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Friday, 8 July 2016

Meal planning and tracking diet progress

I case anyone is interested, here are some details about the spreadsheet I use to plan my daily meals. I basically add a new row whenever I use new ingredients, try a new packaged food, or a different take-away item. The basic values (kcals per 100g or per 'serve', g fibre, carbs, fat, protein, and mg of Potassium and Sodium) are listed on packaged items, and for raw ingredients there are plenty of websites that provide nutritional information. These values are stored in 'hidden' columns C-I and used with the Qty value I enter to calculate the contribution to the daily totals.

Fortunately I tend to stick with a small selection of favourite food stuffs, so I rarely have to enter new items. So entering my meal plan takes a minute or two in the morning. I then write my meal plan on a piece of paper to 'tick off' or note changes during the day. The following morning I record my weight and sleep time, then update the previous day's plan with any changes and copy the actual daily totals to the log sheet that records each days totals. Weekly running averages for caloric intake and weight loss are used in the plot (which also shows daily weight and caloric intake values), so I can easily see my rate of progress and see if I have been having too many days of overeating and need to get back on track.

Tab of summary daily data (taken from the meal plan tab)

 Tab of daily meal plan. Gets updated to actual values before adding to the daily log. Currently has 713 rows that have built up over several years.
Tab with graph of daily caloric intake and 7-day average, and daily morning weight and 7-day average. The graph shows that I'm not very strict about adhering to my meal plan every day - the main thing is to ensure that my weekly average caloric intake isn't too high.

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