This might seem like a strange question, but is there a way to manipulate your macros to gain as little fat as possible when eating in a caloric surplus? I know that weight loss and gain is CICO at the end of the day, but I also remember reading here several times that both carbohydrates and protein are very hard for the body to transform to fat. Does it mean overeating on lower fat foods would cause less fat gain? On the other hand, you often see low carbers claim that as long as you're eating low carb, you won't gain fat even at a surplus (which I suspect is bullsh*t).
[If anyone interested in the context for this question: I'm a 30 yo female, 5'2'', currently around 135lbs. No matter whether I'm eating in a deficit, maintenance or surplus, I've been struggling with hormonal (menstrual cycle-related) hunger for years. Tried EVERYTHING under the sun over the years (so don't bother with tips, I'll probably jump out of my window if I hear another "Have you tried eating more protein/fiber/fat/drink more water"). just to make it absolutely clear: ITS NOT A CRAVING FOR CHOCOLATE or any other junk food for that matter. It just want to eat ANYTHING (though carby foods sound particularly good), almost non stop. Its insatiable (can't feel satiated no matter what or how much I eat, though eating takes the edge of off it for a while), it's compulsive (often feel like I absolutely must eat), pretty much constant (though its intensity varies throughout the day) and it usually comes and goes in streaks of several days. And when it's gone, I can almost pinpoint the moment it start to decline, it's almost like a switch. This is when I have my "normal" hunger days where I can eat a meal like a normal person and move on with my day until I start getting hungry a few hours later. No problem with eating at maintenance or in a deficit on such days.
The patterns was never regular (probably because my cycle was never super regular) and it's not like a usual pms appetite a few days before your period. When I was on the pill it would come in streaks of 3-5 days every 2-3 weeks or so. I came off the pill several month ago and at first it subsided completely and I thought I found a cure! But then it came back with a double force unfortunately. I get it almost non-stop now with occasional 1-4 day "breaks". Also, no period for months. I guess my hormones are completely out of whack. Doctors say to just wait it out. I pray to gods that it isn't my new normal and my hormones will stabilize and it will go away eventually, or at least that I get a clear pattern and it won't be like this 90% of my time.
Trust me, I try to resist it (and it takes A LOT OF will power to do it). If I stay very busy all day and spread my meals and snacks as much as possible, I manage to get though the day without overeating. But when I need to focus on my studies on very demanding days or at the end of the day, when I'm tired, my will power is depleted and I am desperate to fall asleep or when I wake up during the night (can't sleep hungry), I usually just give it and eat until it subsides a little. This is usually when I end up going over my TDEE, often times by several hundred calories (considering that I'm very active and my average TDEE is 2200-2300, that's a lot of calories). Filling up on food with very low calorie density doesn't help at at all though, unfortunately, just makes me feel uncomfortable and bloated and still ravenous. At this point I pretty much abandoned my attempt to lose more weight. I'm just trying not to gain too much since I'm moving dangerously into the overweight category. Hence, the question.]
I do realize that ideally I'd combine sufficient protein and strength training so that some of the weight gain is muscle. I eat enough protein (130-160g or 30%) but I really can't afford a gym membership at the moment. I go indoor climbing 2-4 times a week so I hope that that the elements of strength training there would help. But other than that can decreasing fat, for example, help?