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Quick Guide and FAQs

Getting your customised plan from PlanBot is quick and easy.

Answer a few questions about your food preferences and lifestyle, PlanBot then takes less than a minute to create you a plan for the next 7 days.

Your plan will be healthy and balanced, include your 5 a day, and meet your calorie target for weight loss. 

If any meals aren’t practical or to your taste, you can swap meals or snacks from an extensive range of options designed to fit in with your daily menu.

You can also add in/substitute any other foods eaten, for example, if you have a meal out.

Each day includes some ‘flex’ calories – a proportion of your daily calorie target which you can ‘spend’ how you like e.g. on drinks, snacks, alcohol, or on making some of your meals bigger.

Unused ‘flex’ calories are carried forward to your next day’s calorie allowance, which gives you the opportunity to save some up for a specific occasion, or to eat more at weekends for example.

Use the weekly view to tweak your plan before you produce a shopping list. You can:

  • Repeat meals on different days, for example if you tend to eat the same breakfast most days or the pack sizes you buy provide 2 or more servings
  • View meals, print the recipes and swap things so that everything works with your week

You can edit your shopping list before you finalise/print it:

  • Increase the number of portions for any meal - great for if you're cooking for others as well as yourself
  • Remove items you already have in your cupboard or fridge

How to Access PlanBot in WLR

Once you're logged in to your free trial or full member account, go to the 'your account' section and select 'Use Planbot Diet Plans'

Take a free trial to get a plan customised for you!

As per the usual WLR approach, you can increase your daily calorie target by enjoying some extra exercise and adding that to your exercise diary. PlanBot will then do all the calculations for you.

You will need to record your weight each week in the Goals and Results section to ensure PlanBot keeps providing you with individualised diet plans. A good thing to do regardless, as people who keep regular weight records have more weight loss success.

If you decide you prefer the DIY approach, you can switch back to the standard WLR tracking tools at any point via your Account settings (you can also change any of your PlanBot meal planning preferences here too).

Planbot FAQ

  1. Do I have to eat the meal given to me?
  2. Can I swap to a bigger meal?
  3. How do I include a treat?
  4. How do I input something extra that I've eaten?
  5. What happens if I eat a completely different meal or eat out?
  6. What about drinks?
  7. Can I cook the meals for more than one person?
  8. Can I add a new meal to your database?
  9. What if I don't like certain foods?
  10. What if I'm allergic to certain foods?
  11. Can I have more snacks?
  12. How do I change my food preference settings?
  13. What are flex calories?
  14. How do I get more calories?
  15. How do I see a breakdown of my calories?
  16. Can I see the plan for a whole week at once?
  17. Can I create a shopping list?
  18. What are 'preparation levels'?
  19. What are the different 'swap' types?
  20. Is the plan suitable for vegetarians?
  21. How do I weigh in?
  22. How do I change my goal details?
  23. Can I restart Planbot?
  24. How do I switch from Planbot to recording my own food and drink?
  25. How do I start Planbot?

Do I have to eat the meal given to me?

You can swap any meal or snack that has been given to you as part of the plan. Just click the ‘swap’ button and you’ll be taken to a list of alternative dishes that will fit within the calories allocated for that meal. You can choose any of the meals in the list safe in the knowledge that you’ll still be right on track.

Can I swap to a bigger meal?

If you have the calories available (flex calories) you can swap to a larger meal. Click the ‘swap’ button on the meal you wish to change, and then click the ‘bigger’ filter button at the top of the list of possible swaps. This will give you a list of larger meals to have – beside them you’ll see how many of your flex calories each one would use up.

How do I include a treat?

You can use your flex calories to include treats. All you need to do is scroll to the end of the days plan in the reel where you’ll find the ‘treat selector’. Here you can browse for treats by type – savoury, sweet, healthy, drinks and alcohol. You can also easily find any treats you’ve had before by using the ‘recent’ button. You can have any of the treats you see in this list as we will only show those that fit within your calorie quota.

How do I input something extra that I’ve eaten?

You can input any extras you eat by using the food database search box which is just at the bottom of your daily plan screen. It’s important that you account for any extras and try to stay within your calories when you do have extras. Don’t forget – you can earn more calories by doing some activity and adding it to your exercise diary.

What happens if I eat a completely different meal or eat out?

The Planbot system has the flexibility for you to do this and still account for it within your plan. All you need to do is click ‘swap’ on the meal in question, scroll to the bottom of the list of swaps where you’ll find an entry for ‘I’ve gone off plan’. Click this button – you’ll then be prompted to input the foods you did have using our main food database. Make sure you input everything so all your calculations are correct.

What about drinks?

Most drinks contain calories and you’ll need to add them in. You’ll be able to find and input drinks from the treat selector. We encourage that you try to drink lots of water and only choose drinks that contain a lot of calories as a treat. In our experience, you’re better off using your calories on food that fills you up rather than spending them on drinks. Water, black tea and coffee and some diet drinks have negligible calories, as a general rule we recommend that you try to drink around 8 glasses of water a day.

Can I cook the meals for more than one person?

Yes, you can easily shop and cook for more than one person. You can do this for any of the individual meals in your plan – so if you generally cook for more than yourself in the evening, or it’s just a one off you can select to include ingredients for more than one serving in the shopping list. Once you’ve done this the recipe card for that meal will show for the amount of servings you have chosen.

Can I add a new meal to your database?

Although you cannot directly add recipes, meals or treats directly into the Planbot system yourself, we will be very happy to include any suggestions and add your favourites this end. Just drop us a line either by email, message board, private message or on the phone and we’ll add the suggestions to the system for you.

What if I don’t like certain foods?

You can change settings for the original food preferences you set up in the ‘my account’ section of the site. Just go to ‘change Planbot settings’ in the menu and you can edit your meat, fish, bread, and milk preferences etc.

You can also choose to exclude up to three fruits and three vegetables from your plan. This will mean that those ingredients will not show up in your plan from that point on... so if you don’t like mushrooms or you’re not a big fan of bananas we won’t give them to you!

Important Note: Although this feature can be used for those of you who may have allergies or intolerances, we cannot guarantee that any ready made or convenience foods do not contain these ingredients – you will still need to make sure you check food labels.

What if I’m allergic to certain foods?

The feature described here can be used for those of you who may have allergies or intolerances. However we cannot guarantee that any ready made or convenience foods do not contain these ingredients – you will still need to make sure you check food labels.

You can also choose to exclude up to three fruits and three vegetables from your plan. This will mean that those ingredients will not show up in your plan from that point on... so if you don’t like mushrooms or you’re not a big fan of bananas we won’t give them to you.

You can change settings for the original food preferences you set up in the ‘my account’ section of the site. Just go to ‘change Planbot settings’ in the menu and you can edit your meat, fish, bread, and milk preferences etc.

At the moment we do not cater for dairy or gluten/wheat free diets or similar. We do hope to be able to do this in the near future.

Can I have more snacks?

Where a member has asked to have healthy snacks included we have provided either one or two snacks a day depending on your overall calorie quota. Those on a lower overall calorie quota have one snack provided, those on higher calorie quotas have two snacks provided. These snacks can be eaten at any time during the day. You may also find that some of your meals have extras such as a piece of fruit or a yoghurt – these can also be eaten between meals instead of with the meal if that works better for you.

You can use your flex calories to add in extras snacks/treats – don’t forget you can earn more calories to spend in this way by doing some extra activity and adding it to your exercise diary.

How do I change my food preference settings?

You can change any of your initial food preference answers by going to the ‘my account’ section of the site and choosing ‘change Planbot settings’ from the menu. In here you’ll find all the different settings that resulted from the questions we asked you when you signed up.

What are flex calories?

Flex calories are a proportion of your calories for you to use how you like. You can ‘spend’ them on treats, extras or making your meal bigger. These calories can be used with confidence as we’ve worked them out to ensure you are still within what’s needed for your chosen rate of loss.

You can earn more flex calories by doing extra activity and recording it in your exercise diary.

Any unused flex calories will roll forward to the next day (within a seven day period), so if you know you want to have a bigger treat or meal on the weekend for instance, you can allow your flex calories to accumulate so you can have your treat and still be on track.

(This is called calorie balancing, as long as you have the right calories across roughly a week you should lose at the rate chosen. If you’d like more info/explanation of this please contact us).

How do I get more calories?

You can earn more calories by introducing some activity/exercise. Any exercise you do should be added to your exercise diary where we’ll work out how many calories you’ve burned. These will then be added to your calorie quota and can be eaten with confidence – you’ve burned the extra off so you can have some extra food or drink!

If you’re finding your calories are too low and it’s difficult to stick to your plan, you can go forward with a higher calorie quota by lowering your rate of loss. You need 1000 less calories a day to lose 2lb per week, so if you choose a rate of loss of 1lb per week instead you only need 500 calories less a day – giving you more calories on a daily basis. Some people find they’d rather have slightly more day by day and lose a little slower as they’re more likely to stick to the plan.

How do I see a breakdown of my calories?

You can see a details breakdown of any given day by clicking on the ‘i’ info icon next to the ‘calories you’ve eaten’ at the top of your daily plan.

You can find more detail information in the ‘daily’ and ‘nutrition’ reports in the left hand menu.

Can I see the plan for a whole week at once?

You can see multiple days of you plan and manage meals over more than one day by going to ‘weekly view’ in the left hand menu. This enables you to see and swap meals while looking at you plan over time.

Can I create a shopping list?

Yes...just click on ‘shopping list’ in the left hand menu. You can add individual days to be included, so you can shop for the next couple of days or for the whole week. You can also choose to increase the servings of individual meal so that you buy enough if cooking any of the dishes for more than one person.

What are ‘preparation levels’?

Preparation levels give you an indicator of how much prep and/or cooking is needed for a dish. We classify dishes into one of 5 levels:

  • 1. Prepacked – Ready to eat foods, the sort of things that can be opened and eaten without much fuss.
  • 2. Simple – Simple to prepare dishes with no cooking or heating required.
  • 3. Quick – Meals that are quick and easy to prepare using basic equipment.
  • 4. Easy – Easy to make meals using a mixture of fresh and ready made ingredients.
  • 5. Full Recipes – More involved recipes using mainly fresh ingredients.

We will have selected the best preparations levels for each meal for you based on your answers to the set up questions.

However, if you don’t normally cook but fancy a change, or do normally cook but want a break today, you can choose to swap your meal. At the top of the list of swaps you can filter the dishes by their preparation level – so you can look for a swap that’s a full blow recipe or one that’s a ready meal.

What are the different ‘swap’ types?

Once you’ve clicked ‘swap’ for a meal you can narrow the list of possible using filters at the top of the list. You can do this by preparation level (the effort needed for the dish) using the numbered filters. You can also choose to view swaps by ‘similar’ meaning the dishes in the list will all be of similar calorie values, by ‘bigger’ meaning you can choose a meal that’s bigger by using some of your flex calories, or by ‘recent’ which makes it really easy to find meals you’ve swapped to before and want to have again.

Is the plan suitable for vegetarians?

The simple answer is – yes! When you went through the set up questions you will have been asked if you eat meat and fish. If you answered no to both these questions you will have been set up as a vegetarian. If you answered no to meat, but yes to fish then you will never get any meals that contain meat – perfect if you’re a pescetarian.

How do I weigh in?

You need to weigh in once a week to ensure all our background calculations are correct and that we’re giving you the right plan to enable you to lose weight. You can do this in the ‘Goals and Results’ section of the site. In here you’ll see a countdown reminding you when to weigh in. On your weigh in day you’ll see a ‘weigh in’ button where you’ll be able to record your weight and any other measurements you’d like to keep track of – such as inch loss and body fat percentage.

How do I change my goal details?

If you’d like to change any of your initial set up details, or change you goal, rate of loss or activity level you’ll need to go to the ‘my account’ section of the site. Once there choose ‘change Planbot settings’ from the left hand menu. This is where you can change any of the details that affect your plan, starting point or goal.

Note: Please remember that any changes in here that affect your overall calorie quota might result in us recalculating your plans. In some cases this will need to be done to ensure the meals you’ve been given will fit with your daily calories going forward.

Can I restart Planbot?

Yes – if you want to start again from scratch all you have to do is go to the ‘my account’ section of the site then choose ‘change Planbot settings’ from the left hand menu. Near the bottom of the settings options is a button to restart Planbot. This will start your program afresh for you.

How do I switch from Planbot to recording my own food and drink?

If you feel you want to use our standard food diary tools to record and plan your own diet you can easily do this. We have food diary, goal setting and nutritional reporting tools to help you. Simply go to the ‘my account’ section of the site, choose ‘change Planbot settings’ from the left menu and click on ‘Quit Planbot’ at the bottom of the screen.

How do I start Planbot?

If you would like to start Plantbot, it couln't be easier. Simply go to the ‘my account’ section of the site, choose ‘Use Planbot Diet Plans’ from the left menu.  You'll then be taken to the food questionnaire and planbot can then generate your meal plan.

If you’d like any advice or help with using Weight Loss Resources to ‘go it alone’ then please get in touch. You can contact us by email helpteam@weightlossresources.co.uk , on the message boards, by private message or by phone.

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