Cardio Free Diet Background
For as long as we have heard, cardiovascular exercises have been closely associated with a good health and a good body. In fact, for these very purposes cardio has been the top most recommendation of doctors and fitness trainers alike. These exercises have also been a big component of almost every fitness/diet plan that has been developed for losing weight. Even the people who wish to lose weight without the help of such plans, have always had cardio workouts as part of their game plan.
However, quite recently a Jim Karas has informed the world that all this has been a big mistake. A personal trainer to a number of celebrities, he has now come out with a fitness plan of his own –The Cardio Free Diet. His plan not only contradicts our age old belief about the benefit of cardio; rather in it he states that the truth is just the opposite.
First of all he says, cardio is quite time consuming; not just in terms of the duration of a workout session, but also in regard with the time it takes to show results. This we all agree with. But what he also says is that although it might help in burning calories, the amount that it burns is very little, and the consequent weight-loss is only short-lasting.
He also goes onto explain that energy that is spent on a session of cardio, results in an increase of appetite; making us eat more, especially after the workout. So, basically we end up gaining more calories than what we might’ve lost. The result: probable weight gain, instead of weight loss; which works as a great motivation dampener.
Finally, according to him, cardio has major health implications in the long run. These problems may include internal inflammation, loss of immunity, as well as ruined joints. It may subsequently also increase the risk of heart problems or cancer.
To sum up, Jim Karas believes in cardiovascular exercises being not just unnecessary, but rather an enemy of weight-loss goals. And this thinking is just what his Cardio Free Diet is based on.
Cardio Free Diet Basics
The diet he recommends is one without high-calorie drinks, salad dressings as well as refined carbohydrates. What he does advice is increasing the protein and calcium intake, and include high-fiber carbs; while restricting the amount of calories. The calorie intake needs to start with 1200/day for women and 1500/day for men; and gradually increasing the same to 1500/day and 1800/day respectively. These need to be spread over 3 main and 3 snack meals every day.
As mentioned, Karas’ is a Cardio Free Diet. Therefore it ought to be cardio-free. However, he still finds a couple of them, namely light biking and walking, still acceptable in his fitness plan.
However what his plan mainly stresses on is weight training and resistance exercises. These are known to boost your metabolism, to speed up the weight loss. They would help in the building of lean muscle and shape up the body better.
The sessions designed with these exercises are included in his book. And these sessions are advised to be undertaken only three times a week; each session of duration of 20 minutes.
Cardio Free Diet Sample Meal Plan
The following sample plan is for phase 1
2 cups sliced strawberries, 1 cup 1% milk, 1 cup Wheaties.
For men: 1 piece of string cheese and one apple.
For women: one piece of string cheese
Kiwi Salad consisting of
One sliced kiwi
One medium sliced cucumber
Six ounces cooked shrimp
Season with balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
For women: 12 almonds.
For men: 25 almonds.
Apple Chicken: Place ¾ cup diced apple, ¾ cup diced cranberries, and four ounces skinless chicken breast in baking dish. Top with four tablespoons balsamic vinegar and bake at 375 degrees until chicken is done.
For women: 100-calorie yogurt
For men: 100-calorie yogurt and 1 medium banana
Costs and Expenditure
The hardcover copy of Jim Karas’ book, detailing his Cardio Free Diet, is available for $23. As the meals are planned by calorie counting, no specific foods have been specified. Therefore, no additional expenditure in that respect is associated with this plan.
- Cardio Free: This plan excludes cardiovascular exercise altogether. This fact makes it rather appealing to those who dislike cardio; as well as to those who’ve tried it before, but without success.
- Less Exercise: Even to those people who dislike exercising and/or have busy routines, just 60 minutes of workout per week seems acceptable.
- Not Expensive: Besides the initial expenditure on the book, the Cardio Free Diet can be fit into any budget; and thus is suitable to most pockets.
- Healthy Eating: High proteins, high calcium, high fiber and low carbs; all make up for a nutritionally healthy diet. Moreover, as long as the calorie count is maintained, there is no limit on the quantity of food that may be consumed.
- Delicious Recipes: For those who wish to make the most of taste, within the calorie limits, the book offers a number of mouth-watering recipes, including apple balsamic chicken and grilled tomato tuna.
- Fast Results: (Considering the theory holds substance) the Cardio Free Diet claims results to show in merely 2 weeks; and that they would in fact be lasting.
- Diet Restrictions: Refined carbs, juices, sodas, and salad dressings are all thrown out of bounds. Furthermore, the dieter is tasked with the job of calorie counting.
- Anti-Cardio: Karas’ theories on cardio are rather conflicting with years of research; which happen to support the cardiovascular exercises. They have been known to benefit health and promote weight loss. And there has been no evidence to prove otherwise.
- Insufficient Exercising: The amount of exercising recommended in the Cardio Free Diet, seems rather inadequate for the purpose of losing weight. This is especially true for exercisers in the intermediate and advanced levels.
- Low Calorie Intake: As per the basic nutritional recommendation, the calorie intake advised in this plan is rather low; especially so when taking into account the exercising involved.
On one hand there is years of evidence to support the benefits of cardiovascular exercises. They have been conclusively known to reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart diseases; and helping in weight loss too.
On the other hand, there is Karas pointing out the fact that at a gym, the people in the cardio section are mostly fat and discouraged; whereas those in the weights section are all lean and muscular.
And though there is no evidence to substantiate his theory, there is no reason to out-rightly reject it either. And for those who dislike cardio, or have found them ineffective, this plan is worth a try; that is, if your doctor gives it a go too.
The Cardio-Free Diet
By Jim Karas