John Robert Cardillo Shares Why Controlling Hormones Can Result in Weight Loss Success

There is a game called “Six Degrees of Separation,” in which you pick someone and connect yourself or someone else to that person through people you both may know. The most popular version of this game is with Kevin Bacon. Bodybuilding fans and fitness enthusiasts in Canada could play this game with Canada’s fitness and training expert, John Robert Cardillo. Athletes who have competed in the Olympia or people trying to lose weight to improve wellness may have been influenced by Cardillo during his career in the industry.

Cardillo started bodybuilding at 14 years of age and saw success by applying high intensity workout principles taught to him by Nautilus inventor, Arthur Jones, and Mr. Universe Mike Mentzer. He trained less than an hour per workout, four days each week. His workouts consisted of one all-out set of each exercise, performed to muscular failure, doing two to four sets per body part, unlike most bodybuilders who typically perform 15 sets each. Through his workouts and unique nutrition program, he developed extraordinary muscularity, causing Bob Kennedy of Muscle Mag to coin the term “shredded” to describe his extreme muscular conditioning.

John Robert Cardillo started winning bodybuilding titles at a very young age. “I won Junior Ontario Championships at 16, the Junior Canada Championship at 17, and the Open Mr. Ontario at 18,” he said. He also won Eastern USA Open and two more Mr. Ontario Championships before retiring at 23.

He then shifted his focus to the fitness business. “Over three decades, I opened 52 fitness clubs in Canada, averaging 50,000 square feet in size. I have had more than 5,000 full-time trainers work for me, teaching my HIT3 Workout and Transformation Diet programs to thousands of my members.”

Renting a 4,000 square-foot former martial arts studio, Cardillo spent three months renovating the space. He continued with his 4 times/week hi-intensity workouts at 6:00 am, and the rest of the day he was busy with manual labour on his gym. Obsessed with all-day, non-stop renovation work, he had no time to eat and had only 1 meal when he arrived home after 9:00 pm. He did not like to eat breakfast, having only coffee before workouts and drinking water all day. This continued for three months until the gym was completed. To his surprise, he had managed to get in incredible muscular shape, with friends asking him if there was an upcoming competition.

This experience gave Cardillo something to think about. After consulting with a biochemistry professor, who suggested that he read several studies on the function of hormones, it became obvious to him that the body’s hormones affect the state of behavior and hunger.

John Robert Cardillo also learned that during the daytime, while he was doing lower-intensity manual labour, his body was using stored fat for energy. When the body is not being fed glucose (from carbohydrates), the pancreas will not release insulin and instead releases a hormone called glucagon. Glucagon stimulates the liver to release glucose and fat cells to release fatty acids for energy requirements, resulting in the reduction of body fat.

Discovering this, Cardillo changed his bodybuilding prep diet strategy to a daily 22-hour fasting period, followed by a 2-hour feeding period, which included a healthy meal at 8:00 pm and a small snack at 10 pm. The two meals consisted of 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fats. The ingested food got metabolized overnight during sleep, and all the hormonal activity occurred during that time. By the time he woke up, his hormones were back to normal, and his cells had the fuel needed to carry on with his daily activities. By following this new eating program, Cardillo was able to easily stick to his competition prep diet and develop a “shredded” physique.

Today, John Robert Cardillo still works out four days each week, 45 minutes per workout, using his HIT3 workout system and follows his Transformation Diet Lifestyle Program to maintain a lean physique with 8% body fat. He says, “It’s my lifestyle. I’m not on a diet.”

One can imagine the expression on people’s faces when Cardillo introduces his 22-2 nutrition program. Cardillo explains, “People may incorrectly think that the body is going to cannibalize muscle during the 22-hour fasting period, which isn’t true. While fasting, the body will access only stored energy from our fat reserves. The only time the body starts to use amino acids from muscle cells is if the fast continues for long periods of time, such as 1 to 2 weeks or longer.”

“Fasting for 22 hours is perfect for fat loss while allowing the body the ability to increase lean muscle with proper training and two nutritious evening meals, because these meals are perfectly balanced with all the nutrients required.”

At first, people think that transitioning from their traditional way of eating to my Transformation Diet would be almost impossible. That is why he has a strategy to help work their way to his eating program.

“rth Americans have a dependency on eating carbohydrate laden processed foods at every meal. To break this dependency, it is important to go through a four-day break-in period. By the end of the fourth day, their carbohydrate dependency is over, and their first meal of the day will be at 7:00 pm followed by a snack at 9:00 pm.

Cardillo shared, “This constitutes their first 22-hour fast. Days following, they are shocked by how well they feel. hunger pangs, incredible energy, and clarity of thought!”

John Robert Cardillo

In his new book, The Transformation Diet Lifestyle Program, Cardillo makes the case that if individuals follow his program, they will easily lose two pounds per week of body fat. He features some of his clients who have achieved extraordinary results. Their testimonials are inspirational. Cardillo’s philosophies/strategies are backed by medical research studies/references.

“This book provides all the information needed by individuals who want to understand how body fat is gained or lost,” Cardillo said. “The healthy meal recipes included contain nutritional breakdowns and meal prep information for healthy, nutritious, and satisfying cuisine!

John Robert Cardillo is optimistic that his new book will continue the work he invested time and resources into over his career. “This is the cumulation of my long career in the fitness industry. By overweight individuals following the program outlined in my book, the obesity crisis that has afflicted the rth American population would be eradicated. That’s why writing this book was important for me to do.”

Cardillo’s book can be found on Amazon and at You can also follow Cardillo on Instagram @johnrobertcardillo.

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