Your priority is getting the gaining phase sorted, especially if you have a tendency for easy fat gain. There's no need to take things to the extreme, before it's even time.
Clever Joe goes from 180lbs to 200lbs in 10 months, his bodyfat increases on the callipers from 12% to 14/15%. He gained ~12-14lbs of muscle and ~6-8lbs of fat (a ratio of roughly 70/30 which is really good for the average guy). Even though he gained 8lbs of fat, he still looks good, if not better than he did at 180lbs because of the extra muscle (fills him out better). To others without a keen eye, he didn't even gain any fat. Nevertheless, so that things don't get "out of hand" later on, for the next 2 months, he trims off the extra 6lbs (which is easy, less than 1lbs of fat a week...doesn't have to go on some pre-contest diet, doesn't need much cardio if any because he's already lifting 5-6x/week, and can even gain a little strength). He then proceeds his next sensible gaining phase the next year.
Stupid John goes from 180lbs to 200lbs in 3 months. He read that he needs to force his body to change, and eat for it, and as he does this he starts to see gains. But he takes it too far, and tries to force gains. He doesn't worry too much about his diet, doesn't even eat enough protein, and just tries to force the scale up by 1-2lbs every week eating everything in sight. He trains 3 days/week, sometimes 4 if he's feeling up to it. His bodyfat increases on the callipers from 12% to 17%, he gained 8lbs of muscle and 12lbs of fat. Because of this bad ratio, it shows. So he decides (with his irrational/impulsiveness) that he needs to get "shredded". He's fed up of being "fat", so instead of just trimming a little and recommencing gaining, he spends the next year yoyoing and spinning his wheels. He "diets" (i.e. reduces calories far too much, and does far too much cardio for his stage), and looses muscle/strength. This freaks him out, so he decides to "bulk" again....and so this terrible cycle repeats. His lifts in the gym hardly even go up even over a year.
I know they are both extremes, but hope this little story somehow helps lol