Home Get Started with I Can Do it
Free Nutrition Articles Free Fitness Articles Free Custom Workouts Todd Smith Coaching I Can Do It Success Stories Contact Todd Smith


Getting Started With I Can Do It

Published January 13th, 2010 By Todd Smith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


The instructions given to you on this site will give you all the tangible information necessary to achieve any physical transformation you could hope to make. The one aspect of this program that you must personally bring each and every day is a burning desire to succeed. A desire to push yourself farther than you ever have. A desire to staying committed to the program and joining the other 75,000 followers of the “I Can Do It” system who have accomplished their dreams.

Before getting started, read and understand the following articles to maximize your results:

Look at yourself in the mirror each and everyday and tell yourself “I Can Do It”. No matter what your current physical condition is, you now have all the tools to make your dreams reality! Dream big and believe in yourself.


The Truth about Supplements

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


In my experience, there are a few supplemental nutrients that will help with fat loss.  One thing that you must understand is that without the proper diet and exercise these “supplements” will not work.

The most effective supplements that you can take while reducing your caloric intake with a healthy diet plan and exercise are supplements that will aid in either speeding up fat loss or preserving lean body mass.  If these supplements help the body retain muscle mass it is key to causing the metabolism to staying elevated in order to losing body fat.

It is important to note that you must give your body two weeks (at least) to begin to see noticeable results.

Caffeine: 100-200mgs (1 large cup of coffee) before exercise

This has the ability to increase fatty acid release from fat cells which helps aid in power and endurance when exercising.  If you consume caffeine and hour before doing a high intensity cardiovascular workout it may make the work seem easier allowing you to train longer and harder in order to burn more calories.

Ma Huang: 335-670 mgs daily

Ma Huang is a cousin of ephedrine and aids in the stimulation of body heat. Taken with caffeine, before aerobic exercise, this herb will promote the release of fat from fat cells. When training with weights, will cause the liberation of glucose out of glycogen storage which will give the individual more fuel to train.

***Diabetics, people with thyroid problems, nursing and pregnant women, and those with high blood pressure or gout should not take this supplement.

Fish Oils: 4000 mgs daily(640 mgs of EPA and 480 mgs of DHA)

Fish contain a special kind of fat called Omega-3.  These fatty acids encourage the receptor sites on muscle to increase insulin sensitivity which will allow the body to release less insulin.  Thus, fat storage becomes limited and insulin channels carbohydrates and amino acids into muscle tissue.  Omega-3 also fights inflammation in joints and muscle tissue.


The Power of Genetics

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


Genetics play an infinite role in how lean a person can become.  Studies have shown that if a parent is overweight, the child has a 40% chance of becoming clinically obese.  If both parents are obese, the likelihood goes up to 60%.

There are three factors that contribute to the total number of fat cells in a person’s body:

  1. The amount of fat cells the biological parents have.
  2. The amount of fat gained in the adolescent years.
  3. The amount of weight the mother gains during her 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

If you are “genetically” inclined to be obese, you will have to implement a strong workout regimen coupled with a low calorie diet to overcome any obesity genes.  If you are an overweight teen, you have a 60-70% chance of remaining obese throughout your life.

Some individuals can appear to weigh more because they have more fat cells than others (even if the fat cells are not enlarged).  Contrary, an individual with fewer fat cells can appear leaner even if his/her fat cells are distended with fat. Thus, the more fat cells you have, the more recognizable the weight.

If an individual is genetically predisposed to obesity they will experience more sensitivity to insulin.  Consequently, the greater the amount of fat cells an individual carries, the greater the insulin response to eating carbohydrates.  Obese individuals have higher levels of lipoprotein lipase which causes a dulled heat production in response to food. As a result, it is very difficult for the obese to gain lean muscle mass.

Although it is difficult, it is not impossible.  What will always remain an issue with genetic obesity is that the individual’s body will always try to retain body fat.  Thus, if at anytime there is a falter in the individual’s workout and diet regimen the body will promptly begin storing body fat.  Whereas an “overweight” person who is not genetically predisposed to obesity has a much easier time keeping the weight off during falters in diets and exercise.

Although genetics plays a huge role in obesity, there is also the theory that people who are obese have obese children due to constantly overeating.  Poor eating patterns (lots of sugar, fats, etc…) and inactivity taught to children as they grow will be handed down to their children and it will become a vicious cycle of obesity nonetheless.


The Key to Looking Good is Getting Lean

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


When you drop body fat you increase your metabolic rate.  Lower fat storage will alter the body’s release of insulin and the body will act like an insulator slowing down thermogenesis. Thus, the leaner your body becomes, the less your body produces insulin.

We already know that dieting alone and just adding cardiovascular training to one’s diet will not retain muscle mass.  Therefore, the best combination of staying lean is weight training plus diet, plus cardiovascular conditioning.  Many people start by exercising and dieting this way, but fall off the wagon.  If you do this, your body will immediately begin to notice and deficiencies and give up fat as fuel decreasing your body’s muscle mass. Therefore, it is imperative that you hold onto your muscle mass in order to keep your metabolism elevated which will make fat loss easy.

There is no reason to go overboard in with too much caloric intake or not enough in order to appear leaner after the body plateaus.  You may just need to alter your cardiovascular conditioning.  When 30 minutes of high intensity cardiovascular training no longer is enough, add more, slowly and gradually until you get to 45 minutes 4-5 times per week.  Remember though, it is important to not do too much cardiovascular training.  If your body is over trained cardiovascularly, it will cause muscle shrinkage, reduce muscle mass, which will force your muscles to look flat and there will be no potential for muscle growth.   This can also decrease testosterone levels causing problems with women and men’s hormones.


Taking Accountability

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


If you are not keeping yourself accountable for your exercise and diet regimen you may not be successful in losing weight.  From past experience, the people that I have worked with have been far more successful with their weight loss when they were keeping “tabs” on their eating.  You must keep records on how many calories you consume from carbohydrates and protein with each meal each day.

Records are important because they serve as a reminder and instant feedback to any questions you may have when asking “why” you are or are not losing weight.  If you do not keep records it will be impossible to get information on what and how much you are eating; therefore, you will not know when it is necessary to change your diet or exercise regimen.  Records are the guide to success when is comes to a sound nutrition and eating plan.

When dieters begin to take record of their diet they begin to be held to a higher standard of living.  Dieters will eat better.  This is more likely because they are organized and can see the actual progress they are making. Your food journal should look like this:

Meal #1 – Meal #6: (Time of day & carb/protein/vegetable listed)

Total Calories for the Day:_______



Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


Water is the main component to blood and it transports nutrients to tissues while removing toxins for metabolism disposal.  If you don’t drink enough water you will slow down your metabolic rate.  If you are consuming caffeine, low carbohydrates, and high protein in your diet YOU MUST drink up!  These healthy diet plans with exercise will dehydrate you so you must drink 8-10 full glasses of water per day in order to keep your metabolism going strong. If you do not consume the recommended glasses of water per day you will dehydrate and force your body to rely on sugar as fuel rather than fatty acids.


The Glycemic Index

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale that measures the speed at which 100 grams of a carbohydrate enter the blood as sugar. The index assigns numbers to carbohydrate foods based on the speed at which it is consumed.  In order to build muscle mass, you need to increase your caloric intake from carbohydrates.  Dieters, when they are trying to lose weight, avoid fast-acting carbohydrates.  Yet, when you have reached your weight loss goal, in order to retain and build muscle mass you need to eat fast-digesting carbohydrates or you will put your body in the condition for muscle loss.

Carbohydrates are vital to building muscle mass, therefore, if you fail to eat the right amount you’ll never gain the size and mass you want.  Weight training with high levels of intensity requires glucose which is the basic energy source that enables the muscles to contract and lift the weights you need to stimulate muscle growth.  The best nutrition sources for this are: potatoes, rice, pasta, grains, fruit, and other carbohydrates that store sugar found in muscle tissue.  Eating these carbohydrates coupled with the right type and amount of protein allows you to train harder and longer.

Another advantage to eating the right amount of carbohydrates is the hormonal change that enables muscle growth. Insulin will turn on the system responsible for collecting glucose from what you eat, and will transfer it into muscle glycogen.  Insulin will also increase your muscle’s ability to absorb amino acids found in proteins.

Muscles are made of protein, but if you fail to injest the right amount of carbohydrates on a high protein diet the protein will be wasted because it will be burned up as fuel.  Consuming adequate amount of carbohydrates will allow your muscles to recover and grow because protein breakdown will come to a screeching halt.  If you want to build muscle mass you must train your body to respond to carbohydrate foods the right way.  Muscles depleted of glycogen have very sensitive insulin receptors and carbohydrates will be stored as glycogen first before stimulating fat storage.

Another way to manipulate the speed at which high-glycemic carbohydrates enter the blood stream is to include fiber.  Adding a small amount of vegetables dulls the rate at which high-glycemic carbohydrates are absorbed. If you keep your diet to the right amount of protein, a vegetable, and a high-glycemic carbohydrate (mashed potatoes for example) your GI will drop because the protein and vegetable will off-set the carbohydrate.

**If you are “carbohydrate-sensitive”, your carbohydrate intake will have to be more closely monitored in order to build lean body muscle mass.  This group may be better off sticking with a calorie-controlled diet emphasizing lower glycemic carbohydrates.


Getting Your Metabolism Back on Track

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


When most people begin dieting they are usually under the impression that eating less often or skipping meals will do the trick. I have a good friend who once told me, “I skip breakfast in order to bring my calorie intake down everyday.” This, actually, is the worst thing that you can do when you are dieting. Eating sporadically, only when you are hungry, and going long periods of time without eating stimulate fat storage and make your fat cells LARGER.

There are two reasons why metabolic confusion happens: One, when you have excess amounts of calories they are packed away as body fat.  Two, going a long period of time without eating and then eating a large meal forces your body to go into “flight or fight” mode and it begins to hold on to the fatty acids because your body is unsure when you will eat again. This is called the caloric perception theory (CPT).

We have all done this. For instance some peoples diets look like this over a seven day cycle: (Diet for a 180 lb male with 15% body fat – this person needs 1680 calories to survive/day *see BM example)

Monday: 2000 calories

Tuesday: 1450 calories

Wednesday: 2300 calories

Thursday: 1700 calories

Friday: 1850 calories

Saturday: 3800 calories

Sunday: 1100 calories

This seven day look at an individual’s diet is pretty common. On Monday, he begins his week with 2000 calories and cuts back to 1450 calories on Tuesday. Because of this reduction the body gives up some body fat as fuel because of the variance it will induce fat loss. On Wednesday, the individual consumed 2300 calories which is 300 more than 2000 and the body is thrown for a loop not knowing what to do – it may store the fat or it may burn the fat as fuel.

On Thursday, the individual lowers the caloric intake and again, the body is confused whether to store the fat or use it as fuel. This goes on the rest of the week until we get to Sunday. The individual on Saturday engaged in a very high calorie day and decides to under eat on Sunday in order to make up for overeating on Saturday. The body now enters the “flight or fight” and without a doubt, it will store fat in this situation.

To avoid this problem, an individual needs to eat the same amount of calories a day and the same number of meals (5-6). This is called a base diet. The amount of insulin released will be controlled and will not give the body conflicting signals. The body’s metabolism will become more regular and it will be less likely to store fat.

After establishing a base diet, the individual should add exercise (weight training). Eating a base diet and weight training will burn energy coming from fat storage and it will boost your metabolism.

A lot of people do this, but the kind of exercise they add to their regimen is aerobic. While aerobic exercise will burn off additional calories it will also get used to this and begin to burn less calories for constant work loads. Thus, adding weight training is the best solution. Weight training will add more lean muscle allowing your metabolism to stay boosted.


With a diet and exercise plan going hand in hand, it is possible for your body to plateau. This means that additional fat loss becomes more and more difficult and the individual does not see any more weight being shed. This problem is very common and will happen at sometime with your work-out and diet regimen. Usually when this happens, the individual changes their diet by depleting calories and adding more exercise. This will help your body overcome the plateau but will also lead to fatigue, which leads to your body wanting to accumulate fat. Therefore, the resolution is: when you begin to plateau, change one thing at a time in order to prevent body fatigue and control over your weight loss.

How to Overcome Plateaus

Excess carbohydrates can be stored in three different places in the body; in muscle as muscle glycogen, in liver as liver glycogen and in fat cells as body fat. When muscle and liver glycogen stores are full, carbohydrates will be stored as body fat. When body fat levels are decreasing, it may be because glycogen stores are never full, which is a contributor in the body’s fat loss plateau. This is due to the body pulling glucose out of the blood and storing it as glycogen as the main fuel source for weight training. The problem with this is that the body begins to get used to storing muscle glycogen and once the glycogen stores are full it will, again, store carbohydrates as body fat. Thus, the answer is to cut back on 40% of your carbohydrates for three to five days in order to reduce muscle glycogen stores. This will cause a metabolic shift so that additional fat is used for energy supporting fat loss.
After three to five days of lowering carbohydrate intake by 40%, the individual can return to a higher carbohydrate intake and the extra carbohydrates will refill muscles with glycogen. The body’s glycogen stores will have more room to store the carbohydrates because it will lower blood sugar and insulin levels initiating more fatty acids to act as fuel for the body.

Guidelines to reducing carbohydrate intake after a plateau:
1. Reduce carbohydrates by 40% for 3-5 days.
2. Increase carbohydrates by 15% higher on the 4th day or 6th day.


Normal Carbohydrate Intake 40% Reduction 15% Increase
280 168 322

The lower carbohydrate to higher carbohydrate stimulates fat breakdown for three to five days making the body increase in temperature, which stimulates fat breakdown. After the three to five days of reduction, increasing carbohydrates by 15% will give your body a metabolic boost saving or building more muscle tissue in order for you to stay lean. This will happen in the body because it will begin to store carbohydrates as glycogen rather than fat.

Although this may sound complicated, it really is quite the opposite. The low carbohydrate to high carbohydrate rotational diet is easy for most people to apply to their diet because it allows a single day where carbohydrates are not severely restricted and you can satisfy some of your cravings for some things like pasta. But remember, this type of diet is only to be used by individuals who have already established a base diet and have begun to plateau.


Endomorph Diet Plan

Published August 4th, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com

Comments (0) | Comment on this Article


If you are an “endomorph” your body type is one that tends to have a higher body fat percentage.  We all have a genetic predisposition for carrying a certain amount of body fat, moreover, we all have a unique way of placing that fat throughout our body. Endomorphs, most of the time, find that it is complicated to lose weight. Since endomorphs have a higher percentage of body fat, from carbohydrates storage, the body releases insulin that cannot efficiently do its job.  Thus, the insulin can not drive the amino acids and carbohydrates into the muscle.  In the interim, the pancreas overcompensates and ends up releasing more insulin and helps accumulate more fat storage as opposed to muscle growth.

For this group of people, the diet that will work the best is the “low-carbohydrate” diet.  If you lower the carbohydrates you injest, you lower the release of insulin.  This will shift the body internal chemistry and force it to rely on fatty acids as fuel, control hunger, and help save muscle mass.

Through this diet, you do not need as much cardiovascular training.  The suggested amount is 3 days per week or 40-45 minutes per week of high intensity cardiovascular training. If you start having any problems with this diet, you should reduce your carbohydrate intake even further to 30-50 grams per day or switch carbohydrates to non-insulin producing carbohydrates as discussed earlier in the diet plan listed for vegetables.

Also, Endomorph dieters can really gain from eating foods such as lean beef daily while dieting because beef is high in creatine and will contribute to more energy when weight lifting.  One thing to keep in mind is that endomorph dieters tend to retain water.  Thus, it is best to stick to a diet that is low in salt intake.

For this dieter, protein will be used to provide energy.  A high protein and low carbohydrate diet will stimulate fat loss by expanding energy to digest, absorb and assimilate the nutrients in the body through thermogenesis.  Endomorphs should lower carbohydrate intake by 60-100 grams a day.  Protein should be up to 2 grams per pound of body weight.  The dieter should follow this for 3-5 days before lowering his complete sources of protein to 1 gram per pound of body weight and upping carbohydrate intake to 2 grams per pound of body weight for one day only. This process should be repeated every week.  If you up the carbohydrates for 1 day you are tricking the body and causing the muscles to swell temporarily with glycogen.  Muscles will then continue to grow when dieting.