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