People who are obese or overweight need to loose weight from clinical reasons. Women want to be as thin as possible from aesthetic reasons. That much is obvious. But over the past few decades we have all come to expect more from our bodies: people want to live longer and to be fit even in their 80's. But health is more than the absence of disease. A healthy body is strongly related to a sound mind and inner balance. So, there are quite a lot of factors to consider if you want to have a good health on long term. Dieting and exercising are just two of them and are unanimously recognized for having a good influence over your well-being.

The problem is that everyone understands this statement but few of us have the strong will and the perseverance to count calories and to regularly go to the gym.

DietController can not jog, swim or cook for you but it can be your advisor when it comes to creating meal plans or identifying what type of extra physical activity is more appropriate for your daily activity level.

In other words, DietController promises to help you loose those extra lbs in the number of days you choose. Give it a try!

The Looks

When you first open the application you will be requested to create a new user profile. This means that a simple dialog with fields for some basic information about the new user will pop up. The form includes on the top of the window a horizontal menu with four tabs that lets you type in information about the person who wants to keep the diet. Moreover you have tabs for calculating a diet plan, for defining goals or for taking some specific notes.

The main window of the application displays a vertical menu on the right, that lets you easily switch among the following views: Calendar, Food, Exercise, Measure, Journal, Chart and Report.

On the top of the window you have buttons for accessing the users' profiles, for adjusting the options in the Preferences window, buttons for editing files or for navigating through the records as well as buttons for creating new entries.

Also on the top of the window you can quickly check the current date and navigate through the calendar pages. Finally, on the right side of the main window you have a search bar with a vertical, thin side bar, right under it, where the search results will be displayed.

On the bottom of the window you can see all sorts of statistics, depending on the type of view it is currently opened. For instance, in the Food view, you will be offered the possibility to see the Calorie Breakdown or the Nutrients table. In the Exercise view the Calorie Balance and the History.

The Works

As mentioned before, you can play with the menu plans only if you have previously defined a user profile. For creating a profile you have to mention at least a user name, the age, heigh, gender, weight and metabolic rate. For this last piece of information you are offered an automatic estimator that takes into consideration your daily activity level.

After specifying those basic info you can proceed to defining a diet plan. For finding the right balance between the lbs you want to loose and the lbs is safe to loose in a given period of time you have to specify your start weight and, in accordance with your goal, either the End Weight or the Weight Loss per Week, the Total Weight Loss and the Calories you want to save each day.

Based on these pieces of information the DietController will calculate for you the number of calories you have to save daily, so that you can reach your goal in the specified period of time. In case you have set yourself an extremely courageous goal (meaning that for achieving it you have to decrease the calorie intake with more than 1000 calories each day) you will receive a warning message and a suggestion regarding the recommended numbers that you should consider for your actual Body Mass Index (BMI).

Also in the profile defining phase you can approximate how you want to split your daily calories among Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat.

After completing all those forms with information about your body and your own goals you can begin to actually create different daily meal plans in the Food view.

This is, in my opinion, the most appealing part of the planning, as you have plenty of options to choose from and you will probably discover aliments and combinations of ingredients that you did not tried before. Basically the list includes all sorts of raw ingredients but it also suggests you some healthy combinations or reminds you of some of the most popular or frequently requested diet products on the market.

To understand better the variety of options you can choose from let me give you a simple example.

Let's say you want to include in your daily meal plan some cheese. Well, for this tiny word you have more than 200 options to choose from. You can choose, for instance a generic name as Cheese, edam or Cheese, blue but you can be more specific with something like Cheese, cottage with vegetables. You can be even more specific with something like Cheese, swiss, low sodium or Cheese, mozzarella, nonfat, or a little bit more specific with Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milk fat, lactose reduced. In case you still feel that you have to specify more details you can choose something like: Cheese product, pasteurized process, american, reduced fat, fortified with vitamin D.

Did you get the picture? If not why don't you try something like: Crackers, cheese with peanut butter filling or one of the totally diet-killers as Fast Foods, cheeseburger, double, regular patty with condiments, vegetables and mayonnaise.

As you can see the number of meal plans that can be drafted are practically endless or at least, the palette of combinations is so wide that you will certainly get tired of trying them all, no matter how meticulous and ambitious you are.

The nice thing about all this is that you can permanently keep an eye on the calories and adjust your daily meals dynamically, by taking into account the time of the day or the chemical structure of the food. For this you can simply check the calculations in the five-column table displayed in the center of the main window or watch the graphs and the statistics on the bottom of the page.

Furthermore, after defining the structure of the meals you can jump to the Exercise page. Here you can simply start by typing a keyword related to your favorite type of physical activity and DietController will do the rest: it will offer you a range of options for every activity name, and it will calculate the number of calories that you can burn in accordance with the number of minutes you choose to practice a particular activity.

The Measure tab, placed also on the left vertical menu lets you also quickly calculate the difference between the actual and the desired values for different dimensions and sizes, as chest, waist, hips, arms, thighs but also blood pressure or metabolic rate.

But, if the structure of the Journal and of the last three above mentioned tabs is pretty much self-explanatory, the structure and the role of the Chart tab is not so obvious.

With a little practice though you will get used with the way the forms on the bottom of the window should be filled in and you will get to relevant results.

If you look at the main menu, you will also discover how you can create a new food or exercise entry, how to switch between different users or how to print/export a diet plan sheet.

The Good

Before you start, the app lets you calculate the metabolic rate and the BMI, so that you can safely define a diet plan that will not have side effects on your healthy.

The palette of ingredients is quite wide. Every entry is associated with detailed nutritional info, so that you can easily add, delete or move one record from one category to another, which gives you full editing flexibility.

Moreover, you can quickly check, anytime you want how accurate you have followed your initial plan and adjust it accordingly, so that you can finally achieve your goals.

The Bad

When it comes to the Exercise view, you have to have a clue about the physical activity names. The page is not so user-friendly as the Food view. The same applies to the Chart tab, where you can not say at a glance what is all about.

Also, considering the number of programs that offer more or less the same features, DietController has a rather high price.

The Truth

I personally love the multitude of options that you have when it comes to choosing raw ingredients or processed food, whenever you want to create or edit a meal plan.

The possibility to simultaneously manage more profiles is useful as it lets you monitor in parallel your whole family diet plan. The fact that you can export or print a particular sheet is also nice as you can take the meal plans with you, weather you need them while doing your shoppings or you want to post them on the fridge.

All in all, DietController is quite a funny, educative, flexible and reliable application but do not forget: always consult a doctor before starting a diet plan.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action: