What is the CICO (Calories In, Calories Out) Diet? How to Count Calories for Weight Loss

Many people find it highly challenging to properly burn calories for weight loss and maintaining body weight at a healthy level. This has mainly got to do with some of the extensive weight-reduction routines that are usually recommended by fitness experts. However, maintaining a healthy body weight doesn’t have to be difficult. One of the best ways to make your weight-losing journey easy and effective is to follow the CICO (calories in, calories out) diet.

What is a CICO diet? Why does it matter? Is it really effective in giving you the results you want? Find the answers to these intriguing questions below and learn more about CICO diet:

The concept of CICO diet is simple, but largely misunderstood

Although it may sound like a high-level jargon, the concept of CICO diet is very simple. The basic idea is to be able to burn more calories for weight loss than you consume so that you don’t gain weight. However, this basic idea has had several implications, one of the most popular being that you can eat any type of food as long as you are burning more calories. Following the CICO diet plan with this notion might not be the best solution for you as eating any type of food means that you may gravitate towards junk foods that contain trans fats in high amounts. Instead, the best way to make the most out of this diet plan is to choose your calorie intake from healthy food items.

Some of the healthy food items that are a good source of healthy calories include wholewheat bread, coconut milk, salmon, fruit smoothies potato, freshly baked cookies, chia seeds, peanut butter, rice, raisins, and quinoa. Health experts usually recommend including these types of healthy food items in low-calorie diet plans in order to achieve the best weight reduction and maintenance results. When consumed in the right amounts, these healthy food items can suffice for helping you maintain a healthy calorie intake which you can burn by doing low to medium-intensity exercises.

Is CICO diet effective in helping you achieve the results you want?

How effective the CICO diet plan you’re following is largely depends on the way you approach it. Many people follow the misconception of choosing calorie intake from any type of food item. As such, they are not able to achieve proper results. The major reason for this is, if you include unhealthy food items such as junk foods, packaged foods, and processed foods as your calorie intake source, your body’s calorie content gets higher than you can burn. As discussed in the first point, eating healthy food items as your calorie intake to lose weight is the best way to approach the CICO diet plan and achieve your goals.

cico model

What is the best way to count calorie intake to lose weight?

Many people get confused by the concept of counting calorie intake. The idea is very simple, it is to keep track of your calorie intake as per your workout routine or everyday lifestyle. Many health experts recommend creating a diet chart and listing the food items you eat in order to keep a proper track of your calorie intake.

calorie count

However, counting your calories doesn’t have to be complex. Instead, you can do it in a simpler way by using this online calorie count calculator. You can also download calorie counting apps on your smartphone such as FatSecret, SparkPeople, Cron-o-meter, Lose It!, and My Fitness Pal. To make things even easier, you can invest in a high-quality fitness band and sync it with your smartphone to ensure accuracy in calorie counting.

What is the exact calorie requirement for weight loss?

There is no ultimate answer to this as calorie requirements vary from one person to another. There are plenty of factors that determine your calorie requirement, the major ones being the foods you include in your diet plan, your body’s metabolism rate, and the amount of physical activity you do on a regular basis.

If you want to keep your calorie requirement in line with the CICO diet plan that you are following, keep a proper track of the number of calories you burn every day with the help of a fitness tracker. Prepare a detailed report documenting one week of calorie burnt. The final step is to keep your calorie intake 5 to 10% low as compared to the amount you burn.

What are the lists of foods that burn calories?

One simple hack that many people who are trying to lose weight don’t know is to include foods that help burn calories faster in the diet plan. One such food is oats. As compared to many other food items, oats have a relatively low calorie content. Therefore, the food item works wonders in helping you maintain your body’s calorie content at a healthy level.

foods that burn calories

When it comes to planning a diet routine for weight loss, many people avoid eggs thinking that they are high in calories. In reality, it’s just the opposite. Eggs are one of the healthiest food items that are low in calorie levels. Including eggs in your breakfast and snacks is a great way to limit your calorie intake. Greek yogurt is another food item that helps you lower your calorie intake. How? It keeps you full for a longer period of time which, in turn, helps you avoid overeating or frequently snacking on unhealthy food items.

Precautions to take when following a CICO diet plan

When done in the right ways, making changes in your diet can help you effectively achieve the results that you want. However, the chances of you going wrong exist, especially if you are new to this. And mistakes, in turn, can have negative implications on your health. When it comes to making changes in your diet, it’s always a good option to consult a doctor or a nutrition specialist. He/she will first assess your overall health, evaluate your overall lifestyle, and then recommend the right solutions to you.