Beeminder Forum

Binge Eating Feature Request

I love beeminding my weight and I love how Fitbit integration makes data entry automatic. But as a binge eater, I feel an important feature is missing.

When I binge, my weight is highly variable. I can spike up nearly 10 pounds in a day, but I can also lose 3 pounds in a day. So I have an easy way to cheat and avoid derailment: After I binge, I can restrict my caloric intake and wait a few days before I weigh in again. My weight returns to normal and Beeminder never learns of the spike.

I wish there was an option to have Beeminder force me to weigh in every day. If I miss a day, I would either automatically derail or the next day would become an eep day, no matter how far on the happy side of the yellow brick I am. So if/when I binge, I’ll derail regardless of whether I report my weight spike to Beeminder.

I want to use Beeminder not simply to disincentivize an upward trend in my weight, but also to disincentivize large weight spikes. I’ve become fairly good at losing the weight I gain from binging, but the binging itself is emotionally taxing and I want to stop.

I would also love an option to disallow any kind of manual data entry, including on the site and via email. Because it’s much more difficult to lie to my scale than in an email.

For both these features, if you turn them off, I think you should have to wait at least a week for the change to take effect.

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Done! Or at least, there’s a workaround.

Many people have a second weight-related goal that tracks the number of days on which they stand on the scale.

You can use IFTTT or Zapier or equivalent to add a datapoint to this new weigh-in goal every time one is added to your normal weight goal.

For extra fanciness, if you’re premium, you can set this up so that it only counts at most +1 per day, or auto-ratchets if you build up too much safety buffer. For everyone else, there’s the manual retro-ratchet to reduce the number of safe days.

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That’s exactly what I do – a separate weighins goal, automatically updated via IFTTT when I step on the scale. And with a custom aggday so it doesn’t do me any good to step on the scale multiple times in a row.

I hate-hate-hate that such convolutedness is required to get the necessary teeth in a weight goal and am eager to have these features first-class citizens in some way.

In the meantime we’ll be happy to help you with the convoluted solutions!

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What’s a custom aggday? Is this in Beeminder or IFTTT?

I’m glad to hear you’re looking into making this easier.

Even beyond weight tracking, I wish Beeminder would let you create goals in the form of “Do X every day”—essentially Don’t Break The Chain with teeth. Because with goals that are about creating habits, the most important thing is to do X every single day. If you cram a bunch of work into one day and then do nothing for a month, Beeminder won’t care, but you’ll fail to create a habit.

For example, I haven’t bothered to hook Duolingo up to Beeminder because I prefer Duolingo’s built-in streak incentive. Even though missing a day wouldn’t lose me any money, I’d hate to see my streak reset to zero. Without this, Duolingo would never have become a habit for me.

I realize “Do X every day” goals can’t be represented well with Beeminder’s usual graphs. But a calendar would work well. HabitBull, for instance, has a great way of visualizing these kinds of goals.

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Hmm, is there a reason a 1/day rate wouldn’t work for “must do every day”? I definitely use Beeminder that way, but wondering if there’s something that makes that fall through for you. In the case of Duolingo, instead of integrating with Duolingo, I’d just make a plain manual entry graph, 1/day rate, and enter +1 once I’ve done the thing. [Ah, right, probably what you said about disabling manual entry.]

Re: custom aggday, that’s how your goal is aggregated, and it’s on Beeminder’s side. It’s typically only available if you have access to custom goals through premium. You can set it to things like “max” (if you want only the highest datapoint on a given day to count), or “min” (for the smallest), etc. :slight_smile:

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If you enter several data points on one day, Beeminder will let you slack off for the next few days, and I don’t want that.

That’s the kind of thing I use a custom aggday for. :slight_smile: I think using the auto-ratcheting feature that removes your safety buffer automatically would also do that.

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