1. What’s the difference between calorie surplus + lifting, and just plain eating like a pig? What’s gonna keep me from getting plain fat again?
Lifting weights and eating at a slight surplus will put on about 50% muscle – 50% fat for beginners. Cutting the fat is a lot easier once you have some muscle. You already have the will power and disciple so it isn’t that hard surprisingly after you bulk.
2. How important is the amount of weights I lift? Should I try to steadily increase them each month/week?
The amount of weight is very important in the beginning while your increasing your strength. After a couple of years, you’ll lift for time under tension to get pump. That’s down the road, though. Lift heavy now and get that core strength up now.
3. Say I need 2700 cals for maintenance. Would a 10% surplus (2700+270=2970) be enough, at least to get things started?
It’s enough if you want to sacrifice muscle gain for less fat gain. Most people start with a 500 calorie surplus and adjust from there. You should have all the heavy lifts down pat by the time you really start bulking. Don’t bulk when you’re squatting 135 lbs for 5×5 unless you have a naturally high metabolism, are a female, or normally skinny.
People who immediately bulk after cutting usually put on extra fat. Give your body time to adjust to its new fat level before bulking.
For now pick a beginner heavy lifting program and get stronger. Strong Lifts, starting strength, Ice Cream Fitness. There’s some others too, Ask in the comments if you want me to review your program.
4. How important is fat in foods? Should I eat only low fat foods?
Good fats are very important. Get about .4 g / lb of body weight . Your testosterone levels will dip without fat. Of curse get good and lots protein too. You’ll need extra carbs as well when bulking, not as much when cutting.
It’s a great journey, have fun with it!