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How Proper Calorie Fragmentation Improves Body Composition?
By: Hristo Hristov

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

  1. Eat before bed.
  2. Eat your breakfast.
  3. Eat before exercise.
  4. 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

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The Power of Stretching    - Dave Snape


Your muscles ache from a good stretch. This is quite
normal and is part of the process. Stretching has
seemingly been with us and particularly with athletes
since the beginning of time.

A very key point to good stretching is to hold the
stretch for at least seventeen seconds. This is a
pearl of wisdom gleaned from a ballet teacher a few
years back. She said that any stretch under 17
seconds was just not effective.

The 17 second rule is exceeded in the high intensity
Bikram's yoga where stretches are held for about 30
seconds. Don't forget the high level of heat that is
used in Bikram's to extract that last little bit of
stretch out of your muscles. An interesting twist that
is not necessary to gain benefits from stretching. But,
it can't hurt, right?

So what kind of benefits can you expect from
stretching? That's an easy one. Have you ever seen the
movie, Blood Sport? Did you know that Frank Dux could
truly stretch his body to the extreme. The actor that
played him was quite elastic as well.

Great elasticity is also something you might see in
well trained Spetsnaz (Russian) agents. They often work
out with Russian kettlebells too. They are for superior
strength gains and the ability to withstand ballistic

Why are stretching and flexibility considered important
to these people? Stretching gives one the ability to
have explosive power available at one's fingertips
without the need to warm up. Of course most of us are
not martial artists or agents. But, you'll be happy to
know there are plenty of other benefits.

Let me give you an example. After learning to sit in
the full lotus position for long periods of time, my
ankles became very flexible. One day I was walking
along and my left foot fell into a pothole. This mishap
pushed my ankle sideways to about 90 degrees from it's
normal position.

Amazingly, this didn't even hurt, not one bit. If my
ankle hadn't been so flexible, I may have suffered a
sprained ankle. At the very least, it would have hurt
for days.

Key point: stretching helps you to avoid injuries.
Not only that but if you do have a muscle, tendon or
ligament injury it should heal faster, theoretically

Stretching actually grows the ligaments, tendons and
muscles being stretched. They really grow longer over

Check with your physician before undertaking any type
of exercise, including stretching.

Here is some good instructional material on stretching:

Dave Snape

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