# Beeminder weight loss starting goal

I feel like I’m missing something here.

I’m trying to set up a very modest weight loss goal. Like lose 5 pounds by the end of the year. When I create the goal, it asks for my current weight but not my goal weight. It automatically sets my goal to lose about 1 pound per week.

If I try to change the goal after it’s created, it won’t let me because of the akrasia horizon. I suppose I could just ignore that and purposefully derail my first week (and make sure my commitment starts at \$0). But surely, there is a better way, right?

I think (but am not certain) that it’s doing something slightly odd, and initially setting your slope to lose some fixed fraction of your weight each week (about 0.7%, by eyeball - maybe 0.1%/day, actually?). This is… curious, to say the least, but when I create a test goal, and enter different initial weights for my imaginary test self, this seems to be the sort of scaling I get.

To get around this, you could perhaps use the " What is the most your weight can change in one day?" setting, which gives you an initial buffer. If you set that to 5, then the initial red line would start 5 pounds over your current weight, would decrease at whatever the rate is, but you’d have enough space inside the akrasia horizon to set your target weight to what and when you actually wanted, and after the first week you’d be ok.

This is a bit of a fudge, though, and I’m not thrilled. I’d hope for a simpler “target weight X by date Y” setup system, but I’m not seeing this. Any observations by those more experienced than me in these matters?

Hmm, I wonder. What happens if you change the precision (under settings) to be a non-integer? I wonder if maybe the rate is being set up correctly as a very gentle slope (which we usually do, as an example, to start people out easy) and then the 1/week rate you’re seeing is actually due to rounding? Though that would only be in the header, and not in the commitment dial…

Either way, I think it might be a good idea to see the goal and test it out myself – you could put a link here, or if you’d rather, send a link to support. If we really can’t figure it out, we can pass it on to Bee, and also get you set up with a more sensible rate.

Normally, weight goals start out with a really gentle slope, as an example rate (when they started out flat, people were confused), and then you can change the rate and have that kick in 7 days from now, or even make the rate change immediately using graph.beeminder.com.

It’s definitely not consistently starting at 1/week: I tried setting a weightloss goal with my weight in Newtons (which are after all the correct SI unit of weight, as opposed to mass), so that’s about 750 Newtons, and initial slope was circa 4.5/week.

Thanks for responding so quickly!

I’ve made multiple test goals to try to figure this out on my own, but here is the latest one:

I did try to make changes from graph editor as well but it was still giving me an error saying the red line can’t be easier within the horizon.

I dunno if this is helpful but when creating the goal I put in this data:

Units - pounds
Todays value - 153
Most weight can change in one day: 1

It then sets my commitment to -0.15 pounds per day (-1.05 per week).

Looks suspiciously like a 0.1%/day rate, as 0.15/153 = 0.098% ?

1 Like

Yes, I’ve tried it with a few fictitious weights, and every time the math works out to -0.1% daily rate.