Weight Loss Support - crazy darn scales! who to believe?

11-14-2008, 08:15 PM
I started with a regular needle moving type scale, then I "advanced" to a digital body fat scale. now the "advanced" scales won't calculate my body fat just beep error. I've changed battery and everything still won't do body fat. So this morning I decide to get on both scales and see if they are the same. Of course needle scale says 160 digital says 165.6. ;o( So I do what I learned from this site and got my dumbbell weights (16 pounds) and check my scales. needle said 16 digital said 16.2. WHAT!?!?! so I get on the scales and there is again about a 5 pound difference. I want to only use one scale but i'm curious which do you guys think the most accurate one is? I know as long as you use the same one every week that's all that is important but I also don't want to cheat and think I weight less than I actually do by picking the one that is the lowest number. Plus using one scale would mean I'm overweight using the other means I'm still obese.

11-14-2008, 08:22 PM
hey disgruntled one you are doing great losing weight what are you doing tell all I just started on my weight loss I started walking my daughter to school, and eventually I'm going to the gym, I'm tired of being tired and also I'm hoping by losing weight It will help with my arthritis.

11-14-2008, 08:45 PM
The digital is the most accurate but you'd be better off putting both of them away and only weighing once a week. Don't stress over a scale. It's the least accurate way to measure success. What permanent lifestyle changes have you made? How many inches have you lost? How much exercise are you doing? After those, look at the scale number.

11-14-2008, 10:56 PM
Hm, you shouldn't be getting an error. Maybe the instructions that came with the scale can tell you why that might happen? Your feet should be dry, for example? :dunno:


11-15-2008, 08:57 PM
Maybe try retesting it with a heavier weight, say two 16 lb dumbbells?

My digital scale is off sometimes, and I have to weigh in a couple of times to reset it, but after that it's always accurate. The batteries are new, it's just always been like that. The thing I don't like about the old style needle scales is that it's easy to throw a weigh-in by leaning differently or being off-center. I always weigh less when I weigh in on my mom's, because I'm good at standing further up on the scale ;)

It's frustrating to not have an accurate measure, but if I were you I'd stick with the digital scale or get a new one vs. going with the manual kind. JMO :)

11-15-2008, 09:22 PM
Often when a scale is "off" it isn't by a constant weight, but rather it's off by a percentage so the more weight being measured, the more inaccurate the reading.

But honestly, you can drive yourself nuts worrying about the minutia. If you truly believe that a difference of 5 lb really makes you a "cheater" or about those 5 lb making a meaningful difference in who you are - you're going to constantly be miserable and drive yourself insane. I really think the biggest enemy of weight control is making small things "mean" big things. I think most weight loss attempts end in failure because of the difficulty in seeing the "big picture."

Whenever I fell (or rather threw myself) off a weight loss plan in the past it was because I used some mistake as proof that I couldn't or wouldn't succeed. But even a HUGE mistake, like a 10,000 calorie binge is a small thing in the scheme of things. People don't get fat on one big mistake, they become overweight on thousands of little ones. Five pounds do not define you.

A scale has to be a tool, not a measure of your worth or worthiness. Your healthy goal weight really needs to be a range or you're going to feel absolutely horrible whenever your weight fluctuates a few ounces. And if you're going to tolerate fluctuation at your goal weight, you've got to tolerate some fluctuation in your progressing weights also.

Weighing less may be an excellent idea, but for me, the opposite broke me of my scale stress. I weighed myself on as many scales as I could find (I owned two, my doctor's office had two, my TOPS group had another, I even weighed myself on the mall scales). I weighed myself daily (and at times several times a day), and I wrote the weights down.

Wow - I got a lot more than 5 lbs in fluctuations. There was almost 7 lb difference just between the two scales in the doctor's office (and yes it still bugs me a little to be weighed on the "heavy" scale).

You aren't a number. And weight isn't the best indication of health, fitness or even appearance, it's just a convenient one.