The Dreaded Scale!

  • Hi everyone,

    I have been fighting for a normal weight most of my life, and have tried different approaches over the years.  I am new to BFL, but not to the fickled bathroom scale!  Many of the forum entries express frustration with the scale, so I thought I would try to help.

    Bathroom scales provide relative weight.  Doctors' scales are very accurate as they use weights, not springs or other unreliable devices, to measure weight.  The ones we typically buy in the store vary depending upon the weather, humidity, where they are on the floor, how you step on the scale and probably other factors.  Just for fun, get on the scale, step off, step back on.  The two weights are probably different (perhaps because a spring inside is stretched a little from the first time you stepped up to the plate!

    Your weight can also vary from hour to hour depending upon the temperature, humidity, what you consumed, how much water you are retaining, and more.  So checking a scale - even an accurate one - often doesn't tell you how much real weight/fat you have lost.  Over the course of weeks, an accurate scale like the ones in doctors' offices and gyms will provide you with a pattern of weight loss, gain or maintenance.

    As many BFLers have mentioned on the forum, your clothing is a better yardstick for weight loss, especially something you could barely fit in at the beginning of the program.  So is a visual assessment soooo ...

    Let the mirror be your best friend!  And stick with the program.  It is good for your health regardless of how much or how little you lose.



  • Mary, thank you for that information. I love your suggestion, "let the mirror be your best friend". I am also having a hard time with the scale, the one in my home. Although I have lost inches...I'm not liking what the scale has to say. Taking into consideration all the factors you list, I have a whole new outlook on my "not so friendly" scale!

  • I intellectually know the scale should not be my mode of measurement, but, I'm a scale guy and unfortunately I'm on it everyday.  I utilize it in that if I see big fluctuations from one day to another I can look back at my log and see where/who/what/how, etc I may have messed up or self-sabotaged.  

    My two cents

    Semper Fi,


  • Thank you DAG.  It is good to hear that was helpful.  I am a scale addict too, Brez, but I've stayed away from it.  (But it's only been 9 days!)  Hopefully the little gym at my tennis center will have a scale.  Then I will weigh myself often just to get the positive feedback, but also, as Brez says, to give me feedback on what is working and what isn't week to week.  If we could all afford a doctor's type scale, that would be great!

  • Greetings all,   You know that Bill Phillips stated in the book that the scale is only a tool but not the rule (in so many words summed up).  Better measurements can be obtained from the skin calipers (pinch test it used to be called when I was in the US Army years ago), ratios involving the waist to height on charts, and if your gym has one(or you do) the OMRON BMI and BOdy Fat handheld electronic device (got mine from GNC for CHristmas this year). As well as the mirror, to document your progress a camera or telephone photo (as so many folks have today) will also help out to judge progress. Hope this helps and Keep Moving FOrward!!  PS Also do not get hooked on just BMI as many doctors and experts have stated that it does not take musclature and age into account on the charts and is NOT individualized enough to be accurate. Now if I could only get Dr OZ or THE DOctors show to do a special on this with pinch tests involved from various individuals to show this.  (DR LIFE, former champion of BFL also stated it wasn't accurate enough in his book THe LIFE PLAN)