Your best bet is to study scientific research and what the papers say. Opinions doesn’t matter, everyone has one, and hold by it. I’ve been eating clean more then a decade with occasional cheat meals thats how I’ve put meat on my frame. I’ve began applying various cut principles on myself around 3yrs ago, with clean foods. Got super lean, made a lot of mistakes, lost a lot of muscle, made it all back. Now after years of different approaches, I’m dieting down basically eating what I want but always consuming my req protein amount per day. So i have 2 meals per day from simple sugars, pre and post workout, mind you im on the cut, and eating bread french toasts in the morning, then two proper meals, and guess what, im staying in a lot better condition, feeling a lot better, fuller, getting harder and leaner every day. I’m probably around 8-10% bf atm. So my thinking from experience and from what ive studied off scientific research etc etc is NO, you won’t gain fat being in caloric deficit, if you have your shit figured out with everyone on point. Nutrition, training, recovery, cardio etc. From 5 meals i can eat 2-3 what i want and still get away without making harm to my form, if that makes sense. People fear what they dont understand, and since Ive dropped slamming rice like a mad man pretty much my digestion starting fixing, no more bloat etc, fast burning carbs work good and you’ll get benefits from them. Also you can eat whenever you want and how you want that won’t affect your shape , and thats all from reading science reports and trying on myself. Unless you’re prepping for a show, then you need to try and experiement yourself, but in general, make sure to get your proteins in and time your carbs as you want. I like to have them pre bed, wake up leaner, or split through the day, as I get hungry. Depends on personal preference, and not opinion. Just my 2 cents here, hope make some sense from my experience;)
p.s. if you want some stats/photo of myself, macro outline etc, just let me know, ill be happy to share and elaborate further.