Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
DietWatch was established in 1999 as a downloadable piece of software. The program’s interface allowed users to document the food they ate and the exercise they performed in order to manage their weight and nutrition. Eventually this software evolved into one of largest online diet services available on the web. DietWatch provides an active community allowing people to support each other in their weight loss efforts. Like our second ranked site Diet.com, this site promotes fitness by addressing food, exercise and support as the fundamentals in a successful diet regimen. However, this online diet service does not provide a customized workout program and virtual trainer. This is a feature that would add to an already exceptional service. This is one of the most informative online diet services we’ve reviewed.
This online diet service is well known for its excellent personalized meal planner. There are four options to choose from:
No Restrictions meal plan – This plan is designed for people wanting to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. This diet is optimal for those that don’t have any dietary problems or preferences.
DietWatch provides an interactive exercise and activity log. You simply type in the name and length of each activity you’ve done and the exercise log will calculate how many calories you have burned. DietWatch includes several types of exercise plans like aerobics, strength training and flexibility programs for you to follow. However, they are not customized for you. They instead act more like exercise guides to assist you when working out.
Reduced Carbs plan – This plan has been designed by professional dietitians and limits the amount of carbohydrate intake to 40% of your total calories. Don’t confuse this plan with a low carbohydrate diet like Atkins, because the carb restriction does not put the body in a state of ketosis. For those of you that don’t know, ketosis means that our bodies are using fat for energy. When people use fewer carbohydrates, their bodies turn to fat for energy. Carbs raise the blood sugar and insulin levels. This leads to weight gain. Logically less carbs means less weight gain. The goal of this meal plan is not to throw your body into ketosis but to allow for a stronger advancement in weight loss through reducing the amount of carbs that cause weight gain.
Heart Healthy Mediterranean Plan – This plan is designed for those who want a heart healthy diet incorporated with foods that have a Mediterranean flare. It includes healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, peanut butter, almonds, and fish. Polyunsaturated fatty acids reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and cancer. This meal plan includes all of these things while limiting the intake of saturated and trans fat.
Vegetarian Plan – This plan is a lacto-ovo vegetarian plan. This means that eggs and dairy are included. This plan is designed for people that don’t want to eat meat, chicken or fish. The menu includes many different soy foods and meat substitutes.
DietWatch also understands that there are times where you cannot always eat meals from your plan. That is why they have created a handy dining out guide and “fast food quest.” This guide provides tips and nutritional facts and information to more than 40 fast food and chain restaurants.
One unique feature on DietWatch is the vitamins and minerals database. This database explains the nutritional values and functions of various nutrients. This is a very convenient tool to have when trying to improve your diet.
DietWatch has a large and supportive community. Your member profile allows you to find people online with similar goals and interests. There are also membership boards and forums where you can ask questions and provide feedback to other members. Participation is not required, but is encouraged. One convenient tool is the secured messaging system. This program allows you to write individual messages to members through an email program.
DietWatch includes several additional tools to help you in your weight loss goals. They provide the usual weight tracker and shopping lists, as well as a diary and calorie counter. However, they do not have many news or article resources other than the additional newsletters you can sign up for during registration.
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DietWatch’s calorie counter is included with its new program, the Nutritional Calculator. You can find out the number of calories in some of your favorite brand name foods. For example, you can type in “Oreo cookie” and the Nutritional Calculator will provide you with all of the Oreo’s nutritional information including calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. There is also a feature called the “Meditation Room.” This is a multi media room with audio and sound bites, which provides you with inspirational tips and messages.
This was one of the most informative and easy–to–use services we reviewed. DietWatch’s website and tutorial is useful and explains many aspects of the program without forcing you to the payment screen. Some sections are accessible only to members, but many of your questions can be answered through DietWatch’s help desk or email.
DietWatch is one of the cheaper online diet sites we evaluated. However, they only have two plan options, weekly and annually. You are billed based on the payment option you choose. The weekly plan is about $2.99 a week but you are automatically billed every 13 weeks for $35.88. The annual plan is $77 and billed once every 12 months. The weekly plan has a minimum required commitment of eight weeks.
DietWatch is one of the most comprehensive online diet services available on the Internet. They have many unique features, which puts them ahead of their competitors. DietWatch is the only place to find a nutritional calculator, vitamin and mineral database and meditation room, all in one location.