The diet and wellness industry are chock full of ‘easy-fix’ slimming plans and hacks for losing those unwanted extra pounds. Where these fad diets often lose momentum is in their restrictive nature–with the average person being unable to commit to a lifestyle free from some of their favourite, less-healthy food choices.
The latest diet to hit the wellness industry offers a new solution: one that allows you the freedom to eat any food–so long as it fits into your daily caloric goals. The CICO diet stands for ‘calories-in-calories-out’ and seems a somewhat obvious solution to a seemingly complicated issue; but the CICO diet is about more than simply cutting calories.
This diet is less about quick fixes and more about completely shifting your lifestyle and perspective on food and health. The concept is simple: losing weight is a matter of eating less calories than you burn in a day, which can be accomplished by decreasing your calories, increasing your physical activity, or a combination of both. CICO encourages participants to find a healthy balance between tracking calories and increasing physical activity to reach your own specific intake goals.
What makes the CICO diet different is that it doesn’t take a “one-size-fits-all” approach, and goes back to the very fundamentals of dieting. It takes into account the varying caloric intake needs by age, gender, and lifestyle, using scientific data and mathematical calculations to determine the right fit for each individual. To start on the CICO diet, one only needs to find their BMR or basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body requires to perform basic functions. From your BMR, you can calculate your maintenance calories, and from there, subtract approximately 500, which can be accomplished through a combination of diet and exercise; for example, removing 300 calories from your daily intake, combined with cardio to burn approx. 200 calories.
Making these adjustments to your day to day is simpler than it seems. Reducing the amount of sugar in your coffee, cutting out one snack throughout the day, or swapping your daily bus commute for a bike ride can all be easy swaps to meet your caloric goals.