Most people think dieting and how a diet works is very simple. Eat less, and there’s less energy coming into the body, which means the body will start to work on those excess pounds we’re looking to drop. Well, now there’s a catchy acronym to help us remember this very simple maxim; CICO. Calories In, Calories Out.

The argument for CICO focuses on pure calories, rather than obsessing over specific foods that are supposed to be good for you. Dieting and sticking to it can be hard enough for most people without having to dive into strange foods that, while known to be better for the body, are also unfamiliar and even not tasty to newcomers. By keeping the focus on how many calories, rather than what kind, some dieters are finding they can shed weight even while eating some very non diet foods.

However, calories are not the whole issue. Exercise usually goes hand in hand with trying to lose wait, and CICO is not a magic button. It’s a great start, and sometimes can be enough, but the surer path is to make sure caloric intake is matched to activity level. The weight has built up in the first place because more calories than were needed were consumed. Some simple exercise can pair up well with a CICO focus and get you to your goal successfully.

Key Points:

  • 1Losing weight requires expending more calories than you consume on a daily basis.
  • 2Calories In Calories Out focuses diet planning on reducing calories, rather than where those calories come from.
  • 3While calories are key, exercise and some balance in your diet are still important to keep an eye on.


Kilojoule counting is only a small piece of a much bigger picture – it’s not as simple as a maths equation.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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