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16 December 2008

My Weight Loss Coach [DS]

My Weight Loss Coach, for the Nintendo DS, was originally supposed to be titled My Fitness Coach. However, in what was purely a marketing move, designed to sell more copies of the game, the name was changed at the last minute to My Weight Loss Coach. That being said, MWLC is a good title to pick up if you're trying to lose a few pounds, or just trying to improve your eating and exercise habits.

When you first start a profile on MWLC, you will be asked a number of questions about your height and weight, as well as your eating and exercise habits. The game then sets daily goals for you, based on your input. At the end of each day, you enter every bit of exercise you did that day, including just walking around, as well as everything you ate or drank throughout the day. Every bit of food gives you calories, which you are then expected to use up with the exercise you do. If you intend to lose weight, your goal would be to use more points with exercise, in a day, than you get from the food you eat. If you are trying to put on some weight, you would then want to get more points from food than you are using up with exercise. In other words, it's all basic math (which the game does for you).

In an effort to help you with the exercise portion of the game, MWLC comes with a pedometer to clip onto the waistband of your pants, which can plug directly into the DS's GBA slot, to upload the number of steps you've taken throughout the day right into the game card. However, Ubisoft was fully aware of the fact that pedometers tend to come loose, while walking, and will occasionally fall and possibly break. As such, they included a way of manually entering the approximate number of steps you've taken throughout the day, in case you need to buy a new pedometer at any point.

Entering the food you've eaten is very detailed, and can actually take a bit of time. The hardest thing, in my opinion, is actually remembering to enter everything you've consumed. If your friend has a bag of potato chips, and you grab a handful of them to tide you over, you have to remember to enter that in, if you want the most accurate results from this game. Also, you have to remember that it isn't just food, but drinks, as well, including any alcoholic beverages you may have had. Basically, every single thing you put into your body should be recorded, for the best results.

It's obviously best to input your food consumption and exercise at the end of the day. Once you do, the game will figure out whether the exercise you're getting and the food you're consuming are balanced. (As I explained before, it's really up to you whether or not you want them to be balanced.) Based on the day's work, the game will create goals for you, for the next day, regarding the amount of food you take in, the number of steps you take with the pedometer, and the amount of exercise you get.

Personally, I think MWLC can be a great tool for getting into better shape, whether that means losing weight, bulking up a bit, or just improving your overall diet. The game provides tutorials on how to do everything, to make things easier, and encourages you to keep going. With games like this, I'm impressed to see Nintendo doing something to respond to accusations that video games are contributing to weight problems and overall laziness among the nation's youth. The interface is very easy to work with, and guides you through everything that needs to happen, and you get some satisfaction from actually meeting your daily goals.

Overall, I would have to score this with a 9.5 out of 10, taking away half a point for giving in to the marketing whores to change the name from My Fitness Coach (which is actually more fitting) to call it My Weight Loss Coach.

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