A soon to be brother-in-law of my is a pretty hardcore triathalon participant and used to do body building competitions. He has been in 3-4 Iron man competitions more recently. He was in for Christmas this weekend so I picked his brain about some of these questions I had myself. He re-assured me that while counting calories is important, it is just as, or more important to keep track of your protein/carb/fat intake if you want to get optimal results. He also very very strongly recommended that I start weight training more, and keep the cardio exercises mixed in.
He also verified something I read, stating that the biggest mistake most people make is not taking in enough calories. Yes your calories in, has to be below your calories out if you want to cut fat. But, if you dip too far below your BMR, then your body has one goal and that is to survive... Therefore, every time you DO take in calories your body is going to try to store them instead of boosting your metabolism and burning them for energy. That for optimal results you have to take in enough clean intelligent calories that your body wants to turn it into energy, and lean muscle. That's also where the weight training comes into play, if you are taking in enough calories, then you are working your muscles, your body will build lean muscle and it will shred the fat off your body instead of the muscle. This info sounds logical but it is a little bit hard to trust for the first few weeks, as when taking in the right calories, until you "wake up" your metabolism, you might even experience weight gains, but in the big picture, when you aim for a healthy lifestyle instead of just a short term diet, it is logical and a proven method. So don't be afraid to take in calories if you are burning a lot through work/exercise. And no you won't "bulk" up just because you take in a lot of protein, you will only wake up your metabolism and tell your body that it's ok to turn fat into lean muscle, and you will supply it with the nutrients and balanced diet to let it burn.