I'd say for being able to cook well, you're not all that heavy.
Good idea for a thread. Just a few things about the diet.
1. If this is for appearance sake, you don't have to be that hardcore with it. The best kind of "diets" for people who just want to shed unattractive weight are the ones that don't seem like you're on a diet.
A tactic I used before and has success with was making a menu, and altering it in a healthy direction every week. An example would be to start with a cheeseburger and fries. Not healthy, but something you like. Have one or two a week, and then next week just have a hamburger with fries. The next week have a hamburger with less fries and a side salad, then a turkey burger with the fries and side salad and so on. If you do that with every meal, you'll eventually cut a good chunk of calories out of the diet and you don't really suffer for it. Plus its an easier diet to keep at long term and actually change your eating habits, as opposed to dropping weight and putting it back on when you stop the diet.
2. Try to avoid the soy. I've heard both sides of the whole soy protein argument, and tend to believe its not good for males to eat. I realize you're not looking to be a body builder or anything, but if you're doing weight training, BJJ or anything physical like that, you could be killing whatever bulk you could have put on if you eat too much soy.