Beeminder Forum

beeminding junk food

I got a counter ring a while back to keep track of servings of junk food on a Do Less goal. It’s pretty nice. The count mostly doesn’t slip (I take it off to sleep though), and it’s comfortable (i.e. barely noticable) to wear, and not unsightly. Possibly even pleasing?

I’ve always had trouble with Do Less goals because usually the things I want to do less of are … well, I’m super impulsive about them and keeping track over the course of a day and remembering to think about the goal throughout the day is hard, and then there’s all the junk about how do less alerts suck, that makes it hard to remember to update at all.

So here’s what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been setting my ring count every morning to the day’s current Hard Cap. That keeps me aware of what the limit is, and is more viscerally appropriate to see the count decrease with each serving. Every morning I go to my graph and enter yesterday’s count. Then I see what my total hard cap is for the day and I add a placeholder datapoint to the goal for today with my total hard cap and set my ring. Today’s, for example, was 16 servings (I dialed a very generous steep spot in my road this week for birthday season, so I’ve got a lot of buffer). The hard-cap placeholder datapoint serves two purposes: first it keeps track of what the hard cap was yesterday so I can easily figure out what my total for yesterday was using subtraction technology. It also forces me to be right on the edge of the road, so that if I don’t come back and update tomorrow the PPR will derail me, so it keeps the goal top of mind and urgent even if I have lots of buffer.

This is my most successful jaunt at Do Less minding so far!


That’s a pretty clever idea! I have a counter ring (from critsuccess as well) that I used for counting pomodoros during grad school; if I ever come up with something I want to do less of, I’ll bring it back out.


I’ve never knew about thouse counter rings. Very interesting idea!

How do you define “serving”? I’m interested in cutting back, mostly things like chocolate coated nuts, which have a healthy component but still sugar, but not sure how to count “8 nuts, then 6 later, then 7 of a different kind.” I guess I could use “serving size” on prepackaged items, at least. And count eating nondefined items in # of instances of filling a defined small container.

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I count a serving as 150 Calories of junk food. So ice cream for example, some of those calories are coming from milk fat, a little bit of protein, not just sugar, but I count it as one serving anyway. I’m mostly just making rough guesses here, but I’m fairly self-consistent.