Welcome peeps.. First of all, hearty congratulations for giving up the cigarettes. Stopping smoking is probably the best thing you can do to prolong your life, unless you do stuff like jumping out of aircraft without a parachute, etc.
MVSprite's advice is great. I personally am on Atkins, because I love the book, and love the big list of foods I can choose from, with no set menus.
I found this article quite interesting:
It says that smoking burns up some calories and slightly increases the metabolism. You can increase your metabolism by building muscle, which burns more energy than fat, even when you are sleeping.
New studies have shown that if you do bursts of intensive exercise, then it is as beneficial as hours spent at the gymn:
"The key ... is to do four 30-second sprints on an exercise bike at your maximum effort, with short rests in between bursts. The whole thing should take about four minutes. Doing this, even just twice a week, will bring clear benefits."
Here is the full article:
Callanetics is another method of building muscle without bulk, to streamline your body.
Muscle weighs heavier than fat, so when you do these activities, your weight might not change, so you have to guage the results in the way your clothes fit.
Good luck with getting your weight back under control. Don't be tempted to go back to smoking. My friend's smoking parents died years ago, while my parents are still healthy and living a great active life. Both my smoking grandfathers died when I was in my early childhood - one was already in a wheelchair, using commodes and requiring nursing care before he died, having had a series of smoking related strokes. It was a stroke which finally killed him. He never had given up smoking. Both their non-smoking widows outlived them by over 20 years. One of them took up painting, got a parrot and a dog, fell in love and married again: it was like another life, freed up from the nursing duties.