Home » Losing Weight and Eating Pizza, a Beginner’s Guide to the CICO “Diet”

Losing Weight and Eating Pizza, a Beginner’s Guide to the CICO “Diet”

They say 95% of people who start a diet and lose weight end up gaining it back and many of them gain back even more. I fell into this trap, and I’m sure some of you reading this might have as well. That’s why you’re here though, you’re ready to lose weight, for good now. You probably fall into one of 3 categories:

  1. Tried Keto/Atkins or another fad diet and lost weight
  2. Tried Keto/Atkins  or another fad diet and didn’t lose weight or gained it all back when you stopped
  3. Didn’t try dieting yet and are looking for a place to start 

I’m here to tell you how to end it once and for all. I’m going to teach you how to create a sustainable lifestyle. You have to remember, with any “diet,” the second you stop being on that “diet” and go back to your own habits, you will most likely gain weight back and possibly even end up weighing HIGHER than you did when you first started. My first time, I lost 35 pounds and gained back 45.

Now I’m down over 70 pounds and counting. The key to successful weight loss is building a better relationship with food. You don’t have to cut anything out, you don’t have to stuff yourself with broccoli or down a disgusting salad in order to have that six pack you so desperately want. In fact, you can keep eating the same things you are eating now and start shedding pounds. The secret you ask? No…it’s not a magic pill or a ‘superfood’ or ‘ketone drops/drinks’ that will magically put your body into a fat burning state. The secret is: MODERATION. 

You see, the way the human body works is by regulating energy in the form of calories (I’m sure you’ve heard of those before, and yes they have a purpose!). CICO stands for Calories In/Calories Out. This just means you need to burn more calories than you eat in a day. If your body burns 2500 calories but you only ate 2000, you will burn 500 calories which are now pulled from your fat to make up the difference. Keep in mind, the opposite holds true. If you eat 3,000 calories and your body only burns 2,500 calories, you will store 500 calories in the form of…you guessed it, FAT! 

EVERY SINGLE DIET is based on this simple principle. They just try to make it “easier.” For example, when you go on the KETO diet, you are cutting out carbs which are one of the 3 macronutrient groups. If you cut out one of the 3 macronutrient groups, you will likely cut your calories inadvertently and lose weight. Yes, it is still possible to gain weight on keto if you aren’t careful. The same applies for ALL named diets. Just about every single diet will restrict you from something (often something you love that is high calorie) to get you to lose weight.

I’m here to skip that part. You don’t need restrictions. I’m telling you to find out how many calories your body burns per day (I’ll show you how later) and eat or drink ANYTHING you want as long as it fits into your daily calorie allowance. Just need that can of coke? Fit it into your calories! Need a slice of cheesecake? FIT IT INTO YOUR CALORIES. Same applies with candy, chocolate, and ice cream! I do believe that eventually you will realize what foods are “worth” the calories and what foods aren’t. You will start to realize that wholesome/healthy choices offer you great benefits such as boosted energy levels and increased levels of satiety (fullness). Of course you want to still keep some nice snacks around because you’d probably go crazy without some of the yummies! I personally am an ex-binge-eater and would eat just about any junk food. If I can break out of my old habits and start eating less, you can too. Ultimately this led to me making overall better food choices while regularly fitting treats into my days as well.

Your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is the amount of calories your body generally burns in a day. To lose one pound of fat per week, you will need to eat 500 calories less than your TDEE every day for 1 week. So to start, you will need to find out your TDEE which can be figured out by going to www.quicktdee.com and select MAINTAIN your weight and then subtract 500 calories from it to lose weight (next time you can just hit -1lb or -2lbs and it will calculate it for you). So if my TDEE is 2,500 and I eat 2,000 per day for 7 days, I will lose approximately ONE POUND of fat by the end of the week. This is because there are approximately 3,500 calories in one pound of fat so eating 500 calories less than you burn for 7 days in a row (500×7) you burn a total of 3,500 from your body fat reserves which is one pound! If you eat 1,000 less than you burn every day for a week, you will lose 2 lbs per week, although this may not be very realistic for most people. Now that you know how this works from the science side of things, you can immediately discredit all those crazy articles and posts that say “lose 10 pounds in a week” or something along those lines because you KNOW it isn’t possible (unless they are just losing water weight which will be gained right back).

So can I just not eat and lose a whole crap ton? No… unfortunately the body doesn’t work this way. If you just keep increasing your deficits higher and higher you can ultimately end up with muscle loss which would cause your metabolism to slow even further than you expect or even cause other issues such as early onset osteoporosis, hair loss, or even loss of menstruation (for women). If your deficit stays too low for TOO long, your body may even start to break down vital organs such as your heart in its attempt to survive.

So what is a healthy rate of weight loss? It is generally suggested that you lose no more than 1 to 2 lbs per week or 1% of your body weight per week. Some shorter individuals, especially women may need to lose as little as a quarter or a half of a pound per week. Now before you say “oh no, I’m short and can only lose half a pound per week,” I need you to remember that odds are, if you are losing at such a slow rate, those little losses every week will be MUCH more visible than even 5 pounds on myself at 210 pounds because I have SO MUCH to lose. 

Now that you’re ready to start losing, let’s get started. The first step would be to download a calorie counting app. The two most popular ones out there are “Lose It” and “MyFitnessPal.” These apps let you scan the barcode of what you are eating to quickly log it. I highly recommend either of them as they will make your journey a million times easier. 

Now this is the only time I would recommend spending money to lose weight and that is to grab a food scale to weigh out your food so you can match up the serving sizes with the ones on the label. Yes, I know it sounds like a lot of work but it really isn’t when the trade off is being able to eat ANYTHING you want. You won’t have to use one forever, you should be able to get a good sense of portion sizes after just a few weeks. Often measuring with cups or eyeballing it can lead to frustrating plateaus or stalls in your progress from inaccurate tracking. 

Now that you have the fundamentals down, I’m sure you have a lot of questions. I’m going to refer you to www.askcico.com for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you have any other questions, feel free to join our amazing and supportive community on Facebook @ www.facebook.com/groups/loseweighteatpizza