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Cardiovascular Overview

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


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cardio

What is the goal of your cardiovascular training program? Just like anything in life, you have to know where you are going, or you will end up going no where. For twenty-five years I have witnessed thousands of people completely wasting their time, spending endless hours doing cardio with no goal in mind. While the masses don’t have any idea of what their long term goals are, 99% don’t have any idea on how to have even one productive cardiovascular workout. If you do know exactly what you are striving for, and it involves running a 10 K, a marathon, participating in a bicycle race, or doing a triathlon, you can find better information elsewhere. If you are trying to lose body fat and stimulate your metabolic rate, you have found the right place!

Heart Rate Specific Training (Max Heart Rate = 220 – Age)
This equation was created in 1971, since then, there has been many individuals trying to complicate the formula, trying to come up with something better. In my opinion, 220 – Age multiplied by a percent of your intensity level is far and away the best measure for successful cardiovascular training. All the references in the training program portion of this site refer to percentages of maximum heart rate using the above formula.

Two Types of Cardiovascular Training: Steady State and Interval
Steady state training involves little or no variation in heart rate once the warm-up is complete. You simply maintain a steady heart rate in your target training zone for the specified amount of time. This type of training is best utilized once or twice a week to accelerate fat burning and optimize aerobic conditioning.

Interval training is an exercise technique that has led to the metamorphosis of thousands of my trainees over the years. Intervals refer to extreme effort (work interval) on a cardiovascular exercise followed by active recovery (meaning continuing the activity but at a much lower intensity, also called rest interval). There are a myriad of ways to create different interval training routines to assist you in achieving your goals (I have included the most effective I have ever utilized in the cardio training program portion of this site). While this training technique is great for stripping away fat, it is also develops your heart muscle and creates a stronger, more efficient pump.

 Heart Rate Monitors
What are your chances of winning a dart match with a blindfold on? Yours odds of hitting a bulls-eye with a blindfold on are about the same as attempting to achieve a structured cardio workout without a heart rate monitor. You absolutely, positively, have to wear a heart rate monitor during every cardio workout. All the prescribed workout programs will be dictated by your heart rate. Dismiss all the information you see on the different cardio machines that tell you how many calories you burned during a specific workout. The only template that matters is following the specified programs that are directed exclusively by your heart rate.

What is the best type of cardiovascular machine for burning body fat?
There is not one type of cardio exercise that is the king of fat burning. Actually, you are best off switching up as much as possible. Once your body becomes accustomed to anything, it stops trying to adapt to the different stresses you place upon it and eventually stops changing. Whether it is spinning, stepping, running, or an elliptical trainer, your body craves unaccustomed stimulus to continue shedding body fat once the process has begun. I have counseled hundreds of runners who were frustrated because they had consistently run 3 – 5 miles a day for years without any significant change to their body weight or body composition. Most were amazed at their results once they began incorporating varying intensity levels or different modes of cardiovascular exercise. Moreover, doing the same form of exercise too much is guaranteed to produce tendonitis and joint damage.

Moderate Intensity versus High Intensity Cardio Training
In almost all fitness centers around the world the “Universal Training Target Heart Rate” poster is hanging on a wall displaying optimal training heart rate zones that pertain to the age of the trainee. The target heart rate poster reminds me a lot of the food pyramid posters that are still being utilized by dietitians and nutritionists. While there is definitely some truth to the antiquated charts, it is obvious by examining the health and fitness of the average American, that engaging in moderate exercise and eating six servings of grains daily will not allow you to achieve peak physical conditioning. The heart rate chart stresses that mildly elevating your heart rate is the best means of burning fat – that is a true statement. When you exercise at a low intensity level, your primary source of fuel is fat. So why do I believe that mixing in some real high intensity cardio, with moderate aerobic exercise is exponentially better at burning body fat than the workouts prescribed on the gym wall? The body has two primary sources of fuel to use during exercise – fat and glycogen. Glycogen is a form of stored sugar in the muscles and liver. During aerobic activity both glycogen and fat are used simultaneously to provide energy. At a low intensity level, a greater percentage of fuel comes from fat, but some of the energy is also supplied by glycogen. As the intensity of the exercise increases, the body gradually begins to burn more glycogen and less fat. At extreme levels of intensity (such as sprinting), glycogen is basically the only fuel your body utilizes. SO WHAT GIVES?  With everything I just explained, it makes sense to only moderately elevate your heart rate to burn more fat. WRONG!  High intensity training utilizes more muscle glycogen than body fat as a percentage. When you analyze the sheer number of fat and calories burned comparing high and low intensity cardio, high intensity cardio is much, much more effective at burning both fat and calories per unit of time than moderate intensity cardio. Here is an example to quantify my point: Two 40 year old men that weigh 185 pounds each are going to workout for 30 minutes. One walks and the other runs. The walker elevates his heart for the entire workout to about 120 – 125 beats per minute and burns 200 calories. Of these percentages, 70 percent came from fat, for a total of 140 calories used.  The runner, utilizing an interval style training program, pushed himself hard for 4 minutes then recovered for 4 minutes, repeating the cycle for 30 minutes. During this workout, the runner achieves a peak heart rate of 160 beats per minute and burns a total of 370 calories, with 60 percent of them derived from fat (222 calories used).  The higher intensity exercise increased the amount of fat burned by more than 50%. Moreover, when employing high intensity cardio your metabolic rate will be elevated for hours after your workout is completed.

What is the best time to train for optimal fat burning? 

  1. In the morning on an empty stomach: After subjecting your body to a 10 to 12 hour fasting period (between dinner and the time you wake up in the morning) is unquestionably the best time to perform your cardio workout. During your fasting period, your body has utilized all its stored glycogen in your muscles and liver to fuel your body’s natural functions. Therefore, when you begin to exercise after the fast, your body immediately begins to break down stored body fat as energy. If you do your cardiovascular training after your day has begun, you end up spending 20 to 25 minutes burning through your stored glycogen before beginning to burn body fat. It is important to drink at least 24 ounces of water during your workout to maintain hydration.
  2. Immediately after your weight training workout: Following an intense weight training session, your body will have utilized most of the stored energy in your muscles and liver to fuel your body during your workout. Therefore, it is a great time to attack your fat stores with a cardiovascular workout.
  3. If your life style and schedule afford you the opportunity, jumping right out of bed and immediately getting your workout in is the best for fat burning, and metabolic enhancement. It is just as important to recognize that when your body is in an extremely glycogen diminished state (first thing in the morning) that it is no time to consistently execute high intensity cardio workouts. This is a time to take your heart rate to between 65% and 70% of your maximum and keep it there for 35 – 40 minutes. Attempting to push the limits of your aerobic training capacity with no carbohydrates in your system will lead to over-training or muscle wasting.
  4. High intensity interval training should be done no more than twice a week. Additionally, gut wrenching cardio should be done on a day off from weights, or immediately following a resistance training session (not legs).

Proper nutrition, resistance training, and cardiovascular conditioning, are the three key components necessary to achieve peak physical conditioning. Let me say that again, proper nutrition, resistance training, and cardiovascular conditioning, are the crucial elements to attaining your fitness goals. The reason I am emphasizing this point during the cardiovascular section of the site, is that 98% of trainers don’t fully grasp this concept. If you visit any fitness center around the world, you will witness the same people in gym, day in, and day out, slaving away, lifting weights, and sweating their asses off without ever seeing any results. So why is that? They fail to recognize the synergy that takes place when you properly apply all three crucial elements of fitness simultaneously. If you skip breakfast, embrace hunger, or fail to feed your body properly throughout the day, you will never see any results. I can’t tell you how many times I have left a gym, and seen one of the members who just finished a workout pulling into a fast food joint. I am totally amazed at what little value they place upon their own personal time. Not only will you not see any results, there is a great chance YOU WILL GET FATTER. All the exercise in the world will not let you overcome poor eating habits.

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Coaching by Todd Smith

Published November 1st, 2009 By ToddSmith for ICanDoIt.com


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abouttodd

My personal goal from the development of my web site is to empower all those who are attempting to improve their bodies with the knowledge necessary to accomplish their dream of having a healthy, strong, and lean body. I have outlined in detail the workout programs, the proper biomechanics on each exercise, the correct cardiovascular presciptions for each individual’s particular goals, and the nutritional outlines for those striving to elevate their metabolic rates, shed body fat, and build muscle. Moreover, I am committed to continually updating my site with every bit of new information I garner from personally working with all the clients I have the pleasure to encounter on a daily basis. Although I have chosen to give away all of my personal philosophies, knowledge, and my 25 years of experience of working with over 75,000 people from all over the globe, I have much more to offer those who choose to become a member of my  Todd Smith’s Elite Training Team.

Historically, it has been proven, that even if someone is armed with all the knowledge necessaryto attain their goals, almost all of us need much more: Motivation, direction, and accountability are three monumental aspects of successfully transforming your body into what you hope it can be. My experience has shown me that those who have daily contact with an expert mentor are exponentially more likely to succeed than those who choose to do it alone. While I have been a body transformation coach for over 25 years, I definitely don’t pretend to be an expert in everything. Therfore, I certainly see the value in having a professional oversee my progress in all subjects that I have not mastered. Since I am personally committed to constantly improving all aspects of my life, I have successfully utilized coaches to assist me in the accomplishment of developing new business opportunities, creating and maintaining loving relationships, and re-igniting my passion for personal growth when I have hit a plateau. One thing I realized long ago, was that time was my most valuable commodity. Therfore, when I reach a road block in life, I take the issue head on, and leave no stone unturned in my quest to overcome my obstacle.

I hope as you read this, you are able to reflect on your own life, and think about how long you have thought about being the best you can be. So why choose me as your mentor? The real challenge comes when attempting to apply all the knowledge, and being disciplined and motivated enough to stay the course. The ultimate challenge is having enough focus to carry the change through to behavior. That is why my training is so vital. My coaching program is the premier long term solution to making enduring changes. For your sake, I sincerely hope you choose to follow my direction. Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself straight in the eye, and say, “I Can Do It”. You will not be sorry, for you will receive the greatest return on your investment of time and money than you ever had at any other time in your life.

By becoming a member of Todd Smith’s Elite Training Team you will receive the following:

  • - Direction: Customized nutrition and exercise programs monitored daily and updated weekly.
  • Accountability: Nutritional journaling will be reported to Todd Smith daily to inspect and make necessary changes to insure success.
  • Motivation: Weekly phone consultations to counsel you on all aspects related to your training and nutrition.
  • Discover, define, and understand the power of the achievement process.
  • Learn and implement the keys of effective planning.
  • Create a clear, realistic vision of what you will accomplish.
  • Tranform your brain by creating powerful personal affirmations.
  • Learn to believe in your dreams and make them reality.

I hope to become your most trusted advisor and your strongest ally in your quest to be the best you can be. Please contact me as soon as possible.

Thank you,

Todd J. Smith
todd@ICanDoIt.com

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The I Can Do It Diet Overview

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


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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 Power of Genetics

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


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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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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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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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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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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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