Coming to Terms With Your Bathroom Scale

In an example of wasting time, energy, and money when starting a diet, a lot of people think that an accurate scale is the place to start.


A scale provides a number and an indicator of progress in just one regard – but how you feel, and how your clothes feel are a much better indicator of your progress. But we do love our numbers, don’t we?

Here’s my suggestion. Go out and buy a mechanical bathroom scale – no electronic scales and no wacky BMI indicators – electronic scales can go out of whack way more than the mechanical ones – the mechanical ones go out of whack more slowly and gracefully – you don’t see 30 pound differences in a single day when the computer chip starts to lose it’s mind from the bathroom humidity.

Now – any bathroom scale will be wrong – unless you are really lucky. It doesn’t matter. The number value of what you weigh now means nothing, really. What you care about is the difference from that number (right or wrong) in the the future.

So your crappy scale says you might be 200 lbs. Maybe you are – maybe you aren’t. You go on a diet, weight yourself, and the scale says 190.

You don’t know if you were really 200 lbs to begin with, and you don’t know if you are 190 now. What you do know with reasonable certainty is that you lost 10 lbs – that is the key.

Our assumption here is that the scale is more or less consistently wrong.

I trust my scale even less, so I weigh myself 3 times, get 3 different weights, and sort of take the average. If you are trying to lose more than 5 lbs, this is close enough.

For better precision (not that it matters), the next time you go to the doctor and he weighs you, note that number, then run home and weigh yourself with the exact same shoes, junk in your pocket, etc.

I just did this and found my scale shows me as 7 lbs lighter than the doctor’s scale.

Thinking about it, it’s a great sales tool to sell bathroom scales that show you weigh less than you do – you’ll rave to your friends about what a great scale you bought!

Numbers can be helpful, but don’t let them rule your life. If you lose significant weight, it will show – you won’t have to walk around with a scale to prove it to anyone.

Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

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