Jack, first off, if you’ve been dieting for two years and are tired of it, I think that’s fair. I see a couple of possibilities, and feel free to take my suggestions and put your own twist on things to suit your purpose.
If 2,250 calories allows you a weight loss of 1-1.5 pounds, raise your calories to maintenance by increasing calories by 50 calories per day. My best educated guess is that your maintenance calories are roughly 2,750 calories. In fact, just use that number. It will take you 10 days to hit 2,750 calories.
In conjunction with increasing calories to maintenance, I’d recommend that you drop your daily protein intake to 1.25g x LBM (down from 1.5g x LBM), drop fat to half of what it is now and increase carbs to hit your goal caloric intake.
There isn’t any reason you can’t still eat clean, but I’d like to see you shake things up and eat for flavor. Hit the bookstore and search the forum for some good recipes. Definitely use the opportunity to get in more rice, beans, fruit. Eat some spaghetti. Make some chili for yourself and some wonderful soups with veggies and pasta and FLAVOR!!! Your starchy-type carbs for some reason give the thyroid a bit of a kick.
Let me give you an idea of what I’m talking about in the recipe department. A favorite of mine is adding LC Grow to some instant sugar-free pudding. It’s a WONDERFUL, tasty P+C meal. You’re long overdue for some flavor and taste, Jack.
Stay at maintenance. Continue working out and doing your cardio. At some point you’re going to start chomping at the bit to strip away the last bit of fat. But give yourself a well deserved break. Try a new program, something different. Take up an activity that has nothing to do with working out.
As far as your workout goes, try something radically different, something where you go outside of your comfort zone. Try Westside. Find a powerlifting club and start lifting with others. Try Chad’s ABBH, which won Program of the Year, by the way. And if nothing in the way of a program pushes your buttons, give IT a break too.
One thing, though, going back to your new eating patterns. Remember that for every unit of glcogen stored in the muscle, there are roughly 3 units of water stored with it. When you pick up your carb intake, scale weight will go up. But it’s only water. Just live with it and keep hitting your 2,750 calories per day.
Another thing I’ll throw out for your consideration is a supplement that helps with cravings. Use it when you start back cutting. 5-HTP does a fabulous job with managing carb cravings if there’s a seratonin deficiency. It helps with the BAD carbs; chips and sweets and all the things you’re supposed to avoid. You can take up to 300mg three times a day, but I’d start with 100mg twice a day, going up a little every 3 days. If it’s going to work, it works quickly.
I’m not telling you to throw out your program, Jack. You’ve come too far. But honestly, you need to realize that you will have to follow a somewhat structured eating plan for the rest of your life. I no longer call it a diet. I call it my eating patterns. I have my cheat days. I have my eating patterns for days I work out and a different one for days I don’t. It works pretty well for me, well enough that I know I’ll be following it for the rest of my life.
A question for you. I know your motivation is poor and your cravings are off the chart. Are you having trouble sleeping too?
I’m not ignoring your second message, where you answered all my questions. It’s just that you were/are doing everything perfectly. I really feel the answer doesn’t lie in optimizing your diet and “sucking it up.” You just really, really need a break. I think you can have that break without doing any serious damage to your long-term goals.
I really, really hope that there’s something in my post that you can use to your advantage. Sorry if I bounced around all over the place.