Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This
Health News
According to the Experts, These Are the 15 Safest Sunscreens
10-minute Workouts
Get Strong, Defined Arms With This 100-Rep Arm Workout

What's the Deal with The Cardio Free Diet?

What's the Deal with The Cardio Free Diet?

Anyone watching Good Morning America the other day may have seen the piece they did on The Cardio Free Diet ($13.80). Anyone who knows anything about exercise was probably just as stunned as I was.

The basic principal of the Cardio Free Diet is that cardio is a waste of time and it ruins your diet by making you hungry all of the time, so you shouldn't do it and should focus on weight training instead. I can see where Jim Karas, the author, was going with this book but it truly does not make sense in terms of real life application. Sure, lean muscle burns more calories at rest, but the overall benefits of cardio are plainly stated and researched across the world -- Cutting cardio out would be cutting you (and possibly your life) short. Don't even get me started on his recommended daily caloric intake of only 1200 calories. With or without cardio, I personally would be starving on only 1200 calories per day.

As always, I am having a hard time understanding why we all just can't grasp the fact that it is best all around to do cardio and resistance training along with eating right. Books like this may sound good and I am sure they appeal to those who truly hate cardio, but in my opinion, it's a love-hate relationship you need to learn.

Still interested, then buy the book from

Join The Conversation
Arthur Arthur 10 years
I was thinking about this all weekend (especially while swimming laps). My disclaimer is that I am a cardio nut. I love running, biking and swimming. I know I get super hungry for a whole day after I do a heavy weight workout (like squats, dead lifts or other heavy weights on the bodies larger muscles). I've never really noticed getting hungry as a result of doing cardio. In any event, I'd think that by eating something sensible before and after your workout, you could turn the hunger into something positive for your diet. I suppose if you think of food as the enemy, then anything that makes you hungry is bad. Instead, I'd think you'd want to look at hunger as an opportunity to do the right thing? I mean we all gotta eat, so just eat the right thing and watch your portions. I wonder how many calories I eat in a typical day.
mandiesoh mandiesoh 10 years
i think every kind of diet works for different people? this diet obviously works for some, and the cardio one works for others. for my body, i HAVE to do cardio to lose weight. :)
SU3 SU3 10 years
:OY: I find this to be ridiculous. Yes, you need to build and strengthen your muscles, BUT Cardio is BENEFICIAL for overall health. I feel that a mixture of weight training AND cardio exercises are best. :STRONG: + :JOG: = :)
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 10 years
I am kinda with this guy... I used to run about 20 to 25 miles a week. Now I do only yoga and pilates. In doing so, I lost about 10 lbs and dropped a full size. I am more toned now too. It totally boggled my mind and then I realized that after every run, I would eat about 900 calories... It really does make me SO hungry.
Veekore Veekore 10 years
Not really. My calorie range is 1200-1550 calories a day, so I eat at the low range all week to burn about 2 lbs a week. I eat 5 fruits/veggies a day, get protein and carbs, and work out. If I burn more calories than I planned to for the week, I can eat those calories. It works well for me.
krisua krisua 10 years
Really, REALLY DANGEROUS way of thinking!
Veekore Veekore 10 years
Actually, eating around 1200 calories a day is the ONLY way I lose weight, and I've been doing it for about 5-6 months now. Not that I can't wait to up my limit when I'm at my goal weight, but this works pretty well for me.
cravinsugar cravinsugar 10 years
first let me say that i think cardio is important for us to keep our hearts healthy, BUT...I know 6 people who have done a dimilar plan...called 8 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge of them has lost 40 pounds...with no cardio...her body is toned, and she looks great. And has 5 kids. so, go her. I say ANYTHING that gets us to be healthier is great. This is sort of what i am doing but i am walking too. It works. and you feel great, so what? _________________________________________________________ Why don't you wear the face you have when I am not around?
socalcutie socalcutie 10 years
i can see where this was coming from.... if it was strictly a weight issue. I had this discussion Tuesday night at a birthday party. Yes, you can lose weight with just resistance training, but it will come off faster if you run your fanny off too. thing is the people i know who are glomming on to this "work out" wouldn't know a weight if it fell on their heads.
BeeMoney BeeMoney 10 years
I wish this were true....I hate cardio.
atoxicsparkle atoxicsparkle 10 years
OMG! What a noob this guy is! I would much rather get hungry and snack on some fruit and have a strong, healthy heart and immune system then not be hungry with a weak heart!! I mean jeez, women's number one killer is heart disease, correct? Cutting out cardio would be the worst thing!
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
Isn't the "Fat Free" diet similar to what that Susan Powter lady was pushing about 10-15 years ago? Cut out all fat and load up on carbs, what a great idea!! :rotfl:
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
That is the ONE and only thing I dislike about cardio - It makes me sooo hungry. I don't feel it til like, an hour or so after working out, but then I get crazy hungry.
ALSW ALSW 10 years
Prissy - You should do it! You know that you'd manage to convert the masses! :)
PrissyLilBadAss PrissyLilBadAss 10 years
OMG, if this guy is really convincing people that they can lose weight by not doing cardio, I really should publish my "Fabulous Fat Free" diet, inspired by Romi & Michele's High School Reunion. My fat free diet allows you to live off of only gummi bears, candy corn, and licorice because they're all fat free! I could be a millionaire! hahaha. "Party like a rock star, pound like a porn star, play like an all star!"
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
I didn't even read the 1200 calories!!! OMG!! I pull in like 1600 a day. AND STILL LOSE WEIGHT. Hmph.
Butrfly4404 Butrfly4404 10 years
No thanks! I have a hard time fitting strength training in...I have a lot of excuses, but I will spare you. Even though my "goal" is to lose weight here, I'm more trying to make my body healthy so I can live a healthy life. And who cares if it makes you hungry if you know the right things to eat?? (PROTIEN, FIBER...) Just another person trying to get their share of the Fat Money at whatever cost.
mrsgrillo mrsgrillo 10 years
When I just reduced my calories (to about 1350-1400) I was starving and not losing weight. I upped my calories (to about 1500) and am at the gym for 90 minutes 5 times a week, and I am having outstanding results. To be honest, when I exercise, I feel less hungry than if I do not. This guy is going to make a ton of money because he is giving people the "easy" solution everyone is looking for!
amandasunly amandasunly 10 years
Yeah right, like anyone can go without cardio. Even someone as unfit as me does it. And 1200 calories a day is ridiculous.
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
ugh i LOVE cardio...this seems silly
Laurie Hernandez's Book Will Inspire You
Tomi Adeyemi on Her Black Lives Matter Novel
Chip Gaines's Book Capital Gaines
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds