This article resonates with a lot of my experiences cutting, and my concerns over my first bulk phase.
When I hit my first plateau in fat loss, it was at 185 lbs, I was stuck there for quite a while and found the one thing that really triggered fat loss again was going on a low carb diet. averaging 60g of carbs or a less a day.
I hit a second plateau around 175 lbs and moved onto a keto diet for a few months, where I hit 170, got in the hospital, put a lot of fat back on, lost mass, When I got to train again I went on keto again for 3 months and got to where I'm at now which is just under 170. I have been cycling carbs for about 2 months now with little to no progress since keto, which is a bummer. I've been at 9-10% BF for a while now (according to my BF tests, not saying that's what it actually is, as I think it's closer to 14-15%).
I'm scared to bulk, I feel like I'm not lean enough to bulk yet. I feel like cutting for yet ANOTHER month this time back on keto with a more strict cardio setup. Adding carbs to my diet seemed to really slow down the fat burning, but I did receive noticeable energy/strength gains, but for the primarily goal I think no carb is the only thing that works for me.
I'm going to stick with the plan to bulk in September, but I'm taking it pretty seriously. I've found my maintenance to be around 2400-2500 cals and will start the diet off at about 2800-3000 cals. As far as macros goes, I'm not sure yet, but I'm actually debating doing a low carb bulk (not keto, but sub 100g), or perhaps just modifying my carb cycling diet for bulking. I am just way too nervous to follow a standard bulking diet.
I like how lean I look, I love the vascularity, I'm willing to see some of it go for size, but not all of it.
As far as the lifestyle goes, I have noticed I'm much more "active" than the leaner guys I meet in the gym. They may play a sport or workout 1-2 hours a day, but aside from that live pretty leisurely lives. I on the other hand, don't drive, rarely go out, rarely eat out, and almost feel like I workout too long.
I don't have a car and don't really feel like I ever want to get one. I *LIKE* walking everywhere and in fact I'm going to get a bike for longer trips. I don't care about being sweaty, being limited in my accessibility to places, or the time it takes to get to places. The health benefits HEAVILY outweigh the convenience of a car, even in Oklahoma, especially after what I went through with my heart and clots.
Gonna add in a disclaimer here though, I do see myself getting a car here soon as it's going to be required for a lot of jobs, but will I ever use it? Probably not, especially if this urban city life thing goes well.
That all being said, I'm glad to have done what I've done. Don't feel I've necessarily worked harder than anyone else, or am more dedicated (I feel behind most people actually), just feel the path of a FFB is vastly different from leaner guys, especially guys who go from skinny to built.