Why The CICO Diet Is Not The Healthiest Weight Loss Method

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These figures will vary depending on age, size and levels of physical activity, among other factors.

Technicalities aside, Pigott says calorie counting, and the CICO plan specifically, is part of a wider issue with how we are taught to “demonise” certain foods by the media.

“Diet culture is extremely difficult to tackle, and we are immersed in this in so many ways. This [CICO] is no worse or better than other confusing advice online which can advocate difficult relationships with food and body image,” she says.

“There is always a risk of promoting exercise as a a punishment for the demons of eating, which conflicts with our body’s desire to enjoy food and the importance of enjoying and engaging in exercise that is good for us. Everywhere we look, we are exposed to these messages, and this is just another example.” 

Instead of calorie counting, Stirling-Reed advises that “making healthy changes over time” is a better way to focus on improving your weight and overall health.

“If you’re wanting to improve your health look at the whole picture – exercise, food, sleep, mental health and also your own relationship with food,” she says.

“Try not to overly restrict, but make small changes to include more nutrient rich foods in your diet. Sometimes it’s good to think about what you need to add in, rather than what you need to restrict.” 

Most importantly, if you’re looking to change your diet or lose weight, you should speak to your GP or a registered medical professional to receive advice that’s tailored to you as an individual. 

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