How To Make Your Own Diet Plan

By Jim F

i-b06fd28e3fb52f324d53f11683d22c04-spreadsheet.gifThere are two ways you can track what you are eating; by establishing a plan (and sticking to it), or by journaling as you go.

Some people like using diet tracking software or websites. They just plug in the foods they’ve eaten during the day – and make sure they stick within a calorie limit.I’ve always found this too time-consuming and prefer setting up a plan in advance. Sometimes it’s handy to plan a bunch of different diet plans and simply rotate between them.

Who is this for?

This style of food planning can help if you are:

  • The sort of person that plans your finances using a spreadsheet.
  • Looking to maintain or lose weight. If you find that when you “wing it” (i.e. no food planning) you start gaining weight – then this approach can help. Having a plan to eyeball from time to time can help to gauge your daily eating.
  • Fine with a calorie-controlled diet, are familiar with macro-nutrient ratios, and like repetition.

If you are a person that likes plenty of variety and gourmet meals – then this probably isn’t for you.

Here’s what you do.

  1. Load up your spreadsheet software of choice
  2. Choose some of your foods you are going to be eating and list down nutritional details from the label. For items that don’t have a label — consult an on-line reference such as Nutrition Data, CalorieLab or Diet Facts (good for harder to find items).
  3. List the grams of carbohydrate, protein and fat.
  4. At the bottom of the list — sum the grams and create a new row called “Calories”. In this row multiply total carbohydrate grams by 4, protein grams by 4 and fat grams by 9. This effectively gives you the total Calories for the day.

You can mix in different foods or delete them. Printout the plans and stick them on your fridge. It’s not so much that you need to follow them to the letter — but you get a handle on how much you are eating compared with a plan.


The biggest issue is eating out – whether restaurant, cafe, bakery, deli, or whatever. This type of plan suits if you are going to make or take your lunch to work.

Taking it Further

I’ve included a formula for calculating daily calories on the sample spreadsheet (note that this is a guideline only). This allows you to alter variables such as current weight or activity level and get a fresh daily calorie estimation.

Certainly there are many great sites out there for tracking food intake – but that doesn’t suit everyone. I’ve found that having such a plan helps me to get a handle on portion sizes without having to obsessively record every single item of food I eat, sniff, or think about.

Download Sample Diet Plan (right-click, Save As..)


  1. trendsworld

    When you wake up everyone, you may think what to eat and how much to eat the whole day as a part of your diet. As you take daily part, you may not feel it as important, but it saves more calories when you see in the end of the month. The following…

  2. fatima


  3. Consultant Diet

    Every human body needs balanced diet. Balanced diet requirements for a particular person is different from another person.

  4. Kay

    I am on my second round of hcg protocol. I do the shots along with my doctors approval. I have lost 45 pounds and about to end my second round. I know that I have completely changed my eating habits and will never go back to eating the way I did before but since I don’t exercise I am looking for a light exercise routine that I can pick up after the diet is over so I don’t have to worry about gaining any weight back. This has been a lifelong journey for me to finally get to a weight that I am happy with and just want to be healthy and I know light exercise is the next step for me, I am no longer embarrassed to put on sweats and walk the neighborhood but I just don’t like to exercise like that alone. Any tips on a light daily exercise that keeps me fit would be a great help. Thanks

    • Ann

      Hi Kay,

      Well done with what you have achieved. I have a suggestion as to how you can exercise easily & keep the weight off. Rather than go to a gym (which I hate) or go running etc, I find it easier to switch on my favourite TV programme, and ‘march’ briskly on-the-spot for 30 minutes whilst watching it. The time flies and doing 2 things at once saves me time also. If done every day, that adds up to a fair amount of exercise per week.

      One other thing I would say about trying to keep the way off – instead of looking at the diet as having an ‘end’ at some point, you could try to adopt the eating plan as a way of life. Our taste buds do adapt to new ways of eating after a while and it becomes easier to adapt to healthy ways of eating. This way it doesn’t feel like the diet is ‘torture’ to be got ‘over with’ but just a different way of eating from now on. The weight will stay off, especially if combined with exercise. It’s ok to ‘lighten up’ a bit on the diet obviously, once you have reached your target weight.

      Very good luck. All the best,
      Ann πŸ™‚

  5. Jacob

    A diet without exercise is destined to fail. Only 2-5% of people actually lose legitimate weight. The rest lose muscle tissue (this includes organs), water weight (Your blood needs water, without it your heart must beat harder to match the deficit), and finally some triglycerides (fat). And those of us who don’t fall into the 2-5%? Your body remembers its homeostasis, it will get the weight back. Folks the only way to effectively, legitimately and permanantly keep weight off is diet, exercise, and sleep. Thats it.

  6. raj

    I want to know my diet pls help

  7. stephanie derry

    As I have read the blog above, I was glad having know this idea. The blog helps me to have also my plan in diet. Hope to read more likely this one.

  8. Staceyann Dolenti

    If I select foods that are healthy and perfectly balanced at each meal how safe is it to eat the same diet every day?
    Staceyann Dolenti

  9. the weird foodie

    I have to agree to agree to disagree with yowall (you all), but my invention beats any diet that doesn’t work, the unmentioned meat is eaten, fish is too obvious but include it in, it’s a diet of fresh herbs and fresh spices all the time. The 4 freshes: fruit, veg, spices and herbs. The 2 grains: oats and rice. This is how simple it is: mostly fresh foods, beer is ideal as the only alcohol, fruit ‘n’ nuts ain’t the nuts ‘n’ sultanas, but the mixed nuts, fresh fruit and cheese for dessert, bread is rye (let’s be realistic, you’re not going to find oat or rice bread). And all other foods are garnished with one or more of the four freshes with no grains but oats or rice or bread made of rye, and fats, oils, salt, creamy substances (cream or milk-fat), and sugar are used sparingly and artificial sweeteners are excluded in the diet. Blast!

  10. Suzanne Kammerer

    I find using Dietpower a very simple and quick way to learn the truth about what I am putting in my body…not only calories but also nutrients.
    It has been an eye opener and valuable support system for training my choices in food to support my losing weight (21 pounds since 1/1/11) and learning to make informed choices to maintain my weight once I get to where I want to be.
    I actually am in charge of my own health and have a partner (in Dietpower) that gives me the information I need to make wise decisions…it also gives me the painful details when I choose to have a giant piece of cake etc.

  11. sarah k

    i really need to lose weight but just cant ever !! no matter what diet i do i just end up putting weight on and im only young..!! i havtn got money for gym and i just wish someone could help me make a diet plan all the sites never work..!! does anyone have any really good sites they would recommend..!

    • kharel36

      Avoid sugar instead take a lemon water everyday early morning.

  12. Amanda

    Tried to register, after many attempts with them telling me that name has been taken, I was ultimately told that I was already registered. IMPOSSIBLE, I’ve never been onb this site before. If they are this far off, how can they be right about anything?????

  13. boni

    I’ve read this whole discussion and am enthused. The original solution from Jim is my favorite. However, I’m not great at excel β€” I don’t see where the calorie info is entered, and wish to add more categories (sodium, cholesterol, etc.) plus my own typical foods.
    Or can anyone recommend a good MAC diet planning database/spreadsheet to download (I cannot go online often)?

  14. Ketan

    Thanks mike…

  15. ugo

    i want to know more abotuthowto make diet plan of my own and alos use it particeplesa

  16. hadas

    please i need to loose my weight and i need advise ?
    thank you for ur advise

  17. w.n.

    i a man who had to retire staying home with not much to do.gain a lot of pounds then my doctor gave me advise of a diet that is so simple. i started about a month a go and had great results. lost about that time. here it is make a veg. soup no meat eat for lunch and dinner. put leftovers in will last a few between if you get the urg to eat get a watermelom eat a peice of it or canilope. treat yourself once a week to a nice meal.belive me it works.i am so excited about losing more.

  18. wafa

    i try to make diet i but i cant’t make paln.

  19. Angel

    what i do is jus get a pen an paper wirte done stuff that i can eat and what i cant and i also do a lil work out plan for me

  20. Rick

    I’ve resonated with many of the comments here…..especially that it is a pain to make a big list of food items and their fat protein carb content….and it can be a pain wading through 10,000 ingredients on the commercial websites.

    I found a spreadsheet that does this for most healthy unprocessed foods, from an Australian physiologist. It is by far the most detailed xls I have seen and has worked beautifully for me. I dropped my weight from 102kg to 95 in 3 weeks. That’s 7kg (15.4lb). I still have another 12kg (26lb) to go.

    What I like about it is you can calculate your energy expenditure more accurately than with most internet calculators, you can choose a pre designed menu plan and personalize it, you can plot your actual vs predicted weight, you can count Cals for your daily intake.

    It doesn’t have a lot of processed and fast foods listed, just the healthier stuff. But you can add anything you want to its ingredients list…

    The spreadsheet is on an Australian vegetarian forum ( If you google “diet planner spreadsheet”, it comes up as the 7th or 8th result.

    Well worth a look at.

  21. ellie

    i am 10 and weigh 79kgs and i wanna be 50 or 60 kilos by christmas . i wish that anyone with tips for me please email me with ANY tips thanks

    your sincerly


    • sachin





  22. chris

    The diet plans at take care of this. With their plan you can eat the meals on your meal plan, or you can eat out with your friends. Send a text telling the where you plan to eat, and theyΒ΄ll send you a list of menu items that fit your diet.

  23. Keyta

    I know what you mean – I’ve been trying to lose 30kgs for the last 3years and it sux to be (me – overweight/obese).

    Diet Plan Smiet Plan; Spew, barf, cough…cough on Calories, Kilo joules blah blah

    What does diet mean to you? To me it means

    1. Eating Health
    2. Exercise
    3. Motivation
    4. Will Power
    5. Energy
    6. Confidence
    7. Feeling and looking good
    8. Food

    But rather than look at the situation all at once, I break it down first (in no particular order). I have a heart-condition and evry time I visit my Cardiologist he always asks, have you been doing any exercise I answer with a sheepish laugh, or smile with “…uh…um chasing after the dog,” yup but only for 5 mins then it back on the couch i go. But that was last years answer because now I can happily say, that I’ve been going to the pools 3 days a week and doing 10 laps (of walking at my own pace). EXERCISE is done, on to the next one.

    Food/Eating. I can say no to sweets easier than to fast foods – but I try to find a reason not eat it like ‘maybe it fell on the floor’ or ‘the portion is too big, so if I buy it or eat it half of it will go to waste’ or something like that (and yes I am known to waste a lot of food) :O

    I do hope this helps you … and oh u must not forget to smile (consider it your good deed for the day) and recieving a smile is like a silent compliment and you can take it however you like it (Flirting, Politness, or Just Feeling Good)

    8) B) πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€

  24. Keyta

    I think dieting is like crossing the road – sort of.

    1. On the road: You Stop, look both ways and If its safe then you cross.

    2. Food-outlets: Stop, you look (and think ‘should I or shouldn’t I?’) If it is safe, then you buy or eat it.

    Or door #3 (RISK IT) Run across the street and hope u won’t get hit or Vege out and hope u won’t gain too much weight. πŸ™‚

  25. silvy

    i want to loose 10 kg how i dont know im trying everythung its not working and i dont too much but im getting fat day by day pls i need help coz im feeling my self very down,this is not my body ,help

  26. DC

    I use the website, you enter in the calories, protein, fat, carbs, how many meals you want to eat in a day and a rough budget and it creates a diet plan for you.

    It’s also got the standard food logs and weight logs, etc, and it’s all free so pretty useful.

  27. fofoooooooooooo

    you are crazy

  28. mia

    where did you get your spreadsheet. does it cost anything. it sounds like what i am looking for.

  29. Susan

    I agree with mia – SparkPeople is GREAT! It isn’t time-consuming at all if you use their features like copying a meal to a different day and having favorite “food groupings.” It has been so eye-opening to learn not just about my calories, but about all my nutrients, macronutrient percentages, and how different levels make me feel.

  30. Craig Alan

    Personal Dietitian offers dieters a very simple way to make their own diet plans with skills as if you were a dietitian or nutritionist. The “Do-it- Yourself” create your own diet tool they use is fun – not laborious, is reliable (created by dietitians for any dieter) and doesn’t involve the complications of knowing how to use spreadsheets. The tool used to plan and create your own diets is called aptly: Plan-A-Meal. This tool is both cost effective for dieters to lose weight or improve their health and more important it is proven to be 85% reliable as measured by unbiased online tracking.

  31. omar

    i used to play sports but now i become a little bit fat i wish to become slim again to play again and i am wiling to becom a champ