If you haven't logged onto Diet Power in a while and would like to start over with a clean slate, you can. But first, realize that a short lapse in your diet can be handled without starting over. Reason: Every time Diet Power notices a day when you haven't logged any foods or exercises, it automatically fills the gap with certain assumptions based on your recent history. (See "What Diet Power Assumes," below.) The assumptions may be false, of course¾you may have sat on the couch eating Slim Jims the whole time. But if the relapse lasted only a day or two (or even a week if your goals are long-term), then any error you've introduced will be small, and over time it will shrink to an insignificant fraction of your history.
Your best bet, then, may be simply to climb back on the bandwagon with your old records intact. But if you're a purist, there are three ways to begin anew. See "Starting Over," below.
What Diet Power Assumes When you Skip Days
If you didn't log on (i.e. didn't record any weights), Diet Power prorates your nutrient intake against part of your weight change during the skipped period (it assumes that only 20 percent of the change was real and the rest was water loss or gain), then adds to each skipped day the number of calories you averaged in exercise during the preceding 30 days. Example: You didn't log on for a week, and you gained a pound. During the month before that week, you averaged 223 calories per day in exercise. Diet Power assumes that your calorie intake during the "silent" week was greater than your metabolic rate by 100 calories per day (because gaining a pound requires an excess of 3500 calories and 20 percent of that is 700 calories, or 100 per day) plus the 223 calories per day you had been averaging in exercise. It also assumes that your intake of other nutrients was proportional to the calorie increase. That is, if your calorie intake rose 14 percent during the hiatus, then Diet Power assumes that your sodium, fat, vitamin E, and other nutrient intakes also rose 14 percent.
If you logged on but left your Food Log blank, Diet Power prorates your nutrient intakes against your weight change as described above.
If you logged on and logged even one food, Diet Power doesn't prorate, but assumes you recorded all your foods for that day. (This means that if you logged your breakfast but never got around to logging lunch and dinner, Diet Power will have a vastly mistaken record of your food consumption. Hence, if you don't want to bother recording lunch and dinner, your best bet is to delete your breakfast, too, because an empty log tells Diet Power to do the prorating described above.)
If you logged on but left your Exercise Log blank, the program assumes that you've had no exercise¾it doesn't fill in the 30-day average described above.
Effects on Your Calorie Bank
The assumptions above are used mainly to update your metabolic rate and calorie budget. But Diet Power also applies them to your Calorie Bank balance. Thus, if Diet Power imputes a budget of 1522 calories for your "silent" day and your weight change suggests that you overate by 311 calories, the program will automatically subtract 311 calories from your bank balance that day.
The easiest way is to start a new diet (using the Goal Setter) and simply leave your incomplete records in the past. They will continue to influence your calorie budget and Nutrient History, but less and less each day. After a month, they will no longer affect the budget at all. Their effect on the Nutrient History will continue for a year, but the effect will fade as they make up a smaller and smaller portion of your total history. (Within a month, a single day's gap will make up only three percent of the month's nutrient intake. Twelve months later, it will constitute less than one-third of one percent of the year's intake.)
The next easiest way is to abandon your old records and enroll as a new user, under a different identity. Follow these steps:
1. Call up a blank Personal Information Form:
· If Diet Power is already running, go to the Home Screen, open the User Menu (by clicking the word User), and choose "New User"
· If Diet Power isn't running, start up the program and, when you reach the User List, click the button labeled "I'd like to enroll as a new user."
2. Fill out the Personal Information Form in the usual way (see Personal Information Form), but change at least one of the letters of your first name or at least one digit in the MMDDYY form of your birth date. If the name you used earlier was Margaret and the birth date was 11/3/65, for example, you could enroll either as Maggie with the same birth date or as Margaret born on 11/4/65. Reason: Diet Power uses your first name and the MMDDYY form of your birth date to name the subfolder where it stores your personal files. If you enter "Margaret" and "10/3/65" again, the program will notice that you already have a subfolder called \Margaret110365, and refuse to set up another by the same name.
3. Click OK. Diet Power will take you into the program as a new user.
The hardest way is to delete your old records and re-enroll under your original name and birth date. But this will also destroy all of your calendar notes unless you first save them on a travel disk. And of course you won't be able to recall any of your old eating or exercise records, weight entries, or anything else regarding your diet. For instructions, see User, Deleting a.
Last Modified: 3/11/04