Can someone tell me if my thoughts are correct on CICO


The opposite of eating more is not simply eating less.

Or to lose fat - you should eat fat (and avoid carbs). But avoid fats - and you get fat.

It all seems so obvious now.

Well said!

(Take time to stop and eat the bacon!) #603

Alex, you are a fine man, yourself! :grin:


I think we pretty much agree here. Maybe my issue is more with the fact that CICO has been represented in the mainstream (including the medical community) as something that can be easily calculated simply based on caloric intake vs. excercise (ignoring the dynamic and more complex nature of calories out – as you noted). It also ignores a huge negative: how your metabolism will adjust downward requiring an ever smaller number of calories in order to continue to achieve weight loss.

(Regina) #605

I’m eating half the calories I ate pre-keto, but then again, I am half as hungry. I’m at my usual maintenance weight, so I do not believe I am slowing down my metabolism. With carbs, I was eating every hour - now I am eating twice a day. That has to make a difference - even if it does not relate to CICO. I think going from 2500 to 1500 calories (with diminished hunger) is important to note.


Do you think you would start to gain if you ate the same 1500 calories per day of high carb junk food?


Well I need to move my frame of reference and tunnel my way over to the supermarket so I can superimpose some avocado into my belly. It’s lunch time … if I remain entangled in this friendly banter it’ll be dinner time.

And you seem to be a fine man standing up on the shoulders of giants

(Regina) #608

Not sure. But I think yes. Here’s my history. 105 till I gave birth to my daughter at 39. Went up to 111. As I approached menopause (at 53) I hooked up with a guy who insisted I learn to cook. Breakfast was German fried potatoes. (Two potatoes each, jalapenos, cheese, garlic, topped off with me eating like 10 slices of bacon, washed down with two glasses of millk.) Those were the days. By 54 I was up to 145 (didn’t take me long), but no doctor mentioned anything, because I will still within weight requirements (I am 5’4".) I did not own a scale, but knew I didn’t like pics. A couple of years later read Wheat Belly, and cut out all wheat. Suddenly (I mean suddenly) weighed 119. Got really scared, it was so quick. Did not know a thing about carbs back then. I started eating again, and went up to 132. Hiked off five pounds. Then found keto. I have always loved fats, so basically eat meat, veggies, some cheese, and fat. I eat two meals a day and feel fine. If I went back to a package of goldfish at bedtime, you bet I would gain. So it’s a combination of reduced appetite and, obviously, reduced food. The 1,000 mystery calories are still out there, somewhere. But if I ate carbs, I would definitely end up at 145 again. Carbs make you hungry. Keto suppresses the appetite - therefore, you are eating fewer calories. I’m back down to 110 pounds. Do I think it is because Keto allowed/forced me to cut my calories in half? - yes.


What is a CICOer?

Someone who accepts the law of conversation of energy? Then I must be one of those.

Or is it someone who believes in the dieting strategy of "eat less, move more and you’ll lose weight? Then I’m not one of those. Who is around here, nobody?

Or someone who believes if you eat too much then your body will have to deal with it. Keto or not. One option is to eliminate the extra food (but the body does this reluctantly) the other option is to store it as fat!

Another option is to crank up your BMR but the increased energy rate cannot be infinite, it has to have a limit, you cannot become super human just because you eat a lot. When enough’s enough, won’t you store the extra after all?

I think a big source of confusion is the asymmetric logic of CICO.

  • CICO applied to weight loss doesn’t work. Millions of people have tried and failed.
  • But CICO applied to weight gain does work!. It must work. Otherwise the keto diet is a one way path to skin and bones .

In other words you can be in nutritional ketosis and at the same time in Weight Maintenance Mode (neither losing nor gaining weight). If Phinney, Volek, Westman are to be believed this is done by … eating more.

Equilibrium CO=CI with no left overs needing storage. But if you eat beyond that then what, it has to be weight gain what else can it be.

Surely we are not debating this. Tell me is isn’t so.

To answer your question

When your body detects food is in very short supply, doesn’t it make sense to go into slow-mode and preserve energy, reduce the BMR? Could be in a famine. Any non-essential repairs can wait until better times. The mood to dance is not now. Don’t feel like doing much. Mojo goes down.

The body (and everything else) will always fulfill the conversation of energy law. Keto or not. Famine or not. Fat or skinny. Since this is not negotiable the only way to have more energy left over is to burn what energy is available at a slower rate.

Sorry, not sure where you’re going with this but it seems like fun.



This is exactly why people can, NOT monitor/track their intake, but still lose weight. Some have claimed that calories don’t matter because they still lose weight without tracking!

In my opinion, this is the absolute best part of keto WOE. Now that I can recognise my satiety feeling, and I know how to react to it, I just don’t want to eat as much as I used to. THAT is why I lose weight effectively. I must be lucky with my hormones etc. they are clearly ok (whatever ok means!).

(Adam Kirby) #611

Have you tried carnivore or even a protein-sparing modified fast?

(Doug) #612

Metabolic changes can affect both. CICO does work for weight loss - the problem is that people can’t comfortably keep the in less than the out. With weight gain there is sometimes a little leeway, i.e. more eaten is offset by increased metabolism.


Agreed. There is a little leeway. But this leeway has to be limited, right? If the increase in metabolic rate is unlimited you’d become superman by eating too much. Instead, most people know you become a fat non-superman instead.

i still don’t know if anyone in this forum thinks keto gives them a free-get-out-of-jail-card eat as much as you want and you’ll do nothing but keep losing weight. One way ticket to skin and bones.

(Doug) #614

Yes, I don’t think it’s very much, usually. For some people it’s zero. And for a few apparent outliers it’s at least a real question, as with those who eat 5000 or 6000 calories and don’t gain weight - at least for a few weeks or a month. I would be interested to see what happens if they would do it for longer periods.

(John) #615

me too. In the case of the guy that did it for 21 days he did gain weight but said it was all muscle. Im a bit skeptical that it was 100 percent muscle. What he did show was that he gained more on the sad diet but gained on both all the same. Just my 2 cents.


I’d be interested in knowing if they COULD do it for longer periods. Unless you have a the lifestyle of an Olympian, I doubt any average person could keep up those calories if they all came from fats and protein.


Last time someone threw that story into the mix it turned out to be a body builder pictures of a guy with muscles on muscles. Hardly representative.

I’ll try to find the link

(Doug) #618

Interesting question, KC. I will say that going with just mainly protein and fat makes an enormous difference for me - I just don’t even think about eating for eating’s sake alone, and much of my life has just been living for excess.

In the good old bad days, it might be 4 bacon, egg and cheese biscuits in the morning, maybe something for lunch, maybe not, and then a large pizza (and possibly more stuff) in the evening…


One guy is a body builder: google - [ jason wittrock 4000 ]

But from what I know that is how much body builders eat anyway!

And the Sam Feltham case involves cancer

After the biopsy it turned out that it was a cancer called Hodgkins disease,

So a body builder and a cancer patient can do it. How about anyone else?

(Adam Kirby) #620

His caloric intake doubled.

He had cancer found when he was 13. What relevance does this have to an experiment conducted 15-20 years later?

Also, apparently his childhood cancer diagnosis only let him burn off the LCHF overfeeding without gaining fat, not the junk food or vegan experiments. :thinking:

(Robert C) #621

Ah but here is the point. It can be manipulated - if it is zero for you now, you can make it better for you on keto. Being an “outlier” implies something about genetics yet, through diet, you can become an “outlier”.

CICO concept (diet, not physics) is that you cannot - if you eat more calories than you did before (while gaining weight before) you will again gain weight (something disproven over and over again on this forum).