Push/Pull on a 4-5 day split, depending on my life schedule. I do four sets of each exercise, and generally between 12 and 16 reps per set, depending on the size of the muscle/muscle group worked (larger gets 16). Exercises include: mil press, shrugs, db press, db fly, tris, cable cross, lat pulldown, low row, underhand pull (not sure of the correct name), assisted chinups, and curls. I also do treadmill intervals that generally last about 30 mins.
Are you doing any lower body work? Everything you note is upper body, if you're not training legs, then you're missing out on potential that can help change your body further. Also, are you changing up your exercises and rep schemes ever? Everything has diminishing returns, if you keep on the same plan for too long, you'll get less and less out of it over time. Not to mention, training the same body parts frequently without much recovery time might be hampering things a bit as well, I usually suggest that after doing a routine where you're doing something like you noted above 4-5 days/week to eventually change (at least for a while) to try program were you change up to hitting major muscle groups only once per week and minor ones twice at most. Sometimes less really is more.
Breakfast - 1 cup quinoa, 1 apple, cinnamon
Lunch - Big salad (romaine/carrots/mushrooms/celery/vinegar/oil) w/ quinoa or beans and 1/2 avocado
Post Workout - Vega shake with 1 banana
Dinner - 1 cup sauteed veggies/beans over 1 cup quinoa and 1/2 avocado
Before Bed Snack - 1 cup quinoa, 1 apple, cinnamon
You might potentially be ready to increase your calories a bit, especially with the amount of training you are doing, you may be underfeeding yourself (which will eventually case fat loss to stall out, no matter how much you train or how lmuch you might cut back further on calories). Personally, I'm an advocate of higer protein, ESPECIALLY for fat loss, but that's because I can't lose fat worth a darn if I eat high carb and low protein. If you do anything, I'd suggest adding in a bit of extra protein, perhaps another 40g or so per day in addition to what you normally eat to see if that makes a bit of a difference. I'd also make sure the "before bed snack" was at least 90 minutes to 2 hours prior to bed, it doesn't help fat loss to eat a load of carbohydrates just before your body is about to do the least it can to process them efficiently.
I've purchased Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding to learn more about training and diet.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT use that book as a total guideline of anything that's going to be amazing for body transformation. I've seen it before (a friend of mine had a copy), and it's not going to be of any real use other than to give you some new ideas, but following Arnold's plans (if they're still similar to the book I saw about 15 years ago) are not meant for a vegan diet, nor are they made well for people who train naturally.
I've also decided to adopt the training method of Lyle McDonald in his Weight Lifting for Fat Loss (basically a four day split of heavy lifting 2 days, metabolic lifting 2 days). I would like to continue my push/pull schedule, as I find it enjoyable.
Not sure how Lyle's training protocol is, but usually his diets involving fat loss tend to be REALLY low-carb style programs, so something to consider. And, if someone is recommending a specific plan for training, I wouldn't try to modify it much, the more you do what's "comfortable" or what you like vs. what might be effective, the more you might be short-changing yourself on results.
Therefore, I've been considering the following, along with my current diet. Since I am largely meso-endomorphic, and I currently require 2919 calories to maintain current weight, I would like to create a 750 cal deficit putting me at 2169 (before exercise).
Calorie intake sounds better than what you have now, which looks much closer to about 2000 cal./day, definitely too low for regular intense training while expecting to make progress.
1. Is my diet sufficient? Do I need more fats, or should I follow Arnold's advice and keep fats low?
Healthy fats are good, and with eating the amount of avocado you do, you are probably getting in a pretty fair amount. A bit more probably wouldn't be bad, but I wouldn't drop the fats too much despite the Arnold book info. Considering he was swallowing handfuls of Dianabol tablets like candy during his prime, it isn't like he trained naturally or was even much of a diet expert, in fact, it has been said that a lot of his "advice" was meant to actually hurt competitors who took his suggestions, so that's one more reason to not always take his book at face value.
2. Am I getting enough protein?
I say no, some might say yes, but the only way to know for sure is to see how you feel on the plan and increase protein if you're not seeing results after a while. Protein in reasonable amounts is not something to fear, but sadly, a lot in the vegan community treat it as if it were the plague and avoid it as much as possible for no real reason other than bunk science and myths. If anything, perhaps increase protein by 40-50g/day for the first few weeks, and then slowly decrease it to see how you fare at lower amounts after having gone with more instead of less at the start. That should help find a place for you that will get you to the right level for what your body is needing on the program.
3. Did my losses cease because I have only been doing metabolic lifting?
I could be a number of things, including undereating, overtraining body parts, not varying exercises enough as well as sets/rep schemes, etc. Sometimes the best way to get past a sticking point is to jump ship on what you've been doing and try something completely different, so it's worth a try to do something that's very much unlike what you've been doing up to this point, even if it doesn't necessarily sound like it will get you the results you're after. I found that I can lose FAR more fat effectively eating 3000-3600 cal./day with high protein and only 3 days/week in the gym than I ever did by eating 2000-2500 cal./day with 50% less protein and more carbs while lifting 5 days/week and going for runs every other day.
Finding out how best to train your body for what you're after is a journey, and not always one that you're going to complete in a short time frame. I'm STILL figuring things out after training for about 17 years, but I've also known people who learned a great deal about how to best work with their body in the first 2-3 years of training and made incedible changes. Some people are lucky in that regard, and some of us need many years of experimentation through trial-and-error to get on the best course. You won't know until you've put in more time, but just remember -
- Sometimes less is more when it comes to time spent training, and training longer/harder does not automatically equal better, sometimes it's just more work with no added benefit
- Abs are built in the kitchen, and finding the diet that works best for you might be totally different from what you're used to doing as far as macronutrient ratios for how you eat
- Don't be afraid to experiment, but don't abandon ship on a program in the first few weeks unless it is making things worse. Sometimes a good program for diet and training take a month or two before you realize that they are actually working well
- When you find programs/diets that work well for you, just remember that they won't ALWAYS work as well if you keep doing them straight without changing things up. Put time in between the "great" diets and training programs every so often with others you experiment with in order to keep from stagnating on your results, because nothing works forever, but it MIGHT work well again if you abandon it for a few months and go back to it later on.
- Be patient. Rome wasn't built in day, and neither were the best bodies out there. If it took years of neglect to get out of shape, you can't expect to look like you'll be ready to do a Calvin Klein underwear fashion shoot in 6 weeks, and anyone who promises you such results should be avoided like the plague
- Have fun with training, but don't be afraid to be uncomfortable from time to time. Like most of what happens in life, those who stay clear of discomfort and only want to be doing what they like are usually the ones who never get as far as they want. Sometimes you're going to have to eat or train a certain way that's best for you but is less than ideal for enjoyment. Just remember that it's not that you'll ALWAYS have to do things you don't like, just that you can't always do what's plesurable and expect to reap the best rewards from it
As always, I could ramble on for hours, but hopefully something in here will be useful!