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The I Can Do It Diet Overview

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


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diet1

Understanding the Basics of Calories

*Vocabulary

Pure Carbohydrates (Complex): derived from non-animal foods (rice pasta, beans, breads, potatoes, fruit, yams)

Manufactured Carbohydrates: anything usually made with flour or sugar (cakes, cookies, candy, and desserts)

Fiber: the body lacks enzymes to break down and does not cost you any calories – but may burn calories trying to break down the fiber in order to digest it.

Glucose: blood sugar that stimulates the pancreas to release insulin

Homeostasis: a balanced state

Insulin: storage hormone that regulates how much glucose shall remain in the blood

Glucagon: a storage tank for sugar

Protein: derived from animal foods (chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, dairy products)

Essential amino acids: tiny building blocks of protein required for health (immune support, hormone production, etc…)

Canabalism: when calories are low and protein intake is low the body begins to tear apart muscle tissue to make amino acids from glucose.

Dietary Fats:

Saturated Fat: solid at room temperature

Unsaturated Fat: liquids at room temperature

BM: bare minimum required to maintain life

Aerobic exercise: cardiovascular training

Anaerobic exercise: weight training

There are three types of calories that come from the food we eat:

1)      Carbohydrates

2)      Proteins

3)      Dietary Fats

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates come from food that is “non-animal” and are digested and absorbed by your body as *glucose.  The body prefers a concentration of glucose to be 70-110 mgs/ml of blood in order for it to be stable.

If the body reaches levels of glucose above 110, the body will try to reach a level of *homeostasis and will begin to take the excess sugar out of the blood and store it into the fat tissue. If the level of glucose is below 70, the body releases *insulin to pull the *glucagon out of the fat tissue to put back into the blood.

All carbohydrates we eat will be digested and absorbed into the blood stream as glucose. The body’s blood sugar stimulates the pancreas to release insulin and it will regulate how much should remain in the blood stream.  The total amount of insulin release to the concentration of glucose in the blood is related to your total carbohydrate intake.

Thus, the kinds of carbohydrates you want to ingest are complex carbohydrates not manufactured carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates are found in nature and some examples include yams, potatoes, wild rice, beans, corn, peas, and old fashioned oatmeal.  These carbohydrates illicit a lesser insulin response because it takes the body more time to digest. Manufactured carbohydrates (cookies, cakes, potato chips, etc…) are easier to digest; thus, the glucose is immediately released into the blood stream and large amount of insulin is deposited into the blood stream making it harder to control body fat.

Fiber is a separate group of carbohydrates and is known as a non digestible. The body is not equipped with enzymes to break down this substance and it actually burns calories trying to digest it. For instance, vegetables are known as fiber, and give the body zero energy.  The body actually uses its energy in order to break it down and it does not affect insulin levels.  Thus, calories are burned by ingesting fiber and this makes it difficult to over eat. Vegetables high in fiber paired with a complex or simple carbohydrate stunts the insulin from hitting the blood steam.

Examples of Vegetables High in Fiber:

Asparagus, Cauliflower, Dark green leaf lettuce, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Wax beans, Eggplant, Spinach,  Zucchini, Celery, Okra, Cabbage, Squash, Green beans, and Radishs.

Proteins

Proteins come from animal foods and contain all the *essential amino acids.  These proteins are broken down and absorbed as amino acids the same way carbohydrates are broken down into glucose.

Protein is the most important macro-nutrient in building or maintaining muscle mass. It is the only nutrient that directly rebuilds and helps develop lean muscle tissue. If your body does not receive enough protein from a low calorie diet, the body begins to scavenge for the essential amino acids while the body enters a state of *canabalism.  Thus, if losing weight is the goal, too few calories and insufficient protein intake create the worst recipe because it will lower your metabolic rate.

Dietary Fats

Nothing is more fattening than fats.  Fats do not take up as much space in the stomach nor are they as capacious. Gram for gram, they yield more calories than proteins or carbohydrates because the body absorbs 97%.  Consequently, a diet high in fat creates fat cells to expand bigger than they were previously and elevates insulin which will makes it difficult for the body to ever use these cells.  Thus, they stayed stored and do not retreat.

All animal sources of fat found in meats, eggs, and dairy contain *saturated fat. Saturated fat can be a great source for good health, but can also clog arteries and drive glucose into the muscle. If the proteins you are consuming are not labeled as “fat free” it is important to monitor your intake of these particular proteins.  A high saturated fat diet can promote cancer growth.

What This All Means

After understanding the basis of what a calorie really consists of it is important to understand how many calories an individual needs to maintain life.  The first thing that is important in understanding how much of you is actual muscle and how much of you is actual fat. In order to find out this information you must get your body fat measured.  The most convenient way to do this is through a simple skin fold test.

An example of this would be an individual weighing 180 pounds finding out his body fat is 15%; thus he would carry 85% muscle.

How you figure this out mathematically:

Weight: 180 pounds   15% body fat

150 pounds
x .15
=   19.4 pounds of fat

180 pounds
-19.4 pounds fat
= 168.4 pounds of muscle (lean mass)

Therefore, he would be 180 pounds walking around with 15% fat and have 19.4 pounds of body fat and 168.4 pounds of muscle mass.  His *BM, since he is carrying 168 pounds of lean body mass would be approximately 1680 calories a day.

If an individual drops his caloric intake below his BM the body will begin to burn protein from the individual’s lean body mass and the body goes into the “flight or fight” response. Thus, muscle is shed and the BM drops effecting insulin resistance and the receptors on fat cells for insulin are downgraded encouraging fat storage.

The healthiest way to shed body fat is add lean body mass because it increases how many calories you burn each day while choosing the calorie level best suited for your lifestyle.

How to Diet the Right Way

One thing that we already know is that starving yourself and calorie deprivation will fail when it comes to long term weight loss.  In order to be successful, you must stimulate the body to release fat without going into the “flight or fight” mode.  And this is how it is done…

Smaller meals (6 times a day) so it moderates insulin release with a protein and a complex carbohydrate for each meal and vegetables at least 2 times a day with meals. This is how it will look:

Meal #1:  Breakfast

5 scrambled egg whites, ½ cup Old fashioned Oatmeal, one medium size banana, and 16 oz. of water.

Breakfast will give you 340 calories, 23 grams of protein, 54 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fat.

Meal #2:  Snack

2 scoops of protein powder mixed with water.

This meal will give you 181 calories, 40 grams of protein, 3 grams of   carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat.

Meal #3: Lunch (I am assuming this is your post-workout meal)

10 oz. grilled chicken breast, 8 oz. baked potato, 1 medium size pear, steamed broccoli, and 16 oz. water.

Lunch will give you 577 calories, 52.5 grams of protein, 72 grams of carbohydrates, and 7.5 grams of fat.

Meal #4:  Snack

2 scoops of protein powder mixed with water.

This meal will give you 181 calories, 40 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat.

Meal #5:  Dinner

6 oz. grilled or broiled salmon filet, 1/4 cup long grain wild rice, steamed dark green vegetable, and 16 oz. water.

Dinner will give you 337 calories, 37 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 15.5 grams of fat.

Meal #6: Before Bed

½ cup one percent cottage cheese

This meal will give you 80 calories, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.5 grams of fat.

This program gives you 1696 calories, 205 grams of protein, 150 grams of carbohydrates, and 29.5 grams of fat. Your macro-nutrient breakdown is as follows: 48 % protein, 36 % carbohydrates, and 16 % fat.

You MUST Exercise

With the correct knowledge on weight loss, meal plan, and exercise regimen, I have never witness failure.  Combining exercise and the proper eating plan will lead to faster and more permanent fat loss.  The two types of exercise are *aerobic and *anaerobic. Both are crucial when it comes to sustaining a lean body, and must be used the correct way.  If you choose to do aerobic only the metabolism will downgrade; if you choose to do only anaerobic, the metabolism will upgrade.

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The Truth about Supplements

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


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supplements

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.

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The Power of Genetics

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


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genetics

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.

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The Key to Looking Good is Getting Lean

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


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abs

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.

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Taking Accountability

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


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journal

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:_______

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H20

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


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water

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.

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The Glycemic Index

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


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glycemic

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.

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Getting Your Metabolism Back on Track

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


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abs2

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.

Plateaus

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.

Example:

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.

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Endomorph Diet Plan

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


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endomorph

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.

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The Base Diet

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


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diet2

The first step in accomplishing fat loss and gaining lean muscle mass is to establish a base diet or reference point.  This diet tells you how many calories you need each day to maintain your current body weight and muscle mass. This is the superior approach to any other method, thus; how you eat will resolve what you will change in order to shed body fat.

The most important thing about the base diet is taking control.  In order to do this, it is important to weigh all the food you eat.  If you don’t know how much total calories you consume each day with proteins, carbohydrates, and fat, you will not be able to make essential adjustments in your diet to activate fat loss.

To start, add up all the calories you consume per day, and repeat this for the following two days.  Again, most foods will have to be weighed in order to determine how many calories you are consuming every day.

One thing to remember is that most people do not consume the same amount of calories per day.  In order for this to work, you must eat the same amount of calories each day because your body will begin to give up its fat as fuel.  The human body will not respond to inconsistency in nutrition.

Essentials in your base diet:

BASE DIET NEEDS WHY?
Protein:

  • Egg whites or egg substitutes
  • 1% cottage cheese
  • Water packed tuna
  • Orange Roughy
  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Crab
  • Lobster
  • Shrimp
  • Chicken breast
  • Turkey
    breast
  • Lean ground beef
  • Flank steak
  • Sirloin steak
Protein is only nutrient that builds muscle.  If you do not eat enough protein your body will not recover or build muscle tissue. The body will look elsewhere for the essential amino acids and begin destroying your muscle tissue in order to fuel itself.
Carbohydrates:

  • Old-fashioned oatmeal
  • Grits
  • Brown rice
  • Wild rice
  • Baked potato
  • Yam
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Corn
  • Strawberries
  • Apple
  • Orange
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melon
Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source behind weight training because they provide you with the amount of energy you need to train hard.  If you don’t eat enough carbohydrates, your body will not be able to train as hard, thus you will not stimulate the body to build more muscle tissue.  Your body will lack insulin which is essential in driving amino acids into building muscles.  Your muscles will begin to deteriorate because your body is feeding on them in order to nourish itself.
Vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Green pepper
  • Green beans
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Tomato
Vegetables are fibrous carbohydrates that control insulin output to favor muscle building and fat burning due to slowing
down the digestion of carbohydrates, which depresses the build up of body fat.

It is imperative to eat at least five to six times per day, usually every 2 ½ to 3 hours. Each serving should be no larger than the palm of your hand. This will allow you to eat a lesser amount of carbohydrates at any one meal. As stated before, too many carbohydrates eaten in one sitting will boost your insulin levels and result in more fat storage within the body. Five to six meals daily provides the body with ample supply of protein for growth, and the fact that the meals are smaller will modify insulin output. Pick one item from columns 1 and 2 for breakfast. Pick one item from all three columns for lunch and dinner. Drink a meal replacement shake between meals and before bed. Frequency of smaller meals united with carbohydrate timing and the right amount of protein will push the body to grow more muscle tissue without adding body fat.

The Tricks behind Carbohydrates: What and When to Eat

Breakfast: When you have not eaten for eight to ten hours there are few carbohydrates present in the blood stream. Thus, muscle glycogen is not saturated and carbohydrates will satisfy and replenish muscle glycogen before having the potential to affect the body fat storage. Therefore, breakfast can be your biggest meal in carbohydrates.

Post-training: Like breakfast, there are few carbohydrates present in the blood stream after a great work-out because your body has locked up all the insulin in order to begin building muscle tissue. At this time, carbohydrates are needed to replenish and draw the insulin to the muscle to promote growth. Ingesting a higher amount of carbohydrates at this time also stops protein breakdown and suppresses cortisol levels in order to save muscle mass. Thus, the post-training meal should be your second biggest carbohydrate meal of the day.

Summary of the Base Diet

STEPS WHY?
1. Develop a Nutrition Strategy and Starting Point Find out “on average” what your daily caloric intake is which will help you determine how to build mass or lose fat.
2. Establish Accurate Protein Requirements Based on your lean body mass make sure you count complete sources of protein in meeting your daily protein needs.
3. Alter Your Carbohydrate Timing Greater consumption of carbohydrates at times where the body needs them (at breakfast & after training). AVOID carbohydrates at night before going to bed in order to control body fat while trying to gain muscle mass.
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