Help dieting for a clean cut whilst preserving as much muscle as possible

Hey, how are you all doing? So, to make a long story short, I used to be obese, then went on a hardcore diet/exercise routine and lost all the excess weight -> tried to do a bulk and botched it, put on a lotta fat, and had to go back on that diet to get it out.

Jump to today- I did another bulk and am happy with it, but want to cut back down a lot of the fat I put on. I’m trying to cut down from 168 to 160, so just 8 pounds, and I don’t want to do what I was doing before, which was taking my BMR and subtracting 500 calories from: basically a hardcore CICO diet.

Well, now I’m learning that not all calories are created equal, and this is a whole new world for me b/c I grew up with the old-school mentality of a calorie = a calorie. As this is a sub dedicated to all things dieting + nutrition, I was wondering if everyone would be willing to help me craft a diet that’ll:

1. give me energy for workouts/post-workout recovery
2. avoid putting on fat
3. preserve muscle

Thanks guys, really appreciate it!

My stats:

5’10, 168

I believe I should be aiming for 2000 Cs/day, but again, you guys are the experts, so just tell me if my goal is wrong there.

Help dieting for a clean cut whilst preserving as much muscle as possible