Is daily weight under your direct control?

We do exactly what The Hacker’s Diet recommends – exponentially weighted moving average – to generate the purple moving average line!

Ah, this is a beautiful compromise. You’re treating weight as mostly in your (daily) control, doing lots of reasonable things to control it within a day timescale that are also smart on a months/years timescale. And you’re keeping the pledge low, in the spirit of “Bee Nice To Yourself”, so you can just pay $5 or whatever occasionally as a fair price for the lesson learned and keep plugging along.


Anecdata: I successfully followed the Reeves protocol to get back on my weight road this morning. After the acute OMG-must-eat feeling passed, I experienced an extended period of hungerlessness and no difficulty in concentrating on my morning tasks.

Now that the crisis has passed, of course, I’m in imminent danger of having a cheeseburger and chips for lunch.

Update: as it happens, I had a cheeseburger (brie & bacon) for lunch and also for dinner (red leicester). I don’t think it had anything to do with my earlier abstinence, just how it happened to play out.

Update: kaboom! this morning I’m an entire kilo above the road.


That’s exactly why I like the more reasonable approach. Too much danger of doing everything to extremes… starving only to feel deserving of overeating crap!


Yes, cheeseburger for dinner will do that for you :slight_smile:
I’m always trying to remind myself that dinner should generally be digested by the time i go on the scale next morning


Interestingly I’ve since found that I’m very much incentivized to avoid starchy food when I have a weight beemergency, even things that themselves weigh almost nothing, like potato chips. That’s because I’m drinking normal amounts of water regardless and water plus starch means my scale weight goes up. Water alone I pee back out no problem so I’m not incentivized to avoid drinking.

@dreev This post is fascinating and I can’t believe I haven’t come across it before, I have tried so many other goals to get this under “indirect control” including morning and evening fasting, hours of fasting, limiting carbs, increasing exercise, steps, sleep, ketone goals, etc. Some of these have produced other great changes and created good habits independent of weight but getting a lock on weight control has been insanely difficult for me. Sometimes I do get it under control for weeks, months, even an 18 month run one time.

I’m actually pretty good at producing desired changes in so many other areas of life (and beeminder is an important augmentation of that ability when my internal systems fail :pray:) that it’s embarrassing how bad I am at getting weight under conscious control. Even a look at my current goals speaks to how many ways I’m trying to attack the inputs to this problem that aren’t just actually minding the output.

My ideas over the last couple of years have been based around the idea that weight isn’t directly controllable and the directly controllable inputs are what really matter. But one really hard part of that equation is getting accurate input for food intake into the mix. If I do a great job of taking photos of meals and/or tracking them, then I have a pretty good data set. Photos and the gyroscope app help a lot but if it’s a busy or crazy day, it has tons of meetings, or travel, or several other scenarios - I’m less likely to remember to track and more likely to mindlessly eat quick/easy meals which are worse quality, so it’s a bit of a spiral. And, maybe most importantly, with food intake you find out you derail after you log, not before. So it’s sort of a do less scenario, when I really need a proactive “do more” situation to respond to.

I think I actually like this direct approach and protocol and will give it a try. I do know what actions help and can rely on myself to do whatever actions are needed (the protocol so to speak) to affect change, and many of them have become standardized parts of my life. I think if not on the road, don’t eat stuff and if really not on the road don’t eat stuff AND do the other stuff is actually going to be perfect for where I am.

That said, it’s been a while since you wrote this. Any more recent insights? Were you wrong?


I’ve now reread it and I stand by it! I’ve since kinda taken it to the next level:

That post is itself now two years old and I really have been following that for two years now, with a few modifications. (And @bee has been kindly doing it with me for 5 months and counting now. I like it much better with a buddy.) One modification from the version in the blog post is that I’ve come back to the idea in this thread as one of my themed days: Tareable Tuesdays. (“Tareable” is pronounced “tareable”.)

Here’s the latest version of the rules, minus the fine print:

  • Monomeal Monday. The first bite of food you take, start a 1-hour timer. All your calories for the day have to be in that window.
  • Tareable Tuesday. A stricter version of what this forum thread describes. No calories allowed at any moment when you’re above your red line. Also you have to drink 6 ounces (177mL) of water per hour spread over the 16 hours you’re awake.
  • Waste-Away Wednesday. Fasting all day. Hard mode, which we’re doing, is no calories from Tuesday night all the way to Thursday morning.
  • Themeless Thursday. No rules!
  • Fitness Friday. However many calories your Garmin or Fitbit says you’ve burned, that’s how many you can eat. Hard mode, which, again, we do, is you only count active calories, not BMR calories.
  • Salubrious Saturday. No sugar, no starch, no red meat, etc. Whatever your definition of the healthiest possible food is, and in particular eliminating anything you get more than the ideal amount of on other days.
  • Social Sunday. As Bee puts it, “only eat when eaten to”. Hard mode – which in this case we don’t do – is you only eat what would be socially awkward not to. Easy mode is that as long as it’s happening socially (but not your allitimentation buddy, they don’t count) then it’s a free-for-all.

And then we have a whole system for when we’re allowed to swap days around, like if someone shows up with brownies on a Salubriday and you haven’t already used up your swapping opportunities and haven’t had any non-social calories so far, you can be like “great, let’s switch to Gregariday today and get those brownies in me!”


Awesome, thanks for sharing @dreev. I don’t think I’ll go with this much structured variety but I do like these ideas.

I built a bit of automation to set the approach to eating for the day based on how far from the red line I am which seems to be working quite well so far. I’m aiming for somewhere around 90% compliance with the “plan” for the day so I have a little openness to social eating, etc. but i shouldn’t be more than 1-2x/wk.

Also along the lines of this thread and beeminder in general, I just saw this JAMA article. Incase anyone was uncertain, notifications with financial incentives help. Text Messages With Financial Incentives for Men With Obesity: A Randomized Clinical Trial

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