Well Johnny Boy you certainly have received a lot of advice. So here is my input.
I think getting a physical to make sure you can diet is a good idea.
Then you need to think about making calories or grams count. Sugar, white bread, most pastas,candy bars, bottled or canned juice products all have too many carbohydrates which provide little or no nutritional value for the grams or calories they provide.
Emphisize fruits and vegitables. Avoid using salad dressings high in fat or carbohydartes [ carbies ]
Understand that if you think you are eating low or no fat prodcuts that advertise themseves as that, it could be true. Most yogarts, say they are no fat, then check out the fact they 10 or more grams of carbohydrates.It's all that sweetened fruit that you stir up from the bottom. Cocoa cola has no fat, but it is loaded with carbies. Unused carbies turn to fat. Unburned fat becomes fat. Fat is fat, whether you eat it as fat or it becomes fat from unused carbies. Drinking alcohol of any kind is drinking carbies. No nutrition, just carbies that if they don't burn off become fat.
Now if you drink and munch potato chips, pretzels, or have an order of nachos covered with cheese, the alcohol will burn off first, because it is esiest for the body to use, but those other things you are eating will probably turn to fat.
Bottomline, fat is fat whether from fat or unburned carbies.
You must be on a balanced nutritional diet, and start walking for 30-45 minutes a day at least 3-4 times a week. If you loose between 1.5 and 3 lbs/week that's good. You may even loose as much as 7lbs the first week. Normal weight loss that is healthy should be about 2-2.5 lbs/week.Some weeks a little more some less. Weigh yourself only once a day, I like the mornings before I eat anything. If you go off the diet, don't quit, everyone goes off the diet once in awhile, but stay with it, eventurally the beer belly will go and you will have lots more energy.
Now here is the key. Want to keep it off, after you loose it, then you have to change your eating habits and life style, otherwise you will just put the weight right back on. Might as well do that while you are on the diet.
Finally, you have to read labels. If it has too much fat you don't want it. If you think of carbies as being the same as grams of fat, then you also don't want too many carbies.
Figure 1500-2000 calories a day.If you are over 200 lbs, you may need more. No more than 500 grams or fat, though 200-300 would increase the rate of weight loss. Use olive oil instead of butter. Never use margarines of any kind unless they are liquid.
You must have some fat in your diet, going without it, will be harmful.
Try to eat only complex carbies, but mostly protein if you can. The final idea is find a diet you can stay with, live with, and won't harm your health.