CICO stands for "Calories In, Calories Out".
It's one of the most fundamental aspects of energy balance that we use in the human performance arena. Not only that, but somehow, it's one of the most hotly contested aspects of weight management and nutrition in general.
At the end of the day, the takeaways to this topic are, if you're looking to gain weight, create a caloric surplus (eat more calories than you burn). If you're looking to lose weight, create a caloric deficit (eat fewer calories than you need). There are so many ways to do this, that there really isn't a wrong way to do it any more. Experiment with what works for you to create the environment that helps you reach the desired goal.
When you're trying to maintain or build muscle, just keep in mind that protein is going to be the key. So when you start cutting calories to drop them pounds, make sure it's coming from fat and carbohydrates first.
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