Weight Loss
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Digital Scale Inconsistency - what do you think?


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Ok, we bought this really nice (expensive) digital scale that tells you a bunch of stuff (body fat, water weight, bone weight etc.).

What I'm finding is that depending on where you step on the scale, it gives a different weight reading. Today it was a difference of 3 lbs! (I'd gladly take the lesser one, thank you!). I thought if I just step on it at the same place that that would be good enough, but I'd rather take the lower weight.

I also have an analog scale that's supposed to be as accurate as a doctors scale and it has always been one or two pounds less than my digital reading.

Have any of you found this and what do you do?

Thanks! Dee
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I currently own three different scales in three different price ranges. They have all given inaccurate readings, thus the need to go out and buy another. I've given up and decided to use the digital that only gives me the weight per .5 lbs. It seems to be the most accurate.

When you're trying to lose weight, every pound (or lack thereof) counts!

When I go to the doctor, I make sure to make a note of her scale reading and the next time I go back, I compare the new reading to the previous one.
#2  
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Doesn't it have pads for your feet? Mine has a places you put your feet. It's for the BF% test but it forces you to stand in the same spot every time.
I'm all about the old-school scale I've had for all of my life!  It's got a nice little line that stays put as the numbers scroll away underneath it...and it's always seemed pretty right on.  Maybe a lb or two off..but always consistent.

My parents bought a new digital one last winter...and still use my old one!  It's definitley not as consistent.

Anybody have any idea why the new digital ones suck and the old school ones tend to be more reliable?
Digital scales are often not accurate.  The more stuff you cram into it, the less accurate I find it is.

A regular scale usually gives me sound numbers.

The trick is to keep the scale in one place and then always use the same scale.  If you compare scale 1 to scale 2, you might get different readings, but all that is telling you is that the scales are different.

Keep to the same one so you can accuratly see a weight loss.
I know what you mean, jazz. I wish I could find a scale from about 1984. My grandmother's scale has worked perfectly since I was born. Unfortunately, she won't part with it. I understand.




And deejlb, I just wanted to say I saw your 30-day before and after pictures on your profile. That's amazing! I wish my before and after pictures looked like that!
Mine only varies by 0.2 lbs. It's a Tanita. With that said, about one week after I bought it, it started showing weird readings. I changed the batteries and it fixed it. I figure that the batteries that came with the scale were probably sitting on a shelf for too long!

Also be sure the scale is being used on a level, smooth, hard floor surface. No carpeting. To check for levelness, put a marble on the floor and see if it rolls.

So try all that first, but if it still reads that dramatically, maybe return it? Because if it's reading that differently now, it will probably just get worse with time.
who cares about the scale.  You look amazing, deejlb.  The 30-day change just blows me away! Share the secret!!!! I have been on diet/exercise for 5 wks and only lost 4 pounds. 
#8  
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Thanks all! I do have it on the only smooth surface in our whole house, in the furnace room where the floor is cement with no tile or carpet. I never move it and the analog one is nex to it an it never moves either. I think I will check the batteries, maybe that would help. Oh and ours goes up/down in 0.2 increments too. So would you guys keep stepping on it to get the lowest reading and take that or just step on & see what you get?

zeke2  - it does not have pads for the feet, just those metal things all over & no foot outline. Wish it did.

stokesreagan - thank you sooo much for the compliment. I didn't think there'd be so much change but I'm thrilled that there is. Hope it's as good in the next 30! I'll be posting my day 60's on March 25.

xutong - Thanks so much! I appreciate your comments. Basically I've been eating 1200 calories (give or take a few). I drink a LOT of water. And the workouts I'm doing is the Beach Body Power 90 program. It alternates cardio one day, then sculpt (weights) the next, and on the 7th day you rest. I had success with it before & just got lazy & put the pounds back on. So I knew it worked, just had to get my head into it. I also walk my dogs every day & do 30 minutes on the Bowflex TreadClimber on my sculpt days (3 x a week). That's it! How much do you have to lose though, cuz I have quite a bit - starting weight 194 & first goal is 150 but will set further goals after I get there.

Dee
I ALWAYS keep the first reading. Otherwise I get on the scale all day and only get more depressed. It may not be the accurate one, but you'll never know which one is accurate anyway.

Wow. I wish I had the discipline to work out as much as you do. I also haven't developed my gym yet either (I have a 4-year-old and would never be able to get to an actual gym). Right now it's all treadmill and the old-faithfuls (crunches, sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, lunges).

I'm glad you've had such success after your first 30 days!
#10  
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stokesreagan - that's what's so great about a good dvd program. It's easy to fit into your day, you don't need a lot of room, and the only real thing you need to buy is dumbbells. Plus, these workouts are short. In level 1/2 the cardio is like 34 mins and the weight one is only 29 minutes. Makes it easier to work around the little one.

Dee
#11  
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I just recently bought a scale from Costco that reads body weight, hydration and body fat percentage. The first thing I did when I set it up was make sure the batteries were good. The second thing, read the intructions. The third, see how accurate it was.

Here's how to see if yours is accurate. If you have any weights in the house this is the real easy part. If you don't then you'll need to borrow one from your neighbor or a friend.

  1. take a 10 pound or heavier weight made for a dumbell.
  2. Activate your scale and let it calibrate. It's zeroing out.
  3. Lay the weight on the scale and note the reading.
Most scales will tell you what their tollerance level is. The one I bought says it should be within +- .2 lbs. When I checked it, it was .2 lbs off. For the most part, pretty accurate.
#12  
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GOOD IDEA! I'M GONNA GO TRY RIGHT NOW!!!!
#13  
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Ok I put a 20lb weight on & it read 20.6 lbs regardless of where I laid it on the scale.

I think when we get on, our weight can be unevenly distributed, like if we lean forward or back or something.  But the weight can only lay one way.

I think if I like the first weight when I get on, I'll just keep that. But if I don't, I'll get on a few times & take the one that comes up the most.

Kinda silly hey? How we all get on & off the scale, as if to think we might lose another pound by the time we get back on? lol!!
Haha, that was exactly I did this morning.  The first read I got was 116.0 lbs.  I was upset cause I thought or wished I should be around 115,which will almost make me 1 lb per week loss.  So I tried again and got 115.5 lbs.  I couldn't believe it but was happier.  So I did it several times more and got 115.5, 115.8, and 115.5 lbs.  I decided to log 115.5 lbs.

Dee, thanks for the tips.  Yeah, you have been doing way much more than me.  I only exercise four days a week and 2 hrs each time.  I have been doing pilates twice a week.  It doesn't burn much calories but could help with toning (I guess).  My goal is to loss 15 to 20 lbs so I am ok with 1 lb per week.  The problem is the first 3 lbs was quite consistent loss.  However, for the past two wks, the readings were all over the place between high 115 and low 117.  I am not even sure if I make it to the 4th lbs.

I will check out Beach Body Power 90 program.  It seems that it works.  I also heard good things about Slim In 6 Weeks and thinking about it as well.  BTW, does Beach Body Power 90 makes a lot of noise.  I live in an apt upstair unit.    &nb sp; 
#15  
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xutong - Well there is a section in P90 where you have to do jumping jacks then running in place & then run-lunges. I'd say that's the most noisy part but it's only about 3 minutes or so long. I've heard SI6 is good too. I think you can't go wrong with any of their producs. Another good one is Turbo Jam.

Dee
I just tested my Tanita, with a 3.3 lb weight that was handy: scale read 3.2!! Pretty darn good!

Deejib - I wish I had thought to take a "before" pic!! I have a highly unflattering bathing suit shot from September, but it's not full length and it's a few months after I'd already started trying to lose. Guess it'll have to do.  In pics this past week on our vacation, and one year ago, I can definetly tell a difference in my face .. at least I think I can! But mostly I have just tried to hide from the camera ever since this weight piled on last year. (it came on rapidly due to a med I was on) :-(
my digital one is crap so I'm buying a regular one.

I love my parent's scale. It built into the bathroom circa 1955. Still as accurate as ever. If I could rip it out of the wall and steal it, I would. :)
#18  
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jenmcc - it's not too late to take pics, especially if you have  more weight to lose. You'll still be able to see a difference. It sure is motivating to me just to look at them.
I bought a digital one, and it is inconsistent as well.  Every morning, I get up and take a reading, take a shower and then weigh again and I always gain a pound to a pound and a half.  What's up with that?  I'm completely dry.  I never weigh less.
Maybe you absorb some moisture through your skin?
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