1. Have a CICO diet meal ready for emergencies
You know those times when you get home late and suddenly its the end of the world because you are actually SO HUNGRY? It’s easy to reach for the most convenient option, which might not always be friendly for the CICO diet. Have a pre-calculated convenient meal in the freezer so you can make a smart decision even during food emergencies.
2. Eat slowly. Try putting your fork down between bites.
Smaller portion sizes are easy to scarf down in a few bites. Try mindfully eating every bite of food. Put your fork down while you chew. If your meal takes longer you will feel more mentally satisfied.
3. If you think you want a snack, drink a glass of water first
Sometimes we confuse hunger for thirst. Have a large glass of water when you start to feel hungry, especially if its not a typical meal/snack time. If you are still hungry 30 minutes later then you know you truly need that snack.
4. Count the calories before you eat
Build your meal around how many calories you want to eat. Measure and weigh food as you’re cooking so you know exactly how many calories are on your plate before digging in.
5. Drink a glass of water before each meal
Pour yourself a full cup and finish it before you begin eating. You will start off feeling a bit more full and be satisfied from eating sooner.
6. Stay away from calorie-dense beverages
There aren’t many calorie-dense beverages that actually bring much value to your health. Unless you’re sure its worth it, its best to stick with low-cal or zero-cal beverages (like water, coffee or tea).
7. If you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not actually hungry
You feel hungry. Eat an apple. Don’t feel like eating an apple? You probably aren’t actually hungry. Are you maybe bored instead? Find something to do. If you do feel like eating an apple then great, eat that apple!
8. Learn the difference between being hungry and just wanting to eat
Eating from boredom is way too real. Use some tricks to determine if you are actually hungry or if you are just bored and craving a binge. Try drinking a glass of water and waiting 30 minutes to see if you still feel hungry. Or eat an apple. If you are hungry but don’t feel like eating the apple then you might not actually be hungry.
9. Don’t keep snacks around
Out of sight out of mind. If there aren’t easy-access snacks around your house then you are less likely to mindlessly reach for them in moments of “hunger” (ie boredom).
10. Make a list of things to do other than eat for when you’re bored
So you thought you were hungry but realized instead that you’re just bored. What can you do? Create a list of all the things you could do to fill your time instead of eat. For example go for a walk, clean your bathroom, write a letter to your mom, etc.
11. Buy a food scale
If you don’t have a food scale, are you really following the CICO diet? Seriously go buy a scale right now and start weighing every single thing you eat. Every. Single. Thing. You may think you are good at estimating but you’re not. You may think you’re hitting your calorie goals but you’re not. You are probably wondering why you’re not losing weight. YOU NEED A FOOD SCALE.
12. Eat more vegetables
There is an endless variety of flavourful vegetables in the world and they are way less calorie-dense than the other food groups. If you want to eat a large volume of something and feel satisfied after your meal, load up on veggies.
13. Make small changes but be consistent
Overhauling your diet from one diet to the next might work for some. But is it sustainable? Gradually introduce small changes into your life and they will slowly become new habits.
14. Plan for the laziest version of yourself
Some days you just can’t motivate yourself do to anything, let alone measure, weight and cook a calorie-efficient meal. Have a backup plan for these days by keeping some dependable and tasty freezer meals on hand.
15. Trust your deficit
If you have calculated your daily calorie needs, are being honest about your daily activity levels and are weighing and logging all your meals using a food scale… then trust your deficit. The CICO diet works when you are patient, consistent and honest with yourself about your calories in and calories out.