i've increased calories by 250 to reach 2750-3000 calories a day. i think 2750 is my new maintenance calorie level; 2250 + 500 for working out. it used to be 2500 + 500 when i was heavier. i've been keeping sugars between 5 and 10%, fat at 20%, protein just over 250 grams, and carbs over 300 grams. even though i'm just now reaching a surplus, i've re-gained about 5 lbs this last month to reach 203 lbs bodyweight. so i'm not sure what is going on? maybe my caloric requirements are even lower than i'm estimating, or i'm counting calories incorrectly, or my body is just storing water weight and glycogen (from the extra carbs). i guess i could be gaining muscle and/or fat already too. at least my bodyfat measurements have stayed about the same, so that is good. the problem is both my bodyweight and fat percentage measurements have become less consistent (happened the last time i tried bulking too). my measurements are much more consistent when cutting. as far as muscle, which is the goal; my upper body (chest, shoulders, traps) look visibly larger. there are moments when my strength returns too. i.e. i managed the 130 lb dumbbells on bench, although i'm still just under 315 lbs on straight bar bench for 5 reps (previous norm). for measurements, my chest and belly increased, and calves decreased. damn you calves. been lifting them regularly, and they just wont grow. they are showing a decent amount of definition, which is kind of cool, but i wish they would start growing.
for nutrition, i keep making changes. been using a food scale, to re-learn portion sizes ... because the portion sizes that restaurants use are ridiculous. Target just started carrying stevia, so i've been trying that in tea. also started making no-bake protein bars (oats, protein powder, natural peanut butter, fat free sugar free jello packet, water). when cutting, i like the 'pure protein' bars you can get at retail. they have a good mix of fat/protein/carbs, are low sugar, low GI, taste decent, and come in smaller 50 gram bars. but i want more carbs for bulking, and most everything else has too much sugar. by making my own, i can make the nutrition profile to suit exactly what i need. finally, i just started messing with my cheat food ... chocolate. honestly, i didnt realize that most everything was chocolate-flavored sugar. so far, i've only made chocolate almonds (100% bakers cocoa with chopped almonds). that is high fat with no sugar, and gives me another option to get some good fats when i'm under the 20% mark. hopefully that will appease the choco cravings, and the bitterness will keep me from going crazy and eating it all at once.