Get Setup

Hello everyone and welcome to MealPlanMagic.

Today I am going to walk you through how to get set-up and start using the tool. 

You will notice that when you open the spreadsheet, there are colored tabs along the bottom.  Each tab is a different section of the tool that serves a purpose.  We will get to each one, but the first place you want to start is the Set-up tab.  This is where you will enter in your personal information, define your nutrition goals, and manage the initial settings of the tool.

Before digging in, I want to quickly point out two things about entering in information.  The first is that you can only type into blue boxes, which you may hear me refer to as “cells.”  The second thing is that some of the blue boxes, or cells, are actually drop-down menus that will only let you type specific text into them.  These drop-down menus can be spotted by a small arrow that will appear when the cell is selected and are an important part of how the tool works.

Let’s get started…

I am going to begin entering in my information that corresponds to the title of each cell in grey.

My name is Keri. 

My Gender is Female… Now you will notice that this cell is a drop-down.  If you tried to enter something other than Male of Female into this cell it would not let you.

My Age is 27.

My Height is 5’4’’, however this cell calls for height in centimeters.  If you do not know your height in CM or you cannot look it up…Then you can enter in a number and it will show you the other formats so that you can play around until you get it.  Also, you do not need to enter in the metric as the “cm” will automatically appear.

Same goes for the other cells… My weight is 118 lbs , and you will notice kilograms to the right of this cell.

Your body fat % is optional however if you know it then you can get a more accurate reading on how many calories you should consume each day.

My body fat is currently 19%. 

 Lean Body Mass will auto-calculate if you know your body fat.  This is how much everything in your body weighs besides fat.  So your bones, muscle, organs, etc…

If you have a body fat that you’re trying to get to, then enter it here in order to see what your weight would be at that body fat. So for me, I would like to be at 16% and you can see my ideal weight would be 113.8 pounds.

Your BMI and Lean BMI will also be calculated, which are indicators of your overall body composition and fat.  A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is normal.  Higher than 29 is considered overweight and under 18.5 is considered underweight.

Body type is a very important in how your macros are determined since everyone’s body responds differently to certain calories.  To figure out which body type you are, read the description below and reference the image.  If you’re still not sure you can click on the image to be directed to a survey of questions that will guide you through figuring out your body type.

Notice that when I pick my body type, the suggested macros are adjusted.  If you find these macros are not working for you, you can customize them in the next steps.

Now we’re going to pick our goal.  The tool comes pre-loaded with settings for the four most common goals, however you can also choose to customize your goals as well. 

If you choose to create a Custom goal you can choose your own your calorie Deficit (a negative percentage) or Surplus (a positive percentage).  This is the percentage over or under the calories your body burns in a 24 hour period, which is known as your TDEE, or Target Daily Energy Expenditure.

You will also notice to the right that you can enter in your own macros.  Be sure they add up to 100%.

If you are not sure what macros you should be consuming, then you can choose a pre-set goal. I am going to pick a goal to lean out to get a better understanding of how it works.

Your activity level includes ALL activity throughout your entire day.  As estimation, we suggest choosing your activity level for two to four weeks and adjusting as needed depending how your body is responding to your calorie intake.

Next is where we pick the method we’re going to use for calculating our BMR, or Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the amount of energy your body requires to perform its normal vital functions at rest.  There are three trusted calculation methods and each have their place.  Read about them to the right to see which one suits you.  The Katch-McArdle method is the most accurate method, however requires you to know your Body Fat percentage. 

Your Target Daily Energy Expenditure is calculated by multiplying your BMR by an activity level multiplier, shown to the right.  You will see your deficit or surplus % to the right, which is what your TDEE is modified by to calculate your Daily Allowance. 

Choosing the number of meals will dictate your calories per meal, which will be a useful reference when creating your meal plan in the next steps.

Weather environment, as well as Activity Level, are used to determine the recommended amount of water you should drink/day.    

Since you’ve inputted all of this information, it was easy to display your Max Heart rate, which can be used as a reference in your fitness program.

Lastly, you should pick the first day you are meal prepping for.  This will be reflected on your meal plan, grocery, and prep lists. 

Hope that you found this helpful!   If you have any questions, please visit our Help Center.