Help & Support | Perfect Diet Tracker

Working with the Diary

Changing settings

You can make changes to your user profile at any time, change your password, update your age, change what is displayed in the diary and more.

User Profile Tab

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To make changes to your user profile, click on the ‘Edit Settings’ button in the main diary.

The ‘User Profile’ tab lets you change the following:

Password:

You can select a password, or remove your current password.

Gender:

You can update your gender.

Age:

Your suggested calorific allowance is affected by your current age, so keeping this option up to date will ensure you get the most accurate suggestions.

Country:

The country selection is useful if you are on vacation, changing it will change the items returned by the food search to ones relevant to your location.

Weight & Measurement Units:

You can change the weight and measurement units to display your results in metric or imperial units. This can be useful if your doctor would like to see your results in metric unit, but you prefer to work with imperial units on a day to day basis.

Your height:

Keeping your height up to date ensures the software can make the best suggestions for your calorific allowance.

Distance units:

You can select metric or imperial units for distance. Distance units are used for exercise calculations, and are typically miles per hour or kilometers per hour.

Energy Units:

You can choose to work with either calories or kiloJoules, and swap easily between the two units.

Display Options Tab

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Select the ‘Display options’ tab and you can change the items displayed in your diary, and the reports.

Reducing the number of items displayed can make the diary and reports easier to read. All the information is always tracked, so you can return to this screen and turn on any of the options for a full report at any time.

The ‘show subtotals’ for each meal will force the diary to total up the calories used for each meal and place the totals in the meal bar line.

The ‘Include alcohol in the nutrition pie charts’ option lets you remove alcohol from the pie charts.

The ‘shaded box highlights group items in diary’ option lets you choose between having groups displayed in the main diary within a shaded box, or simply as part of the main list.

Finally, you can choose to display the nutritional profile totals as either a percentage, or in grams, and if you want to use a new product input form from another country (for example if you live in a country that imports a lot of food from another), you can choose the form you would like to use here.

File Options Tab

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The ‘File Options’ tab lets you change where the Perfect Diet Tracker stores its data.

We recommend you always backup your data before changing the location of the data files, a handy link has been provided in this window to let your backup your data.

If you have multiple computers and a shared ‘always available’ network drive you can change the location of the data files to the network drive and keep the diet tracking information in sync across all your computers.

If you do not have a network drive, the Perfect Diet Tracker also has support for the DropBox service.

There are two levels of DropBox service at time of writing, a free ‘Basic’ service, and a full ‘Pro’ service. The Perfect Diet Tracker will work with either the Basic or Pro options. DropBox is fully cross platform, so you can sync a PC and Mac using the service.

To enable the DropBox sync simply select the ‘Enable DropBox sync’ option. If the software cannot locate DropBox on your computer it will display a screen to let you create an account.

Adjust Targets Tab

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New to version 3.3, the adjust targets screen is now located within the user settings area.

Simply select the ‘Adjust targets’ tab and make any changes to your targets you would like.

If you would like to specify your own calorific target, click the ‘Switch to direct target entry’ button in the bottom left of this window.

Resolving DropBox Sync Conflicts

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When you add your first computer to the DropBox service it 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.

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 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 (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.

When using DropBox we recommend you give your computer a few seconds after turning it to allow it to sync your data before opening the Perfect Diet Tracker.

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The Perfect Diet Tracker food & exercise diary

The diary is the ‘central core’ of the software, this is where most of your time using the software will be spent so it is worth taking a few minutes to go through the available options and learn what each option does.

Getting familiar with the diary

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The diary can be broken down into four key areas.

(1) The main diary, this is where your food and exercise will be listed.
(2) The top search box, the primary method of adding food and exercise to the diary.
(3) The progress box, this box will let you know how you are getting on
(4) The side menu block, this menu lets you update your weight and view results.
(5) The speed buttons at the bottom of the diary offer quick links to commonly used functions

The main diary section

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The main diary section lists the products you have added to your diary.

The current diary date (1) is shown to the top left, anything you search for and add will be added to the current diary. The arrows before the date (5) can be used to change the diary date so you can add products for different dates.

In the top right of the diary you can see how many calories or kilo joules you have left (2). This is explained in more detail later in the help document.

Meal names are used to break your diary into sections. Clicking the blue arrow (3) will show or hide (collapse) the items in each meal name. When a meal is collapsed a summary of the calories used is added to the meal title line. To quickly change a products meal selection simply drag it into another meal or right click on the item and select the new meal name.

The +/- buttons (4) can be used to quickly increase and decrease the quantities of the product you have in the diary.

Right clicking the main diary box (or in the Mac version ctrl-click) provides a quick way to change a products meal title, to copy entries to another user on the same computer or to access the edit functions. Double clicking on an entry will automatically open the products edit screen.

The main search box

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The main search box (1) lets you search for food and exercise. The box will automatically clear the ‘What would you like to add to your diary?’ text when you start typing. Simply enter the product name you would like to add and either press your return key or click on the search button (3) to start your search.

The ‘Favorites’ / ‘Favourites’ button (2) will bring up a new window where you can quickly select from a list of food products you have added in the past.

The progress box

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At the bottom of the diary window you will see the progress box.

This is subdivided into three sub sections.

Section 1 lets you know how you are using your calories or kilo joules and how many you have left.
Section 2 gives you a breakdown of your nutritional profile.
Section 3 shows your target nutritional profile.

If you would like to change the target nutritional profile click the small spanner icon (4). To hide the progress box, click on the arrow icon (5).

If you would like to view progress in grams click on any of the totals. Click the totals again to swap back to percentages.

Tip: If you have added exercise to the diary the ‘remaining’ total will be adjusted to allow for your exercise credits. If you would like to see how many calories would have been left without the exercise credit simply hover your mouse pointer over the green ‘remaining’ box.

The side menu

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The side menu gives you access to the tools you will use to monitor your overall progress.

(1) Update results

Update your weight and any other measurements you would like to track.

(2) View results

Access the reporting section of the Perfect Diet Tracker to view your results and view progress graphs.

(3) Adjust targets

You can change your target weight, weight loss and activity level using this option.

(4) Edit profile

Make adjustments to your user profile, change your country (useful when on vacation or holiday abroad), change what is displayed in the diary window.

(5) Add to diary

The ‘Add to diary button will bring up a search box so you can add new food or exercise to the diary.

If you are using version 3.2.2 or later and have more than one user setup this button will read ‘Switch user’ instead of ‘Add to diary’ to help you quickly switch between different users on your system. You can use the ‘Add’ button directly below the diary or the search box in the top right corner of the window to add new products.

(6) Log out

Log this user out and return to the login screen.

The speed buttons

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The speed buttons give you quick access to commonly used functions.

Add

The add buttons can be used to gain full access the search food and add exercise windows.

Groups

The group button lets you group items together so they can be added quickly in the future. For example, you may have a common breakfast menu, perhaps a cereal, milk and sugar. You can select these items in the diary, then click on the group icon to group them together. The group will then appear in the favorites (you can also access this using ctrl or command and G on the keyboard). When you add the group all the items in the group will be added to the diary.

Edit

The edit buttons are useful to duplicate, edit or delete items in the diary. For example you may want to duplicate an entry, then drag and drop it into another meal and finally use the +/- icons to quickly alter the quantity.

Notes

The notes button with show the ‘day notes’ window. The notes window lets you add notes for each day.

The calendar

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To the bottom right of the window you will see a calendar. When you first start the Perfect Diet Tracker this will show the current date.

If you select a different date, the diary will be updated to show food and exercise items for your selected date.

Calorie counters

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The text shows how many calories you have left. This box will turn red if you exceed your calorie allowance!

In addition at the very bottom of the application window you will see a bar, this bar fills up as you consume your calorie allowance, and like the text above turns red if you exceed your calorie allowance.

You should aim to consume all your calories each day. If you are a little under or a little over do not worry.

You should not starve yourself in an attempt to lose weight faster, if you are falling short of the recommended calorie intake you may find your metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose weight.

If you find you have gone over the recommended calorie intake don’t panic or starve yourself the next day to make up! Simply start again the next day and consume the recommended calorie intake.

Who is logged in?

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The title bar of the diary window shows the name of the user currently logged in.

Comments (12)

Update results, weight and measurements

You can update your results including your weight and measurements to keep track of your progress.

We recommend you update your results on a weekly basis, however you could update them as frequently as every day, or less often, it’s your choice.

Loading the update results window.

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Click on the update results button in the main diary window to load the update window.

Getting familiar with the update results window

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The update results window its quite simple, but very powerful! You can track as little, or much as you want, and use the window to add a new weight or update an existing entry.

Start by checking the date is correct (1) for the entry you want to add or update. You can change the date using the two arrow buttons to the left of the displayed date.

Next, update your weight (2). The weight will be shown in the units currently specified in your user profile. We recommend you update your weight on a weekly basis, this helps the software calculate the current daily calorie recommendation and keeps the results graphs up to date.

You can add a note to accompany the weight measurement, perhaps to remind you in the future how you were doing with your diet at the time. For example you may have had a vacation and want to make a note so in future reports you can see why you did not maintain your diet that week.

 

The additional tracking options (3) are optional, you do not need to use them but many users find them very useful. There is no limit as to how many additional items you can track and you can change the items you want to track to suit your own needs, for example many diabetic users monitor their blood levels.

To change the items you are tracking, press the delete icon (4) to delete an item you do not want to track, or the add itcon (5) to add a new field to track.

Once you are happy and would like to confirm your entry simply click the ‘OK’ button.

If you have changed the date to a date in the past the Perfect Diet Tracker will warn you that you are about to enter a historic weight, and ask if you want to enter the weight for the date in the past, or use todays date.

Comments (7)

Change your target weight loss and activity levels

You can change your targets by clicking on the ‘Adjust targets’ option in the side menu of the main diary window or by selecting ‘Options’ from the top menu bar.

Adjusting your targets

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To change your target weight simply use the arrows to change the value shown in the target weight box (1). The weight will be shown in the units currently selected in your user profile.

The activity level slider (2) lets you set your activity level. You should set a realistic level, setting the bar too high will increase your daily calorie allowance, but if you do not maintain the activity level you have selected you will fail to meet your targets.

If you find you are losing more or less than your weekly target you should adjust your activity level to compensate. If you are losing more than intended you may be more active, however if you are not meeting your targets you may need to adjust the slider to a more sedentary setting.

If you would prefer to set your own calorific targets you can switch to the direct entry method (3) by clicking the ‘Switch to direct entry’ button.

When you are happy with your target weight loss and activity targets click the ‘OK’ button (4) to save the settings.

Setting your own calorific targets

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If you would like to set your own calorific target select the ‘Switch to direct entry’ button.

You can then enter your own calorific target and target weight (1). You should only do this after consulting your doctor or nutritional advisor to obtain a suitable value for your height, weight and nutritional requirements.

If you would like the Perfect Diet Tracker to calculate your target calories click the ‘Switch to calculate calories’ button (2).

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