Weight-Loss Software > Calorie Counter Chart
Finding a Good Calorie Counter Chart
By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Editor-In-Chief*
If you're dieting, it's smart to use a calorie counter chart to make sure you're eating the right amount. Otherwise, you won't reach your goal weight on your target date.
In recent years, old-fashioned paper charts have been supplanted by counters published online or installed on your PC. If you're looking for one of these and really care about quality, here are five important considerations:
A truly useful calorie counter chart will have 20,000 or more distinct foods in its database (not duplicates under different names). Look for a chart that lets you add your own foods by adding data from food labels.
Be skeptical, though, if you're considering an online counter that lets other people add foods to it. Such tools are usually riddled with errors and duplicates. (Some make an effort to weed these out. Ask.)
Every good weight-loss plan includes exercise, and the exercise you perform burns off calories that allow you extra eating. Your chart should take this into account.
The chart should also be able to factor your calorie burn for your current weight. Some counters (such as DietPower®, advertised on this page) factor for the speed or intensity of your workout, as well.
Whichever counter you choose, make sure it covers at least 500 forms of exercise or lets you add your own by entering calorie-burn data from websites, books, or exercise-machine readouts.
Besides showing you the number of calories in foods and exercise, a good calorie counter chart will have a diary attached. The diary shows you how many calories remain in your budget each day as you log your foods and exercises. It should also deposit your uneaten calories in a "bank" in case you want to eat them tomorrow.
It's possible to find a calorie counter chart that performs even more sophisticated functions than those described above. DietPower, for example, "learns" your personal metabolism and adjusts your daily budget to guarantee reaching your goal on your target date. It also monitors 33 nutrients that figure in heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and other maladies, and recommends foods you like that are best for your overall nutrition.
Don't buy a calorie counter chart that doesn't offer a free "test drive" or a no-hassle money-back guarantee. You don't want to be stuck paying for one that is too difficult to use or doesn't give reliable information.
*Terry Dunkle is a 30-year veteran medical journalist and consumer advocate who serves as CEO and chief editor at DietPower, Inc., a leading maker of nutrition and weight-loss software.