Weight Loss Support - With the way weight fluctuates and scales vary, how do you track your weight?

12-02-2011, 02:36 PM
Just looking for some tips on tracking weight loss. I know some people focus more on inches or sizes, but for me, especially because I don't have too much more to lose, each pound is significant and keeps me motivated. However I don't have a consistent way of tracking. My home scale is different from my gym scale is different from my friends scale, and at depending on the time of day, etc etc.

The gym scale says I lost 2 pounds since last week, and I want to update my ticker but I feel like I should wait til tomorrow to see if it's still 2 pounds less.

Anyway, what are your techniques for tracking loss considering water weight and other natural fluctuations?

12-02-2011, 02:51 PM
I always weigh on the same scale, same conditions. This is the number I use for recording.. I may weigh differntly at my doctor's office or the gym. Those readings while interesting really have no bearing on my weight loss. When I weigh at the doctor's office, I am clothed have eaten a meal or two and have had water, coffee or other liquids to drink. Same thing at the gym. It would be rare to see the same results as on my home scale, having weighed nude, before breakfast. I see the variances as nothing to worry about.

12-02-2011, 02:52 PM
Same scale, same conditions, daily weighing, and it's all recorded in a graph so that I can see the overall pattern rather than focusing on the individual readings. I would never even consider weighing myself on different scales!

12-02-2011, 02:55 PM
I only weigh myself on my scale, that way I don't get confused with the conflicting numbers. I also only weigh myself in the morning after the bathroom before drinking or eating so I am getting the more accurate weight.

Before updating my ticker I wait a couple days to see if the same number or close keeps popping up. I'm not sure why I do this though, I think it has something to do with the fact that I don't like updating my ticker and then not seeing that weight on the scale again for days. Makes me feel like I did something wrong. I weigh every day to keep my accountable but I only take Fridays extremely seriously. Since the scale can go up and down several pounds through the week I think its a good idea to make an official weigh in day to keep me sane.

12-02-2011, 03:19 PM
I think it's really important to remember that weight loss is about getting healthier, and looking and feeling better. If we make it "all about the math" we can drive ourselves batty, or worse lose focus when the numbers don't do what we want them to.

I'm not sure what you mean by not having a consistent way of tracking. Do you mean that you aren't at your home, the gym, or your friend's on a consistent basis, where you could weight at least once or twice a week on the same scale?

The scale is an important tool, but you've got to understand it's limits. You are going to see fluctuations. There are going to be days (or weeks, or whenever you weigh) when you'll have done everything right and the scale still won't "reward" you for it. You may seen gains or stalls, and you may or may not know why they occurred. So, it's important to realize that one measure on the scale means absolutely nothing. It's the trend, not any one measurement that is important (and that's why it's important to use the same scale).

I do weigh on three different scales:

My doctor's office scale - (I don't even pay attention to how close this scale is to my home scale. I just ask the nurse what I weighed last time).

The scale at my TOPS group (once a week - I'm extremely lucky that my in-clothes weight at the TOPS scale is almost exactly the same as my naked-weight at home). I've been in other weight loss groups where the scale and my scale were several pounds off. Sometimes I considered the group weight my "official weight" and therefore my group scale the "official scale" (when I was documenting only once a week), and sometimes (when I was documenting daily) I considered my home scale the official scale.

My scale at home (my main, daily scale and the one I pay the most attention to, because I weigh and document daily, now).

It doesn't matter which scale you use as your "official" scale, just choose one, and use it whichever way works best for you. You can weigh daily, monthly, or even hourly - whatever works for you - but regardless of how often you weigh, you've got to understand what the scale is and isn't telling you.

If you see a gain - it's not telling you that you're bad, or even that you've made a mistake (if you drink one large glass of water before stepping on the scale, it will register a gain of up to a pound).

Your weight at any one given moment doesn't matter - it's the trend. So don't compare today's weight (if you weigh daily) with yesterday's weight - compare it to last week, last month, three months ago....

Most of us have been taught to judge weight at least weekly (or every time we step on a scale) - but your body may not work on a weekly schedule. I like to capture a lot of data, so I weigh daily, but I don't compare today's weight to yesterday's but to my weight a month or two ago.

12-02-2011, 03:32 PM
I weigh at home on the same scale at the same time every day.

I only "count" my weight on Thursdays. That's the day I update ticker and my calorie goal on livestrong.

12-02-2011, 03:37 PM
i do the same thing as rachael-- i weight every day and track it, but wednesdays are my official weigh in days that i track in myfitnesspal and that updates my ticker.

12-02-2011, 03:39 PM
I weigh daily, in the same general amount of clothing, at the same general time of day. The number gets dropped into a spreadsheet and I attempt to forget it. My spreadsheet calculates for me:

An exponentially smoothed moving average.
The amount of weight I've lost in the last 7 days (based on trend weight).
(a whole slew of other stuff that I like to fiddle with, including auto-adjusting targets and weight-loss weeks remaining, but it's mostly just for fun)
a graph of actual weight vs smoothed weight.

I consider the current trend weight to be my "real" weight, and today that's 190.3. This morning, my scale said 186.5, but that's a "fake" number to me - if I went to my doctor and she asked what I weighed, I'd say "190.3", and that's what's in my ticker.

When I ovulate, I bounce up to my trend weight. When my period comes, I spend 3-4 days right up near my trend weight. I haven't gone over my trend weight yet (and would be concerned if I did), so I feel pretty comfortable using that to calculate my loss. When I get down to the weeks that my plan says I should lose a half pound a week, my trend weights are the only way I'll know if I'm on target - there's just too much variability in a single weighing.

12-02-2011, 04:26 PM
I weigh at home on the same scale at the same time every day.

I only "count" my weight on Thursdays. That's the day I update ticker and my calorie goal on livestrong.

This is what I do, except Tuesday is the day I "count" it :) works for me quite well.

Precious Little
12-02-2011, 04:37 PM
I use a graphing app (Weight Tracker by Yaplex) to give me positive reinforcement. I also only take notice of the downward trend, so minor upward fluctuations are ignored. It may be a little bit of delusion, but that's a small price to pay but I got tired of beating myself up over weight gains (even if this is due to fluid retention or TOM).

It's very satisfying to see a nice smooth downward line :)

I also only ever weigh in on the same scales, at the same time every week (or two weeks) with the same amount of clothing and usually first thing in the morning after voiding.

12-02-2011, 04:45 PM
I only weigh myself when I feel skinny. LOL About every other day. SOmetimes I just "feel heavy" and it is usually bloating, etc.

The key for me is that I never record when my weight fluctuates UP. I am always on-plan, so any "ups" are from water retention, hormones, lots of weight training, etc. I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to, so I don't freak out if I see a higher number. I know it will come down in a few days or so.

12-02-2011, 04:53 PM
I always use the same scale, same spot, same time, no clothes(since the weight of these vary way to much). I weigh a few times a week although I only record the weight on Monday's. Before I update my weight loss I usually like to remain there for a few days or so, because I go up and down so frequently in a 5 pound range.

12-02-2011, 04:54 PM
I use my digital scale for daily use and my mom's non-digital scale to verify if I'm feeling like I need to double-check. Otherwise I weigh in at the same time, after using the bathroom. I weigh in several times during the week but only my monday one is official (I'm trying to lessen my scale obsession).

12-02-2011, 05:01 PM
Every Friday morning on one particular home scale, and then put into a line graph.

pink parrothead
12-03-2011, 12:06 AM
Same as some of the other posters. Exact same conditions every day. After I wake up and use the bathroom, no clothes, before I eat or drink anything. I do it to keep myself accountable and don't worry about fluctuations.

12-03-2011, 12:18 AM
I weigh myself but I more measure by my pants, and my "spare tire" and how lean I feel. The scale is weird because of my biking, and my quads are getting more muscular but my pants are different and my face is thinner. And I measure by how my lungs feel when I bike or run.

12-04-2011, 02:44 PM
I'm another one who uses the same scale, at the same time each day. Only Wednesdays count as my official days though & are recorded in my spreadsheet.

I also measure inches and I do that on Saturdays to go in my log as well. :)

12-04-2011, 02:53 PM
Same scale, same conditions. When there's a loss I immediately record it. I also use measuring tapes.

12-04-2011, 04:02 PM
Use the same scale. Allow for weight differences each day. Stay on plan. Go easy on the salty foods.

12-04-2011, 06:22 PM
there are 2 scales in my house, and both are within .2lbs of each other so I assume they are fairly accurate.

12-04-2011, 07:06 PM
Same for me cuz my weigh ins are on Sundays. I'll take a laxative Saturday to clean myself out and Sunday mornings I weigh.

12-04-2011, 07:09 PM
Taking a laxative because you're weighing yourself the next day sounds pretty unhealthy, hon.

12-05-2011, 07:57 AM
I weigh daily (naked, after peeing first thing in the morning) and count my lowest weight that I see even if it shows up once and then the scale goes up the next day. Now if it were to go down to a low and then stay high again for another month or so I'd probably readjust it but this has never happened and I haven't seen any real gains throughout my journey (I obviously see water weight fluctuations due to TOM/ovulation etc but those are always short lived so I never count them).

I don't really get too worried about how others track their weight because it's more about progression, not the number.

I DO also track inches (as you can see in my ticker). Even those fluctuate a lot too and I'm slower to change those numbers because there's more human error built into the measurements (pulling tighter one day/not measuring at the exact same spot vs. a digital scale always measured at the same spot in my house). For instance, my waist can measure close to 31" or 33" depending on the time of month/what I ate last night/how tight I pull/if I'm measuring exactly parallel to the floor etc. At the moment I'm getting 31.5" most consistently (excluding TOM) so that's in my ticker. I won't move to 31" until I can get that consistently for some days in a row. I would love to track body fat % but I just don't have that available to me right now.

12-05-2011, 08:04 AM
I agree with most of the posters. Because of some of the challenges on 3FC I joined, I am weighing myself early in the morning before I eat (best time, they say) on the same day (Mondays hopefully). Then before I eat, I post here, on LoseIt! chart, and on my blog. So I can remember my weight and feel good about it the rest of the day. I would only use my doctor's office scale as a little bearing to see if my scale is in range. I know because my mom's old scale shocked me by being 20lbs off that I confirmed at my doctor's office the next day.

12-05-2011, 08:26 AM
I have a 2-lb "window" that I expect when I weigh in. I have learned looking for a drop- or even the same number- from day to day is ridiculous and needlessly stressful.