Goals that support Weight loss...what are yours and how do you track them?

I’ve been beeminding my weight for a while as well as my fitbit steps and had some success initially but have been skating by for a while and fiddling with my goals (unproductively) when I need to commit. Hello Withings Scale…which makes me auto accountable (as long as I weigh in). I think that things like tracking # of servings of fruits and veg would be good, tracking total calories (would love some integration with LoseIt for that!) or even beeminding minutes for exercises that aren’t automatically trackable.

Have you done any of these things? Others that you found useful? And how did you set up your goals?




  1. The most serious impediment to my weight loss using Beeminder was not weighing in after I had a good streak, and then being scared to weigh in for days and days and days.

I wrote about a solution here:

Doing it completely automatically requires a premium account, but you can do it manually without one.

  1. Early on in my weight loss on Beeminder, I had a variety of goals like “eat at a restaurant < 2 times per week” and (this sounds weird) “eat french fries < 3 times per week”.

Let us know if you need any tips setting up specific goals–there’s some meganerds who are pretty helpful here on the forums.


Listen to @adamwolf he knows about weight loss.

(I don’t have any weight loss specific advice, but I’m probably one of the aforementioned meganerds.)


You may well have already read these, but for the benefit of future searchers, here are some relevant posts from our blog:

There are plenty more where those came from!


Thanks for asking the question! I’m keen to hear the answers.

Many people get fixated on the weighing and neglect creating the supporting goals that will help move the outcome in the right direction. Complex outcomes like this always seem to benefit from being minded from several directions.

Here’s my list of weight-related Beeminder goals:

  • a weight goal with an sustainable slope (~0.5% per week)
  • a flex goal to encourage stretching
  • a general ‘get sweaty’ goal that doesn’t care whether it was dancing or running or whatever
  • a gamut of autodata goals: fitbit, runkeeper, etc. that mostly exist to feed the ‘sweat’ goal
  • an eat-at-home goal, which tends to be healthier than when I eat out

I’ve found that I need both exercise (in multiple forms: e.g. both running and overall activity) and calories counting to loss weight. So i’m beeminding

  • weight
  • fat
  • number of steps
  • running distance (automated)
  • running TSS (stress score via Training Peaks)
  • fasting hours
  • net calories (i’m using MyFitnessPal and manually beemind the number of calories left (or exceeded)

For some that might be a lot, but i’ve found that i need to tackle the issue from multiple angles…


This is a feature of Beeminder itself right? My understanding is that the “If you’re in the right lane today, you can’t derail tomorrow” guarantee only applies if you weigh in daily. So once you slip up and don’t weigh in, you actually are better off not weighing until you get back into the right lane.

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Jumping in to say thanks but by all means, keep the suggestions coming. I am going to add a Fruit and Veg weekly goal (gonna stick with 5 servings/day right now) and then track calorie deficit/overages. Thanks!! :smile:


Hmm. I’m not sure. I haven’t ever ridden the edge of a derail on an average-y thing like weight loss before.

Having a really good week right before a celebratory event where I eat more than normal was the main way I got off track on my weight loss goal. It happened at least twice, and once, I didn’t weigh in for nearly a month. (Eep!)

Wait. I thought I knew what I was doing but I don’t. If I want to beemind my calories–left or exceeded–as you said, what kind of goal should I set up? Please speak slowly as I am tech-impaired. THANKS!


Well, it’s a “do more” goal.

If I have fewer calories than my goal, I enter a positive number (59 in the case below).

If I have exceeded my goal, I enter a negative number (-24)

(The goal is not the same in two screenshots because it is adjusted according to exercise)

The result is this graph https://www.beeminder.com/apolyton/goals/netcalories
This is done manually, in the comments I also record the total number of calories eaten and the number of exercise/walking calories.


As I wrote about earlier this year, I use Fast-5 Lifestyle as my weight control regimen.

I never considered BeeMinding the actual fasting hours. I bet that would help visualize any habitual issues that begin to creep in. I’ll think about it and maybe give it a try in addition to BeeMinding my days of complying with Fast-5 rules as I do now.


I’m not overly strict about the number of hours of fasting. I’m fluctuating between 12 and 16. And then there are some bad days of 6 or 8 hours between meals. So a beeminder goal set at 16 hours/day provides a guideline of how close I am at the optimal rate.

By the way, I’ve been fasting (16:8) since that thread back in April and I think it has helped me both in my weight loss goals as well as sleeping better. So thank you for that thread! :slight_smile:

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It depends.

Overall, Beeminder seems to work best for me when I track the end-all final indicator (in this case weight)…a lagging indicator. This is really to keep complexity down, and also allow me to be naturally creative in how I achieve that goal.

But when getting started, leading indicator goals have been useful – for me at different times, a total calories tracking (via myfitnesspal),so on a 3 month plan, I want to want to eat 1,900 calories a day. I might do a 1,900 * 90 = 171,000 calories road to stay under for those three months. That works better for me than daily goals as it allows for off days and such, by getting ahead of the curve.

If you’re willing to log it all, a net calorie goal from food - exercise = net calories (= weight change) would be the best. But after doing any of those for a few months, I’d rather just track weight. But that IMO is a personal thing if what you need for yourself. You might also want another goal that enforces actually logging or else you could easily fake your numbers by inaction.

Outside of Beeminder, something that sort of turns weight tracking into a leading indicator – and IMO a much better way to look at weight beyond your daily ups and downs is The Hackers Diet. And an excellent (and automatic, via Aria, and etc) tool to execute it is the free TrendWeight.com …it’s an amazing (and simple) perspective. And can tell you when things are going to go wrong well before they do…or let you not worry about one bad weigh-in. The body goes up/down/down/up/down/up/down/down…not down/down/down/down…when you measure on a daily basis…and this can be hard to deal with.

That’s also why I don’t usually retro-ratchet weight goals. If you plan is aggressive enough, short term gains can be followed by a flat period. (Assuming daily measurements, I also let myself delete increases after a downtick that would make me eep…I don’t see it as cheating as the road still goes down further and it only gives me a day or two to return to the track in addition to the still dropping road. Just keeps you from failing because you’re body decides to hold on to some water one day. ie. Makes you work even hard to stay on the road for a day or two.)