Planning Tips for iPhone Users

Although MyNetDiary iPhone application is designed to be used with minimal instruction, this article shares tips on how to use the planning features so that you can safely and effectively set and meet target weight, caloric intake, and exercise goals.

My Plan — Personal Info

Tip: Activity Level

The default activity level is “sedentary.” I recommend that users accept this default level. You can account for exercise in your exercise plan. For most users, this is going to be more accurate and less likely to overestimate caloric expenditure than setting activity level any higher.

Tip: Basal Metabolic Rate Cals

This is your BMR - the calories required to keep cell and tissue metabolism going, and to maintain circulation, respiration, gastrointestinal activity, and kidney function. Avoid accepting target calories or customizing caloric intake below this level as you could experience a slowing of your metabolic rate over time. BMR calories are not the same as weight maintenance calories!

Tip: Weight Maintenance Cals

This is the caloric intake needed to sustain your current weight, given the age, sex, weight, height, and activity level specified. If you think this level is too high, then check that the activity level is set to “sedentary.”

Plan Targets

Tip: Target Weight

What is a realistic target weight? I recommend that people set both short term goals as well as an ultimate long term goal. Losing 5%—10% of body weight can have significant health benefits, so a good short-term goal would be to lose 5% of your body weight. You would enter that weight as your target weight. For those of you who hate math, here is how to calculate it:

  • Lose 5% body weight
  • 0.95 x starting body weight
  • Example: Joe’s starting weight is 250 lb. His first target weight will be 237.5 lbs
  • 0.95 x 250 lbs = 237.5 lbs
  • Lose 10% body weight
  • 0.90 x starting body weight
  • Joe’s next target weight will be 225 lbs
  • 0.90 x 250 lbs = 225 lbs

Long term weight goal – what should it be? It depends upon you, your medical history, and what is sustainable for you. Many find that losing 10% of their starting body weight and keeping it off is sufficient to improve blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood cholesterol levels whereas others need to lose more weight than that. Plan to have your doctor monitor those measurements over time to help you determine your ideal long term target weight.

If you met your goal of losing 10% of your starting weight and want to lose more weight, then consider a long term goal to reach a weight that gives you a BMI of 24.9 (the upper end of the healthy BMI range). Use a color-coded BMI chart to help you find the weight that goes with a BMI of 24.9:

Tip: Target Date

If you have your heart set on meeting a target weight by a specific date, then you can set the target date yourself. Once you select (and save) the target date, MyNetDiary will calculate the weekly rate of weight loss needed to reach your target weight. If the date wheel keeps switching back to a later date, it is because you are trying to set a target date that requires a weekly rate of weight loss greater than 2 lbs per week.

Tip: Weekly Rate

A generally recognized safe rate of weight loss for overweight adults is an average of 1—2 lbs per week. You can choose your preferred weekly rate of weight loss (or weight gain if that applies to you) and MyNetDiary will automatically set the target date for you. The maximum is set at 2 lbs of weight loss per week.

Some very overweight adults might initially lose more than 2 lbs per week. If you feel that you can consistently lose more than 2 lbs per week and still meet your nutrient needs, then you can make this adjustment in the Nutrient Planning section under “Customized Calories.”

Tip: Average Daily Exercise Cals

The number you see here is the average daily calories burned from exercise. Only enter planned exercises above and beyond what is already accounted for in the activity level you chose in Personal Info section. Be sure to enter both time and the number of times per week you expect to perform all exercises. Most people overestimate time spent on stop-and-go activities - only count minutes expected to be engaged in the activity.

Tip: Target Daily Calories

This is the caloric intake that will allow you to meet your target weight by the target date, given your average daily exercise calories. If this number is below your BMR, then please consider changing your target date or weekly rate of weight loss so that your target daily calories matches or exceeds your BMR calories.

Nutrient Planning

Tip: Customize Calories

If you want to customize your calories, then simply tap on “Customized Calories.” When you change the calories goal, the macronutrient (fat, carbs, and protein) grams will all change automatically to match the default ratio of fat 27% calories from fat, 52% calories from carbs, and 21% calories from protein.

If you want to lose 3 lbs per week instead of 2 lbs per week, and do not plan to increase exercise calories further, then simply customize your caloric intake 500 calories below your Target Daily Calories. However, I strongly recommend that you do not customize your caloric intake goal below your BMR calories.

For those of you with PRO or MAX subscriptions, you can customize your nutrient gram goals by sliding the calories ruler to the right or left to get the percentage of calories desired or by simply entering the desired gram goal (the slider will automatically move to the percentage of calories based upon gram amount). The sliders are preset to the range recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Acceptable Macronutrient Range for all three macronutrients. You can override this range if you wish.

Tip: Customizing other nutrients

Free application users: no customization of nutrients at this time.

PRO & MAX users: If you wish to customize the nutrients displayed in the “Day Nutrition Summary” (go back to the main Home screen, click on meals, then scroll down to find it) you can do this by signing onto MyNetDiary on the web and customizing those nutrients in the Plan section. Please read “Customizing your nutrients goals” for tips on how to set goals for other nutrients.

Parting words

Good luck with planning your goals on your iPhone app! If you have questions about the material covered in this article, please be sure to post them in Community Forum. All iPhone app users have access to this forum.

Katherine Isacks, MPS, RDN, CDE
Disclaimer: Please note that we cannot provide personalized advice and that the information provided does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit a medical professional.

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