Sometimes it's the lack of calories that's holding you back
We've all gotten so used to looking at all the food we eat and judging it on various levels - Does it fit my macro's, is it too high in fat, is it too many carbs, has it got the right level of protein in it? All the questions those in the fitness industry ask ourselves every day.
The interesting thing is, sometimes we can simply be underestimating the amount of calories we really need to be taking in versus what we are expending. If that starting point is inaccurate, then everything from that point forward is flawed.
While we plan our meals/calories/macros around an anticipated activity level, the reality can sometimes be quite different. It's not always possible to account for all the incidental activity that comes with living a full and active life. While we can know our maintenance calories required to maintain our weight assuming we do the same thing every day, as soon as that shifts in one direction or another, it's difficult to change our food intake as quickly to match.
A classic example of this is over Easter, where we stopped watching what we were eating and drinking, as we like to maintain a level of balance in our lives, and because we aren't professional fitness models or body builders, it's not like we have to be as strict as someone who is about to get on stage and compete, or needs to be photographed for a book cover next month.
Chris and I had been on a steady weight gaining mission since Mardi Gras, however it wasn't until we stopped counting the macros and watching our diet that we actually put on some solid muscle over the Easter period - and given we also celebrated the Greek Easter, it went on longer than most peoples break.
While our activity levels were much higher than normal, clearly we were underestimating the number of calories we needed to build muscle, and were being too strict with our diet, as we both managed to add on about 3 kgs without a huge increase in body fat, while consuming chocolates, deserts, roast potatoes (nightly) and more steak than you can possibly imagine.
So the key out take here, is while we often talk about reducing calories for fat loss, don't forget that sometimes you need quite a few more calories than you think to reverse the process and get into muscle building territory again!
Creating your ultimate physique remains a continual experiment and work in progress, as everytime you think you've created the ultimate plan, your body adapts and it's time to change it up again.
Life is all about evolution - and you continually need to be evolving not only what you do, but what you believe in, if you want to look the best you can. No-one person has the solution for everybody, you can seek their advice, but at the end of the day, you need to find what works for you - and that will change over time and as your goals change too.
It's not always the answer you want, but it's better to know the truth!