Skip to main content

Reach Your Goal Weight Your Way with the NIH Body Weight Planner and USDA's SuperTracker

Posted by Sarah Chang, MPH, RD, USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion in Food and Nutrition
Feb 21, 2017
Body Weight Planner graphic
This image shows the Body Weight Planner results page for a sample user we can call #1Mom. #1Mom is trying to reach her goal weight of 138 pounds in 180 days (about 6 months). Based on her goal and the physical activity changes she specified, the Body Weight Planner calculated that she will need to eat 1,819 calories a day to reach her goal and 2,094 calories a day to maintain it after she reaches it (assuming she keeps up her physical activity changes). (Click to enlarge)

Many people want to do a better job managing their weight but aren’t sure how. Whether you’re trying to maintain your weight, lose weight, or gain weight it can be challenging to figure out how to get started.

USDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) teamed up to bring you a simple new tool that can help you set, reach, and maintain your goal. Using science-based technology, the NIH Body Weight Planner calculates how many calories you need to eat and how much exercise you need to achieve a goal weight within a specific time period. You set the goal and decide what timeframe makes sense for you.

The NIH Body Weight Planner is now available as a goal-setting resource within USDA’s SuperTracker interactive food, physical activity, and weight tracking tool, so you can create a personalized meal plan based on your Body Weight Planner results.

Here’s how to use SuperTracker to put your Body Weight Planner results into action and reach your goal:

  1. Use the Body Weight Planner to find out how many calories you need to eat each day to reach and maintain your goal weight.
  2. Enter your Body Weight Planner results in SuperTracker.
    1. New users: Create a SuperTracker profile and enter your Body Weight Planner calorie results into the “personal calorie goal” field which appears after you enter your height and weight.
    2. Current users: Enter results into the “personal calorie goal” field on the My Top 5 Goals page under the Calories tab.
  3. View the My Plan section of SuperTracker to get your daily food group targets, including what and how much to eat of each food group in order to get the nutrition your body needs while staying within your calorie allowance.
  4. Reach and maintain your goal weight by tracking your dietary intake and physical activity and weight from your desktop, phone, or tablet.

For step-by-step instructions, check out our SuperTracker site tour video on how to use the NIH Body Weight Planner.

1Mom SuperTracker graphic
#1Mom used her Body Weight Planner results to set a personal calorie goal for 1,819 calories in SuperTracker. This image shows her daily food plan, which tells her how much of each food group to eat to get the nutrition she needs while staying within her calorie allowance. (Click to enlarge)
Category/Topic: Food and Nutrition

Write a Response

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Jul 22, 2015

Instead of promoting calorie counting, which does not work or makes sense because not all calories are created equal and promotes restriction, USDA should be promoting a whole foods, plant-based diet with minimal/zero consumption of animal products. Scientific data support it (just read the China Study or books by medical doctors such as Dr. John Mcdugall, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger etc). These medical doctors are preventing, stoping the progression or reversing diseases such as diabetis, hypertension, breast cancer, prostate cancer, obesity, CAD,(many of the top 15 killers is the US) a with a 100% plant-based diet. Stop putting profit above people's health.