Let me start off by saying that I find this forum both encouraging and inspirational, I really wish I had discovered it a long time ago! That said, I'm kind of a noob in these waters so I apologize for any redundancies in relation to my problem and similar posts.
So, heres whats going on...
I recently lost about 50 pounds over the summer, and NOT the healthy way. After eating less than 1000 calories a day and running 5-6 days a week, I found myself at a comfortable 155 lbs (I'm 5' 9"). While I can't say I'm disappointed with these results, I'm ashamed of the possible damage I did to my body during the time dieting. - And this is where my problem comes in. -
While I figure my weight is pretty good at this point, I'm at a constant battle with the little bit of pesky belly fat I still have. For the most superficial reasons imaginable I WANT the six pack! More importantly I want to be one lean 'mother effer!' Picture a combination of Brad Pitt - 'Fight Club' days and Ryan Gosling in anything! (I'm the worst kind of person, I know).
Anyways... I want to balance my diet out to the respectable calories per day but whenever I do I notice a weight gain. So then I shy away back to my old diet.
I'm currently eating about 1600 calories a day. (This is much higher than the 1200 or so I've been doing for the last 5 months after my weight loss). I lift 3 days a week and run once or twice a week (30-40 mins).
Obviously I should be eating more calories right? But my biggest concern is whether I should taper my calories slowly getting higher and higher each week. Should I start back from 1200 and work my way up from there? I've been on the 1600 cal diet and I'm worrying I'm gaining. It's a little a hard to tell though because I have some slip ups on the weekends, which I'm trying to work on.
I really appreciate any advice I can get, unless you deem me a lost cause, either way I can understand
Did you ever think to consider that a gain in weight could be muscle mass? You shouldn't be eating anything less than 2000 cals/day and if you don't have developed abs to begin with they're not going to show. Strength training is your friend and ffs eat more!!!
Two questions in regards to your response, and thanks btw!
I've never really considered weight gain coming from muscle mass just because I figure it builds so slowly. Lifting for about 30 mins (chest, shoulder, arms, back) 3 times a week, would there be a noticeable gain in weight?
Secondly, is it necessary for me to gradually work my way up to 2000 calories because my body's gotten so used to my old ways?...
In your position you could gradually increase cals but you should just set a number and hit it. Most people would say when trying to gain muscle mass you should eat enough to gain 1lb per week. But yes you should definitely be eating alot more IF you want some muscle mass. Personally I don't think cutting any more calories at this point is a good idea for you, considering at 5'9, 155lbs you probably have a very small amount of muscle. Basically if you want big muscles you have to eat enough and train (correctly) enough to grow them.