You can track more than just your weight loss and measurements using the tools provided in the Perfect Diet Tracker.
Many users start a calorie controlled diet to lose weight and help lower their blood pressure and find it useful to monitor both weight loss and any changes in blood pressure while dieting.
To track your blood pressure along with your weight loss simply following the steps below.
Click in the ‘Update Results’ button in the main diary
This button is to the left on the diary, just below the main Perfect Diet Tracker icon.
Select the ‘Add another item to track’ option.
You will see a screen similar to the one above. It may be slightly different as you may be tracking your weight in kilos, or stones and pounds, but the basic layout will be the same.
Locate the ‘Add another item to track’ option and select the + button next to it.
Add an entry for the systolic blood pressure reading
Enter the name and units for the first of the blood pressure readings, the systolic reading. This is the first of the two measurements.
Click the create button to create the additional systolic field.
Add an entry for the diastolic blood pressure reading
Repeat the previous step and add an entry for the second, lower blood pressure reading, the diastolic reading. Like the systolic measurement the units are usually mm Hg.
Click the create button again to create the diastolic field.
Update your results
You have successfully created the two new fields, and can now update your blood pressure readings within the software whenever you update your weight or measurements.
Once you have added your first measurement, try pressing the ‘view results’ button in the diary to see how the results are recorded alongside your weight progress. You can also use the additional graphs tab in the results screen to view a chart of your progress.
The groups and recipe manager was introduced to the Perfect Diet Tracker in version 3.2.
The manager lets you create new groups, add and delete items from them, and quickly insert whole groups, or smaller serving sizes or portions from them into your diary.
Opening the groups & recipe manager from the diary
To open the group & recipe manager from the main diary locate the dedicated group toolbar located below your main diary.
The toolbar has three options, ‘Group’, ‘Create’ and ‘Insert’
The ‘Create’ option will look at the items you currently have selected in your diary. If you have two or more items selected, it will ask you for a name for your new group, and add the items to the new group automatically. If you a single item selected the ‘create’ option will ask you for a name for your group and create an empty group for you. Once your group has been created you will be taken to the recipe manager screen so you can edit the group, add or remove items etc.
The ‘Insert’ option is used to load the group and recipe manager so you can insert a group into your diary.
The ‘Group’ option is the smart option, it will look to see if you have anything selected in your diary, if you do it will select the ‘create’ option for you, if you do not it will select the ‘insert option’.
You can also load the group & recipe manager by clicking the ‘edit’ menu in the menu bar and selecting ‘Add food from a group’.
The group & recipe manager
The group & recipe manage will be shown when you click on the ‘insert’ button in the group toolbar, or immediately after creating a new group.
(1) The first box will list all your groups, in the example we just have a single group ‘Ham Sandwich’.
(2) Immediately below you will see a list of the items in the selected group, and the quantity of each item.
The tab bar
Along the top of the manager window you will see a tab bar.
This bar lets you quickly jump to groups or recipes starting with the appropriate letter, or perform a search.
The group buttons
The buttons to the right of the list of your groups are fairly self explanatory.
Clicking ‘new’ will create a new group, ‘rename’ lets you rename a group title and ‘remove’ lets you delete a group. The ‘help’ button opens a small reminder window to show you these options within the application.
Editing items within a group
To edit items within a group, simply click the appropriate icon.
(1) Click on the ‘+’ icon to the left of ‘item’ to add a new item to the group.
(2) Selecting the arrow icon lets you change the quantity of the item within the group
(3) Selecting the ‘x’ icon lets you delete an item from the group.
Adding the group to your diary
To add the group to your diary you will want to specify the portion size, and the meal you would like to add the group to.
The portion size is simply the size of the serving, or portion. If you would like to insert one of everything in the group, simply enter 1. If however you have created a recipe for a pie, and eaten 1/3rd of the pie you can enter 1/3, or 0.3. You can also enter multiple numbers, for example if you create a group ‘coffee with milk and sugar’, you can enter 2 or 3 to add 2 or 3 servings to your diary.
To select the meal simply click on the meal box to list the meal titles.
Once you have selected your portion size and meal name, click ‘Add to diary’ to add the items to your diary.
Sharing a group with other users *
If you have multiple users set up on the computer, the software will display an additional ‘Share’ button.
This button lets you share any groups of recipes you create with other users so they can add the same group easily. Simply select a group or recipe and then click the ‘Share’ button to copy the group to another user.
* Feature added in version 3.2.2, November 2009.
To the right of your group you will see a breakdown of the nutritional profile for the group.
This can help you reach a target nutritional profile as you can vary the ingredients or members of your group to achieve the profile you are aiming for.
* Feature added in version 3.2.3
With version 3.04+ you can automatically keep copies of the Perfect Diet Tracker running on different computers in sync using either a shared drive,or the DropBox service.
The computers do not have to be running the same operating system, so you can use the feature keep a Windows PC and Mac perfectly in sync.
Using DropBox and the Internet to keep data in sync
DropBox currently offer a free (basic) and paid (pro) service to keep files in sync across multiple computers using your internet connection. Using the DropBox service to keep copies of the Perfect Diet Tracker in sync is easy.
First, click on the ‘edit settings’ button in the diary,then click on the ‘File options’ tab (1).
Next click on the ‘backup your data’ link to perform a data backup before making any changes.
Finally click on the ‘Enable DropBox sync’ (2) option,the Perfect Diet Tracker will check to see if you have DropBox installed and if not take you through the setup stages step by step.
Once you have setup DropBox,we recommend after turning a computer on you wait a few seconds to allow DropBox to perform an online sync and get details of any changes made on other computers before opening the Perfect Diet Tracker.
Keeping computers in sync using a shared or network drive
To keep your computers in sync using a shared or network drive click on the ‘edit settings’ button in the diary,then click on the ‘File options’ tab (1) to load the screen shown above.
Next click on the ‘backup your data’ link to perform a data backup before making any changes.
Finally,click on the ‘change’ button (2) and select a folder on your shared or network drive. You data files will be moved to the shared drive,and you can perform this step again on other computers,selecting the same location to let them share the same data files and stay in sync.
If you want to go back to the default file location you can click on the ‘Reset’ button to restore the default settings.
Resolving Sync Conflicts
When you add your first computer to the DropBox serviceit will automatically upload its data to your DropBox.
When adding a second computer because there is already data in your DropBox and on the computer, the software will ask you which copy of the data you want to use.This will also happen if you select a folder on a shared drive,like the DropBox service there will be two sets of data files,the ones in the shared folder and the ones on the computer you are using and the software needs to know which copy of the data files you would like to use.
If your data is up to date on this computer you can select the first option (1) and the software will overwrite the data in your DropBox or shared folder with your current data.All your other ‘synced’ computers will then be updated to use the data on this computer.
If the data in your DropBox or shared folder (the information from the computers already synced) is correct,you should select the second option (2) to sync this computer with the data in your DropBox account.
The US & Canada have agreed on a standard labeling system making adding products to the Perfect Diet Tracker easy! If your user is located in the US or Canada the software will automatically show you the screen below.
To add a food product from another country using the international data entry screen click here.
Select the add new product link
Start by selecting the ‘Add new product’ link to open your regional add product window. The ‘Add food’ window will also start automatically if the search has been unable to find any matches for a product
Enter the product information
Enter the brand name. The Perfect Diet Tracker will automatically suggest brand names, or you can add a new name.
Product description (2)
Enter a description for the product. The brand will automatically be added to the end of the description later so you do not need to enter the brand again into the description.
We recommend you enter the description in the same format as the foods already in the database to keep things consistent and easy to find in the alphabetical search listings. This format is the food product type first, then a comma, then the details, for example ‘Soup, Tomato, Packet’.
Serving size (3)
Enter the product serving size from the nutrition label.
If you are entering details for a ‘per item’ product and do not know the weight (for example 1 burger = 400 calories) you would enter ‘1 burger’ in the first box, ‘400’ in the second box, and then check the calories tickbox.
Typical values (4)
Simply complete the nutritional information from the label.
Add the product (5)
Finally, to add the product to the database click the ‘Add product’ button.
The software will do a quick check to ensure the data is valid using a series of mathematical computations on the data, and then add the product to the database.
Version 3 of the Perfect Diet Tracker automatically tracks the alcohol in your diet in ‘your nutritional profile’.
Following a user request we have added a feature to the pre-release build of the software to allow alcohol to be added to the users target nutritional profile to help make comparison of the two pie charts easier if alcohol has been consumed.
We have also added a feature to allow users to choose whether to show or hide the alcohol section of the nutritional pie charts.
The new edit settings window
This is the updated edit settings window.
The buttons have been re-arranged for clarity and the ‘include alcohol in the nutrition pie charts’ check box has been added.
The default setting for this check box is on or checked. In this state the software will track your alcohol consumption and display it in the pie chart. We recommend this setting so you are aware of the alcohol in your diet and get a visual indication of the percentage of your calories an alcoholic beverage uses.
If you remove the check from this box the software will still track and display your alcohol consumption, however the alcohol section of the nutritional pie chart will be removed to allow the user to compare the carbohydrate, protein and fat sections of their diet against their target nutritional profile to see if their diet, excluding alcohol consumption is close to the target nutritional profile.
The new nutritional profile window
A slider bar has been added to the target nutritional profile adjustment window to allow users to enter an alcohol limit or target.
We have included this feature to allow users to take control of their own diet, including their alcohol comsumption. We recommend you enter a target figure of 0% (zero) for alcoholic consumption.
Pre-release or ‘cutting edge’ builds of the Perfect Diet Tracker are available here.
It is a good idea to make a backup of your data to ensure it is safe if something were to happen to your computer.
To backup your data…
1. Log into your user account
Select your user (1), then click on the ‘Login’ button(2) to open your diary.
2. Select ‘backup your data’ from the file menu.
Select the file menu and then the ‘backup your data’ option.
The software will ask you where you want to save your data then create a file in that location.
The file will be a ‘.zip’ file and contain everything you need to restore your user on this, or another computer.
The suggested filename will include the date, we recommend you keep this format as it lets you see in an instant when backups were made. The filename must be a .zip file or subsequent restores may fail.
Restoring you data
To restore your data simply select the file menu and choose ‘Restore backup file’.
You will be asked to select a .zip file previously created with the backup option, this will then be restored.
You can also start the restore process from the login screen by selecting ‘Restore’ from the user selection box.
Other uses for backup and restore
In addition to keeping you data safe, backup and restore are also a great way to move your data between different computers.
For example you may have a desktop and laptop. You can select backup and save the .zip file to a usb memory stick, then restore this file on another computer.
Backups are universal and will work cross-platform, so if you have a Windows PC and a Mac you can move the data between them easily.
You can customise the meal names to suit your own requirements.
Select the meal drop down box
Search for a food to add to your diary, then click on the ‘Select meal’ box highlighted above.
Scroll to the bottom of the box and select ‘Edit meal names…’
Edit the meal names
The edit meal names window will be shown, you can now add new meals or change the existing ones.
To change the order the meals are shown in the diary use the up and down arrows (1) to adjust their position in the list.
Add New: Adds a new meal to the list
Delete Selected: Deletes the currently selected meal
Edit Selected: Lets you rename the currently selected meal.
Restore Last: Lets you undo any changes
Restore Defaults: Restores the default meal names.
Save: Saves your settings
Cancel: Closes this window without saving the changes.
The Perfect Diet Tracker lets you print your daily diary and other reports in an easy to read format.
To open the print window, select ‘Print’ from the ‘File’ menu.
The print window
Select a date range for your report. As you change the date range the number of pages required to print your daily diary will be displayed.
Select the report you would like to print, there are four reports.
(1) Your daily diary. This will be printed on one page for each day and will contain full details of your diary for that day. The items displayed are the same as those in your diary, so if you want to include items that you do not normally display in your daily diary you may want to edit your profile first to turn on any items you want to print that may be hidden.
(2) A summary report for your calorific intake.
(3) A summary report for your nutritional intake.
(4) A progress report. The progress report will include changes to your weight and any other fields you are tracking.
Click the ‘Print’ button to start the print process, you will then be asked to confirm which printer you would like to print to and the report will be generated and sent to the printer.
If you would like to print graphs or their associated reports you can do so from the detailed graphs window.
Export reports to a CSV file
Certain reports can also be saved to a csv file so you can import these into a spreadsheet for further analysis.
If the report can be exported simply click on the ‘Export to CSV’ button and enter a filename to create a CSV file.
You can use the Perfect Diet Tracker to track any nutritional profile.
The software defaults to government recommended nutritional profiles however if you want to work with a different profile, for example ‘The Atkins Diet’ or ‘Zone Diet’ you can adjust the target profile to suit.
Open the custom nutritional profile screen
From the file menu select ‘options’, then ‘change nutritional profile’, or alternatively click the small spanner icon shown in the picture above, located just to the right of the target nutritional profile pie chart.
Select your nutritional profile
The nutritional profile window lets you select either a preset profile for a number of popular diets, or set your own targets.
Simply drag the sliders to adjust your targets and the percentages and pie chart will automatically update to show your current selection. Alternatively click on a profile from the preset options.
If you want to return to your current profile click on the ‘current profile’ pre set option.
Once you are happy with your selected profile click ‘OK’ to save and use your new profile or ‘Cancel’ to quit without updating.