So I'm an 18 year old female (5' 11, 165-170 pounds).
In the past year, I have lost 50 pounds by eating in a calorie deficit (cardio here and there, but mostly through restrictive eating).
I'm really happy I lost the weight, however, now I am skinny fat because I lost a lot of muscle mass.
To fix this, I have been strength training/"RECOMPING" doing bodyweight exercises for the past 4 weeks. The issue is I have gained 5 pounds since starting, which really puts me in a bad place mentally because I've worked so hard to lose the 50 pounds.
I have been eating around 1500 calories per day (I've been very active most of the summer hitting around 10,000+ steps. Recently though as the summer's ending I have been less busy so I've been eating around 1300 calories, especially on my rest days (is this enough??). I track everything I eat using MFP and I know that no one is 100% perfect with their tracking, but I try to be as honest and accurate as possible. I've also been really good about protein, averaging 100 grams per day.
I've been measuring my natural waist line and it went from 32 inches too 30.5 inches, but recently it's gone back to 32! And the love handle area started at 38 inches and it went down to 35.5, but again, went back to 38. Again I'm not really sure why my waist has expanded, maybe water weight? There was one day where I ate 1700 calories, but this is because I walked 11,000 steps and the day before I had only eaten 1100 calories- this was a few days ago. And to be honest, I've taken progress photos and I don't really look different. I'm bigger than last week!
Also, I used to feel very sore following my workouts, and although I am doing progressive overload, I don't feel as sore anymore even though my performance is improving...does this mean my muscles aren't growing? I started only being able to do 1 interval of a body weight circuit, but now I can do 5-6 intervals. I workout 3-4 times a week, 20 min per workout.
Anybody have any idea what's going on? Am I gaining fat? Is it water weight? Shouldn't the initial inflammation/water retention be gone by now? Thanks!