Ok, I read the sticky and I have questions.
I am skinny fat and I am wondering if dieting and working out at the same time will do anything at all, OR do I need to instead choose to rotate between loading on calories and working out, and then dieting to see any change.
Pretty much, yeah. You won't gain anywhere near as much muscle as if you bulked though (maybe 30% compared to a bulk). You can also recomp (eat maintenance and lift) to achieve muscle gain a and fat loss but not as much gain as a bulk and not as much loss as a cut.
For fastest appearing results, cut and lift.
Bulking: Max muscle gain, little fat gain
Recomp: build muscle, lose fat
Cut: build small amount of muscle, loss fat
With all of them, you need to lift weights (exercise) to gain the muscle, otherwise it is like this:
Bulk: become American
Recomp: remain the same
Cut: lose fat and muscle
Look up isolation exercises. You'll soon need something heavier than that.
Depends on your starting point, probably 2-3 weeks you'll start to notice a small difference. In 2-3 months, everyone else will notice and in 2-3 years, you can look 10/10. It took me 6 months to leave skinny fat and have visible abs and bigger arms. It took 2 years for me to look really good.