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How Proper Calorie Fragmentation Improves Body Composition?


It is a well-established fact that calories control everyone's bodyweight. No matter how many meals a day you have, it is the calorie balance in the end of the day that matters. If you eat fewer calories than you are burning, you will lose weight. It won't matter if these calories come from chocolate, bagels, meat, eggs, fruit or whatever else.

Calories control bodyweight.

What about body composition? The two major components of body composition are lean body mass and fat mass. Suppose you just lost 10 pounds of bodyweight. Does it matter how many of those 10 pounds were fat and how many muscle? Sure, it DOES matter. While calorie balance controls bodyweight, other important factors influence the proportions of fat and muscle that you gain or lose! These factors may improve or make worse the way you look naked.

One of those factors is calorie distribution (or calorie fragmentation). Bodybuilders, as the group of people most concerned with their body composition, have been spreading their calorie intake into smaller and more frequent meals for decades. Originally they believed that doing so "raises one's metabolism". Science has never proved this belief. Recent findings reveal that there is no metabolic advantage of eating smaller and more frequent meals.

However recent research has uncovered that spreading your calorie intake into smaller and more frequent meals improves body composition! More calories end up building muscles, and less calories go to your fat deposits. The calorie balance equation still rules, but more calories end up building muscles! That, my friend, means that you will look better!

The most promising research comes from the labs of Georgia State University. Dr. Dan Benardot and colleagues developed a sophisticated computer program that analyzes a person's within-day calorie balance. They named the program - computerized time-line energy assessment (CTLEA). The research team tracked the calorie feeding patterns of 42 gymnasts and 20 runners. The trial found that the athletes with the largest and most frequent energy deficits were the fattest! On the other hand, the athletes with the smallest and least frequent energy deficits were the leanest. The results were equally supportive for both aerobic (runners) and anaerobic (gymnast) athletes.

This research is absolutely fascinating. It irrefutably proves that eating smaller and more frequent meals leads to more muscle and less fat. Whether you are on a 1200 or 4000 calorie diet, it does make sense to spread these calories into more meals. The research suggests that for maximum muscle, we must minimize (if not eliminate) time frames of the day where our calorie balance falls below minus 300 calories.

The most frequent times, a person fails to feed his or her body sufficient calories to keep a (-300;+300) balance are: sleeping and training.

Remember these 4 rules of good calorie distribution

  • Eat before bed.
  • Eat your breakfast.
  • Eat before exercise.
  • Eat after exercise.
  • Hristo Hristov owns X3MSoftware, a company specializing in developing diet and fitness tracking software. Hristo has a degree in Computer Science and passion for strength training. Hristo has designed and written Fitness Assistant, X3MSoftware's leading software product. Download your demo at Download Diet Software and Fitness Software by X3MSoftware


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