Quality of food matters definitely.
You won't be able to put on lean mass eating big macs and doritos. You can look at my food log I have months of archives, my meals are separated. I think my style of eating is really easy, anyone can do it. I don't buy expensive organic foods, but I do by healthy whole foods.
Alcohol does effect you differently than other calories, but thats an entirely different and lengthy discussion. Moderation is best for this stuff. It slows fat loss, muscle growth, reduces testosterone, dehydrates you, depletes your vitamins, basically puts yourself in a bad state for any muscle growth or fat burning. The way you metabolize alcohol and food while you are drinking is different than when there is no alcohol present.
I really think you might be exercising too much if you do that current plan. The more you exercise the harder it will be to gain muscle, just like not eating enough, burning too many calories will also cause you to eat your own muscle. You don't need to work so hard to get results. I work out only 3 days a week and basically just rest on my off days not much physical activity and I lose 2 lbs per week. I would stick with the 3 5x5 workouts and maybe 30 mins of LIGHT physical activity on your non workout days. Keyword is light so don't go busting your ass 6 days a week, chances are you will burn out or your 6 workouts won't be as intense and effective as 3 short super intense effective workouts could be.
Really dude those crunches are not good for you, there are so many other ab exercises that keep your spine and neck in a neutral position that get much better results, try them out. Lots of stability ball exercises and planks/side planks.
The 5x5 guideline is to not work out for more than an hour I believe. And if you are working out fast you could take longer rest between sets, try doing more weight so you need that recovery time.
I weigh myself everyday too, but changes day to day up or down are to be expected, what you want is a trend over time in the direction you want.
It's lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believed in myself. ~Muhammad Ali
You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures. ~Charles C. Noble
July 6th 2010: 225 lbs, 24% body fat
Nov 30th 2010: 181 lbs, 12% body fat
Dec 28th 2010: 177 lbs, 11% bf
Total weight loss 48 lbs.
Last edited by midwestj; 11-20-2010 at 12:32 AM.