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Opinions on CICO while eating healthy?

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  • WickedPineappleWickedPineapple Posts: 700Member Member Posts: 700Member Member
    FeedMeFish wrote: »
    I hear/see all these people claiming CICO alone is the only thing needed to reach fitness goals.

    Nobody says that, or, if they do, they're uninformed and you shouldn't listen to them. What people say is that calories in and out is all that's needed to meet your weight goals. Fitness is more complicated and multi-faceted than weight, as you're learning.

    This. CICO is for weight control, not fitness. Weight is just one aspect of overall health. Nutrition, fitness/body composition, sleep, etc. are other aspects of health and accomplished through other methods.
  • kimny72kimny72 Posts: 14,630Member Member Posts: 14,630Member Member
    Just to reiterate what other posters have said, no one here says CICO is all that matters for fitness. What they do say:

    CICO for weight loss/gain
    Exercise for fitness
    Macros for satiety and to an extent health.
  • VividVeganVividVegan Posts: 200Member Member Posts: 200Member Member
    FeedMeFish wrote: »
    I hear/see all these people claiming CICO alone is the only thing needed to reach fitness goals. I used to do that along with light exercise and lost weight but didn't become fit and instead became skinny-fat. So I increased my exercise a bit and still wasn't getting anywhere then went to a gym and saw all these lean guys and asked them a lot of questions. They told me no amount of exercise can outdo bad eating habits and I went to a nutritionist who also gave me advice on healthier food choices. So I slowly switched from processed to natural and lean foods, drank less soda, ate less fast food and had more energy to increase my exercise intensity. I slowly began leaning out and now I don't drink soda, rarely eat fast food, eat more healthy fats instead of fats from packaged foods, and limit desserts (I crave fruits and veggies instead anyways). I drink a gallon of water a day now. Haven't lost much more weight but am losing more inches and much leaner than when I was doing CICO alone (while eating anything). I'm currently helping a friend who's in the same boat I used to be in and she's now leaning out as well. Why do people think CICO is the only thing that's required?

    The clue to why you remained "skinny fat" are your two statements in bold above. You did, however lose weight which is what the equation of CICO is used for to maintain a deficit during the weight loss. We lose more than just fat during a loss period (muscle loss also). Losing weight and fitness are two different things. Chances are you had not bulked up your muscles before your weight loss, and chances are you were not on a regular lifting or body weight regimen to maintain as much of your muscle as one possibly can hope to during a "cut" or weight loss. So you ended up "skinny fat" if that is a definition.

    Once you hit the increase of intensity at your current body weight, your body started to adapt and shape itself due to the level of activity (fitness). As you said, the weight was already lost and you haven't lost any more. So you must be eating at maintenance level.

    Also, it's worth noting that during a weight loss (deficit using CICO), one can easily feel a lack of energy for exercise - especially if training many hours per week. Studies in cycling and running have shown that combining weight loss with HIIT at the same time results in no improvement in your HIIT fitness while losing weight. Once the weight loss has stopped by reaching your goal, and one is not eating at a deficit the improvement takes off with the intensity.

    It appears you reached the moment of goal weight, improved nutrition, maintenance, and bumping up your intensity all at the same time which is a golden combination and explains why you feel good right now.

    Enjoy and keep up the good work. Good nutrition, CICO, bumped up intensity, maintenance - it's all good.

    Great Video here to piggyback on the subject why maintaining your fitness and good nutrition is so important. Allow yourself 20 minutes to listen to this NY Times Best Seller Doctor and his life experience in his practice...





    Thanks for explaining it all thoroughly. I think I have a better understanding of it now. According to what I had been told/experienced/observed though it was just hard to grasp/understand. Even more confusing when I was told that 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat (which kept me wondering if that's the case then how come my weight dropped with a calorie deficit but barely my fat)? I even have 2 Dexa scan results as proof.
  • annaskiskiannaskiski Posts: 1,212Member Member Posts: 1,212Member Member
    If you're skinny-fat, you need to lift heavy (duh!)

    Since you were on the BB forums, I assume this is what you did, and why you saw results.

    Can we /thread on this subject?

    Read here....
    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10348650/cico-still-skeptical-come-inside-for-a-meticulous-log-that-proves-it/p1
  • rankinsectrankinsect Posts: 2,238Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,238Member, Premium Member
    FeedMeFish wrote: »
    Jruzer wrote: »
    It's the only thing needed to lose weight. It's an overriding principle, a law of nature.

    I'm not sure who "people" are. For many people, losing weight is the most important thing they can do to improve their health. It's a lot easier for these people to realize that they don't have to give up everything that they love to eat and hit the gym for 2+ hours per day.

    Not everyone has the same fitness goals.

    People on forums for example, especially MFP. I'd like to know why CICO alone got me skinny-fat then. I lost weight, although I looked horrible. Those BB and athletes seem to know what they're talking about.

    If your goal is weight loss, all you need is a calorie deficit. All you had was a calorie deficit, and you did in fact lose weight. If that was your sole and only goal, you would have accomplished it handily.

    If you have other health and fitness goals, obviously you need to have a plan to address those as well. If your goal was better body composition, all you likely need is sufficient protein, sufficient total calories, and a good progressive strength training plan. Most fitness comes from exercise, but protein is needed to build muscle.
  • SideSteelSideSteel Posts: 11,079Member Member Posts: 11,079Member Member
    FeedMeFish wrote: »
    I hear/see all these people claiming CICO alone is the only thing needed to reach fitness goals.

    I've never heard this claim before, and if you ever hear it again please run like hell in the other direction because it's completely nonsense.
  • AzdakAzdak Posts: 8,282Member Member Posts: 8,282Member Member
    You are mistaking CICO with portion-control-diet-only weight loss program.
  • moe0303moe0303 Posts: 933Member Member Posts: 933Member Member
    Let's see how long we can keep the thread going with virtually everybody saying the same thing. I'll go next.

    A deficit is all you need to lose weight, well there are other things like amputations and what, but you get what I'm saying. Content of your diet is important for fitness.
  • robertw486robertw486 Posts: 2,080Member, Greeter Member Posts: 2,080Member, Greeter Member
    Losing weight and being fit are two different things. But for the being fit and body composition part, there are still a lot of ways to do it. You have to put in the work in exercise, but the diet composition part has a lot of routes to take. Some prefer moderation of all foods, and others find that removing certain things works better for them and keeps them on track.

    Really for fitness, working out hard and consistently is key. Even studies on VLCD show more muscle preservation with the tougher exercise, and in more reasonable diets it's just as true.
  • SingingSingleTrackerSingingSingleTracker Posts: 1,866Member Member Posts: 1,866Member Member
    robertw486 wrote: »
    Losing weight and being fit are two different things.....

    Really for fitness, working out hard and consistently is key.

    Which leads to a MFP twist on the Smith Barney advertisement from the 1970's quote: "I lost weight and got fit the old fashioned way - I earned it!!"

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