"The easy way to diet success!" proclaims Diet Expert for Windows, like so many articles, books, videos, and slimming aids have done before it. So what can PC software achieve that these other media haven't?
The package helps you to set up a personalised diet and exercise programme. You provide details of your height, weight, age and so on, enter your goal weight and how quickly you want to reach it. It then devises a weight- loss plan, including suggested calorie levels, meals (based on your food preferences), and exercise schedules. Once your diet and exercise regime is under way, Diet Expert helps you to monitor your progress, drawing encouraging charts to show your "weight change" so far.
Another useful feature is the food database, which holds nutritional details of more than 2,400 standard and branded foods and drinks. This lets you create a customised meal plan for every day, and analyse the nutritional content of your meals to ensure you are getting adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals.
Any drawbacks the package has stem from its American origin; weights and measurements are in the US format, the food database lists many brands available only in the US, and the software will insist that dieting can be a "fun" and "entertaining" process.
At £13, Diet Expert for Windows is a reasonably priced and useful companion for the committed dieter, and I could see its use for those who need to monitor their nutritional intake because of a medical condition. But in my case the only way that software will lead to diet success is if the manufacturing and distribution systems of all known chocolate vendors are programmed to self-destruct.
Diet Expert for Windows is available from Software Paradise on 0222 887521.