As per the 10 Step Guide To Diet Planning – No More Restrictive Meal Plans! guide, we offer up an approach to managing weight loss which is sustainable, flexible and focussed on the right things. No distractions, no gimmicks.
It’s worth taking a re-read to cement the basic principles of healthy flexible dieting. You’ll see that we are not a fan of restrictive, boring and prescriptive weekly meal plans. They teach you nothing on how to manage your weight through the long term.
With the guides knowledge, simply use a TDEE Calculator, a calorie tracker such as MyNetDiary of MyFitnessPal, and the AdapNation Food Diary / Butler for meal inspiration and you’re off to the races. Enjoyable, flexible, and predictable fat loss!
If however, you could do with a bit more of a walkthrough of these principles, and a neat tool to help you design your weight loss phase so that there are less surprises and a plan to overcome decision fatigue, then the below planner could be a great little companion.
The AdapNation Calorie Planner
What It Isn’t
Firstly, this planner is not designed to replace a calorie tracker. Please use them – it’s the gold standard way of guaranteeing weight management.
Secondly, it’s not a tool you will be using all the time. You won’t need to be updating forms all the time and have yet another system to upkeep.
Lastly, it’s not a rigid meal planner, that will create a 7-day chart of all the foods you must eat down to the grain. Whilst it can input into such a plan, let’s not assume you are destined to that level of rigidity to be lean!
What It Is
Instead, this is a planning and brainstorming tool that I personally find incredibly useful when I am looking to adjust my diet to meet my needs for body weight management (either up or down). You may find it enjoyable to play with for a few days as you get started, but beyond that you’ll park it until the next time you shift your diet objectives.
With the input of just four data points, you can construct any calorie deficit (i.e. how aggressively you want to cut) and then plan on how you will distribute your calories and protein across the day.
1️⃣ Really Easy To Use, and codifies the AdapNation 10 Step Diet Planning Guide
2️⃣ Meet Your Psychic Needs – By using the Priority Meal & Dessert concepts, you can ensure enough calories for the times in the day that matter most to you persoanlly
3️⃣ Diet Design – You have complete control regarding aggressiveness of calorie restriction
4️⃣ Test Options – Allows you to model different deficits and food choices until you find what works
5️⃣ Instant Guidance – You get realtime messages on how to adjust calories and protein to meet your goals
6️⃣ Fat Loss Outcome – Approximates your daily body fat loss potential if there is good adherence to the calorie plan
7️⃣ Protein Awareness – Helps build up your awareness and intuition on where to get your daily protein needs
8️⃣ Helps Meal Planning by knowing how many calories are available for carb/fat dominant foods
🔟 Refeed Days – Has a built in refeed day so you an plan to ‘recharge’ at an interval that suits your plan, goals and needs
How It Looks
Here’s a screenshot of the Calorie Planner with my details added. Gives you a sense of the format and user experience.
How To Use The Calorie Planner
Probably the best way to get a sense of the power of this tool and how to use it is to watch this 11min video. In this video, I’ll briefly set the scene on the Calorie Planner’s purpose, and then we dive into a step-by-step guide on how to use it, with my data and food preferences by way of example.
- Add your Bodyweight in pounds
- Add your Sedentary TDEE kcals *
- Add your approx Exercise + NEAT kcals (or just NEAT on non-exercise days) *
- Set your desired Calorie Deficit/Surplus for both Low Day and Refeed Day
- Mark your most important meal as ‘P’ – aka your Priority Meal
- If dessert is a non-negotiable, select Y
- Add minimum calorie needs for Priority Meal and Desert. With remaining calories, distribute throughout the other meals
- Play with Primary Protein Sources for each fo the meals to get a sense of what foods and how much are needed to fit within your Protein target window
- Adjust 7 & 8 across all meals until you fit within your calorie budget and protein target
- Once satisfied in accuracy and design, see how much fat loss you can expect on average
* Calculating your Sedentary & Active TDEE – Use this easy online TDEE Calculator. as you’ll see from the below two images, the light form is straight forward and see are the results. The results page shows you your Sedentary TDEE.
Unless you already know your Active Energy Expenditure (e.g. from Apple Watch / iOS Health App), you can guesstimate it by using one of the activity levels on the results page and subtracting the Sedentary TDEE.
How Do You Get Your Hands On The Calorie Planner?
Simply fill in the form below and we’ll get the AdapNation Calorie Planner tool right over to you. It’s a small xls file, so you will need Microsoft Excel installed.
Follow this and other topic areas in our PT Corner as they unfold, as well as the AdapNation Food Diary for healthy meal inspiration and AdapNation’s #HyperWorkouts for free training plans. Comment if you have questions or ideas.