All things CICO - back from the dead thread


(hottie turned hag) #41

@Nick1212 it’s not that simplistic and I’m sure some of the wise heads on here shall provide you a better explanation than I shall but my understanding is that obvi if one eats an excessive amount beyond their expenditure one shall gain whether their intake is comprised of only steaks or only bread.
To say I could consume 4000 cals of steak or bacon or cheese every day and not gain is false.

I doubt anyone is saying keto is carte blanche to consume unlimited amounts -cals- of meat and fat and calories be damned, one shall still lose/reap health benefits no matter how much one consumes. What is claimed is that one needn’t count calories if one eats to satiety and reduces carbohydrate intake to not >20g/day or less for some (me), ups fat, moderate protein thereby correcting one’s endocrinologic status.

The satiety effect is key, yes HOWEVER the role of insulin in weight gain/illness is regulated by elimination of carbohydrate/introduction of fat as fuel. So the hormonal component is a major player, and satiety regulated by normalized hunger signals (which are also endocrinologically driven) in tandem are what makes it work.

In my case some days I consume 3000 cals I am certain (though I never measure) and others 300. I eat to satiety. My hunger signals are “on fleek”. I have had excellent success. I also eat once/24h (now once/48h) which aids in insulin response.

(Nick) #42

I agree with what you say.

The problem is… that’s not what is preached by the people on this board. In this very thread there are comments that CICO is useless and they actually mock someone who DARES to say it does matter.

When it comes down to it, yes it absolutely matters. Keto is a great route to take to achieve a calorie deficit because of the satiety effect but that’s all it is (in regards to losing weight, not speaking health benefits).

(hottie turned hag) #43

@Nick1212 I’ve only been on here a little while but I haven’t seen any posts stating that, and the gurus whose posts are brilliant and backed by factual data don’t say that.
Perhaps you’re referring to posts that are simply inaccurate, written by those who are under a false assumption.

(Boots on? Balls to the wall? Good start.) #44

And at some point people need to listen to their bodies signals & not just go along believing that their satiety signals are irreversibly ‘broken’. For years we’ve been told by experts to eat when we’re not hungry (breakfast is the most important blah blah) and to never allow ourselves to get hungry (3 meals/3snacks etc…) A little bit of trust in ourselves is required.

(Monique) #45

That may be your POV, but the general consensus on this forum is that the ketogenic diet keeps insulin low, and over time (depending on the individuals level of metabolic derangement) that enables the body to access fat as fuel. The side effect of which is weight loss.

The importance of listening to ones satiety signalling cannot be stressed enough here either per @safi’s comment above.

(Carl Keller) #46

I found the process to be self-regulating by learning to trust my hunger and simply feeding it the right things. Eventually, I was rewarded with an understanding of how my hunger is supposed to work and for the first time in my life, I wasn’t hungry for most of my waking hours. Certainly I ate more than I thought prudent when I began LCHF but as my body learned how to better process fat for fuel, I found that I could go longer and longer between meals which meant that I was eating fewer and fewer calories.

A big part of why this is possible is that eating mostly fat has very limited effect on blood glucose levels which means our insulin isn’t going to rise much or for very long to stablize it. If our insulin levels return to baseline very quickly, it means we have very limited opporunity to go into fat storage mode. Not only that, fat and protein are great for keeping us from getting hungry for longer periods of time than carbs. This not only keeps our insulin at baseline, it helps many people repair their insulin resistance.

(Bacon is the new bacon) #47

I think you’ve missed some key posts, or perhaps don’t want to hear the message?

Let me try to phrase this as simply as possible: Energy balance is the wrong lever to exert to get the body to lose weight. Whether you are on a high- or a low-carbohydrate diet, eating less and moving more will cause the body to lower your metabolism to compensate for the energy deficit. It’s why almost every weight-loss plan out there is unsustainable over the long-term. Eventually, the hunger gets to people.

Now, the key to letting fatty acids out of our fat cells is to eat in a way that lowers our insulin sufficiently, and for long enough at a time, for this to happen. The lever is not manipulating energy, but manipulating the body’s hormonal system (insulin is a hormone) to allow excess fat accumulation to be metabolized. Lowering insulin is what lets fatty acids out of our fat cells to be metabolized. The food that stimulates insulin secretion the most is carbohydrate, which is why we strongly recommend reducing your carbohydrate to a very low level (some people can do fine on more than our recommendation of a 20 g/day limit, but some people need an even lower carbohydrate limit in order to get their insulin down).

Protein stimulates insulin at about half the level of carbohydrate, but we must eat protein, so eat it and don’t worry about it. Fat has such a small effect on insulin that it is negligible. We recommend replacing your carbohydrate calories with fat instead. Since fat has twice the calories of carbohydrate, it takes less to satisfy us.

There is a further issue for those who have excess fat to lose, and that is that restricting calories causes the body to hang on to its reserves. The body will cannibalize muscle before it starts to metabolize its fat store, and someone with no body fat is far along in the process of starvation (which is why so many concentration camp survivors didn’t live long after rescue). So if you don’t want your metabolism to go down, you must give your body an adequate amount of energy.

Your fat cells produce a hormone called lectin, which is supposed to let the brain know that we have taken on a sufficient supply of energy and can safely stop eating. The brain is supposed to then stop ghrelin production (ghrelin is the hunger hormone), and when it does, we lose our appetite. That is our signal to stop eating. One of the reasons fat people are hungry all the time is that too much insulin occupies the leptin receptors in the brain, so the brain never gets the “stop eating” signal from the fat tissue and keeps on producing ghrelin. However, once insulin levels are reliably low again, the brain receptors stop being blocked, and the lectin starts getting through again.

It takes a few weeks on a well-formulated ketogenic diet for the brain to start registering leptin again, but when it does, the appetite is regulated according to the amount of energy available. If you have excess stored fat to lose, the appetite signaling will guide you to stop eating at a point that allows you to metabolize both the fat in your meals and some of the excess fat from your fat tissue. (As you lose your excess fat, of course, your appetite slowly increases until your food intake matches your energy expenditure, because you have no more excess stored fat to take advantage of.) But the point is that, while you have fat to lose, you will be eating at a caloric deficit, yes, because your expenditure is being met from both intake and energy reserves. But the lowered intake is natural and hormone-regulated, not predetermined and imposed on the body. For that reason, it does not trigger a slowdown of the metabolic rate.

In such a case it is not eating less that has caused the weight loss, it is putting your body in weight-loss mode that has caused you to eat less. I’m sure I already stated this in an earlier post in this thread, but it is a point that bears repeating.

Egg Fast Fail
(Monique) #48



(Nick) #49

@PaulL That’s a great post and I agree 100%. I appreciate the time you put into it.

I’m very familiar with insulin, leptin, ghrelin, etc and how ketosis affects each. I’ve done so many hours of research it has taken over my life at certain times. I have also been keto for quite some time and have had lots of success with it.

My original point was that keto is a just a route to ultimately get into a caloric deficit, which in turn helps you lose weight. Not speaking on terms of sustainability, or health benefits. Strictly losing weight - which is a result of the deficit.

Maybe I have been reading into the die hard “CICO doesn’t matter” thread too much and got a false perception from people who don’t preach the same thing you do. But there ARE people on this thread (many) who will say that CICO doesn’t matter, when that is completely false.

Again, not speaking sustainability (for the purpose of this argument), but when it comes to weight loss, calorie consumption and hitting macros are what matters most. Insulin manipulation and the timing of your meals play a much smaller factor and most of the time the difference is negligible.

I have personal experience losing 50 pounds eating 7 meals a day (this includes carbs). I was still eating at a deficit. My insulin was rising every time I ate. Some people on here act like it’s IMPOSSIBLE to lose weight eating 7 meals a day. That is WRONG. People also act like our bodies DONT KNOW HOW to burn fat unless you’re in ketosis. That is also wrong.


I lost plenty of weight before keto, but the whole time I was just making myself worse off by chronically raising my insulin level and lowering my metabolic rate. It also sucked having gnawing hunger 24/7 and SIBO.

(Monique) #51

And they (calories) do matter, you’re right. So does insulin. Having a balance of both hormones AND energy intake is the keto sweet spot. Which is why those who say ‘don’t worry so much about CICO’ also argue against eating beyond satiety.

(Complete legend) #52

Well, the short version is that there’s a long-term smart way to do this, and a short-term (much) less-smart way. In general, we try to keep people away from the short-term less-smart way.

(Empress of the Unexpected) #53

My experience as a skinny person (who gained weight in later years.) Yes, for whatever reason I could eat whatever when I was young. BUT, I was raised on a strict diet of very few carbs, mainly meat and veggies. Was a picky eater. Turned out I had a congenital heart defect, so was later told I was burning an extra 500 calories a day. Fast forward to menopause - gained a ton, especially on my belly. I wish someone had told me ten years ago about carbs, Now, I have the key to weight loss. I’m 61, so the amount of carbs I could eat 20 years ago really doesn’t matter. Can’t do that anymore - in fact, older people need more protein, but fewer calories. I miss a lot of carbs, but only indulge occasionally.