Category: Gym

How to ease yourself back into the gym

After what feels like a lifetime, gyms have finally reopened on April 12th. Let’s face it, trying to stick to a routine when you’re stuck at home during a global pandemic, is pretty difficult. So if you are looking forward to getting back into shape, you might feel like you’re starting from scratch again. Here we give you some tips on how to ease yourself back into the gym, after your unexpected holiday from working out. 

Don’t overdo it

Doing too much straight away can overwhelm you physically and mentally. It’s better to go into it knowing that you probably aren’t going to be as fit as you were, and that’s ok! Regardless of whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or crossfitter, taking time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your abilities. To ease yourself back into the gym, start slowly with lower intensity than you were used to, eventually build back up to the amount of reps, distance, weight, that you could previously do. You don’t want to cause yourself an injury on your first session back and it’s important to focus on form over intensity.  The good news is that you’ll also regain your strength quicker than it took for you to reach that weight in the first place thanks to muscle memory.


Make a routine and stick to it

Jumping back in at 4 days a week will be a tough adjustment. We suggest starting with 1 or 2 days a week and sticking to it, to ease yourself back into the gym, after all, you need to form the habit and routine again. As you get more comfortable, build up your days. Rest days are so important, these are the days where your body repairs itself and makes the progress, so don’t try to make up for the lost time by working out every day. Recovery is part of being active.

Listen to your body.

The chances are, your body is going to let you know that it’s working hard, but pain is not always a sign of progress, it could mean you need to stop that activity. After being out of your routine for so long, your body may not have the range of motion it used to, so don’t push through pain, it’s probably a sign that something isn’t right. Going from sitting in the house for 3 months to a full workout, you will probably feel fatigued much quicker as you burn more calories than you have done and your body adapts to the increased stress. It’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep, so on gym days try and get yourself to bed earlier than normal, so as not to burn out. 

6 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

For many, the image of weightlifting conjures up images of male bodybuilders with muscles bulging at every angle. It can be daunting for women to start lifting weights, but it has huge benefits to your health and wellbeing. Here we list 6 reasons why women should lift weights. 

1. Lose Body Fat

Weight training builds muscle and as your muscle mass increases so does your metabolism. This means that the higher your metabolism, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. Studies have found that for each pound of muscle you gain, you burn 35 to 50 more calories per day. 

2. Gain Strength Without Bulking

Building muscle doesn’t mean bulk. This is one of the most common misconceptions that women have when it comes to weight lifting, women have 10-30times less testosterone than men so it is much harder (near impossible) to gain and bulk to the size of men, from strength training alone. Instead, women develop muscle definition, tone, and strength without size.

3. Decrease Risk of Osteoporosis

Weight training not only strengthens muscles, but it also strengthens your bones. Weight training increases bone density, which reduces the risk of fractures and broken bones. Research has also shown that weight training can increase spinal bone density to create a strong and healthy spine. For women, especially as they get older and oestrogen levels lower, there is an increased risk of osteoporosis, so weight training can help to prevent this.

4. Reduce Risk of Injury

Weight training can also increase the strength in your connective tissues and joints. By improving joints, ligaments, and tendons you can prevent injury and can even relieve pain from osteoarthritis. Strengthening muscles and connective tissue will make injury from daily tasks and routine exercise less likely, and can even improve performance in sport.

5. Improve Posture and Reduce Back Pain

Weight-training will strengthen your core, back, and shoulders, helping to improve bad posture so that you can stand taller, with shoulders back and spine straight. A stronger back and core will prevent lower back pain and will help you in the future as you age.

6. Enhance Mood and Reduce Stress

Exercise and weight-training release endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression. An increase in endorphins naturally reduces stress and anxiety. Endorphins also improving alertness and boost energy. Weight-training can improve your entire day or help you combat a bad one by drastically improving your mood. 


Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.

Why are rest days important?

Physical activity is essential for our health and for the achievement of our personal fitness goals. However, few people understand that being too active can actually damage your chances of developing your muscles, defining your body and smashing your fitness goals, which is why rest days are so important. 

Doctors, trainers and physiotherapists… they all agree on the importance of rest after exercise. It is a common mistake to think that doing sports every day, to the best of our abilities, is the best option out there to obtain quick results – this really is not the case.

The body needs a period of recovery after extended effort. If we do not respect it, all the benefits that sport brings are no longer present and training loses its main objective: to improve health and well-being.

It does not matter what your area of exercise is. Whether you practice an aerobic sport such as cycling, swimming or running, or if you lift weights in the gym, rest days are as important to your success as workouts.

Rest reduces the risk of injury 

Many of the common exercise injuries occur due to over-exerting yourself, and believe it or not – rest really is the most effective preventive measure in this case. Giving your body some time to relax and get used to the tension is especially important when you start a new training program, because during this crucial period, you still do not know what your limits are and how far you can truly push yourself. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just have one or two days of rest between workouts, but also take short breaks during your exercises.

Too much exercise can interfere with your sleep 


Physical activity stimulates blood flow, which means that every cell in your body receives nutrients faster and works better. The downside of this is that it can upset you and interfere with your regular sleep schedules and patterns. Sleep is essential!! So you should always make a strong effort to get around 7-8 hours of daily rest.

Rest allows your muscles to grow 

This is an important fact that is often overlooked by workout-a-holics. Exercise not only works the muscles, but also damages them. Rest days are necessary for tissues to heal and grow. This is the reason why any professional bodybuilding program is based on the exercise of different muscle groups every day.

Relaxing helps you stay motivated 

Training regularly is good, but over time it may seem boring, allowing you to get distracted or it can just stress you out too much to continue. With that being said – there are always some new and exciting techniques that can help you rekindle your passion for exercise. More relaxation periods can help you eliminate stress, allowing you to have more motivation and do the exercises much more calmly, with greater concentration.

Resting is necessary to protect your immune system 

Too much exercise does a lot of damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your immune system is forced to go full steam ahead in order to cure all these micro-fractures. This causes your body to overheat and increases the risk of injury, because your natural protections from the body cannot keep up.

As you have read, rest days are important not only because they are necessary to allow muscles to grow, but this time of inactivity also allows you to stay alert and focused without slowing down progress which ultimately enables you to stay healthy and achieve your goals.

Making the most of your gym induction.

Gym inductions are often something that people dread, whether you have used gym equipment 100 times before, or this is your very first time, most of us just approach it as a tick box exercise without utilising the induction fully. Despite this, it’s actually a really important step first step on your fitness journey at your new gym.  Here are some ways you can prepare to make the most out of your important induction.

Safety First

Even if you have been to a gym before, it’s so important to learn how the equipment works and the specific etiquette within that facility. Even a treadmill can have different buttons and features, so for your own safety, it’s a great chance to learn how to use everything. Seeing the instructor give a demonstration can really help you to know the correct form to help prevent any injuries.

Don’t be embarrassed

Don’t feel worried about going into your induction even if you are a novice. Everyone has to start somewhere, and pros often need a refresher too. No question is too silly, so if you have any queries or concerns, don’t be embarrassed to ask during your induction while you have the one to one attention. Experienced gym members will be too busy concentrating on themselves to worry about anyone else. 

Share your goals 

When the instructor is taking you around, make sure to share the goals of joining the gym. Whether it be losing weight or improving stamina, the PT will be able to show you which areas of the gym to focus on and even demonstrate some exercises which will help you to reach your goal. You wouldn’t go to a new hairdresser and say ‘do whatever you want’, you would tell them what you wanted, the same should go when you join a new gym. 

Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.

5 reasons why rest days are important

We all want to see results from the gym, and it may be tempting to go hard every day in hopes that those all-important goals are reached quicker. But it is important to schedule rest days into your weekly routine. Here we explain 5 reasons why rest days are important.


1. To rest your muscles

Most of you will already know that when doing strength training and lifting weights, you are tearing your muscle fibers with the strain. The mending of these torn muscles builds them stronger. Without a time of rest between sessions for this repair to happen, you aren’t going to see results. This is also why is best to vary the muscle groups you are working on, on separate days, so they have a chance to rest, heal and grow. 


2. To prevent injury 

Rest days are important for injury prevention, and it’s better to choose to rest to prevent injuries than be forced to rest for weeks because you have caused yourself damage.  Whether you lift weights, run or play tennis, extended use of a particular muscle, puts a strain on your body and the repetition without a rest day can cause muscle and joint damage and that is when injuries occur. In order to avoid any long term problems and avoid injury, schedule in rest and allow your body to recover. 

3. Improve sleep

We all know exercise is excellent for your health and overall wellbeing, but too much exercise can put your body in a constant state of adrenaline and endorphins, causing restlessness and difficulty sleeping. If you have a high resting heart rate, this is a sign that your body is in a high alert state and may be causing you difficulty in getting to sleep. Taking rest days is important to calm down your heart rate and alertness which can help get you a night of sound sleep. Getting a night of good solid sleep on a rest day will also help you to do a stronger workout the next day as you won’t be fatigued. 


4. To strengthen the immune system

During periods of intense or daily exercise, our immune system is constantly working to repair the muscles and joints that are being used. Your immune system is not only having to fight off everyday viruses but also work extra hard to make the repairs your body needs. Without a rest day, your immune system is under constant strain and will struggle to catch up on the repairs. A low immune system can lead to you getting colds, flu, and injuries, which will put you out of your routine for much longer than a rest day. 

5. For your mental health

It can be hard to let yourself take a day off. Rest days can feel counterproductive when you could be working on your goals, but it is important to know that you can take days off and that it is good for you. From a psychological view, exercise can become all-consuming, a rest day allows your mind to take a break from the focus of exercise. Mental tiredness can be every bit as problematic as physical, and taking a rest day helps to recharge your brain. Also take the day to catch up on other hobbies in your usual gym time such as seeing family, reading a book or getting ahead with work. 


It is important to note that you should not worry that you will lose your your performance by taking a rest day.  It takes almost two weeks of non-activity for your performance to start dipping, so one or two days off will not set you back, it is only beneficial!





How to choose the right personal trainer

When the going gets tough (rather than the tough get going, as Billy Ocean once stated) it’s a great idea for you to get a personal trainer. When you find a good one, they are is worth their weight in gold. If you find a bad one, well, a bad one will do more harm than good. If you’re after insight into the world of fitness, then a Personal Trainer (PT) is just the ticket. Within a gym environment, a PT can do many things. They can show you around the equipment. Give you advice into exercise routines designed specifically around your goals and ambitions. They can show you how to carry out certain exercises correctly and safely and give you confidence; not to mention set you up for a fit future. But, when it comes to it, how do you find the right one for you?

If you head into any gym right now, especially at the beginning of the year, the number of PT’s is almost overwhelming. A gym will figuratively be swarming in them; despite the numbers, there are a few pointers you can keep in mind to help narrow down the list, and at Write Up, we’ve lined them up for you.

personal trainer

1. Certification

One of the sure-fire ways to know that a personal trainer you’re about to consider is made of the right stuff, is to consider their qualifications. This depends on the training and subsequent certifications they possess. From this you’ll know if they are trained correctly to be able to teach you. Currently, to be qualified as a personal trainer in the UK, they’ll need the following things: First Aid Certificate, Personal Trainer Insurance, Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification and Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification. Although, many PTs have varying areas of expertise, some will also have additional skills in other areas/sports – like Boxing, for example – and all of this should be accounted for in your selection process.

2. Experience

Before choosing that PT for you, it’s a good idea to know their background and history – which ultimately makes up their experience. It’s in your best interest to know this before signing up to anything. Ask questions like their education and qualifications (like above), how long they’ve been a PT etc. If they have a presence online, try looking them up to see if they have any references – and whether these are positive. Slowly but surely, you’ll begin to see how they are as a Personal Trainer through your research and whether they’ll work for you.

3. Connection

It is extremely important, in addition to that the fact that your future PT is qualified, that you get along with them. You should feel that you can communicate and are well-suited. After all, you’re not going to learn off someone you don’t like. In order to get the most of your time and money, you should feel comfortable and – most importantly – motivated.

personal training session

4. Lifestyle

As aforementioned, some personal trainers are associated with a gym. Others are not and they’ll be able to meet you at your home, or in parks etc. Another important aspect for choosing the right PT for you is to choose one that works around your lifestyle. If you can’t make it to the gym after a hectic day in the office, then opt for one who can train you at your home, and vice versa. After all, if it doesn’t work within your lifestyle, its not the right fit.

5. Money

Personal trainers are not the cheapest way for you to get fit. And if money is a slight limitation for you then be honest up front while searching for one. There could be other options for you instead of the advertised ones with your prospective trainer. If they’re the right for you, while discussing it you’ll soon find a common plan that works for both for ultimate success.

All-in-all, a personal trainer can either be the best the decision you’ll make or a costly one. But by following the above points, you’ll find the right one for you. There’s, as they say, somebody out there for everyone.

Disclaimer – Although we always endeavour to deliver accurate and insightful information, if you are seeking specialised fitness advice, please speak to a relevant professional. All opinions within this blog are the writer’s, should you identify content that is incorrect, please get in contact.

5 Tips for safe and effective weightlifting for beginners

Lifting weights sounds simple enough – even if it never proves all that easy to actually do. However, the weightlifting process, when performed correctly, is more complex than you might expect. What’s more, taking a lack of understanding of the correct practices into the gym with you could lead to you coming out again seriously injured. In order to begin weightlifting safely and effectively, you need to appreciate your body’s mechanics. You also need to know your limits, when to stop, and when you need help. Otherwise, you will only wind up doing yourself more harm than good. If you’re new to the world of weights and want to make sure that you’re making the most of your sessions and not over-straining yourself, check out our tips for weightlifting for beginners.

Lifting weights1. Know your body

Different people have to take different approaches to weightlifting. Weightlifting for beginners is often largely a process of steadily building up your main muscle groups. It is crucial that you don’t start with anything too heavy too quickly. This can lead to injuries and makes your gym sessions less effective. If you’re losing the form of your posture as you lift, and are swinging to use momentum as a lifting aid, then you’re working with too much weight. Equally, beginning with too little weight makes your workout pretty pointless. Our tip: start small and gradually work up until it’s hard work but not unsafe. This will help you get to know the limits of your own body, and then you can fully appreciate how your limits rise as you work.

2. Know what you want to achieve

Early on, you’ll need to establish what kind of training – with what kind of results – you’re looking to take up. A factor in this decision may be the equipment you have available to you, especially if you plan on conducting your training at home. Are you taking up weightlifting in order to get slightly more toned, and improve your overall fitness? Or, are you here to get jacked, hench and buff Hulk-style? This will affect the size of commitment you’ll need to make to your training (and diet). If you’re hovering somewhere between the two, and simply aren’t sure exactly what you want to achieve beyond a desire to be able to shift heavier things, then don’t be afraid to first seek a casual consultation with a trainer at your gym.

3. Know the decorum

When giving advice on weightlifting for beginners, it wouldn’t do to disregard proper gym etiquette. Working up a mighty sweat at the gym is all part of the experience, and greatly encouraged. However, no one wants to take up the machine you’ve just vacated, only to be confronted with a slimy, unsavoury, sweat pool. Take two towels with you on every gym visit; one for you post shower, and the other to wipe down any equipment once you’re done with it. Further to this, make sure you leave any public equipment in whatever state you found it. So, leave enough energy to stick your weights back on the rack once you’re done. Finally, if someone asks you to spot them, don’t shy away. Gyms are often close little communities, and spotting is part of that.


4. Get the help you need and find that works for you

There are countless set weightlifting workouts and regimes out there, many geared towards weightlifting for beginners. Research and experiment with these routines and find out what you enjoy. Take the time to understand which muscle groups these individual routines, and specific exercises, are targeting as this will give you a better idea of what results to expect and whether they’re in line with your overall aims. If you have access to a personal trainer, or even a friend with experience in the field of weightlifting, their advice and support could prove invaluable too.

5. Don’t give up!

As this is weightlifting for beginners we’re talking about here, it could well be that you’re yet to endure your first weightlifting session. Once that has passed you’ll probably find that you’re aching, and perhaps not exactly chomping at the bit to get back to the gym. That’s normal, and as long as you haven’t overstrained yourself and are suffering persisting pain, all it means is that your muscles are repairing themselves to be stronger than before. That’s a job well done. So, don’t give up. Keep going and the pain will lessen and your strength will increase and your muscles grow. In time, you’ll be beyond reading a weightlifting for beginner’s blog and be cranking the iron with experience.

Whether at home or at the gym, weightlifting is a great way to get fit, build muscle and have fun. Everybody has to start somewhere, and starting small is no problem. Building up the weights gradually is what it’s all about; that and the pride you’ll feel with every step down this road you take.

Disclaimer – Although we always endeavour to deliver accurate and insightful information, if you are seeking specialised fitness advice, please speak to a relevant professional. All opinions within this blog are the writer’s, should you identify content that is incorrect, please get in contact.

4 Feel good ways to help you reach your healthy goal weight

The dieting world can be a minefield. In the 90s, Kate Moss popularised “heroin-chic”, a reaction against healthy looking models at the time, which championed a low-weight skinny, angular body – and the media’s perception of a desirable figure shifted irrevocably. Gone was the perception that curves were desirable, replaced with a lust for skin and bones. Thankfully though, this idea recently has begun to undo itself. Body positivity models are springing up to advocate having a healthy and comfortable relationship with your own body.

Thing is, if you’re looking to lose some weight, it can be hard to separate the healthy tips from the unhealthy ones.

At Write Up, we support healthy and harmonious weight loss, for no reason other than being satisfied in your skin. We thought we’d bring you some tip-top manoeuvres for your mindset, to boost a healthy mind for your new healthy goal weight.

Healthy lifestyle

1. Don’t think of your changes as a temporary solution

The number one tip we have for to reach a healthy goal weight is to think of your changes as a permanent, not a temporary solution. We all know that it’s hard to lose weight, and that it’s even harder to keep it off. When you start your weight-loss journey, it helps to educate yourself about nutrition. A good place to start is the British Nutrition Foundation, who have an encyclopedic resource of nutrition information on their website. It’s certainly true that knowledge is power, and once you know exactly what different foods provide you, you’ll be able to have a think about exactly which ones you need.

This paradigm shift towards a healthier, happier lifestyle is something that again is reflected in our modern sphere of influence. Supermarkets have begun to cater for healthy diets, and the popularity of January’s Veganuary has spiked the number of people learning what they put in their bodies, where it comes from, and making decisions about if they need to eat it.

Healthy food

2. If you choose to do exercise, make sure it’s something you love

Any good personal trainer will tell you that the key to losing weight with exercise is to find something you love.

Sure, your resolve to hit the gym at the start of the year is strong, but life has an annoying habit of getting in the way. If you find something that you love, you’ll remove the idea of exercise as a chore, and instead, it’ll become the highlight of your day. If you enjoy having time to think, then why not take up running?

The Couchto5k App is a good place to start. It’ll build up your stamina and pace slowly and allow you to go from sedentary to running for a full half hour. If that doesn’t float your boat, how about Zumba? The Latin-inspired dance class helps you keep fit whilst busting some killer moves. If you find a way to exercise that you love, then it’ll never seem like a chore. The weight will melt off, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll develop a new hobby that’s utterly and completely you.


3. Don’t think about how many calories the food has in it

This one is kind of related to nutrition, but we need to talk about it separately. Truth is, many of the foods we love to indulge in are addictive. In fact, in a recent study, it was found that cheese actually triggers the same part of your brain as opiates do. When you stop eating foods that aren’t good for you, there’ll be a period of a week or so when you’ll feel like you have the flu. Fight through it though, as after this point, you’ll be way more in tune with your body. And this is where our third point comes in.

A top tip trick to reach your healthy goal weight is to think about how the food you’re eating makes you feel. The “Carb Coma” is a well-documented phenomenon, as is the effect of diary, if you have stomach trouble. Did you know that most of Asia is intolerant to diary? If you find your body copes better with sushi, miso, ramen and tempura – then this might be the same for you. Food takes about six hours to start passing through your stomach, so make note in the evening of how your lunch choice affects your chill time. We’re going to ruin your surprise here, and let you know that healthy food will be your champion.

Healthy attitude

4. Remember, Photoshop exists.

Lastly, remember Photoshop exists. Every professional image you’re bombarded with from every angle, all hours of the day, is enhanced in some way. We live our lives behind filters, airbrushes, and FaceTune – and it’s easy to spend hours comparing ourselves to the doctored images of our favourite celebs.

Again, Plus Size models are leading the way to the destruction of this unhealthy obsession with airbrushing; but when trying to reach a healthy goal weight – don’t compare yourself to others. Instead, take a picture a week to track your own progress to your healthy goal weight. You’ll keep your motivation and focus way longer.

Convinced? Why not tell us what you’re about to take up? When you’re leaning more toward playing, rather than watching, your new passion; why not download Write Up – the app that lets you read, rate and review everything fitness related.

Disclaimer – Although we always endeavour to deliver accurate and insightful information, if you are seeking specialised fitness advice, please speak to a relevant professional. All opinions within this blog are the writer’s, should you identify content that is incorrect, please get in contact.

The benefits of equipment over environment

It is understandable why many don’t believe in joining the gym; as well as being a money saving gesture, it also might not be the most effective workout environment for them. For some people, this is true. For others, however, this is a decision made without a full understanding of what a positive gym experience can bring. There are many benefits to the gym and the access to top notch exercise equipment that comes with it is just one…

1. High quality equipment, maintained for you

There is a huge volume of exercise equipment and machinery that you can purchase and install in your own home. However, unless you have a small fortune to spend – you will not be able to amass the range and quality of equipment offered by your local gym. Even if you could, it comes at the price of taking up a large space. One of the obvious benefits of a gym membership is access to this wide array of equipment. The maintenance and upkeep of which is also taken care of for you.

It may be the case that you use natural, and environmental features as part of your workout. There is of course nothing wrong with this; as using the space around you to maximise your exercise is wise. However, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the specialist equipment and apparatus in the gym were designed for maximum efficiency. Beyond that, they prioritise your safety; and help you work on those muscle groups you may not otherwise stimulate.

gym workout

2. A more holistic fitness experience

Whether or not you are new to the structured exercise experience, it can be beneficial to have the aid and support of experts to guide you through your workout. Gyms employ a variety of professionals, such as personal trainers, to be on hand to make sure that your gym experience is optimally engineered to benefit you. We all require different things from our exercise regime, and these experts can help you identify and achieve those objectives.

What’s more, under the tutelage of these trainers, gymnasiums host regular classes and workshops. These can introduce you to new ways to exercise, and a social element into your fitness experience. The importance of this social aspect should not be underestimated. Many lifelong friendships are formed in gyms, as you discover others to support, encourage, spot and compete with.

3. More for your money

A key and understandable factor in many people’s decision not to join a gym is the cost of membership. However, seemingly just as common is the practice of people who buy expensive home gym equipment that they then rarely use. In both instances, this financial outlay can be used as an incentive to exercise.

The gym, however, offers a fuller experience. It is also something that you’re likely to be able to fit in alongside your professional life. This is due to many gyms being located in metropolitan areas and also offering lunchtime classes etc.

The most crucial thing is working out what’s the right way to go for you and your workout. It could be that a new gym membership is the way for you.

CICO Diets

What is CICO?

The CICO Model

After the success of the ‘keto diet’, along came the ‘CICO (Calories in, Calories out)’ diet. It is as controversial and popular as its predecessor, although they have little to do with each other. While the keto diet focuses on the consumption of proteins so that the glycemic index is not high, therefore improving the ketosis of the body, the new goal of CICO is to not exceed a certain number of calories each day. It is all about consuming less than you burn and ensuring that the balance at the end of the day is negative.

This regimen is based on the caloric balance; a form of weight loss that can sometimes be slow but can also be fairly easy to keep a track of. Remember, to lose a kilo of fat you must have a deficit of approximately 7,000 calories. This means, that if you are habitually consuming 2,000 and you begin to cut 500 calories per day, you will lose one kilo of weight in two weeks.

If you want to succeed on this diet you will have to count calories and gain a mild form of obsession over the numbers. For a great calorie counting tool, we recommend MyFitnessPal. You can read a review on MyFitnessPal here:

When we talk about weighing a kilo less on the scale, this can be both muscle and fat. In fact, it is most likely that the first case occurs. According to renowned dietician and nutritionist, Lyndi Cohen, she staes: “With calorie counting you can make many mistakes, because people often stop counting nutrients and just look at the numbers, which can lead to them taking junk food, as long as the numbers fit,”

“It’s ironic, because a diet like the CICO aims to encourage balance, but it really does not. It causes us to be obsessed about numbers, both with the number of calories and with the scale and we run the risk of feeling guilty if we ingest something inappropriate”.

Beware of the rebound effect

With the CICO diet you will lose weight, but for it to be sustainable over time, you must expect the odd blip. Cohen says that those who reduce calories and lose weight sometimes fall into the trap of believing that they can return to eating as they did before once they have hit their weight loss goal and, most likely, they will have the rebound effect.

Scientific evidence typically shows us that not all calories are the same. Different foods, even with the same type of nutrients, act differently in our body and small variations in the diet can (but not will) make us put on weight.

New research shows that counting calories may not be the most effective strategy to maintain an adequate weight over time. This is confirmed by numerous investigations, such as that of Tufts University, directed by Dr. Jessica Smith, who after analyzing the results of three long-term studies on the diet of 120,000 men and women, concluded that it is only necessary to change certain types of food to lose weight or gain weight significantly, because it is the combination of these that determines how much weight we gain and not so much how caloric, fatty or carbohydrate-rich they are.

This study is added to new research that shows that counting calories is not the most effective strategy to maintain an adequate weight over time. “Some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse, but the most interesting thing is that the combinations of certain foods seem to make a big difference,” says one of her co-authors, Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian.

“Our findings suggest that in order to prevent weight gain, we should not only emphasize the intake of some protein-rich foods such as fish, nuts or yogurt,” continues Mozaffarian. “We must also avoid refined grains, starches and sugars to maximize the benefits of healthy, protein-rich meals, taking advantage of the additional benefits of other foods such as eggs and cheese and reducing the weight gain associated with meats.”

CICO Diet, yes or no?

So, what should we do to lose weight and not fall into the obsession of calorie counting? Lyndi Cohen recommends consuming “fruits and vegetables and balancing your meals so that they have carbohydrates, proteins and fats.”

Every time we go to the fridge or the vending machine we are eating calories that we could save if we ate these healthy snacks.

“Plan in advance what you are going to eat, so you will ensure you do not have to eat unhealthy foods” adds the expert, who also recommends “take care of your hunger and always having healthy and nutritious snacks by hand, such as fruits, chopped vegetables or nuts.”

The CICO diet, in itself, works, but its biggest problem is that you may struggle to be sustainable in the long term and that it has a high probability of producing a rebound effect.

Only you know what is best for your body and realistically you need to try more than one diet to find out what works best for you.


CICO can work – but is it viable long term?