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Old 08-02-2008, 01:14 AM   #1
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Default The Doctor's Office Scale Conspiracy

I firmly believe I have a reliable scale. I've been through several scales in my lifetime. However, whenever I go to the doctor and am weighed on their scale, I am always heavier. For example, I went to the doctor's on Thursday and weighed 3 lbs heavier than I do at home. Granted, I know if I were truly at my goal weight, 3 lbs wouldn't mean much to me. But I'm trying to keep positive here and seeing a gain really made me upset.

Does anyone else experience this?
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Old 08-02-2008, 01:59 AM   #2
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I've read about others finding the same thing! So you're not the only one with this experience for sure

I wonder if it has to do with circumstances that are natural when being at the doctor's. Ex. do we take our shoes off, what clothes we have on, is it in the middle of the day after we've had breakfast and lunch and a litre of water all those little things can add up

Mini-goal 1: Reach 257lbs
Mini-goal 2: Reach 222lbs
Mini-goal 3: Reach 209lbs
Mini-goal 4: Reach 199!
Mini-goal 5: Reach 179 lbs (overweight BMI category!!)
Mini-goal 6: Reach 160lbs
Final goal: Reach 145lbs

Mini exercise goal 1: Begin running September 2012
Mini exercise goal 2: Celebrate graduation with a 5K

Last edited by beautifulone; 08-02-2008 at 02:00 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:30 AM   #3
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yer i do....
last time there was a difference of 7lbs....

The difference between success and failure is the determination to suceed
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Old 08-02-2008, 05:44 AM   #4
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I weighed myself on my sister's scale (staying with her for the summer) and I was at a very exciting 142 or so, and I get to the doctors office and it said - no joke - 156!!! 14 lb difference?! I was fully dressed, had eaten, and was holding my purse still - but it's a small bag! 14 lbs?!?!
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Last edited by GradPhase; 08-02-2008 at 05:46 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 06:50 AM   #5
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Hey! Oh yeah... those dr. scales... Well, my weight can go up and down as much as 3 pounds during the day just from nuthin'... so at the dr's office, when I'm fully clothed including wearing my shoes, I'm not surprised at what I see. It's never been anything but higher!

If it's any consolation, you would have weighed that much more than your starting weight on the dr's scale...


Last edited by JayEll; 08-02-2008 at 06:54 AM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:50 AM   #6
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Scales most certainly will vary. But if you lose/gain 3 lbs or YOUR scale, you will lose/gain 3 lbs on your docs, or anyones' scale. It's just the actual number that may be inaccurate. The loss or the gain is still the same.
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Old 08-02-2008, 08:48 AM   #7
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The balance beam scale most doctors offices have is the most accurate. What you have to keep in mind is that weight will vary from scale to scale. What is important is that you weigh on the same scale, wearing the same clothes (or lack there of), at the same time of day. Weight naturally varies. Food has weight and it does exit as fast as we eat it. Liquids have weight and ditto on the exit. Clothes and purses all add to the total.

Actually, the scale should be on the bottom of your list of ways to measure your progress. The actual lifestyle changes you have made will be the determining factor in your success at keeping the weight off permanently.

Good luck to all - and put the scale away!

HW 356 pounds - CW 135 - GW 137

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
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Old 08-02-2008, 09:26 AM   #8
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When I visit the doctors office and the nurse weighs me I tell her this:

Please do not share the weight with me. I am doing my own weight loss program and weigh myself weekly at home.

So, I never know that the doctors office scale reflects, which for me is a good thing.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:17 AM   #9
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But each scale is different, so why does it bother you so much? I also weigh more at my doctor's but for years, I had a crappy cheapo Ikea scale at home that I knew was wanky but that was the one I went by (when I did happen to weigh myself which was not very often LOL). I never knew how much I weighed at my doctor's because I chose not to know.
Then, when I decided to lose weight, it was time to replace the cheapo with a better model and I got myself a digital scale. When I saw my doctor last (I think at that time I had already lost approx. 20 lbs) I asked how much I was on her scale and it did register 2 pounds more than my scale at home. But that is not important to me. What is important to me is the number on my home scale as that is the one I use consistently. Even that scale can fluctuate pretty wildly within one day (I once somehow "gained" 7 pounds between the morning and the evening - that is the reason why I normally weigh myself only twice a month).
Dearest Schumeany: Yes, those are size 4 jeans hugging my posterior. Thank you for being such motivation!!!
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:02 AM   #10
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OH MY GOSH! I love this thread!!! I thought it was just me for sure- what is up with those scales?

I'm up by at least 7-10 pounds on that stupid thing. Not that i'm at the office that often, but it's been enough on during my recent loss journey to notice.

It's a good thing they let us declare our own at the DMV, huh? ;-)
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:30 AM   #11
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I usually make sure to calibrate my scale when this happens. Stick a 10lb dumbbell on it and see if it weighs 10lb or not.

If so ... then I don't let the results bother me. Could be water.
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Old 08-02-2008, 11:48 AM   #12
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My doctor's scale has been consistent with the one that I use at the gym. I had surgery in January and got weighted several times over several weeks on several different doctor/hospital scales and all were consistent.

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Old 08-02-2008, 02:55 PM   #13
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Unless you go to the doctor's office first thing in the morning, after peeing, before eating or drinking and weigh yourself completely naked. It's probably going to weigh different than what you get on your own scale

Try weighing yourself right before you go to the doctor, then don't eat or drink anything until after you've been weighed at their office and then see the difference.

Last edited by FreeSpirit; 08-02-2008 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:37 PM   #14
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I know that the scale at the drs is going to be different, but man it still upsets me when I see that number! Especially after I lost the 20 lbs and I was down below 200 last year, and I was so happy that my dr would be able to see the progress I was making (though she has never told me lose weight). And then I went and was just BARELY below 200, weighing almost 10 lbs more than I did at home. It's just annoying!
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Old 08-02-2008, 03:39 PM   #15
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***warning, medical staff posting***
I work in the medical industry at a clinic. Our scales are calibrated quarterly by a hired contractor, who is a professional at calibrating medical equipment. They actually bring in a weight, put it on the scale and calibrate it from there. When I write a patients weight down on a chart I deduct 2 lbs from what the scale says to account for pants, shirt, socks and underclothes. All my patients take their shoes off. We specialize in diabetes care, so what our scale says is important to us and our patients. Most hospitals and dr.s offices work this way as far as having their equipment maintained by professionals.
I weigh myself at work, but I do have a scale at home and sadly, my scale at home weighs me almost 5 lbs heavier the the one at our office. And when I'm at work I'm wearing clothing!
I agree, scales are bad way of judging weight loss success because if you are not only eating conciously but working out (especially strenght training) you are going to see gains because you will be building muscle. A better way to judge success is by milestones like, going from a size 14 to a size 12, or running a mile in X amount of minutes, or measuring yourself. I may gain weight one week, but notice that my waist and arms are measuring thinner.
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