Cardio Free Diet Review

Editor's Review: 3.5 / 5.0

What You Should Know

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Cardio Free Diet is a book written by Jim Karas, a personally trainer. He wrote the book to say that he believes cardiovascular workouts are not necessary for weight loss, and may even be getting in the way of your weight loss efforts. We will take a closer look at the program to determine if it is a viable solution to weight loss. For many years, people have been taught cardio is a great way to boost calorie burning power to help you lose weight, but Karas says it can actually make you more hungry, and burn less calories than we think. This means it basically backfires, making people eat more than they burned. Karas also says the body adapts to cardio so we cannot burn the same number of calories as we used to, making it less effective over time.

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Karas says that you can eat anything on the program, but also says you should either greatly reduce or completely eliminated refined carbohydrates from your diet. You should always eat three meals per day, with three snacks, and eat a 100 calorie snack before and after your workout. Never skip meals, as this can be detrimental to your metabolism. When women are starting this diet, they should limit their caloric intake to no more than 1200 calories a day, and men should not eat more than 1500 calories per day on this diet. When you reach your weight loss goals, women should eat no more than 1500 calories a day, and men should not eat more than 1800 calories a day to maintain weight. To prevent nutritional deficiency, take a dairy supplement with calcium.

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  • Exercise is still encouraged on this program; though it is strength training instead of cardio.
  • Strength training will increase muscle mass which will increase muscle tone.


  • The calorie restrictions make it difficult to keep a balanced diet.
  • Calorie counting makes this diet difficult for some people to follow.
  • There is plenty of research to support cardio exercise as a good thing.
  • There may not be enough exercise in the plan to produce real results.


Cardio Free Diet does a good job at presenting information to work against a cardio workout, though it only seems to be related to the author’s experience only. It is going to take more evidence than what is presented in the book to erase or nullify all the evidence there is to support what good cardio does. It is most certainly worth noting that such a decreased caloric intake for a long period of time will work against the metabolism and actually start to reduce it, meaning it will not be as effective to burning fat and weight loss.

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Editor: Paul Blake

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