Mediterranean Diet and CICO

I just bought a food scale, and realized that I've been grossly underestimating the calories in an avocado. It weighs 6 oz, which is over 270 calories! WHAAAAAT!!! I'm close to my goal weight, so I'm not devastated.... but still.... it's a little shocking.

In light of this discovery, my question is regarding a "healthy" fats diet, like, say... the Mediterranean diet, versus CICO. The first operates on the fact that there are good vs. bad fats, and the second is strictly calories-in-calories-out.

Basically, I'm confused. I can't reconcile in my head how they both can be effective. In the Mediterranean diet, a healthy diet would include avocados, nuts, oils, etc..... all the things that are "healthy" fats - but loaded with calories - where the CICO method only cares about calories. With CICO, I'd avoid the exact foods of the Mediterranean diet, which are presumably "healthy" fats. If I was strictly eating a Mediterranean diet, sure I could cut the avocado in thirds or whatever, but I think I'd be starving since the main foods are pretty calorie dense.

Anyone follow the Mediterranean diet? How do you reconcile this with counting calories in MFP?

Replies

  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    I just bought a food scale, and realized that I've been grossly underestimating the calories in an avocado. It weighs 6 oz, which is over 270 calories! WHAAAAAT!!! I'm close to my goal weight, so I'm not devastated.... but still.... it's a little shocking.

    Yep, some nutrient dense foods are also quite high in calories. I usually eat only half an avocado at a time. Nuts are another example.
    In light of this discovery, my question is regarding a "healthy" fats diet, like, say... the Mediterranean diet, versus CICO. The first operates on the fact that there are good vs. bad fats, and the second is strictly calories-in-calories-out.

    Hmm. Don't agree. The Med diet is a healthy way of eating based on traditional eating patterns in a particular region. One reason (not the only one) that it is healthful is that it is high in certain types of fats and reasonably low in sat fat, sure. Also, it has lots of veg and fruit, some seafood, maybe the wine plays a role, and definitely activity and the overall lifestyle. CICO is not a diet, it's just the truth that whether you gain, lose, or maintain depends on calorie balance. That's true for someone who eats the Med diet (I like to eat somewhat that way) and someone who eats any other diet, from keto to raw vegan to the so-called SAD.
    Basically, I'm confused. I can't reconcile in my head how they both can be effective. In the Mediterranean diet, a healthy diet would include avocados, nuts, oils, etc..... all the things that are "healthy" fats - but loaded with calories - where the CICO method only cares about calories. With CICO, I'd avoid the exact foods of the Mediterranean diet, which are presumably "healthy" fats. If I was strictly eating a Mediterranean diet, sure I could cut the avocado in thirds or whatever, but I think I'd be starving since the main foods are pretty calorie dense.

    No, no, no. If you eat the Med diet and want to lose weight, you eat below your maintenance calories. It's not that hard. Just don't go nuts with the amount of nuts (ha, ha, I crack myself up) or olive oil. Basically the Med diet uses olive oil like the traditional (pre current era) US diet used to use butter. Same calories, and total calories depends on amount used.

    With CICO (I think you mean calorie counting) you'd not avoid any specific foods -- it would be personal choice what diet you followed and you could certainly do the Med diet. If you think counting calories means trying to get the lowest possible or avoiding all high cal foods, I think you misunderstand.

    For the record, I don't really think of avocados as part of the traditional Med diet given the region they are from and how available they would have been in the Mediterranean back in the day, but they fit in fine. Like I said, when they are available and not crazy expensive here I eat them quite often.
  • CassidyScaglione
    CassidyScaglione Posts: 673 Member
    Ok. Well, its mostly about reasonable portions. When you are on the med diet, you should be aiming for having 25-35%
    of your energy coming from total fats... So if eating an entire avocado doesn't fit into that balance, then don't eat an entire avocado... For instance, I eat avocado all the time, but in servings of 30-50g, usually in the AM with toast, and usually every other day.

    This might help: http://oldwayspt.org/resources/heritage-pyramids/mediterranean-pyramid/overview

  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    I just bought a food scale, and realized that I've been grossly underestimating the calories in an avocado. It weighs 6 oz, which is over 270 calories! WHAAAAAT!!! I'm close to my goal weight, so I'm not devastated.... but still.... it's a little shocking.

    In light of this discovery, my question is regarding a "healthy" fats diet, like, say... the Mediterranean diet, versus CICO. The first operates on the fact that there are good vs. bad fats, and the second is strictly calories-in-calories-out.

    Basically, I'm confused. I can't reconcile in my head how they both can be effective. In the Mediterranean diet, a healthy diet would include avocados, nuts, oils, etc..... all the things that are "healthy" fats - but loaded with calories - where the CICO method only cares about calories. With CICO, I'd avoid the exact foods of the Mediterranean diet, which are presumably "healthy" fats. If I was strictly eating a Mediterranean diet, sure I could cut the avocado in thirds or whatever, but I think I'd be starving since the main foods are pretty calorie dense.

    Anyone follow the Mediterranean diet? How do you reconcile this with counting calories in MFP?

    I think you may be a little confused. CICO isn't a diet or way of eating. It refers to an energy balance:

    CI = CO maintain weight
    CI<CO lose weight
    CI>CO gain weight

    People often refer to calorie counting as CICO, but regardless, you can eat any foods you like and if your CI<CO then you will lose weight. That goes for the Mediterranean diet, a vegetarian diet, LCHF, etc.

    Also, the Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits, vegetables, and grains in addition to those healthy fats you mentioned. The nuts, oils, and things like avocado would be a portion of the diet, but the main staples mentioned above are not particularly calorie dense.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,739 Member
    I just bought a food scale, and realized that I've been grossly underestimating the calories in an avocado. It weighs 6 oz, which is over 270 calories! WHAAAAAT!!! I'm close to my goal weight, so I'm not devastated.... but still.... it's a little shocking.

    In light of this discovery, my question is regarding a "healthy" fats diet, like, say... the Mediterranean diet, versus CICO. The first operates on the fact that there are good vs. bad fats, and the second is strictly calories-in-calories-out.

    Basically, I'm confused. I can't reconcile in my head how they both can be effective. In the Mediterranean diet, a healthy diet would include avocados, nuts, oils, etc..... all the things that are "healthy" fats - but loaded with calories - where the CICO method only cares about calories. With CICO, I'd avoid the exact foods of the Mediterranean diet, which are presumably "healthy" fats. If I was strictly eating a Mediterranean diet, sure I could cut the avocado in thirds or whatever, but I think I'd be starving since the main foods are pretty calorie dense.

    Anyone follow the Mediterranean diet? How do you reconcile this with counting calories in MFP?

    Healthy has nothing to do with calories. I don't avoid something that is nutritious just because it is calorie dense.

    Also, the Med diet does include healthy fats...but it's primary concentration is on veg, fruit, and lean sourced protein. Yes, you need healthy fats...but fats go a long way. I eat avocados often...usually only 1/2 of one. I eat almonds...either 1/2 ounce or 1 ounce. I cook with olive oil...like a little goes a long way...I don't need 1/4 cup to saute my veggies.
  • JordisTSM
    JordisTSM Posts: 360 Member
    All diets work by using CICO. They may just use different terms, foods, or quantities, but the goal of all of them is to get your caloric intake to be less than how much you're burning.

    A healthy diet includes fat. It's an essential nutrient for all of us. Most people who count calories without doing so under the umbrella of any particular diet name include the same fats you are referring to, as they are good for us, taste good, and help with satiety.

    The Mediterranean Diet doesn't help you lose weight by employing some magical combination of foods, it's merely a lifestyle that is reputed to be one of the healthiest, and can help someone lose weight by encouraging them to be more active and eat in a particular way that tends to end up with a calorie deficit.

    I don't follow the Mediterranean Diet per se, but as the cuisine from that area is my favourite, I have read up on it (a lot) and do primarily eat those foods. However, I am losing weight solely because I am consuming fewer calories than I am expending.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,284 Member
    The Med diet is only for ppl who come from that area. Not everyone's body loses weight based on those principals.
  • CassidyScaglione
    CassidyScaglione Posts: 673 Member
    The Med diet is only for ppl who come from that area. Not everyone's body loses weight based on those principals.

    It's veggies, whole grains, lean meats, and less sweets... most people will do just dandy on that.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,870 Member
    The Med diet is only for ppl who come from that area.

    You mean that it's cultural appropriation then?

    Does that mean that as a Brit I'm not allowed curries, pizza, pasta or dim sum?
    Not everyone's body loses weight based on those principals.

    You mean according to physics?

    Or should we interpret you as meaning that the diet, as advertised, needs to be considered within the environment; rural/ agricultural southern Europe?