Boston Computer Diet
Tony Roberts, Production Director
Requirements: IBM PC, PCjr, or XT with at least 128K RAM; Apple II-series computer with at least 64K RAM; or a Commodore 64/128. All versions also require a disk drive.
Discipline is a key ingredient in any weight-loss program, and that remains true with The Original Boston Computer Diet, a software package from Scarborough Systems.
While the program takes a conservative, balanced-diet approach to weight loss, its strengths are in the ways it helps dieters gather information about their eating habits and how it takes the drudgery out of counting calories. Before embarking on the diet, you choose one of three "counselors" who engages you in a question-and-answer session. Based on this information, the counselor sets up goals and procedures for the diet and assigns readings on nutrition and health.
The program requires about an hour a day for the first week or so, after which the daily meal planning and reporting routine takes only about 15 minutes. The program maintains seven days' worth of data for meals, and a series of charts are available to help you amass and assess information about your eating habits. The information includes statistics on the intake of various vitamins and minerals, as well as data about how your mood-from depression to elation-affects the number of calories consumed.
The heart of the program is the food planning and reporting section. Counting calories is practically effortless. As you plan future meals, the screen shows how each selection affects the number of calories in the scheduled meal as well as the balance of the weekly diet. With the touch of a key, you can tell the computer how much you ate during your last meal, and it adjusts the calorie count accordingly.
As the program builds its database of information about how you eat, it watches for and warns you of possible problems. Should your diet fall out of balance, the program might warn that your intake of calcium has been low recently, bolstering its comment with a graph or two. Another possible problem is undereating, which is as unacceptable to your counselor as pigging out.
The program can't guarantee you'll lose all the weight you hope to, but its evaluation of your eating habits, its insistence on planning and setting goals, and its readings on health and nutrition in the manual do give you the tools to help you maintain interest in your diet and develop the willpower to carry it off.
It's worth noting that the program is set up to handle the data for only one dieter at a time. A second family member who plans to take the treatment would have to obtain another copy of the program or wait until dieter No. 1 has had his fill.
The Original Boston Computer Diet
Scarborough Systems, Inc.
25 N. Broadway
Tarrytown, NY 10591
Apple & IBM $79.95