6/28/2006

Weekly Meal Planning Spreadsheet

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I have been planning my meals using this spreadsheet. I originally got it from the Microsoft Templates Library, but it was a simple sheet meant to be printed out and written on instead of used to the full capabilities of a spreadsheet. I altered it substantially. If you would like to try it, you can download it here:

This uses Microsoft Excel, so you need to have that software to play with it. If you want more details on how to use this, click here:

When you load up the spreadsheet, enter the date in the cell labeled “ENTER DATE.”

Enter the date here

It will automatically adjust the dates for the week. I start my week on Saturday, so that’s how the spreadsheet is set up, but you can type in different days of the week so it works for you if you start your week on a different day.

Type in your food and calories hereAfter you’ve entered the date, you’re ready to plan your week. Type in the foods and their calories in the spreadsheet. It will automatically calculate your Daily Total for you.

You can use this spreadsheet to track anything: calories, carbohydrates, fat, or even WW Points. Whatever you type into the little boxes is your business. This spreadsheet won’t calculate WW Points for you, but it will keep track of the Points you’ve eaten over the day.

Enter your calories burned hereOnce you’ve entered in all your food, you can enter your exercise plans on the right side of the spreadsheet. Enter your calories burned (or Activity Points earned) in the box on the right and type in your plans below it. The spreadsheet will subtract your exercise calories from your Daily Total, giving you an estimate of your energy in vs. energy out.

Check off your healthy habits hereThe Healthy Habits column is a reminder for you to follow healthy nutritional and emotional guidelines each day. Weight loss is all about calories in vs. calories out, but being healthy is about adopting these healthy guidelines. Here is quick description for each one:

  • A= Write your daily affirmations: This is my own recommendation. Whether it’s writing down your goals and positive affirmations, meditating or taking the time to write a couple of pages in your journal, this journey will be a lot easier with some introspection. I don’t care how you do it as long as you give yourself half a hour every day to observe your thoughts and make them positive.
  • V=Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day: The USDA Food Pyramid recommends 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits a day. A serving is 1/2 cup or 1 cup of leafy vegetables.
  • M=Eat 2-3 servings of dairy a day: The USDA Food Pyramid recommends 2-3 servings of dairy a day. A serving is 1 cup of milk, yogurt or cottage cheese. 1 ounce of cheese.
  • O=Eat 2 tsp. of healthy oil a day: This is the hardest one for me. I don’t want to waste my calories on healthy oil, but they recommend two teaspoons of healthy oil a day. Find creative ways to mix the oil with your food. I don’t recommend just taking it like a spoonful of medicine.
  • W=Drink 6-10 glasses of water a day: The recommendations on water are varied depending on who you ask. What counts as water also varies (some programs allow milk, juice and decaffinated drinks to count as water). I personally drink 6-8 glasses (8 oz.) of tap water every day, so I wanted a place to check them off.

The way I use this spreadsheet is I plan my food and exercise for the week. I print up the spreadsheet and put it on my refrigerator. When I eat a food that’s on the plan, I fill in the circle. If I eat something different, I write it down instead, adjusting the Points by hand. When I complete a healthy habit, I fill in the corresponding circle.

My planner for this week

That’s how I use this spreadsheet, but the beauty of it is you can use it however you want. You can change it or mix it up. You can use it for calories, carbs, fat or WW Points. You can use it strictly on the computer. You can just print up a blank one and use it by hand. It’s all up to you.

Go out and use this spreadsheet and leave me comments on how you use it and the sorts of things that would make it easier or better for you.

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13 Responses to “Weekly Meal Planning Spreadsheet”

  1. LeeAnne Says:

    Great idea…I love it. Do you have it available in anything besides excel, which I don’t have?

  2. Blake howe Says:

    Download Open office its free and works great

  3. Ben Says:

    If you have a google account, you can use the free google spreadsheet application…and from anywhere you can browse the web.

    spreadsheets.google.com

  4. Amanda Says:

    Cool! I am using this for my husband. Instead of calories I assigned points to various good foods that he has to eat and points for exercising. After he racks up so many points then I have a rewards sheet that he gets “rewards” with :)

  5. Leena Says:

    Thanks Luara..!! This is excellant way of keeping track…it definatly keeps me motivated!

  6. Leslie Says:

    Thank you so much for making this available. What a great idea!

  7. Eddie Says:

    Great spreadsheet, Thanks! My only suggestion is to add areas between lunch and dinner and one after dinner for in between snacks for those that might be consumning 5-6 small meals/snacks per day.

  8. Terri Says:

    Thanks for the spreadsheet! You saved me time so that I didn’t have to create my own. The only change I made is to lighten the colors so it doesn’t use so much ink on my printer. Terrific! Many thanks…..

  9. Terri Says:

    Forgot to say…..I think Eddie’s suggestion is very valid. I am a diabetic and I’m supposed to eat 5-6 small meals a day. I’m just adding those foods in extra spaces where available during the week, but separate columns would be nice.

  10. Sareetz Says:

    Thanks for this, it’s much like the WW points tracker for free! I like that it is holistic – even including affirmations which are so important especially if you have been trying to lose weight for a long time or have emotional eating issues. I appreciate you making it available :)

  11. C. Brown Says:

    Thank you so much for this! I’m trying to get back in shape & need to plan my meals in order to do it. In the past I’ve used a couple of online meal planners, but have never been able to find anything that had a printable menu that suited my needs. This is PERFECT! I love that you’ve put a place to track exercise and to keep up with how much water I drink. I may play around with adding a sheet with the nutritional info of the foods I consume – maybe add columns to this for the other things I track (like sodium intake) and see if I can skip the online planners altogether.

  12. Jamie Says:

    It would be great if this spreadsheet had a “snacks” section, along with breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  13. Amy Says:

    Jamie – You can create a snacks section with the following steps: 1) Unprotect the sheet. 2) Copy columns H, I, and J. 3) Select column K, then insert the copied cells before it. 4)In your new column L, change the word Dinner to Snacks.

    Voila!

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