Why are people so hell bent on defending CICO

(GINA ) #101

A bunch of soda producers got together and started a campaign to place these stickers where they sell sugar-laden drinks. They want to keep CICO alive because it let’s them off the hook. People are just taking in too much, it isn’t the toxic nature of their product.


(Doug) #102

Okay, Michael, but we’re really talking about losing fat here, right?

Yeah, and that makes such intuitive sense that I truly wonder at all the debate about it.

Agreed - if we’re speaking as the Energy Balance or CICO, then we’re just saying what reality is, without further specification. In practice, fat loss is (almost) always what’s desired, and there is the separate matter of how much lean tissue one loses and its composition, i.e. skin, muscle, etc. There’s still no indictment of CICO there.

In the real world, yeah - fat loss is what’s wanted, to generalize. No debate that CICO is only part of the answer; but in no way does that impugn it. For some of us, there are other things to think about, no question - and that’s not the debate.

Nobody is claiming that CICO forecasts the ratios of bone loss, muscle loss, fat loss, etc. Of course it doesn’t - there is not nearly enough information to address that. I have never claimed that CICO tells us more than it does. What I see are people pretending that it does, however.

(Doug) #103

:slightly_smiling_face: Fangs, you found a way to make CICO work for you, longer-term. I take it for granted that keto eating often enables people with problems in accessing their stored fat to improve the situation.

(bulkbiker) #104

No-one with a brain denies that a calorie is exactly what is produced when you burn stuff in a bomb calorimeter.

Problem for the CICO guys is that we eat food not calories.

Food has multiple influences on our body (which isn’t a sealed system either) which is why CICO is a load of bull.

(Doug) #105

That’s not due to any fault of CICO, but rather people not keeping the ‘In’ less than the ‘Out.’ No argument that that is what happens a huge amount of time, for people with insulin resistance who are still eating a carb-heavy diet, i.e. keto will often help matters, there.

(Doug) #106

No, CICO has no problem at all there, Mark. CICO doesn’t presume to pronounce on the “multiple influences” you mention.

(Doug) #107

Paul, at the best, that is generalizing from the particular. Most people in the world aren’t ‘fat’ and the makeup of their calories really doesn’t change their weight. Now of course for some of us, the carbs versus fat/protein does make a difference. But if we are generalizing, then even the illogical extention of CICO to “a calorie is a calorie” will be more true than false.

What a marketer says doesn’t change reality. However, a person would still lose weight, even on a “nothing but Coke diet,” as long as they kept with the CICO dictum.

And as stated, regardless of other concerns which are not addressed there, that is true. CI < CO = weight loss, if we’re generalizing.

Hold on a second - again, “eat less, move more” will work, if done enough. And for most of the world, the bumper-sticker take of “a calorie is a calorie” holds true.

I certainly agree that for some people, what the “calories in” are makes a very meaningful difference. But in no way does that make generalized pronouncements like “CICO is bollocks” true. CICO, per se, is always true. And even the physically false extention of it to “all calories are the same” doesn’t alter the reality that weight loss will come from the ‘In’ being less than the ‘Out.’

For a relatively small slice of the pie, I do think we’re acknowledging the same reality, i.e. that for some people what the calories ‘In’ are is massively important. But that doesn’t mean that unqualified statements about CICO being wrong are valid.

I don’t think we’re really arguing over definitions. I think we’re just considering things in different ways. It’s quite a leap from ‘CICO’ to “all calories are the same.” And granted - this is a keto forum - but even if we just talk about people for whom the type of calories really, really does matter, then the as-stated things like “eat less, move more” will work, if done enough. Eating less would not necessarily be required for weight loss, if the ‘Out’ increases. So for some people just “moving more” is enough. Likewise, for some people just eating ketogenically is enough.

So I see a twisty-turny course that makes some leaps, and that neglects some truisms, and the endpoint is that “CICO is wrong?” :wink: And even beyond that - as a practical matter, why keto often works for weight loss, where other procedures did not, is because the person’s CICO state is then configured correctly.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #108

Let’s start here with an overview:


Then the discussions.

PS: CICO includes a diet that consists entirely of Diet Coke. Since calories in of Diet Coke are zero and caloreis out will be whatever your REE happens to be, I think we can guarantee you will be in a caloric deficit and lose weight. So @OldDoug is right. CICO is physics and works.

(Doug) #109

Indeed, there are times. As frequently with ketogenic eating when insulin resistance is a problem, which enables people to finally get the ‘Out’ above the ‘In.’

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #110

Doug, you keep talking about the physics of CICO. I have no argument with the physics. It’s with the dietary regimen and ideology of CICO that I take issue. It follows the physics only so far as to justify its application. It ignores the physics that says anything other than energy in minus energy out. It ignores all the physics that result in energy transformations. For human health and well-being, the energy transformations are just as significant as the gross energy in/out - and in the long run probably moreso. In my humble opinion.

(Doug) #111

Well, Michael, even if we extend it to “eat less, move more,” that works for most people, i.e. most people have enough balance that weight loss isn’t a real concern or big desire. If we want to generalize then even all the “as stated” things that don’t logically follow from ‘CICO’ are more true than they’re false.

‘The ideology of CICO’ - who can really argue with keeping the Out higher than the In, for weight loss?

“Justify its application” - hey, even with keto, CICO is at work, weight loss resulting from the ‘Out’ being larger.

In no way does CICO ignore “the physics that result in energy transformations.” CICO is the statement of that very thing. This is as true for ketogenic eating as for any other type of eating.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #112

Do you really think that eating 150 grams of carbs is no different from eating 150 grams of fat - taking into account the difference in energy content? Do you really think that the energy transformations are identical? If you do so, I am really surprised because I think you know they are not. This is what CICO ignores.

(Jane) #113

I didn’t say it was the “fault” of CICO. I know when my appetite dropped I was eating fewer calories than I needed and lost weight. By reducing my carbs I lowered my insulin response and I accessed my fat stores. Without the second case my metabolism would have dropped to match my input.

But CICO the way it is promoted by dietitians who dislike keto is CRAP and only gives short-term results then fail. And the dieter gets blamed “for not following the diet”.

For the multitudes of us who have been BLAMED for decades for failing the CICO diet advice, this subject rubs us raw. Keto would have been so simple and saved me decades of embarrassment for being overweight and believing it was my fault.

This is not about CICO not valid. It is. This is about the ignorance of dietitians and their misunderstanding of how the body stores and burns fat.

(bulkbiker) #114

The whole ethos behind CICO does indeed pronounce on the multiple influences I mention as the impact of 2000 cals of doughnuts should be exactly the same as 2000 cals of steak.

As both you and I know that isn’t the case then you must agree that CICO is untrue.
“Calories” are a measure of a unit of energy and have damn all to do with what we eat.

(Jane) #115


Not to mention you are starving your body of nutrients with the 2000 cal of doughnuts and it will ramp up your hunger to get you to come to your senses.

Whereas 2000 cal of steak nourishes your body completely and you won’t be hungry an hour later.

(Doug) #116

No, because you’re not taking the “Out” part into account, and because in no way does CICO attempt to predict anything about the effect of whatever the ‘In’ is, per se. CICO is a quantitative relationship between the In and the Out, not some prognostication based on the ‘In’ alone.

CICO is looking at the 'Out," whatever it is, and it reflects (rather than denies) any operative difference in the nature of the “In” calories, i.e. for example eating a standard “SAD” diet or similar while restricting intake and having the metabolism decline - that will show up in the ‘Out.’ After all, the reason that many insulin-resistant people have weight loss success with ketogenic eating is because the ‘In’ becomes partially fulfilled by one’s stored fat, and/or the ‘Out’ does not decline as might be possible with a more carb-heavy diet. CICO is right there for all of that.

(Doug) #117

Of course not, and CICO would obviously reflect that.

Again, of course not, but so what? Nobody is claiming they are, necessarily. CICO is the ‘In,’ whatever it is, and whatever transformations occur will show up in the ‘Out.’

I have to disagree, because that’s a strawman argument. CICO doesn’t say that. CICO says the same old ‘In < Out = weight loss; In = Out = stays the same; In > Out = weight gain’ that it always has, and that we all agree with.

If changing the ‘In’ makes for changes in the ‘Out,’ that’s all fine and good.

(Doug) #118

Perhaps, Jane - what I was referring to was this:

It does come off as critical of CICO, and incorrectly generalizing that it “does not work.” Heck, for the majority of people it does work. And even if we focus only on the insulin-resistant ones (like most of us here are or were) then CICO is still working. Being able to put some of our own fat into the ‘In,’ alone, is a huge factor. If metabolic slowdown is warded off by ketogenic eating, then CICO is all good with that too - the ‘Out’ increases or decreases less.


Thing is it works til the day you wake up and it fails you point blank, which is again, why 90% or so failure rate on CICO. Not many can do it longer term or sustain for life on it. Well, I couldn’t.

you know what I ended up with, damn near a friggin’ eating disorder to starve my azz down the scale at all costs. In fact the standard CICO is what f’d me up and I still have ‘dieting issues’ in the brain because of just that, but yea, I lost weight and then regained darn near every lb of it and f’d up my metabolism even more and then I crushed my spirit at the same time. Then when I finally realized I can’t do it longer term, I then went off and ‘learned about insulin and HOW in the heck do people’ eat to lose lbs, get healthier and the whys of it all and I hit Atkins and extreme lc eating and never looked back.

I loved when losing my lbs that I could eat 4,000 kcals per day easily for a week and lose a few lbs in that week…geez, go figure right, before I had to starve and CICO myself and it was a definite form of torture of course, but it was relief to ‘eat all I wanted’ and actual good foods and be nourished and lose my lbs all over again. I choose the very low carb version of dieting vs. the CICO way of dieting for sure :sunny:

(Doug) #120

Well good. :slightly_smiling_face: So it sounds like the issue is whether one’s insulin level makes a difference or not. I think it indeed can make a difference, i.e. this forum, etc. :smile:

But that doesn’t make incorrect generalizations about CICO magically ‘right.’ When you’re talking about eating 4000 calories a day and losing weight, that’s CICO right there.