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  1. #1
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    Trying not to become discouraged

    Okay.

    May 23rd I started a 12 week PPLx2 per week program while on an 1800kcal/day cut. I'm 5'9", started at 184-185 lbs. Macros were fat 40g, Protein 158g and Carbs 203g. I've been at least 95% consistent with that and the few times I have gone over it's been in the 2000-2200 calorie range, no days where I went crazy and went over 2200. I also started taking creatine at the beginning of this program.

    I noticed a huge difference from weeks 1-5ish, but I haven't noticed any changes since other than great strength increase.

    Squat went from 95lbs x 20 where I nearly passed out and now I can do 225x18. Made significant gains in my OHP, BP, DL as well but not nearly that dramatic. I was a leg day skipper for a long time.

    Starting weight: 184-185
    Current weight: 187-188
    Arms are + 0.5" roughly over the 12 weeks, quads/hams have gained about 1".

    Week 1:



    Week 5:



    Week 8-9:



    Today:



    I added 3-4 days a week of 20 minute walks, 10% incline with 60 lb weight vest -- just last week. I'm going to continue to run 1800kcal/day and do my PPLx2 routine along with these added cardio sessions and pray to God I see some additional results, because I'd rather die than cut my calories to 1600 -- it doesn't even seem sustainable at my weight and at my activity level.

    Any input appreciated
    September 2022:
    BW: 184.5
    B: 300x3, 225 x 14
    S: 315 x 1, 225 x 18
    DL: 350x4; 385 x 1; Trap Bar DL: 405 x 1
    OHP: 185 x 2, 135 x 12
    Chins: 19 Pushups: 60
    1 Mile: 5:52
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    You look like you're in good shape, but how do you think you're on a cut?

    Originally Posted by veggie530 View Post
    on an 1800kcal/day cut. ...

    Starting weight: 184-185
    Current weight: 187-188
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  3. #3
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    This ^^ (on spread)

    If you aren't dropping weight, you aren't "cutting." You may be recomping which is what it sounds like: steady bodyweight with gains in gym.

    How are you measuring and weighing your calories? 1800 should be low enough to lose bodyweight/cut with your stats so something may be off somewhere.
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    Not Aware veggie530's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    This ^^ (on spread)

    If you aren't dropping weight, you aren't "cutting." You may be recomping which is what it sounds like: steady bodyweight with gains in gym.

    How are you measuring and weighing your calories? 1800 should be low enough to lose bodyweight/cut with your stats so something may be off somewhere.
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I use a weight scale for everything. I eat out once every 2-3 weeks and I either get a single Taco Bell beef taco (170kcal) or a single KFC Chicken Little (300 kcal). I've eliminated all condiments except mustard and pickles. I use fat free cool whip for strawberries and bananas which I weigh. I use cinnamon in my coffee, a tiny amount. I weigh the creamer I use or use no creamer at all, and use a calorie free vanilla sweetener. I live off of stuff that you can either way or is packaged and accounted for.

    The weird thing is that prior to this I drank a lot and I probably ate 3,000 kcal a day just estimating. Ate lots of calorie dense processed stuff. I've been sober since May and doing this maniacal calorie counting since.

    Also, I'm 35, wondering if my metabolism is just slower than when I was younger and a string bean.

    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    You look like you're in good shape, but how do you think you're on a cut?
    SOOO...it was a theoretical cut based on my weight, activity level, etc.

    For the first month I maintained 184-185 and I figured ok...I started taking creatine and being consistent in the gym, so water retention, creatine weight, etc. and I started recomping, abs became more visible so I figured I'm still good.

    Weeks 4-8 I was like okay... I've gained size in my muscles, on creatine, etc. so probably still some water retention and now in 8-12 I'm bound to start shredding some pounds. After all, I basically was out of the gym from last October until May, only going 3-4 times a month.

    Now I'm 3-4 pounds heavier over the last 4 weeks. There's no way I can be +500 calories a day gaining a pound a week, right?! I'd hate to think in order to drop a pound a week I'd have to cut to 1300 calories a day.

    Overall, I'm 99.8% confident that my calories are on point at 1800, or, if I'm missing something, it's very minimal and should't be impacting a cut. So My guess is I am recomping at 1800 and at very close to maintenance.

    My question is (never had a real cut before) since I'm pretty much certain that I'm operating at maintenance, does adding 3-5 days a week of 20 minute incline @ 10% 60lb weight vest cardio (HR 130-140) sound reasonable to try out for 2 weeks and see where my weight is at? Or should I do 3-4 weeks?

    Alternatively I can do that AND cut to 1600kcal/day and just decide on a reassessment phase

    thanks for the input
    September 2022:
    BW: 184.5
    B: 300x3, 225 x 14
    S: 315 x 1, 225 x 18
    DL: 350x4; 385 x 1; Trap Bar DL: 405 x 1
    OHP: 185 x 2, 135 x 12
    Chins: 19 Pushups: 60
    1 Mile: 5:52
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  5. #5
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by veggie530 View Post
    SOOO...it was a theoretical cut based on my weight, activity level, etc.

    For the first month I maintained 184-185 and I figured ok...I started taking creatine and being consistent in the gym, so water retention, creatine weight, etc. and I started recomping, abs became more visible so I figured I'm still good.

    Weeks 4-8 I was like okay... I've gained size in my muscles, on creatine, etc. so probably still some water retention and now in 8-12 I'm bound to start shredding some pounds. After all, I basically was out of the gym from last October until May, only going 3-4 times a month.

    Now I'm 3-4 pounds heavier over the last 4 weeks. There's no way I can be +500 calories a day gaining a pound a week, right?! I'd hate to think in order to drop a pound a week I'd have to cut to 1300 calories a day.

    Overall, I'm 99.8% confident that my calories are on point at 1800, or, if I'm missing something, it's very minimal and should't be impacting a cut. So My guess is I am recomping at 1800 and at very close to maintenance.

    My question is (never had a real cut before) since I'm pretty much certain that I'm operating at maintenance, does adding 3-5 days a week of 20 minute incline @ 10% 60lb weight vest cardio (HR 130-140) sound reasonable to try out for 2 weeks and see where my weight is at? Or should I do 3-4 weeks?

    Alternatively I can do that AND cut to 1600kcal/day and just decide on a reassessment phase

    thanks for the input
    I'm honestly just confused from your original post... because it seems like you intended to be on a cut even though you've gained weight, but you also want to increase muscle size & strength. I think you should first think about what your goals/priorities are, and then decide whether you want to be in a deficit, around maintenance or staying in your current slight surplus.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    I'm honestly just confused from your original post... because it seems like you intended to be on a cut even though you've gained weight, but you also want to increase muscle size & strength. I think you should first think about what your goals/priorities are, and then decide whether you want to be in a deficit, around maintenance or staying in your current slight surplus.
    What in my OP confused you? I didn't say anywhere that I was trying to increase size/strength with 1800kcal's. Maybe I gave the wrong perception.

    I did gain strength and some size, but the intention of the 1800kcal/day was to cut. I mean, I'll take the size/strength because that's what happened but my goal was to lose body fat and have visible abs. While I made some of those gains:

    - In weeks 4-8, I don't see much visible difference but maintained weight, excused away with aforementioned factors
    - In weeks 8-12, I don't see much visible difference and gained weight

    I'm just a little confused that I'm gaining weight on 1800kcal a day, which seems out of the ordinary. 1800kcal/day is less than 10kcal/pound for my body weight throughout the 12 weeks (184-188) and from all my online research I should be losing when I'm at 9.5-9.7kcal/pound.
    September 2022:
    BW: 184.5
    B: 300x3, 225 x 14
    S: 315 x 1, 225 x 18
    DL: 350x4; 385 x 1; Trap Bar DL: 405 x 1
    OHP: 185 x 2, 135 x 12
    Chins: 19 Pushups: 60
    1 Mile: 5:52
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  7. #7
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    OP, you're eating very close to maintenance or in a surplus.

    If you're able to sustain regular workouts, and function (chores, job, etc) you are nowhere close to even being at low calorie.

    Lower your calories by AT LEAST 500 per day.
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    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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    There may be a possibility that the foods you eat have inaccurate calories (for example, fast food workers might scoop more food in). Maybe try the same 1800 calories but with different foods just to double check.

    Water weight may be a factor. Maybe your starting weight was when you were dehydrated, and you have a lot of water in you with your current weight. Maybe it's the creatine holding in water?
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    Originally Posted by tadpole25 View Post
    There may be a possibility that the foods you eat have inaccurate calories (for example, fast food workers might scoop more food in). Maybe try the same 1800 calories but with different foods just to double check.

    Water weight may be a factor. Maybe your starting weight was when you were dehydrated, and you have a lot of water in you with your current weight. Maybe it's the creatine holding in water?
    Water weight can be a factor for a few weeks, not for 3 months.
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    Don't be upset with the results you didn't get from the work you did not do.
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    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    Weird for sure OP. I'm same height as you, around 165-170, and if I ate 1800 calories I'd drop weight for sure. How sedentary are you outside of lifting?

    Eating out can be dicey, but only doing it ever 2-3 weeks shouldn't be enough to throw off your whole diet if you're sticking to the cut the other days.

    I still have a feeling something may be off somewhere, maybe in the nutrition app you use? The apps are notorious for having a lot of entries with info that is way off. For example, if you wanted to add a Taco Bell beef taco, I bet there's 100 options and maybe only 2 or 3 of them are accurate lol. Same with food from the grocery store - always be sure to pay attention to the details and that you're selecting the most accurate option.

    In the end, real world results don't lie - so if you're not dropping weight but want to, you either have to eat less or move more.
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  11. #11
    Not Aware veggie530's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    Weird for sure OP. I'm same height as you, around 165-170, and if I ate 1800 calories I'd drop weight for sure. How sedentary are you outside of lifting?

    Eating out can be dicey, but only doing it ever 2-3 weeks shouldn't be enough to throw off your whole diet if you're sticking to the cut the other days.

    I still have a feeling something may be off somewhere, maybe in the nutrition app you use? The apps are notorious for having a lot of entries with info that is way off. For example, if you wanted to add a Taco Bell beef taco, I bet there's 100 options and maybe only 2 or 3 of them are accurate lol. Same with food from the grocery store - always be sure to pay attention to the details and that you're selecting the most accurate option.

    In the end, real world results don't lie - so if you're not dropping weight but want to, you either have to eat less or move more.
    I use myfitnesspal

    I'm gonna make a list of my foods later. It's making me question the accuracy for sure. Off the top of my head:

    Mission Protein Plant Powered Tortilla Wraps
    Kraft Fat Free Cheddar
    Gourmet Boutique Grilled Chicken Strips
    Columbus Craft Meats Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
    Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter
    Crystal Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream
    Bob Evans Cage Free Egg Whites
    Franz Keto White Bread
    Bananas (weighed)
    Strawberries (weighed)
    Kodiak Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix
    Earthbound Organic Half & Half Spring Mix & Baby Spinach

    these are my every day or near every day staples
    My last 30 days I've averaged 6300 steps/day

    Today I drew my calories down to 1500 and have cardio scheduled 3-4 times per week over the next 4. I'll make sure to update the topic including any strength loss/weight loss/progress pics

    wish me luck lol
    September 2022:
    BW: 184.5
    B: 300x3, 225 x 14
    S: 315 x 1, 225 x 18
    DL: 350x4; 385 x 1; Trap Bar DL: 405 x 1
    OHP: 185 x 2, 135 x 12
    Chins: 19 Pushups: 60
    1 Mile: 5:52
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    Originally Posted by veggie530 View Post
    I use myfitnesspal

    I'm gonna make a list of my foods later. It's making me question the accuracy for sure. Off the top of my head:

    Mission Protein Plant Powered Tortilla Wraps
    Kraft Fat Free Cheddar
    Gourmet Boutique Grilled Chicken Strips
    Columbus Craft Meats Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
    Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter
    Crystal Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream
    Bob Evans Cage Free Egg Whites
    Franz Keto White Bread
    Bananas (weighed)
    Strawberries (weighed)
    Kodiak Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix
    Earthbound Organic Half & Half Spring Mix & Baby Spinach

    these are my every day or near every day staples
    My last 30 days I've averaged 6300 steps/day

    Today I drew my calories down to 1500 and have cardio scheduled 3-4 times per week over the next 4. I'll make sure to update the topic including any strength loss/weight loss/progress pics

    wish me luck lol
    Accuracy doesn’t matter as much as consistency. If you’re gaining weight just slightly @ 1800 and have brought it down to 1500 you should start losing weight slightly. Just measure everything the same way. Good luck!
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    Originally Posted by veggie530 View Post
    Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter
    BIG opportunity to get this wrong ^^^. Use the weight/calories listed on the item and WEIGH your servings. Most people use WAY more than a 'real' serving by using a mounded spoon.
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    OP, you have to find your 'correct' cutting calories and I wouldn't entirely rely on TTDE. Even if you weight your food like I do, this is not necessarily accurate but only a close/rough figure.

    It goes without saying that it is all about calories in vs. calories out, but I strongly believe that the type of food you eat plays a role on the overall health and the way your body burns the fat.
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    Originally Posted by veggie530 View Post
    I use myfitnesspal

    I'm gonna make a list of my foods later. It's making me question the accuracy for sure. Off the top of my head:

    Mission Protein Plant Powered Tortilla Wraps
    Kraft Fat Free Cheddar
    Gourmet Boutique Grilled Chicken Strips
    Columbus Craft Meats Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
    Kirkland Organic Peanut Butter
    Crystal Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream
    Bob Evans Cage Free Egg Whites
    Franz Keto White Bread
    Bananas (weighed)
    Strawberries (weighed)
    Kodiak Cakes Flapjack & Waffle Mix
    Earthbound Organic Half & Half Spring Mix & Baby Spinach

    these are my every day or near every day staples
    My last 30 days I've averaged 6300 steps/day

    Today I drew my calories down to 1500 and have cardio scheduled 3-4 times per week over the next 4. I'll make sure to update the topic including any strength loss/weight loss/progress pics

    wish me luck lol
    One thing I noticed is you only put "weighed" next to a few items. Does that mean you're eyeballing the other things? Like CommitmentRulz pointed out, eyeballing something like peanut butter or ice cream can be way off. Whenever possible weigh things, much more accurate than measuring volume.

    Like I said 1800 should be good cutting calories for you just based on general stats and averages, so I think you're eating more than you think which happens to the best of us.

    But for sure good luck bro!
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    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    One thing I noticed is you only put "weighed" next to a few items. Does that mean you're eyeballing the other things? Like CommitmentRulz pointed out, eyeballing something like peanut butter or ice cream can be way off. Whenever possible weigh things, much more accurate than measuring volume.
    Can confirm. I'm a master at densely packing almost the entire container of ice cream into one scoop onto a cone in terms of volume.
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Can confirm. I'm a master at densely packing almost the entire container of ice cream into one scoop onto a cone in terms of volume.
    LOL, I wish.

    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    One thing I noticed is you only put "weighed" next to a few items. Does that mean you're eyeballing the other things? Like CommitmentRulz pointed out, eyeballing something like peanut butter or ice cream can be way off. Whenever possible weigh things, much more accurate than measuring volume.

    Like I said 1800 should be good cutting calories for you just based on general stats and averages, so I think you're eating more than you think which happens to the best of us.

    But for sure good luck bro!
    Nah, I put weighed next to the strawberries and bananas because if I just count the banana as medium/large or count gaggle of strawberries by the number of strawberries when they both come in all shapes and sizes it'd be super inaccurate. I weigh everything on that list except the tortillas and the keto white bread and I measure in grams.

    Thanks for the attention to detail though. We'll see how the next month plays out.
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    Originally Posted by veggie530 View Post
    LOL, I wish.



    Nah, I put weighed next to the strawberries and bananas because if I just count the banana as medium/large or count gaggle of strawberries by the number of strawberries when they both come in all shapes and sizes it'd be super inaccurate. I weigh everything on that list except the tortillas and the keto white bread and I measure in grams.

    Thanks for the attention to detail though. We'll see how the next month plays out.
    Sounds like you're on top of it dude. I'm sure you'll crush your goals. Good luck!
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