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Perfect Diet Tracker, 7-day trial, $59.95
I started PDT by creating a profile, including a password, so no one else knows that I weigh more than I did four days ago, despite working with all of these other programs.
I created a weekly target (1.5 pounds a week sounds about right) and honestly assessed that my activity level is between sedentary and moderate. The calorie restriction the program recommended was too harsh for me, so I readjusted to 1 pound. I’m encouraged by the overall ease of use: adjusting my profile was a snap.
Typing in the foods I eat revealed a very good--although not exhaustive--list. Agave is there (hurray!), as is goat milk. Only a few peas were differentiated from the pack, like pigeon peas and chickpeas. And PDT has the best exercise list of all the diet programs I looked at.
But where PDT threw me, and threw me hard, was over the measurements; here, it’s painfully obvious that PDT is based in the United Kingdom. There were no measurements for teaspoons or tablespoons—but “one serving” equals 21 grams, which I deciphered to mean “one teaspoon.” It hurts my brain to think about doing the math on a tablespoon. One other concern: separating foods into different meals was not intuitive, but once I found the correct field, it’s now as simple as the rest of the program.
However, its flexibility works well even in measurements. I can easily increase my serving size (for those days when cup of yogurt turns into a cup and a few extra ounces), as well as easily update the product list. Goodbye, plain yogurt. Hello, yummy vanilla.
Raw with skin, 80.1 calories
Calories, 100-foods trial, $19
Calories is the simplest of the dieting software programs, and for those who are wary about using these kind of programs, it’s the most painless. For those who want a full-fledged dieting program, Calories is incomplete: it eschews exercise and measurements of any kind. It all depends on what you’re looking for.
Simplicity really is strength of this program. I selected the meal I’m eating from the toolbar and searched for the food. I click the correct one. Voila. My calories are counted.
Calories has a wide variety of foods to choose from (like, bizarrely, “human milk”).
It also had fewer pre-packaged foods than other programs. Searching on the word “peas” brings up a good selection, such as split peas and blackeyed peas. It didn’t recognize my agave sweetener.
I inputted a new food but found I had difficulty inputting the calorie count. I went to the Help section…only to discover it doesn’t exist. I found a quick tutorial, but it didn’t solve my problem.
For only $19, Calories is a good way to watch your weight, but it may be too simple for those who are looking for a more comprehensive approach to dieting.
1 medium (2 1/2 inches to 2 3/4 inches in diameter, approximately
three per pound) is 72 calories.
- Perfect Diet Tracker and Diet Controller are excellent, relatively easy-to-use programs to monitor your calorie intake and exercise.
- Calories is a dead-simple program, but it doesn’t consider your exercise.
- Nutritionist is not recommended. Even our third eye couldn't figure this one out.