Brief bio: I am 26, 6'1', about 173 lbs. The past 4 years or so I had gotten up to 205 lbs due to bad habits, especially way too much hard drinking. Then I started biking and eating healthy and got down to around 165, but still with a little bit of a gut from the past years that I can't get rid of.
Last month I joined a gym and started working out for the first time in years. My upper body always seems to respond well to weight training (my legs are a different story, that's another post). I am starting to see some arms and chest.
As I read and try to put together a diet, I notice almost everyone now speaks of a bulking phase and a cutting phase. If I start strict "bulking" it seems I will still have to deal with the gut. Summer is upon us and I can't even throw on a t-shirt without the gut showing through. There's got to be diet/exercise where I can do a little bit of both, keep putting on the muscle while losing that last bit of gut, at least to where you can't see it through a t-shirt. Any experience/general principles would help, in terms of diet or exercise. Thanks.