Weight-Loss Software > Nutritional Analysis Software
An Expert's Guide to Nutritional Analysis Software
By Terry Dunkle, DietPower Editor-In-Chief*
Because my company has been developing nutritional analysis software for more than 20 years, I've watched dozens of competitors appear. Some are good; most are bad. I'm not here to sell you mine (partly because it's free), but to describe the five most important things to watch when you're shopping:
The most effective nutrition software works like a diary. You log your foods and exercise each day, and the program continually shows how your choices affect your calorie and nutrient balance. At the end of each "eating day," it deposits uneaten calories in a "bank" you can use for extra eating on subsequent days. Charts and graphs depict your progress through time.
Don't bother with nutritional analysis software that covers fewer than 20,000 foods—and make sure those are distinct foods, not dupes under different names.
You should also be able to add your own foods by keying in data from labels. Avoid online programs that let other users add foods, however, as these may have introduced thousands of errors and duplicates.
Similarly, choose a program that covers at least 500 forms of exercise, including workout machines, sport activities, leisure pursuits, occupational tasks, and household chores.
The program should incorporate your current body weight into its calculations, as well as the speed or intensity of each activity.
The very best nutritional analysis software can do things like tweaking your calorie budget every day to allow for fluctuations in your metabolic rate (as DietPower® does), and identifying your Smart SecondT—the food that will improve your nutrition the most if you double the amount already eaten (another DietPower feature).
Take time to read the features-and-functions chart for each program very carefully—you may find something that matches your interests perfectly.
Price and Guarantees
For personal nutritional analysis software (as opposed to professional programs), expect to pay $30 to $50. Don't purchase without first using a free trial, and make sure the company offers a money-back guarantee and free phone and email support.
(You don't have to worry about any of this with DietPower®, because our program is free.)
*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.