i think that the issue here is that it's all about tinkering.
here are some cool positives that i've pulled from your post --
1. you have reasonable, attainable goals;
2. you have spent a lot of time adjusting to and learning about the PB way of eating and way of life;
3. you have experienced IF in a successful way overall.
Now, you are looking to *customize* the process to you. This *customizing* is really important.
There are, of course, lots of options in this customization. Here are the options that I see so far:
1. calorie restriction;
2. cutting sugars/wine/etc;
3. adjusting your IF to leangains style (16 hr fasts; 8 hr eating window);
4. adjusting your workouts/etc;
i'm sure there are others, too.
So, here comes in the "scales" as it were -- to balance out and weigh what may be best.
I think that you *may be* choosing calorie restriction because of CW. trust me, it sneaks up on me too. my first go to is, actually, to restrict and exercise more. seriously, i feel a little bloated today after yesterdays chip fest (and yes, i'm regretting it), and my mind immediately wandered over to "OMG you are going to have to work out more this week." fact is, that's just the old CW speaking in my brain.
Now of course, choosing calorie restriction might also be a great idea. It might be what you need. Dragonfly points out that it was the combination of restriction and VLC and giving up sugar that worked for her (or is working), and others might be right that changing up the IF might be the ticket.
end of the day, truly, you have to experiment and see what works *for you*.
if you are going to restrict, i do recommend spending a couple of weeks seeing what you are eating and how many calories that is, and then restrict 200 as dragonfly suggests. do that for a month, see what the results are. Then, change another thing (maybe go back to more calories, but change the IF schedule for example). do that for a month, see what the results are.
don't worry about it overmuch. it will happen, it's just a matter of how PB needs to be customized to you, based on the myriad of issues that you do have.
also, do any of your medications have a side effect of weight gain? my sister's first massive weight gain after her first massive weight loss was due to drugs -- not food/exercise/etc. she was on a medication for anxiety/depression, and in my experience, a lot of brain-related drugs tend to have weight gain as part of their side effects. thus, until those are properly dosed, switched to something else, or you're off of them, your body may hang on to a bit of extra weight. just tossing it out there, because you could be doing everything perfectly right for you under *normal* circumstances, but the drugs (which i would assert you need) could be working against you. and that's ok. because they are also working for you, just not for your weight loss goals.
anyway, just some "two cents."
You should probably conside supping vitamin D
Still waiting for the bodybuilding pics.
Excellent point about medications, Zoe. I do take something for my exceptionally rare seizures that is a barbituate.
As to not worrying, no I'm not stressing out. I just don't think that the ostrich approach to reality is a good idea either.
Have you had medical tests -- Lipid, Vitamin D, fasting BGL, HbA1c, fasting insulin, thyroid (TSH, Free T4, Free T3), ferritin-- done to see where you are?? If not, I suggest having them done.
There is a possibility that your fasting regimen has impacted thyroid function-- specifically T4 To T3 conversion. My understanding is that IF is just that---intermittent fasting. Your fasting seems so controlled and routine, it seems out of control.