Ok,I am lost as to where to go now. To make a long story short, I lost 45 pounds (consistent 1-2 pounds a week) between last October and March of this year. I did it by eating clean and cardio (jogging). I am 6'1", and now 200 pounds.
I started lifting late in March. I also started actually tracking my calories and realized I had only been eating between 1800 - 2100 cal/day when I lost the weight. My training schedule went from 5-6 days a week cardio only, to 3 days lifting, and 2 -3 days cardio per week.
My lifting consists of: squats, deadlifts, overhead press, chin ups, bent over DB rows, incline DB press, curls, dips, lateral pulldowns. My cardio days consists of either jogging 3 miles on a treadmill, or riding my bike about 6 miles (total time either way is about 20 - 30 minutes).
I estimate my BF to be about 15% when I started lifting. I gained 5 pounds on the scale after the first 2 weeks of lifting. After 4 weeks, my weight had not changed, but I could see that I had definitely added some muscle, with no noticable decrease in remaining fat. My belly fat (right in the middle of my stomach) stayed unchanged.
So, 3 weeks ago, I started to increase my calories to 2500 per day. I am eating very clean, and averaging 2500 calories a day. I eat 5-6 times a day, with my ratios being about 40,30,30 (c,p,f). Meals are pretty much 1-2 protien shakes a day, 2 eggs, oatmeal, tuna, yogurt, steak/chicken/fish, mixed green salad, brown rice, every day. Over the last couple weeks I have gained about 5-7 pounds, which is fat in my belly section.
According to everythign I have read, I should be taking in somewhere closer to 3000 cal/day. With my calorie increase to 2500, I have gained a noticeable (to me) amount of fat. I am unsure wether I need to cut back my calories, increase my cardio, or increase my calories.???
My goal is actually to get rid of the belly fat, and for the first time in my life, feel good about not wearing a shirt, while also increasing muscle mass. I have read all the usual stuff and forums, and feel that (at keast in theory) I should be eating MORE calories than I am. But, since increasing my cals, I have gained weight (fat) pretty fast.
When I was lifting and maintaining my 2000 calories a day, I was making noticeable gains in strength, and no gains in size or fat. But I don't think that was enough calories. is it possible I have the worlds slowest metabolism and i DO only need 2000 calories a day??? I would appreciate ANY help. I hate to feel like I am going backwards in my progress (like I do with the last 2 weeks weight gain).
After losing the weight I did, I do NOT want to be gaining it back, especially when it is noticeable fat in my belly area.
I apprecaite any opinions and advice!