in calories based on the principle of ‘calories in, calories out’ without ever looking at where the calories may be coming from. This could be problematic as the CICO diet may contribute to the dieter’s lack of essential nutrients brought about by simple calories counting.
The CICO diet may also potentially lead people to overlook the other variables of a healthy diet such as genes, metabolic rate, current muscle mass, and present health condition. All of these variables present different reactions in terms of weight loss and weight gain. And, all of these factors must be taken into consideration if individuals want a healthier form of weight loss and diet. In fact, studies suggest that people have slightly different weight and nutritional requirements and the CICO diet’s oversimplified approach might not be customized enough to suit the unique needs of different individuals.
Lastly, CICO diets overlook the fact that foods of the same caloric number may not necessarily have the same caloric quality. This means that some foods have other special properties such as those with the capability to burn calories faster – something called thermogenic effect. The CICO diet treats of all these calories as mere numbers without looking at the benefits or the adverse effects of the said calories. This is among the disadvantages of the CICO diet’s simplified approach towards calorie counting.
What can the CICO diet possibly do to dieters?
Aside from the downsides of the CICO diet, there are other possible side effects for dieters. Listed below are some of the possible effects of the CICO diet to dieters:
1. The CICO diet may be simple but it can also be difficult to faithfully maintain it
People may find sticking to the CICO diet difficult. This is because while it is simple, it requires daily and weekly records and monitoring of a person’s daily calorie intake which can be difficult to sustain in the long run.
2. The CICO diet can make individuals deficient in certain nutrients and vitamins
Some dieters may focus on the simple calorie counting of CICO without really looking at the quality of the calories being consumed. It is important that the calories from processed foods are generally avoided while calories from natural sources such as those coming from vegetables and fruits must be consumed more. This will ensure that the dieter can get the right amount of vitamins and minerals.
3. The CICO diet can make dieters crave for food more and fatigued
Individuals following the CICO diet program need to focus on the calories and carbohydrates that they consume as simple carbohydrates such as chips and crackers can offer little to no effect on the feelings of satiety. These simple carbs can then lead to more frequent food cravings and spikes or drops to the blood sugar level which may consequently lead to dips and ebbs in energy levels as well. This may well be the reason for the feeling of fatigue people experience if their CICO diet is not composed of good quality carbohydrates.