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Healthy weight loss: how to get an accurate reading on the scale
by TeenHelp June 1st 2019, 12:07 PM

Healthy weight loss: how to get an accurate reading on the scale
By Cassie (cynefin)


[source]

For some people losing weight, getting accurate readings on the scale is difficult and sometimes daunting. A lot of different factors contribute to the scale's accuracy changing. This article is going to take a look at how to weigh yourself in order to receive the closest number to your actual weight that you can.

Choosing a scale

All scales vary by themselves and they also vary from person to person. While most scales will not measure up to the expensive one at the doctor's office, there are a few things to consider. Digital scales are often more accurate than their analog counterparts; the analog readings change very quickly with any type of movement. Body fat scales at the gym typically work, but ones available for your home are not as helpful. This is generally because when calculating body fat, factors such as your hydration can skew the results [source]. Consider purchasing a digital scale if you do not already own one. Amazon has a particularly large selection.

If you want to test your scale, try adding one three, or five pound weights to see what the scale interprets the weight to be.

Decide when to weigh yourself


How often do you want to weigh yourself? Some people weigh once a week while others weigh themselves less often. The number can serve as a motivator, but it can also be harmful for people who are struggling. If you think you will struggle or obsess over the number, try weighing yourself less often. Do keep consistent, however. If you weigh yourself on a Wednesday morning, continue that schedule. When considering what time or day to weigh yourself, know that experts recommend to weigh yourself in the middle of the week [source]. This is because people tend to eat more on a weekend when they are off from school or work and this would make weight increase in the beginning of the week.

Be consistent

Your body removes water over night, so it is suggested to weigh yourself in the morning before you eat but after you use the bathroom. Other factors, such as weighing yourself with or without clothes or before or after pooping do not matter as much as long as you're consistent. If you decide to weigh yourself naked, for instance, continue doing that throughout your weight loss journey.

How to weigh yourself
  • Put your scale on a dry, hard surface, such as hard wood. If you do not have a hard surface, consider purchasing a tile square or two to rest your scale on.
  • Step on and off your scale. This allows the scale a chance to turn itself on and set itself to zero.
  • Step on the scale and space your feet evenly. Try to distribute your weight evenly as well to increase the accuracy of the number.
  • After you have looked at your weight, store your scale in a cool, dry place until its next use. Store according to the directions your scale came with (e.g. it may be suggested to store your scale flat instead of upright).
Things to remember

Other factors in your life may contribute to your reading on the scale. While this can feel upsetting, try to look at the whole picture of your progress instead of this small part.
  • Water retention can increase your weight. This is especially true if you have had more sodium than usual, or if your menstrual cycle is around the corner. Menstruation can cause you to gain up to five pounds.
  • Constipation is a factor. Constipation is common with conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and it is a frequent side effect of prescription medications.
  • Muscle gain can contribute to your weight. Gaining muscle can cause weight gain, but bear in mind that weight gain is not necessarily a bad thing.
  • Sometimes you will lose inches but not weight. To keep motivated, it may help to measure the inches around parts of your body and record them to keep track of any changes. Consider measuring your chest, waist, hips, thighs, upper arms, and calves.
If you need assistance with losing weight or you have any concerns about your health, talk to your doctor.
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