How much of a caloric surplus is required to gain strength?
After finally given the freedom to separate myself from the typical DOD diet while in the Navy, I started to follow the principles of LeanGains. At first, I ate the standard -20/+20% cycle. I found it was too difficult and uncomfortable to eat that many calories on lifting days. So I dropped it down to -20/+10%. I've been doing that for about a month now and seeing results. I currently have only two lifting days in the week. For various reasons, I want to increase that to three times a week, which would mean eating a calorie surplus more often. This would hinder my first priority, which is weight loss. Also, +10% is still uncomfortable o eat and I would like to drop it down to +5%. Seeing as my fitness goals is to increase my strength, not bulk up, I'm thinking that a large calorie surplus isn't that important, just so long as there is at least a slight surplus composed mostly of carbs (for the insulin spike).
I just want to know if this would be alright considering my goals. I want to gain strength, bulking being an acceptable side effect, but mostly lose fat. I know math in these cases are never going to be accurate, but a calculator indicates that in order to maintain a weight loss of at least 1/2 lb per week, I will need to drop the calories on lifting days to +5% if I end up going from two to three lifting days. All this is assuming that my rest days of -20% aren't adjusted.