Peoria, IL,
14:11 PM

Calories In, Calories Out: Can Weight Loss Be That Simple?


You might be part of the more than 40% of Americans who have made a New Year’s resolution for 2018.

One of the most popular resolutions each year is to lose weight or eat healthier. However, for most resolution revelers, the determination to succeed wanes within weeks of January 1. In fact, University of Scranton research suggests that just 8% of people achieve their New Year's goals.

OSF HealthCare Registered Dietitian Ashley Simper says the best bet is finding a diet that is right for you.

“Diets are not all created equal, weight loss is not a one size fits all type of mentality,” she said.

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One weight loss method that has been gaining popularity with the online community on Reddit is the Calories In, Calories Out diet, or CICO.

According to its proponents, weight loss can be boiled down to a basic math equation: simply burn more calories than you eat, no matter what is on your plate. Simper says the theory behind CICO is sound.

“When it comes to calories it is kind of simple,” said Simper. “So when you think about if you are eating less calories than your body needs, or you’re burning more calories than your body needs you will lose weight, regardless if that’s from 1,200 calories of Twinkies or 1,200 calories of a healthy well balanced diet.”

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However, Simper warns that not all calories are created equal, and a dieter needs to remember to strive for a good quality of diet, instead of only focusing on the quantity of calories.

“There’s a reason why we promote so many carbohydrates, so much protein, so much fat in the diet and a multitude of vitamins and minerals is because that’s what our body needs to function at its peak,” said Simper. “When we’re just eating 1,200 calories in Twinkies we’re missing out on vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will decrease our risk of chronic disease.”

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Simper also shared another tip to shedding extra pounds: slow down. She says mindful eating comes with dramatic benefits, and that it takes about 20 minutes for our brains to communicate with our digestive systems that we are full. Simply eating slowly could decrease the likelihood overeating, and in turn, decrease our risk of obesity.