Diet Power Diet Software Trial: Reviewing The Top Rated Diet Software
(By Amie Gantt, Product Tester)
I have tried three Diet Power software versions: 2.1, 4.0, and now the new, recently released 4.4 version. The premise of the Diet Power software is simple: you give the program some basic info on yourself: age, height, weight, pregnancy status, smoker, etc; and tell it what you want to weigh and by when.
It then tells you that you’re being an idiot and need to reconsider your goal, and helps you to set a more realistic one. 🙂
Then, each day, you enter your weight and all the foods you eat. You also enter all the exercise you do. The program does some magic math and keeps track of your metabolic rate, adjusting your daily calorie allotment appropriately so that you reach your goal weight by your goal date.
It shows your progress on a nice graph, including your current weight, goal weight, and what it projects you’ll weigh at the end of your diet if you keep on going the way you are. It tracks your nutrient and water intake, so if you’re not getting enough magnesium, you’ll know it.
The program does have a nice, extensive food database built in with entries for common things like baby carrots, various kinds of bread and milk, all sorts of lettuce, and then bizzarre things including elk and rabbit. There are glaring errors: not one single entry for sushi of any kind.
And the sad thing about the omission of sushi items is this: the makers of the software had a blog for users to make requests of the new version. MANY people – people who are USING the program – noted the lack of sushi items. It’s a popular and nutritious food. But though the list of ‘wishes’ was up on the website for about two YEARS before the release of the new version, the programmers just ignored the users and again snubbed sushi.
Though Terry Dunkle and Bill Davis are nice guys who will email you back in a heartbeat, they just ignored the requests of the users and re-issued the program in version 4.4 with the same problems as 4.0 – and a new visually chaotic food log screen. Yeah, it tracks Trans Fat now. Great, now that most manufacturers are making Trans-Fat Free items. Day late and a dollar short, guys.
Or cherry tomatoes. You can enter foods on your own, if you know at least the calorie count and fat count, but that takes additional time and I found that I had to enter something nearly every time I logged a meal.
The exercise dictionary is similarly flawed; though there are entries for logging your sexual activity at three different intensity levels, the info gets wonky if you enter certain variables (like that you cleaned house for three hours), though it admits that logging low-intensity activities can make your readings unreliable.
And though it seems to allow you to adjust for exercising in high temperatures, it only adjusts your water requirement, not that you certainly burn more calories running outside in 100 degrees than when it’s only 40.
I also don’t know anyone who’s going to time their sexual activity into how long they spent at each intensity level…
DietPower also claims that ‘walking a dog’ burns fewer calories (51 per 20 min.) than walking by yourself (78 per 20 min.). I don’t know if whomever assigned that data has ever walked a dog, but they should walk a few and reconsider that!
And walk two at once – doubles your resistance, sends it in opposite directions, and increases your mental alertness! And I find that I walk faster and for a longer period with my dogs than without them.
It is nice that DietPower highlights foods and exercises in pale or bright green to indicate items that will help your efforts. Also, it assigns a Nutrient Quotient to indicate their impact on you. It suggests ‘best ways to improve’, but the suggestion can be ‘get more folate’. Great: let me run to the folate store.
Additionally, I find that the Food Log page is visually distracting – there are too many window areas to look at with too many different sized fonts and colors, too many buttons and tabs to select, and no way to turn off any of it as options.
Last criticism is the ‘Calorie Bank’.
If it gives you 1500 calories to eat today, and you only eat 1400, the 100 go into a ‘bank’ that you can eat later. So if you go over by 100 another day, it forgives you.
Following that theory, if I save a bajillion calories, I can eat an entire cheesecake at the end of the month, right? Somehow that logic seems a bit flawed, nutritionally.
If you can keep it in perspective, and don’t get too obsessed with entering every last quarter teaspoon, dissecting your salad in the restaurant and writing down all the ingredients so you can enter them later (yes, your lunch companions will think you’re nuts), and carrying a stopwatch to see exactly how much time you spent walking around the mall shopping, DietPower is probably just fine for you.
But, DietPower seems the most accurate the more obsessive you are.
I did lose weight while using the software, about 10 pounds, but I never did actually complete a diet GOAL like, ‘I’m going to lose 40 pounds by November’ with it. I became too obsessive with entering every tablespoon of chopped onions and every 20 minutes of walking around my office. I also found that the nutrient tracking made me stare for an hour into my pantry trying to find something for X number of calories that also has protein and fiber in it.
So, I quit using the software and tried this:
Set a reasonable time: just 6 weeks. Cut the sugar and beer and soda. Eat breakfast: english muffin with canadian bacon and fat free cheese. Lunch & dinner: a ‘frozen diet entree’ with a salad or some broccoli, etc. And walk my dog. Lost 20 pounds in the 6 weeks.
Easier than DietPower?
You bet. While the Diet Power software does offer some value, low tech solutions combined with common sense often works nearly as well. If you’re the sort of person who craves structure though, Diet Power might be worth investigating further. Luckily, Diet Power offers a 15-day free trial — so you can try the software before you buy… good deal!
Paul’s comments: Terry Dunkle, Diet Power’s founder and CEO, found Amie’s review unfair. I offered him the opportunity to respond to this review, and he was keen to do so.