Scales of Frustration

  • shoelessj

    Posts: 511

    May 30, 2008 11:59 PM GMT
    Anyone have any thoughts on how to get the most accurate reading of your weight on a scale? Any times of day of ways of weighing that are best, etc?

    I started keeping careful track of my weight earlier this year, using the doctor's office-type scale at my gym. Then they took that scale away, which bummed me out because it was consistent. So i then used the electronic scale at the gym, but the numbers would be wildly inconsistent -- sometimes it would give me all zeroes, or it would tell me i was like 280 on monday then tuesday i'd be 288 then wednesday i'd be 277. So i bought a home scale, for like $60 and i was happy for awhile, but recently its been going goofy, too. For instance, on wednesday it said i was 282, then thursday night i was 280, then this morning i was 276. I did not lose six pounds in three days!

    I know some may be inclined to say you shouldn't pay as much attention weight as you do how your clothes fit, etc., and i know that's true, but i love playing with numbers, like making charts, etc., and i think losing a pound or a pound and a half just makes me feel good about my working out and diet.

    [btw, i don't know if it matters, but i do take protein drinks on the days i work out, as well as a creatine/glutamine mix when i lift, which is about 3 to 4 days a week.]

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    May 31, 2008 12:44 AM GMT
    I always weigh myself at the same time of day: first thing in the morning, naked, after going to the bathroom. I figure that's the best baseline from which to compare weight loss or gain over time, because during the day, weight will fluctuate all over the place due to eating, drinking, shitting, pissing, etc.
  • zackmorrisfan...

    Posts: 300

    May 31, 2008 1:28 AM GMT
    I'd tend to agree with paradox as I do the same. I find the most consistent readings are in the morning after voiding and before eating - taken unclothed on an accurate scale. Additionally shoeless you are right to think that it would be better to just throw the scale out and go by fit of clothing/level of happiness when you look in the mirror. However as you mentioned that is very hard to do so keep your records for motivation and keep working hard - you'll get to your target with dedication! icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 31, 2008 1:28 AM GMT
    paradox saidI always weigh myself at the same time of day: first thing in the morning, naked, after going to the bathroom. I figure that's the best baseline from which to compare weight loss or gain over time, because during the day, weight will fluctuate all over the place due to eating, drinking, shitting, pissing, etc.

    Couldn't have said it any better and I do the same. It is possible for your weight to vary by as much as six pounds over three days. You may be dehydrated on one day and then weigh yourself a couple of days later when you're holding in water and haven't digested a big meal yet. It's very possible.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    May 31, 2008 10:22 AM GMT
    Not a big fan of weighing yourself to get an idea of progress
    mainly because our Weight fluctuates fairly widely fromm day to day and from scale to scale
    you lose the overall picture
    if you wanna chart progress... use a full length mirror
    or a tape measure would be better
    but if you Must use a scale always use the same one
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    May 31, 2008 10:27 AM GMT
    Only weigh yourself once a week or even only once a month. Keep a record of it if you are seriously watching your weight.

    It's pointless doing it daily as your weight can vary even by as much as 6lbs.
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    May 31, 2008 10:37 AM GMT
    The more you exceed the healthy range of weight, the more water changes alone can fluctuate wildly in a single day.
    This effect is different when you've got a low bodyfat percentage but a lot of muscle since muscle too, fluctuates with the amount of water during the day. It's largely a matter of total body mass. The bigger you are, the more the variations in weight.

    paradox, redheadguy, and GQjock have given you all you need.
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    Jun 03, 2008 4:21 AM GMT
    Because of the variability in weights over time, depending on fluid level, respiration rate, consumption, and so on, I use a mathematical smoothing technique to determine a "real" weight.

    Much like the currency market, using a weighted moving average (a trend line) helps identify if you're gaining or losing weight in the long run, by analyzing the data as a whole, not in single points.

    http://www.physicsdiet.com is one such tool which is great for keeping a moving average... It allows storage of body fat% and weight, and can work in metric or imperial. It *is* designed for weightloss but the maths works just the same. It's also free and generates a range of pretty graphs.

    If you're interested, my weightloss progress is here: http://www.physicsdiet.com/Public.aspx?u=Quadlex.

    The blue line is the moving average, the black is best fit and can safely be ignored most of the time. Green points are measurements and the shaded area indicates whether my weight is below or above the trend... below and it's pulling the trend down, above and it's pulling it up. I want it below the line as much as possible until I reach slimness, then I'll be using it only to track body fat and make sure I'm not adding fat.