First just a little bit of background about myself. I'm 18 years old and last February I weighed 242 lbs at 5'11. After years of losing 10, then gaining 15 back, I finally decided that it was time to change for the long term. I decided to adopt a whole foods, plant based diet which is virtually a vegan diet. I also began doing cardio roughly 3-4 times a week. By May I had lost about 40 lbs, but with Summer cook outs and barbeques quickly approaching, I decided to start adding some white meat/fish with the occasional red meat back into my diet, but still eating very healthy overall. From then until now, my progress has continued and I am now about 186 lbs.
At this point, I still definitely have some visible body fat, but considerably less than I did when I started. Now, my goals have shifted from not only losing fat, but also gaining muscle. This leads me to a few questions. I already know how to lose fat. Low caloric intake, combined with cardio, it's that easy, anyone can do it. Gaining muscle however, I am not as familiar with.
What my main concerns really boil down to is diet. I know that in order to gain muscle, the body needs more calories than would be consumed if simply maintaining weight, and also more protein than normal. For someone with body fat still visible on the body, this concerns me. My two goals seem to be directly contradicting themselves in terms of diet. How should I go about balancing my diet in order to continue to lose fat while gaining muscle?
Also, now that I am beginning to do weight lifting exercising in order to gain muscle, should I continue with cardio workouts? The majority of my lifting workout consists of compound exercises such as dead lifts, squats, bench press, military press, chin ups, etc.