CICO (Calories In/Calories Out)


This past weekend in the field, I inadvertently stuck to a Paleo/Keto/CICO diet. What is the CICO? It’s where you make sure the calories you eat are fewer than the calories you expend. Many people use CICO to lose weight, although personally, I think it’s much more difficult to remain successfully on CICO for extended periods of time without eliminating sugar and starches. However, coupled with Paleo or Keto, CICO an work quite well, and I proved that this weekend.

Going into the drill weekend, I was up a bit on the scale. Not by a lot, and not over my maximum as allowed by height and weight regulations, but higher than I like by nearly 10 lbs. I decided to be more careful with the amount of food I ate this weekend, and I limited myself to around 1000 calories a day knowing full well that I’d be expending upwards of 2800 per day with the heavy work I’d be doing.

I expected to feel weak, and I had planned to eat whenever I needed more energy. I brought Larabars and RXBars to give me some carbs when I needed them, and I fully expected to eat throughout the day. I didn’t expect to be able to eat as little as I did.

Each morning, I’d start with a Larabar which is around 200 calories. Then, my next meal was typically at lunch time, around 1100-1200, and I’d eat an Epic Bar with a Larabar which was around 300-350 calories. Then, at around 1700-1800, I’d either eat some food from our support unit, or another Epic and Larabar with maybe a handful of grainless granola for another 350-400 calories. There were a few times when I’d grab a small handful of the grainless granola, but that was more to give myself a little boost of energy more than anything else. I never did feel hungry between meals.

I attribute my lack of appetite due to op tempo. We were so busy that I never had time to think about food or to even get hungry. That reinforced to me how important it is to keep busy and to occupy my mind whenever I start feeling any kind of false hunger or cravings. Rare as they are, it does happen.

In the end, I’m down about 4 lbs from when I left. I’m happy with that, and I will continue to try to lose around another 6 lbs over the next month before I go on vacation. It won’t be easy, but it also won’t be too difficult as I am quite comfortable at my current weight and size, and if I don’t lose it, it’s not the end of the world.

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