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Mar 29, 2014

Track your weight loss in Numbers

by Gavin Thomas

Lose weight and get fit by tracking your weight loss in a Numbers spreadsheet.

NumbersDue to popular demand, we’ve revisited our old weight loss tracker and given it a fresh lick of paint in the new version of Numbers.

Finished spreadsheetIn this tutorial, we’re going to take a blank canvas and then build our very own weight loss tracker. We’ll be using BMI calculations to figure out what range your target weight should be in, creating a simple table that you can drop your dates and weights into on a regular basis, and displaying all this info in a smart chart.

We’ve also got a ready-made version you can download, because we’re nice like that.


Step-by-step: Make a weight loss tracker

1 Set your target

To help work out what your target weight should be, we’re going to work backwards from the healthy BMI range. Make a 2×4 table and set the font and colours. Now input your height.

Step 1_Web

2 Calculate ideal weights

BMI is weight divided by height squared, so we rearrange that to calculate weight. In the next cell (Min), type: =18.5*(A2*A2). For Ideal and Max, replace 18.5 with 21.7 and 24.9, respectively.

Step 2_Web

3 Show your goal

Now make a 2×2 table and type in your start and target weights (use the previous table to pick your target weight). After that, make a third table with four columns and lots of rows.

Step 3_Web

4 Set up your record

For your headers, type in Date, Weight, Target and Progress. The first two are for you to fill in on a regular basis. Link all the cells under Target to your target weight in the 2×2 table.

Step 4_Web

5 Calculate your progress 1

For Progress, we’re going to work out how far from your target weight you are as a fraction of the total weight that you want to lose. To start with, type in weight B2 minus target C2.

Step 5_Web

6 Calculate your progress 2

Put that in brackets and divide it by (also in brackets) start weight A2 minus target B2 (both in the 2×2 table). Put the whole thing in brackets and then subtract it from 1. Repeat the formula.

Step 6_Web

7 See how far you’ve come

Set the Progress column’s cell format to %. You should now be at 0% on day one and 100% when you reach your target. To see how we added the colours, check out the anon guide at the bottom of this post.

Step 7_Web

8 Make your chart

Next, select your weight and target columns and then make a filled line chart (2D). If the weight line is covering up the target line, swap the columns over in the table.

Step 8_Web

9 Tidy it up

To finish, go to Format>Axis>Value (Y) and set the Min Scale value to 60. Under Category (X), delete the Label References then select your date cells, and set a Right Diagonal Label Angle.

Step 9_Web

Styling your weight loss tracker

Click the anno guide below to bring up the full-size version, or right-click to download the image then open it Preview.

Anno guide

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    • Willy

      Hey, I had this problem and tried so many
      things. Different things work for different people and I was lucky
      enough to find one that worked for me. I lost 18 pounds in one month
      without much exercise and it’s been a life changer. I’m a little
      embarrased to post my before and after photos here but if anyone
      actually cares to hear what I’ve been doing then I’d be happy to help in
      any way. Just shoot me an email at wberk758[at] and I’ll
      show you my before and after photos, and tell you about how things are
      going for me with the stuff I’ve tried. I wish someone would have helped
      me out when I was struggling to find a solution so if I can help you
      then it would make my day