Wednesday, November 1, 2000

Monitor your meals with DietLog


By Jen Edwards

In the good old days, people used their Palm connected organizers to keep track of appointments and contacts, write a few memos, or maybe play a game. All that has changed with the incredible proliferation of third-party add-on programs for the Palm device. One of my favorites is called DietLog, from HealtheTech.

DietLog is designed to help you keep track of exactly what you eat, for any number of reasons. You may be trying to gain or lose weight, or perhaps you have a medical condition that requires you to monitor your food intake. DietLog is available at at a cost of $49. It requires Palm OS version 2.0 or higher and 115K of free memory on your Palm handheld. I installed DietLog onto my Palm IIIc.

Enter your profile

When you first use DietLog, you're presented with a brief User Profile to complete. The program asks for your height, current weight, and target weight (which can be the same as your current weight if you're only interested in maintenance). You're also asked to define your activity level, so DietLog can take that into account when calculating your target values.

As you can see from the example in Figure A, I would like to lose 15 pounds.


In my user profile setup, you can see that I would like to lose 15 pounds.

Set your targets

After filling out the profile, you press Nutritional Targets to go to the Set Nutrient Targets screen. Here you can define what you want to eat by category, such as the amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, sodium, etc. This is designed especially for those on fixed diets or for those who can eat normally but need to limit their fat or sodium intake. The Set Nutrient Targets screen is shown in Figure B.


This screen allows you to define what you want to eat by category.

Please note that this process can be completely automated if you're "nutritionally challenged" and don't know a great deal about healthy eating habits. Simply tap the Calc button and you'll be taken to a screen that allows you to choose the desired weight change per week. In my example, if I want to lose one pound a week and maintain my current "light" activity level, I need to eat no more than 1587 calories per day, as you can see in Figure C. It will take me 15 weeks to reach my goal.


I can eat 1587 calories a day and lose one pound a week at a light activity level.

If I decide to exercise more (moderate activity level), the calculation changes, letting me eat 1926 calories a day and still lose 15 pounds in 15 weeks. This is shown in Figure D. The DietLog manual will help you decide which activity level you choose.