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Trend tracking and monthly adjustment

Continue to record your weight every day, compute the trend number from it, and chart the trend at the end of every month. In the first few weeks of your diet, you may want to calculate the trend and plot the weight chart weekly or even daily. If you're using Excel, you can enter weights as frequently or infrequently as you like. Excel will produce charts of partial as well as complete months; just select a cell in the current month, even if the remaining days are blank, and pick WEIGHT MONTHLY CHART. A chart showing the month to date will be generated, complete with trend analysis of the days so far.

Partial month charts are an interesting way to watch the trend begin to drop initially and then settle into a steady decline, but don't attach too much significance to the first couple of weeks or try to adjust your meal plan based on every week's change in the trend. After a month, look at the trend chart, compare the weekly weight loss rate and daily calorie deficit with what you planned, and make the appropriate adjustments to your meal plan or diet plan as described on page [Ref].

When you adjust your meal plan to increase or decrease calorie intake, don't expect to see the change reflected immediately in the trend line; remember, it lags behind. Give any change at least two weeks to show up in the trend or, better, wait until the next monthly review of your plan. Since the effect of changes is subtle and slow to emerge in the trend, monthly adjustment is adequate and keeps you from constantly fiddling with your meal plan.

By John Walker