Stories from people who switched from CICO Keto to eating TDEE

Armen Hareyan's picture

"I would love to hear stories from people who switched from CICO Keto to eating to TDEE. Did it speed up your weight loss? Did it break you out of a stall? I have been doing relatively well on 1400 calories. I have lost 20 lbs since Jan 1. However, when I read the pinned posts and the ideas on why calorie restriction is bad for you it really made sense to me. Still, after eating a 650 calorie breakfast with egg yolks, hollandaise sauce, spinach and heavy cream my head has trouble believing that I can lose weight this way," today I asked one of my group members named Marie Haynes at Common Sense Keto group on Facebook.

Before I list the group member replies let's clarify what is CICO and what is TDEE.


CICO stands for "Calories In, Calories Out.” As the name suggests CICO diet has a simple concept. You can eat whatever you want, but you have to make sure that the number of calories you eat is less than the number of calories you burn off.

TDEE stands for "Total Daily Exercise Expenditure." For TDEE you probably need a calculator to calculate your total daily exercise expenditure. Some Apps may do that these days.

Here are some interesting replies from the group members. But please, share your experience below in the comments section as well.

I am definitely losing while eating to my TDEE. I usually go over by 200 calories. It feels great to EAT, writes Tracy Quinter.


Many successes in the group. When I stopped eating 1000/1200 calories my hair stopped falling out and my nails stopped breaking and brain fog better. I went up to TDEE first day didn’t quite hit my TDEE 1900 calories. Next 2 days ate 2300,2400 and lost 2+ pounds both days. - Debbie Frank.

I was stalled for three months and losing hair on CICO. Switched to CSK in mid November. It took me until the end of November to get a handle on the proper way to CSK. I was at 295 then, I am now 268 and my hair loss has slowed down tremendously. And I now have crazy hairs sticking out all over the top of my head, writes Shannon Manz.

I was doing 1200 calories. I switched to CSK TDEE 1,895 calories a few days ago. Not really any weight change yet, but I think I have more energy. - LaVonne Matingly.

I have done both CICO and TDEE. On CICO the loss was a bit faster, but I was miserable, and I already knew I didn't have to restrict calories to lose, having been very successful on high-calorie LCHF many times before. That's why I thankfully decided to ditch it after only a couple of months before my metabolism and lesser bodily functions were impaired. CSK has been slower for me in terms of weight loss, but faster for body fat % loss. I know this kind of keto is healthier and more sustainable. Calories in, calories out. So that type of keto disregards the role of controlling hormones by eating the correct foods (thereby limiting insulin release. Insulin is what tells your body to hang onto stored fat) and instead pushes the idea that you need to eat to a calorie deficit to lose weight. - Mandy Gair.

I am finding it hard to push my calories up high enough without throwing my macros - particularly protein - out. I am still losing weight, but I want to increase the calories as I do have some side effects, like hair loss. - Deidre Fenwick.

I have to admit that I have lost more weight doing another form of a Keto diet in which I restricted calories - but even though I don’t lose as fast - I believe I have more muscle and energy to work out. My hair and skin are better, my mood is better. I also am keeping a close eye on my blood ketones and am in a much deeper ketosis now( 3.8 was this morning). I also feel like I am losing more fat as Keto should be. - Terra Foster.

I was doing calories in calories out, not intentionally. I was just doing Lazy keto like a lot of people do. Only counting my carbs, so I was eating between 1100 and 1600 calories a day. My hair started to fall out I had no energy. At first, I lost 60 lbs, I stalled for an entire year! Started eating to my TDEE the day after Christmas. Lost 15 lbs in one Month! I quit going to the gym when I was calorie restricting because I couldn't recover, I started going back 2 months ago and now I'm actually building muscle it's crazy. I would definitely recommend reading the Obesity code by Jason Fung. It explains the whole myth behind calories in calories out. - Aranda Warren.

I started eating to TDEE on Jan 19th and I was 195 lbs I am now 184 lbs. The weight loss has been slow and I seem to drop a couple of pounds and then go back up a little again, then down some more. I just really have to have faith because the weight is very slow. But it does add up. I can't say that I've done it perfectly from the beginning and every day on here I learn something new that I can then incorporate into my daily routine. The thing I'm working on right now is eating breakfast within 1 hour of waking up which has been tough but I'm finding ways to make that happen thanks to lots of help and advice on here. - Grace Kelly.

I was doing another groups Keto and restricting calories to 1400 and initially lost a bunch the first few weeks then nothing for several weeks. Switched to this group, upped my TDEE to 2120, initially gained a few pounds then I have dropped every week since. It took 2 weeks before i leveled off and started dropping on the scale, but I have way more energy, not hungry anymore and a few NSVs. So stick with it, it works. - Ame Greco.

Share this content.