Weight Watchers’ new PointsPlus plan is one I reckon that will wipe the floor with the oversized clothing of its competitors.

The dieting regime, which was embraced with fervor by Americans and the world in 1997, awards points to different sorts of food, with each dieter having to stick to a certain number each day in order to lose, or maintain, weight.

Three days ago, I signed up for WW’s new plan online, after a four-month stint on steroids for an inexplicable allergy sapped me of energy and left me looking like the GoodYear blimp.

It’s been great so far. Although I snuck in a quick weight check on day 3 instead of waiting till day 7, I have already lost 3.3 pounds. If this rate of weight loss continues, which I seriously doubt, I’ll be done with this little project within a week.

I need to tell you why I decided to diet for the first time in my life, and why reading about PointsPlus basically kicked my a&& into action.

Over the past couple of weeks, I attempted to see what it would be like to faux-go on the Atkins diet – ie. I attempted some carbohydrate abstinence to see if the diet may be feasible for me. And I was pretty rubbish at it. I’d be going full steam along, egg whites for breakfast, salad and tuna for lunch, then accidentally put sugar in my coffee, have rice with chilli con carne, reach for some fruit, or accidentally (of course) munch on a cookie.

A diet based on avoiding any one type of food just isn’t practical for me.

I then started to exercise in earnest, though I knew that to rev up my efforts, awareness of what I was eating was also going to be key.

Then I read about PointsPlus, and how it had everyone on WW’s old points program up in arms. And I really, really liked what it was saying.

I took notice because, for the first time in WW history, one could eat as much fruit and most veg as one fancies because these items are Point-less (yet oh, so good for you)! I had taken little notice of the diet in the past because there didn’t seem much incentive to eat fruit and veg if they would rack up the points.

I also liked that PointsPlus is based on scientific research on how the body processes different foods. Not every calorie is equal, and points are awarded based on each item’s amount of protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates. It used to irk me that dieters on the old WW plan might pick a packet of potato chips or a 100-calorie bag of mini oreos over some fruit, because they all had the same point value.

Although the whole counting of points still requires attention and discipline, PointsPlus sounds like a doable diet, and a healthy one. Carbs are ok, in moderation. Fruit and veg can be reached for in between meals without guilt. Whole grain items have lower point values than their processed brethren. And processed food, like those mini oreos, justly have a higher point value.

So far, I’ve had trouble using up all my daily points, so there’s even room for 2-point cookies, if I so wish.

Apart from the daily allocation of points, there’s also (in addition) a weekly allowance, far greater than one day’s allotment. These can be used at parties or for treats, without derailing the whole slimming effort. A bit of leeway, an allowance to be naughty if one wishes. How sensible.

Change is good. Kudos to WW for taking the well-informed leap, and watch out carb-is-evil diets!