I need help designing an excercise/diet plan
Kind of new to this site/forum, but I'm hoping that I can get some good advice here. I've been been trying for the last year or so to get fit, and I'm showing very little progress. I've found that I'll go hard on a new regime (P90x, Abercrombie workout, etc) for a couple of weeks, but then I'll be researching it and feel as though I'm wasting my time. It seems like for every supportive article on any given diet or fitness regime I read, I'll find two others debunking it. I need help developing a realistic workout routine with a sound diet that'll help me reach my goals.
Basically, I'm a 28 year old male weighing in at 171lbs (78kg) and a 36" waist. I estimate my BF% to be 15-20%, and I can run 5 miles in 43 mins. I wouldn't consider myself to be terribly out-of-shape, but I do have a bit of a beer belly. I've always had an skinny, ecto-morph body with little muscle definition, and I've never really felt real great about it.
My goal is to work towards a body that is in peak health and will help develop some more confidence in myself. I'm also absolutely motivated to have a body at the beach that can impress the girls. I'm not looking to be one of those guys who can barely fit into their shirt or needs a picture of themselves on Facebook to feed their ego, I just want to feel better about myself, be in peak health, and look good in the mirror.
So, if you're still reading and can maybe offer suggestions/advice, here's what I'm wondering about:
Is it possible to build muscle while taking in only a small, clean calorie deficit (300-500) with a 50% protein, 30% carbs, 20% healthy fat diet? What about a small calorie surplus with the same diet? (DMR=2900 calories)
If not, would it be better to eat a significant amount of extra calories and bulk up 15-20lbs (8kgs) while lifting weights, then put in some cardio and cut back down to a 10% BF?
What about workout regimes? I don't want to necessarily be HUGE, I just want to look fit, toned and defined - any suggestions for workout routines for this?
Am I focused in the total wrong direction here?
Any thoughts, advice, or suggestions are greatly appreciated! I look forward to reading your replies.