The U.S. Department of Agriculture has just added a free menu planning feature to its MyPyramid nutrition website. After taking a close look at the new nutrition planning feature I was pleasantly surprised. Hats off to the Department of Agriculture for creating such a powerful free tool!
After entering in your personal data such as height, weight, and physical activity level, the software asks if you want to maintain your weight, or lose weight, that is if they consider you overweight. Once you select that option the program will calculate your fat loss daily calorie zone, as well as determine how much of each food group you should consume.
What I really like about the free menu planning software is its visual display. Everything is in bar graph representation. So as you plan your diet for the day you can see how many calories it will cost you, how many fat and alcohol calories, and how much oil. For each food you pick the bar graphs go up showing how close you are to your daily goals.
This is a very effective strategy for maintaining, or losing weight.
The only negative thing I can say about the MyPyramid meal planning software is it doesn’t take into account a persons bodyfat. They should give the user an option to enter bodyfat, that is, if they know it. Or, they could offer a menu choice describing your muscularity.
The problem comes in when a person is a 5 foot 9 inches, and 200 person who has weight trained for 5 years. Even though the persons bodyfat may be 15% they are considered overweight.
If you are a bodybuilder, or athlete, please keep in mind the daily caloric number may be off a bit.
However, for the average person who doesn’t pack on many pounds of muscle, this is a great FREE service. You can access it at http://www.mypyramid.gov/planner. Use it – it works!