Introduction to Diet Power¾Part II


This chapter covers the same ground as the Picture Tour, but in greater detail.


Knowledge Is Health™


Diet Power is founded on a simple truth: The more you know about the foods you eat, the greater your power to change yourself. If you could see, at a glance, how any food would affect your weight and nutrient intake, you would naturally make healthier choices. This program gives you just that ability.


The human body, for all its wonderful complexity, acts much like a machine. It burns fuel (food and drink) to do work (moving and thinking). The fuel must be correctly formulated (nutritionally balanced), or the machine will run poorly. The mileage (metabolic rate) depends on the make, model, and year (age, sex, and individual). Unlike ordinary machines, however, your body can accept a huge surplus of fuel by converting it into an on-board energy reserve known as fat.


Diet Power, in this analogy, is the machine's instrument panel. It gauges your fuel intake, analyzes the fuel chemistry, and keeps track of your mileage. It also knows your destination (goal weight) and intended speed (rate of loss or gain). All of these readings are continually updated as you record the foods you eat. Because you always know where you are and how any move will affect your progress, you are always in complete control.


You don't have to be a computer whiz.


Like the instruments in a finely engineered car, Diet Power's controls are supremely easy to use. Help is never more than a mouse-click away, and instructions are written in plain English. For the most part, however, your intuition will suffice: just look at the menus and buttons on your screen and do what seems right. If you guess wrong, you can easily find your way back and try again. After a couple of days' practice, you'll find navigating the program as easy as eating itself.


How Diet Power Works¾in 73 Words


Tell Diet Power how much you want to weigh and when you want to reach your goal. Each time you record your weight (daily, weekly, or whenever you like), the program calculates a calorie budget. Throughout each day, log your foods and exercise, and Diet Power will show their effect on the budget. As long as you stick to your allowance and faithfully record your activities, you cannot fail to reach your goal.


Can't Fail?


If you stay within your budget, this is literally true. Diet Power is equipped with a proprietary technology, called Calorie Feedback™, that "learns" your body's metabolic rate (the rate at which your body burns calories) and continually adjusts your calorie budget to match. Here's how it works:


Most weight-control systems assume you have an average metabolic rate. Your true rate, however, could be 20 percent off the average. Even if it's only 10 percent different, a "maintenance" diet designed by one of those programs might lead you to gain or lose 20 pounds a year.


Unlike other programs, Diet Power monitors your true metabolic rate by comparing your daily or weekly weight fluctuations with the foods and exercise you've logged. If the metabolic rate changes, the program automatically bumps your calorie budget up or down just enough to cancel the difference.* That's Calorie Feedback. And because it's a perfectly self-correcting system, it virtually guarantees success.


* You can choose a constant calorie budget instead, if you prefer.


29 Key Features


Below is a quick preview of most functions you'll be using, showing the buttons and menu words that open them. (If you're keyboard-oriented, you can open any function by pressing Alt plus the initial of its menu, then the underlined character in its name.)


Friendly Help (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Help > Contents)


No matter where you are in Diet Power, you can get instant help by pressing the F1 key or clicking the Help button on your screen. And once you're inside Help (as you are now), you can rely on hundreds of special guide words that appear in green. Whenever you slide the pointer onto a green word and click the left mouse button, one of two things will happen:


A definition will pop open. Try clicking the green word at the end of this sentence, for example, to get the meaning of popup.


You'll jump to a different topic. (You won't get lost, though. To find out why, click the green word at the end of this sentence to jump to a topic about jumps.)


As you read through the rest of this tour, use the jumps and popups to get further information. Remember: Hitting the Back button will bring you back through any series of jumps you've made.


We strongly recommend that you read First Time Help before your initial use of each dialog. This will save you guesswork later. (Diet Power automatically offers First Time Help when you open a dialog that's new to you.)


User List (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or User)


The Personal Edition of Diet Power can handle up to four users. (For information on other editions, click here.) Each time you start up the program, the User List pops onto your screen and asks you to identify yourself (with a password, if you've established one) or to enroll as a new user by filling in the Personal Information Form and setting your preliminary goals. Enrollment is Diet Power's first step toward getting to know you as an individual.


(Diet Power won't let you enroll if you report an age under 14, a height under four feet or over seven feet, or a weight less than 75 or more than 499 pounds. People outside those ranges often have nutritional needs that the program doesn't cover. For information on refunds, jump to Warranty.)


Your Body Log (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Diet > Log)


The first time you log on each day, Diet Power opens your Body Log, where you're asked to record your weight. (You don't have to weigh in every day, however. You can do it weekly, twice a week, once a month¾whenever you like.) The program uses this information to check your metabolic rate and adjust your calorie budget.


Besides your weight, you can record as many as six other variables of your own choosing. You can log your waist size, for example, or the number of pounds you bench-pressed¾anything that can be quantifed with a decimal number. You can also display a graph of any of these variables as your Home Screen. You can plot any two of them on the same graph. You can even plot both plus their sum. To set up your variables, click View > Choose Home Screen.


Food for Thought (no button¾appears automatically)


Every time you log on, Diet Power also gives you a bit of advice or inspiration. In the early days, it concentrates mostly on showing you how to use the program. As you grow more expert, however, it delivers more tips on nutrition and fitness. It also offers a few thoughts on the art of living.


Many of these items are tailored to you personally. If you've registered as a male smoker, for example, you won't always see the same Thought as a pregnant woman with high blood pressure.


Your Ideal Weight (a tab inside the Goal Setter)


Type in your height and weight, and Diet Power will calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) and your ideal weight. (You can also do this for friends who aren't yet using Diet Power.)


Goal Setter (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Diet > Goal)


This dialog asks you how much you want to weigh and when you want to reach your goal. It then computes a calorie budget and tells how difficult the diet will be and whether the results are likely to be permanent.


Food Log (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Food > Log)


By far the most important dialog, the Food Log is used to record the items you've eaten or plan to eat each day. It also tallies your calories and shows how many are still available in today's budget. It's smart enough to fill in data if you occasionally skip a day. And it lets you plan meals by logging foods on future dates. In addition, its Food Coach shows you, in real time, which foods will most improve your nutrition.


Calorie Bank (a tab inside the Food Log*)


If you have calories left over at the end of the day, Diet Power adds them to a special account that you can use later when you want to splurge. The bank will also grant you an automatic advance if you want to go temporarily into the red.


* Your Calorie Bank balance also appears at the bottom of your Food Log, Exercise Log, and Body History.


Food Dictionary (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Food > Dictionary)


The Food Dictionary lets you look up the nutrient profiles of the 21,000 entries in Diet Power's food list. You can add your own foods (and vitamin pills) to the list, too, by keying in information from the labels. You can also combine foods into recipes and fold those into the dictionary, complete with their own nutrient profiles. Each food and recipe is available for recording in your Food Log.


Recipe Box (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Food > Recipe)


This option lets you create recipes by combining foods from the Dictionary. You can also look up each recipe's nutrient profile or edit copies of recipes to "doctor" them for better nutrition. The Recipe Box comes with 100 "starter" recipes.


Exercise Log (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Exercise > Log)


Here's where you record today's running, walking, tennis, or any other special exercise you get. Diet Power calculates the number of calories you've burned and adds them back into your budget, so you can use them for extra eating. (If you're the obsessive type, you can also log mundane activities like walking to the bus stop or doing housework. Diet Power recommends against this, however. Light activities are best left unlogged as part of your "background" metabolism.)


Exercise Dictionary (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Exercise > Dictionary)


This window displays more than 1000 kinds of exercise and their calorie burn rates. It also lets you add your own entries by keying in burn rates from exercise-equipment manuals or other sources. Every dictionary entry is immediately accessible to your Exercise Log.


Body History (click View > Choose Home Screen)


On this graph, Diet Power plots your daily weights, your intake of any nutrient, or one of the six personal variables you may set up in your Body Log. (You can ask Diet Power to display the graph as your Home Screen.)


Nutrient History (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Food > Nutrient)


This option reveals your balance of 33 different nutrients for the past day, week, month, quarter, and year. It also shows your Key Ratio¾the percentage of your calories that have come from fat, carbohydrate, protein, and alcohol. And if you're wondering why your sodium is too high or your calcium too low, the Food Coach™ will tell what you ate or should eat to correct them.


Diet History (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Diet > History)


Here you can look up your weight, metabolic rate, calorie budget, calories eaten, calories burned in exercise, net calories, and Calorie Bank balance for any day since you enrolled in Diet Power. You can also identify dates when you started new diets or failed to log any foods.


Personal Daily Allowance Editor (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Options > Edit PDAs)


If your doctor or dietitian thinks you should get more or less than the standard allowance of a nutrient, you can edit your Personal Daily Allowance (PDA) with this option. Diet Power will then calculate all your charts against the new allowance instead of the old.


WaterMinder™ (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Food > WaterMinder)


Most people don't drink enough water¾especially when they're dieting. With the WaterMinder™ you can set your desired water intake (by clicking Options > Miscellaneous) and automatically get a warning if you fall behind schedule. You can also check your intake by hand, by clicking the WaterMinder™ button at the top of your Home Screen. The button automatically changes from a water droplet to a cactus when your water intake falls behind your energy expenditures.


Calendar (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Options > Calendar)


Forgot to log a food last night? Want to see what you had for lunch the day before, or how far you bicycled on Friday? The Calendar lets you take a peek at your records for any date and revise them. You can also write notes on your calendar and recall them at any time.


Travel Bag (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or User > Travel)


This utility lets you copy your records onto a diskette, CD, thumb drive, or other storage medium for carrying back and forth between your home and office computers. (A travel disk can also serve as a backup in case of hard-drive failure.) If you'd rather email your records, you can do that instead.


Tutorials (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Help > Tutorials)


This option offers a selection of animated tutorials.


Personal Information Form (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Options > Personal Information)


If your height, reproductive status, or some other basic fact about you has changed, use the Personal Information Form to update it so that Diet Power can adjust your charts accordingly. The form also lets you adopt or change your user password, customize Diet Power to your personal interests, and more.


Miscellaneous Options (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Options > Miscellaneous Options)


Use this option to restore first-time help for all dialogs, restore regular backup reminders, turn Food for Thought on or off, define "recent" in your Food Log, purge food and exercise names from your logs (keeping numerical data only), change your WaterMinder settings, or rebuild a corrupted history file. During the first 30 days after you enroll in Diet Power, this dialog will also let you revise your starting weight.


Calculator (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Help > Windows Calculator)


The Windows Calculator is instantly accessible from within Diet Power. You can open it not only with the button and menu above, but also with the Calculator button at the bottom of many screens.


Printouts (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) on any screen where it appears)


Many of the features you see on the screen can also be printed on paper: your daily Food and Exercise logs, your Weight and Nutrient histories, your Diet History, and the nutrient profile of any food or recipe, for example. (You can also output any of these reports to a disk file for printing later.)


Emails (click the email button on any screen where it appears)


You can send a recipe, the nutrient profile of a food, or your complete diet records to any email address.


Health Shop (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Help > Buy Diet Power)


Diet Power's online Health Shop (at is where you can buy the latest upgrade, a spare key for another installation in your household, a spare CD in case your hard drive ever crashes, and other products. The Health Shop button opens your web browser and takes you directly to the shop.


Diet Power Dealer Program (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Help > Sell Diet Power)


Click the "heart" button to learn how you can a) become a Diet Power dealer and earn commissions without even leaving your desk, b) join our affiliate program and earn commissions by sending us traffic from your website, or c) buy copies of the Personal Edition at wholesale for use in your medical, fitness, or dietetic service. (click Help >


This option takes you to Diet Power's main website, which describes our software and offers reviews, a free trial, company facts, and other sales information. (click (Click this button in the software itself, not here.) or Help >


The WWW button connects you to a special website for Diet Power users, with links to the latest nutrition and fitness news, downloadable upgrades for your copy of Diet Power, discussion boards, quizzes, contests, feature articles, and more.


What to Do First


If you're new to Diet Power and feel overwhelmed by the number of choices just described, you might start by asking Diet Power to calculate your ideal weight. Then look at the Calendar to pick the date when you'd like to achieve your goal weight. Next, begin a diet by submitting your goal weight and target date to the Goal Setter. And finally, go to the Food Log to record the foods you've eaten (or intend to eat) today.


From then on, use the Food Log every day to monitor your calorie intake and plan your meals. Record your exercise, too, with the Exercise Log. Meanwhile, keep tabs on your Nutrient History to be certain your diet is balanced. And once a day, consult your Weight History to make sure you're on target.


How to Do Almost Anything


Most functions in Diet Power are performed in dialogs that open when you click certain buttons or menu items on the Home Screen. For instructions on finding and using the Home Screen, click here.


Equipment You'll Need

A Word of Caution


Although we've tried to make Diet Power accurate and reliable, people differ in their dietary needs, and nutrition is by no means an exact science. For these reasons, Diet Power cannot be held liable for the results of any regimen created with it. Your diet should always take into account the advice of a physician.



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Last Modified: 9/28/07