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Finicky Bathroom Scale


layman77
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I have a digital bathroom scale and it's quite frustrating. I think I may get a traditional spring one. I can stand on it three times and it will give me slightly different weights like this:

 

1st time :209.1lbs

2nd time: 208.3lbs

3rd time: 207.4lbs

 

And, no- this WAS three times in a row over a period of 15 seconds, I was not weighing myself with or without my clothes or shoes. I had the exact same clothes on all three times.

 

I wonder what's going on here. I want to diet but I guess I can't rely on my scale. Seems to be the best ones seem to be the more "primitive" ones like with a spring dial or the one at the Doctor's office which has weights on the weight amounts.

 

Do certain actions alter what the scale says? For example, if I were to squat on it instead of stand on it, it might give me a much higher weight. If I were to stand on one foot. Or perhaps in my case the way I am standing the way my weight is distributed on it. I wonder why this should even matter. I'm the same weight whether I'm standing, squatting, or one foot, my weight is the same. Maybe it depends on the sensors I'm standing on, if I were to stand on one foot, a certain area of the scale would receive all the force, and most of the other parts would receive none, but I wonder why that should matter as well, it should tally up the same, shouldn't it? 208 on one spot +0= 140 in 2 spots+0=208

 

Anyway, what I am I doing wrong, if I am doing something wrong. I just want my real actual weight every time.

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Any measurement has an issue of random error. So even though the readout is to 0.1 lbs, the actual error is about 1 lb. Your choices are to take one measurement to ± 1 lb, or take a dozen or so measurements and average them to get rid of the noise. If you plot a single set of values they should give you a gaussian (aka bell) curve.

 

Personally I wouldn't bother with the latter. Your weight fluctuates a couple of pounds over the course of a day, and obsessing over a few tenths might just be adding stress. You gain about a half a pound by drinking a glass of water (around 8 lbs a gallon!), and lose that as you perspire, breathe, and go to the bathroom. Any precision better than a pound is just measuring noise.

 

"Real" weight loss happens over the course of weeks and months. It's not the daily fluctuations that are always going to be there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mine does that when I accidently have it half on my bathroom rug or half off.

 

It also happens when I don't stand on it dead center and I lean on it a bit.

 

I wouldn't worry about it, a two pound fluxuation. If it was ten pounds, I'd throw the damn thing out.

 

Other than that, as stated before me. To become obssesive about your weight, it will cause more harm than good.

 

Obssesstion leads to tension, tension leads to stress, stress leads to breakdown and more weightgain

 

I would aim to lose a pound a week. 3500 Kcal, thats about 5 hours on the tredmill for me running 7mph.

 

Eat a lot of vegies, drink a lot of water, do cardio everyday, eat protein, get enough sleep and voila you will lose weight.

 

Being healthy isn't a goal, its a lifestyle.

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