Can someone tell me if my thoughts are correct on CICO

(Robert C) #21

Yes - feel sick up until you puke - then all better.

(mags) #22

I remember well the time I ate 500 grams of belly pork liberally spread with butter. Not good! Lovely at the time tho!

(Alex ) #23

I mean, thats only double what I would have for dinner…

probably 2000 calories in one meal though… what happened after?

(mags) #24

So nauseous :nauseated_face:. I couldn’t move without feeling really ill. I can’t remember if I had diarrhoea or not. I know I didn’t eat or have any desire to eat for at least 24 hours so that was a plus.
It wasn’t my intention to eat all that belly pork and was going to share it with my partner. He was called away so I was alone and stuffed myself!

(Cindy Ward) #25

I can’t imagine actually being in a place where I didn’t want to lose more weight. LOL Even when I got to my goal weight ~13 yrs ago, I could have lost more. I was just happy to have lost 85lbs and didn’t feel the need to struggle so hard for 10 or 15 more.

(Danny) #26

Lots of great answers here, but here’s my take.

I’ve tried CICO. I’ve weighed and logged food meticulously into MFP. The problem? It’s f’n stressful and time-consuming, and almost always leads to excess hunger (never any real satiety) stress and slow results unless accompanied by an aggressive exercise program (P90x, Insanity, Crossfit).

CICO may be correct in one way (if you consume less that you expend you will slowly lose weight, great) – but the human body is not a machine. If you get into the mindset that calories are just another system of energy like gas in a car or a battery charged iPhone, you’ll be disappointed and confused. Some people can find a balance of curbing calorie intake and swear by it – good for them! But every human body is different; metabolism, efficiency, gender, muscle-mass, general health + existing weight/size all come into play here.

I’m hardly a keto apologist (I’m just on day 10) but I have seen extreme benefits from eating whole, unprocessed foods and a diet rich in healthy fats, proteins and fruits & vegetables. While I strive to stick to the 20 carbs a day, I’m not going to stress if I dip into 30-40 net carbs from blackberries or brussels sprouts (so far even w/ that my ketosis levels have stayed up).

Anyway, long story short – calories do matter – particularly when you’re on a long-term CICO kind of plan – and you will lose weight in a deficit – but satiety and blood sugar spikes do come into play and fat loss may be slower. Also it’s really easy to do the “math” wrong and consume above your daily expenditure which can lead to more confusion and anger.

That’s why I’m doing keto. I want results and anti-inflammatory benefits at a time when exercise has to be limited.

Good luck!


Can you elaborate please. Why is it meaningless?

I was just trying to say - you have 20g carbs, so you’ve gone keto right but now you have double what should have of everything. You normally have 2 eggs but now you have 4, normally one steak but now you have 2 big steaks … would you lose weight?

(says mix it up! Let chaos reign!) #28

Mostly for a couple of reasons.

  1. Because we’re using an energy term from physics to describe/explain (supposedly) what happens in the human body. And it’s massively imprecise as a result. If you eat, say, “1000 calories” of “something,” how much gets digested and actually gets into your system rather than just passing right through? Of that that gets digested, how much is actual energy? How much is “good” energy, how much “bad” energy?

  2. When you burn that energy, how much is actually burned? How to measure it for each person? I get that we can get an INDICATION by extremely controlled experiments, but just look at that study published recently showing that fat burners tend to burn a significant amount more calories than carb burners while doing supposedly the same things. How does that make sense in terms of actual energy output? Does metabolic efficiency help here, so you burn less even though you’re a fat burner burning more?

Nutrition “science” Is not good science generally, IMHO, just because it’s a) so new, and b) working from such an ingrained, bad non-scientific base. (#FUAncelKeys)

My brain hurts thinking about this stuff :slight_smile:

(Bob Johnson) #29

This is the fallacy of the calories in calories out argument. The problem comes when we try to explain the reverse of this the same way. Eat less, move around more, burn more calories than you take in, lose weight. But that doesn’t work.

The argument I keep hearing is Laws of Thermodynamics. Which would hold true with this exception. Those laws speak of a closed system. Think something isolated, like a sealed room. Or a space capsule. Our bodies can turn down the thermostat, and just burn less calories when fewer are eaten. A simple calorie deficit isn’t going to help with weight loss. A MASSIVE calorie deficit can, such as fasting. But not just cutting out 1/3 of my calories.

There are days when I just plain forget to eat. I usually eat just one meal, seldom a snack. Sometimes I end up only eating about half my normal intake. When that happens, I feel cold all the time. When I eat as much as I intend to, I’m not cold at all, even outside when it’s in the 40’s (Fahrenheit). That’s short sleeve weather for me.

What really matter more than the calories going in is what kind they are. If those calories going in are mostly carbs, then they do indeed matter. If they are low carb, you can eat probably 50% more than you normally would and not gain weight.

When I started keto I was eating just over 3,000 calories everyday for months. I lost a total of 50 pounds, EATING 1,000 calories MORE than before going keto. I also noticed on my weight loss stalls, I wasn’t eating enough. I was intermittently fasting, but not eating enough everytime I wasn’t fasting. I broke my plateaus by eating more.

I’d wager a person could eat 5,000 calories a day and not put on much, if any weight.

I’d like to see some studies on this. Comparing keto calories to carb calories, and total calories eaten to maintain a certain weight. Come to think of it, that sounds familiar. I think that was on a recent 2 keto dudes podcast. I’ll look for it and reply it to myself if I find it before someone else does. :sunglasses:

(Bob Johnson) #30

Here is the podcast. Jump ahead to 43 minutes or so to get to the relevant part. I suggest the entire thing. It’s eye opening.


Thanks for taking the time to explain.

Yes I understand, I worked in a physics lab for 4 years it drove me crazy to hear people using units of energy for food. I kept trying to explain to people but grew tired of that …

Meantime I was just trying to say if you eat massive doses of food, count it however you like, measure whichever way you can imagine, it will catch up to you. Keto or not you’ll put weight on.


(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #32

Ah. My understanding was that it was the level of insulin in the blood that determined whether we stored carbs as fat or not. The glucose spike from eating a quantity of carbohydrate is bound to stimulate insulin secretion, because too high a concentration of glucose in the blood is dangerous and possibly fatal. The high insulin level does prompt muscle cells to take in glucose and store it as glycogen if they can’t burn it right away, but the fat cells are simultaneously storing glucose in the form of triglycerides. My understanding is that in the presence of insulin, any cell that can is going to grab glucose.

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #33

I suspect that anyone on a low-carb diet whose satiety signaling works will stop eating long before reaching the 3500-calorie level. Although there are documented cases of people eating extremely high levels of calories by eating to satiety, and these people still lost weight. Of course, during his 5000-calories-a-day experiment, Sam Feltham didn’t lose any weight, because he gained enough muscle mass to compensate for the weight of the fat he lost.

(says mix it up! Let chaos reign!) #34

That’s my understanding of it, anyway. I could be wrong, I’m an Aussie convict :slight_smile:

Yes I understand, I worked in a physics lab for 4 years it drove me crazy to hear people using units of energy for food. I kept trying to explain to people but grew tired of that …


Meantime I was just trying to say if you eat massive doses of food, count it however you like, measure whichever way you can imagine, it will catch up to you. Keto or not you’ll put weight on.

Maybe :slight_smile:

(So much bacon . . . so little time . . .) #35

But the opposite is also true: if we do not store the energy we consume, our body will use it. And that, too, is the way it is.

The real question is how the body determines whether to use or store or excrete the energy we give it. I find the science compelling that says it’s the type of food that determines whether the body stores it or uses it. Don’t forget that just as the body is capable of reducing its expenditure when we don’t give it enough energy, it is also capable of finding ways to use that energy if we give it more than enough. If we give it lots of carbs, that spikes blood glucose, and insulin then has to mobilze to get that glucose out of the bloodstream by stuffing it into fat cells for storage. If we give it lots of fat, while keeping carbohydrate very low, the body is free to do creative things with that energy, such as getting the fat cells to burn fat simply to waste energy, or putting on lean muscle, or healing sick mitochondria, or lots of other things.


I feel totally the same. When one thing gets answered, there is another opposing statement to bring me back to square one. Nevertheless, interesting to follow all comments.

I just wish our bodies would do away with access calories as it does with water. Just pee out the what we don’t need!! Would make life much simple…ha! Or may be being in ketosis IS doing that!

Please post if you ever do that experiment!


I wonder how many of the thousands (I’m guessing) of people who have passed through this forum, have increased their calorific intake and decreased their calorific output consistently, over a long period of time (say 6 months or more), and lost weight consistently? My bet is ALMOST NONE (there are always the exceptions)

What if we compare that to the amount of people who reduce their calorific intake and increase their calorific output consistently. My bet is, most will have lost weight.

It amazes me how many people here (and outside this forum) say that CICO doesn’t work or isn’t effective. But when you look at their eating habbits, they themselves are reducing calories on a weekly or monthly basis.

When you mention it to them they say things like, ‘ah but that doesn’t count because I’m fasting for 36hrs’ or ‘ah that doesn’t count because I don’t intentionally cut them, it’s just a by-product of something else I’m doing’

Either way, they are cutting calories to lose weight (either by design or by accident) but, blindly refusing to accept it. And then go on to tell people, that cutting calories doesn’t work.

I would be far more interested in listening to people, who have increased their average calorie intake over a longer period of time, and are still losing weight at the same rate or better (not just increased for a few days to kick start). As soon as these people start outnumbering everyone else, we will have some solid evidence that CICO doesn’t work with keto. However, for now… … … …


[quote=“PaulL, post:35, topic:67917, full:true”]

But the opposite is also true: if we do not store the energy we consume, our body will use it. And that, too, is the way it is.

… … [/quote]

This is true but, it is a play on words to make a point which isn’t there.

You are right, if we don’t store it, we burn it.

However (and here’s the kicker), our body burns consumed calories FIRST, then stores what it doesn’t use. It does not, burn stored fat first, it only burns stored fat once it runs out of consumed calories.

If it never runs out of consumed calories (because we consumed too many), it will never get to burn stored fat.
Sure, when we are fat adapted, our body burns calories/stored fat much easier(or at least it seems to). But the above, is still true.

(Alex ) #39

I will do @ketosong - although there may need to be a few disclaimers in the event of my untimely death…

I can see the headstone now “Died eating 10,000 calories a day in grass fed butter and belly pork - it’s what he would have wanted”



LOL :joy:
Anything for science :grin: