Happy Monday! What a title, eh? The next step to our dietary puzzle is to discuss calories in/calories out (CICO). Now, there are several shortcomings for CICO such as failing to take into account the thermic effect of the macronutrients, however, it is still a good base to begin building off of.

Remember in our last blog posting that we discussed macronutrients and the amount of energy provided for each? If not, here they are one more time for ya:

Protein – 4 calories per gram (4 cals/g)

Carbohydrates – 4 cals/g

Fats – 9 cals/g

This means that for each gram that you consume of these macros you are consuming that amount of energy that must be utilized and or stored for later. We’ll go over an example real quick to show you how these macros contribute to your overall calorie (energy) intake. And here’s a little brain food, calories are just a unit of measure designated to food as stated before, so for all intents and purposes, we can really just use them semi-interchangeably.

Calories in Costco Garofalo Pasta Whole Wheat Spaghetti

Nutrition Facts:

Servings:  3 ounces 1 container (765 gs ea.)

Calories 286

Sodium 27 mg

Potassium 0 mg

Total Fat 2 g

Trans 0 g

Saturated 0 g

Polyunsaturated 0 g

Monounsaturated 0 g

Total Carbs 55 g

Dietary Fiber 4 g

Sugars 2 g

Protein 12 g

Vitamin A 0% Calcium 0%

Vitamin C 0% Iron 0%


Total Fat 2 g * 9 = 18 calories

Total Carbs 55 g * 4 = 220 calories

Total Protein 12 g * 4 = 48 calories

286 calories

So now back to CICO. The entire premise of CICO is that if you eat over the amount of food that your body needs to maintain it’s current weight, after taking into account all of your energy-requiring processes such as work, exercising and the like you will gain weight. On the other hand, if you eat less than required by your body, you will lose weight. This is calories-in-calories-out in a nutshell.

While it may seem a little too simplistic to work this is one of the most important facets of successful weight management plans. Whether you’re looking to gain weight or lose weight, CICO should be the foundation from which you form your entire plan. There are limitations to CICO, as there are with pretty much every aspect regarding diets such as the thermic effect of food and the like but we’ll get into that later! For now, when looking to set up any diet, CICO is a great place to start!

The next blog posts to continue this series will introduce the other foundational diet components – adherence and protein intake – that will get you going with being able to take your diet into your own hands and finally get the results that you have always been after!

Until then, keep killing it and never give up on your goals!

-Team ATP