About 8 months ago I started my internship at a software firm. Its a 9-4 stationary job. Ever since then I been slowly putting on fat around my waist. This has been very new to me since I always worked my core through compounds and have always been active so I was surprised to see a pair of infantile lovehandles when I took off my shirt.
My calorie intake is around 2k and have lowered it to around 1.8k due to my internship. If I lower it anymore, I run the risk of losing strength since I'm lifting 3-5 times a week. I'm not exactly sure what the culprit is since my calorie intake is at the bare tdee and I haven't put on any weight in any other areas of my body such as face, legs, or arms. I'm thinking its due to poor posture or high estrogen. The latter which is possible but I doubt due to the fact I'm constantly seeing strength gains in the gym. The former which is true (My sitting posture sucks).
What can I do other than cardio, and more core work? Cutting calories isn't an option for me.
20 years old, 6'0 180 lbs. Lift 3-5 times a week, mostly strength work (Candito's). Big three: 190 incline bench, 240 front squat, and 50lb pullup (can't do deadlifts due to bad back)
Calorie intake varies a bit but mostly 40% carbs 40% fats 20% protein. Get around 90 to 120g of protein a day. Cutting carbs and upping protein isn't an option since carbs are very cheap unlike protein, unless someone can kindly point out cheap sources of protein besides whey and chicken.