Beeminder Forum

my wacky weight-loss wonkery

[This was originally a daily beemail.]

I imagine that most normal humans should ignore everything I think about beeminding weight.

(Also, yes, I totally get that weight is not as important as body measurements or body fat or just strength or speed or whatever. But I still think scale weight works really well as a proxy metric, assuming that you like intermittent fasting and are able and willing to treat your weight as under your complete short-term control, namely by fasting and sweating. Also insert a lot of caveats about not dehydrating yourself or doing anything else that isn’t healthy and defeats the point of beeminding your weight in the first place. To me, things like that are what I call loopholes you can drive an ice cream truck through. Namely, the slope is so blatantly slippery that I’m not tempted to so much as set foot on it.)

Ok, for anyone still here, here’s a little epiphany I just had about beeminding my weight.

When you have to weigh in by (let’s say, since it’s true for me at the moment) 5pm on Tuesday, weigh yourself at 5:01pm on Monday, i.e., as soon as your beemergency day starts. Furthermore, think ahead an additional half day or so: As 5pm Monday approaches, target a 50% chance of weighing in at the needed weight.

(I should also mention that I beemind both my weight and stepping on the scale something like 5 days/week. Thanks to Bee for convincing me to do the latter a couple years go. Unless you can treat “avoid the scale for as long as my weight road has safety buffer” as an ice-cream-truck loophole, a complementary weigh-ins goal is pretty necessary for beeminding weight.)

So why the 50% probability thing 24 hours prior to your beemergency thing?

  1. You may get lucky and be on your weight road early.
  2. You’re calibrating your ability to predict when you’ll weigh what when. I.e., you’re estimating a 50% chance of being on your road and so that should happen 50% of the time. If not, adjust for next time! You’ll end up learning exactly how closely you can skate the edge of your weight road!
  3. If you’re not on your road at t minus 24 hours, you’ve got plenty of time to fast and sweat until you are. In my experience being in the ballpark the day before eliminates the risk of not being on your weight road in time, if you spend as much of that 24 hours as needed not eating.

Ok, I’m ridiculous. But I love all this so much and seriously have no idea how I’d maintain a healthy weight without Beeminder. I’d so predictably be on the classic one-more-day-won’t-matter slippery slope of sloth, overeating today with the (delusional) intention of undereating tomorrow.

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PS: @nick asked what direct inputs I beemind for fitness / weight management.

Servings of sugar, for one. I’ve beeminded steps in the past. Now I’m on a speedskating team and that’s a fine commitment device for exercise. Oh, and I beemind pushups and pullups. I view beeminding scale weight as a great way to beemind my total caloric intake. It’s basically enforcing intermittent fasting, just at somewhat random times. Beemergency on weight ⇒ fast until back on weight road. That throttles my overall consumption in a way that for me is far superior to other ways I could do so.

Some tricks that have worked for me in the past:

  • Beemind miles run
  • Beemind running training consistency (ie, did I stick to my training program for today? 1 if yes, 0 if no)
  • Beemind calories consumed with an app like LoseIt or MyFitnessPal that integrates with Apple Health
  • Beemind calorie deficit based on exercise and consumption
  • Beemind time spent planking or doing calisthenics
  • definitely beemind weigh-ins
  • beemind glasses of water consumed (drinking a glass of water just before a meal makes me way less hungry and less likely to overeat)
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I’m wondering if it might be a good feature to build that second goal, optionally, into the weight loss goal (like if you don’t enter day every x days you auto-derail).

I have the problem of “forgetting to enter data until it’s too late” into weight-loss goal.

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