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Old 20th January 2008, 08:16 AM
dannyp dannyp is offline
Regular Big Gut
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 34
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A site to track your progress and help you gain

Hey guys,

I know I don't post often, but I've been a member for a long while, and I wanted to share this with all of you.

Recently I made a program to help me gain weight. It works by setting a goal for yourself, and a timeframe to complete it by, and it allows you to track your daily calories. It also attempts to calculate your base metabolic rate (amount of calories you burn) so it can suggest how many calories you should eat in order to gain weight. I'll talk more about how that works in a bit.

But first, the main menu:

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...igo/ct/ct1.png

It gives you two options: one for tracking your progress, and one for managing your food items (basically a "name of food" and "calories" datapair that you can use to quickly add food items to your daily progress).

Clicking on "Track my progress" takes you to the goalset selection screen:
http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...igo/ct/ct2.png

Here you can select an existing goal set, or create a new one. For the purpose of this example, we're going to create a new goal set:

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...igo/ct/ct3.png

The form asks for some basic information, like what to call it, what your current weight is, what your goal weight is, what day you want to complete it by, and some height/age information used to calculate your base metabolic rate (BMR).

Once you create your goal set, you're transported to the tracking page:
http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...igo/ct/ct4.png

Since this is a new goal set, you can see that everything is at 0%. The "current calorie progress" is the standard ~3,600 extra calories per pound. So it takes the amount of pounds you want to gain, multiplies it by 3,600, and uses that to calculate how many extra calories over the course of your goal period will you need to attain your goal. By "extra" calories, I mean how many calories over your daily minimum requirement. Note that this is all just an estimation, but for my personal use it has been very accurate.

On this same screen, if you scroll down, you can enter the foods you've eaten for a specific day:

http://i96.photobucket.com/albums/l1...igo/ct/ct5.png

The daily BMR is calculated using your weight/height/activity/gender data provided when you created your goalset. It actually calculates RMR (not BMR), but I stuck with the BMR acronym (RMR stands for resting metabolic rate).

The forumula for this is as follows:
- For men: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) + 5
- For women: (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) - 161

Where w is weight in kilograms, h is height in centimeters, and a is age in years. It is then multiplied by your activity level, ranging from 1.2 in sedentary, to 1.9 in extremely active.

More information on this forumula can be obtained here.

The program calculates how many calories you should eat (this includes your daily BMR) to attain your goal by the date provided. A percentage meter is included for your pleasure. Any amount over your daily BMR will be used in calculating your overall goal progress.

Food items you've eaten can be added either from the dropdown box (of foods that you've saved), or manually. You can delete them at your leisure in case you make a mistake. Once a day is over, you can "lock" the day. Its contents are used to calculate your overall progress. Once you lock a day, you cannot make changes to it. You also cannot "skip ahead" to other days; you must lock all previous days before you can move on. So, because of this, update this regularly!

Every 7 days it asks you for a "weigh in", where you can update your weight, height (in case you grew taller, if you're in that age range), and activity level. Remember to do this on an empty stomach so you get the most accurate readings.

So far, since I've stuck to this thing's recommendations, I've successfully gained five pounds over the course of two and a half weeks, and I'm making good progress to my goal of 20 pounds by April. Hopefully this can help you, too.

If you're interested, the program is available here:
http://ct.argentcode.com/

The password for new registrations is pianist (yes, that's me being totally random).


There are still some bugs that I'll fix when I get a chance, but I'm interested in hearing your feedback, and hearing about whether or not you feel this will help you.

If you're curious, the program was written entirely in C# and uses ASP.NET 3.5.

I keep your data in the utmost of confidence. Your password is hashed, so it cannot be decrypted, though I suggest you use one that isn't sensitive. The signup does ask for an e-mail address, but it's not used for anything, so feel free to make up a fake one. Your visits are also not logged, so I don't store IPs or anything like that.