zCoach – Free Diet and Fitness Tracker
This article is about Z Coach (all Windows, 3.5MB, no adware), a simple application I created when I realized that tracking progress was a great way to stay focused on goals (in this case weight loss), and create habits.
As it turned out, it helped but it wasn’t enough. Back when I created this the results that followed were rather poor. The same old loss of weight due to temporary focus and effort, followed by very discouraging weight gain.
It doesn’t replace understanding how weight loss works (which is what my free weight loss plan is based on). But since it does help, here it is, as a backup tool.
5 Primary Functions
Once you’ve created a user (much like Z Planner, multiple users are possible, making it useable by more than one person on the same computer), there are five sub-screens. You can use all of them for maximum functionality (but also more tedious) or just pick and choose.
Choose Target Values
This form is quick and only needs to be used once, unless you wish to update. Simply pick a start date and a target date for your weight loss goal to be achieved. Enter a target weight and, optionally, a target pulse (rising pulse in state of rest is a sign that you are overdoing training, while a slowing rate means your heart is growing stronger).
If you’ve referred to the weight loss plan before, and possibly have read the article on muscle type, you may have picked several training activities (either for strength/speed, endurance, or both). In this form you can enter each exercise and assign them an intensity. Intensity will be used to determine a point value (points you will earn each time you’ve performed the exercise).
Those can be specific (push-up / sit-up series), or broad (an hour at the gym or just going for a 30 minute walk).
Z Coach gives you a lot of liberty for determining goals and how you will evaluate yourself down the line.
At this point you are tracking fitness activities. If you haven’t done any of your exercises, pick No Workout Today. Otherwise, select one of the exercises you have done and enter the number of times it was carried out. Repeat for each exercise. Their point values will be awarded accordingly.
There are plenty of things to focus on when getting back in shape. Chew carefully, drink a lot of water, don’t snack, have fiber, stay off fast carbs (except on cheat day).
All of these are included in this form, and points are awarded for each aspect that is in line with the plan. Note that skipping meals takes away points!
Positive foods would be: slow carbs, magnesium, an omega-3 source, vitamin D, chromium. All of those micronutrients that fend off insulin resistance! Those can be taken care of with simple over-the-counter supplements.
This is by far the most tedious form to fill out. Try sticking with it until you’ve developped the required habits. Personally, I rather quickly switched to only tracking weight in the last form.
This last form is there for you to track progress. Enter your weight once a day, or once a week and hopefully your weight report will look something like this:
If you want it to, it will! It can even be better, you can learn and do things right from the start (I had milk for instance at the time, still unknowing of the insulinic index problem).
Note that you can read more details on how each form works by clicking on the corresponding help button once the app is running.
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