Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Enlisting Your Home Computer in Diet Battle

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Enlisting Your Home Computer in Diet Battle

Article excerpt

The holidays are over and, for many, 'tis now the season to go on a diet. You could go to a health club, stand on the scale at Weight Watchers or pay a fee to dine on "Jenny's Cuisine." Or, you can let your computer be your diet coach. Diet software - like my waistline - is a growth area.

Right now I need to lose a few pounds. So, I took the shrink wrap off several diet software programs.I also hooked up a device that turned my PC and indoor bike into a great arcade-style racing game. I'm not any thinner yet, but I am a little wiser. These programs can be useful tools - though they're clearly no substitute for will power and supportive people.

At $14.95, Diet Expert, from Expert Software (800-759-2562), is probably the cheapest diet program on the market. It's actually pretty good, though more limited than some other programs.

Using Diet Expert is - forgive me - a piece of cake. You begin by telling the software your name, age, current weight, height and weight goal. You can also give it the date you want to reach your weight goal, or select the number of pounds per week and let the software choose the date for you.

Like other diet programs, Diet Expert lets you enter your activities and what you've eaten so it can keep track of your caloric balance and other nutrients.

There is a built-in database of about 2,400 foods, but you can add foods if yours isn't listed. Like most diet programs, it contains popular fast food dishes like Big Macs and Whoppers. In addition to calories, the program keeps track of protein, carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugar, fat, cholesterol, sodium and potassium. Once you've entered your diet for the day, the program provides a graph and a written analysis of your nutrients.

The program also lets you enter your activities so it can track the number of calories you've burned. There is a list of 93 activities..

Another program, DietPro ($19.95) from Lifestyle Software Group (904-825-0220), lets you create weekly meal plans. Unlike Expert Diet, foods are listed by category, making it easier to find a particular item. Major fast-food companies have their own category, so you know just where to look prior to your visit to Pizza Hut. …

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