You’re Not Crazy: How To Keep The Scale From Lying To You

April 12, 2016  |  
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Is your scale always right about the amount of weight you’ve lost? It depends on how you use it.

When you’re on a diet, the scale becomes your frenemy. It calls you out when you’ve been cheating on your diet, shows you when you’ve made progress, and sometimes gives you a reading that you know can’t be right. And sometimes it isn’t.

The key to making your scale a more faithful friend is to know how to use it the right way. When you’re eager to see progress, hopping on any scale once or twice a day may seem like a good idea. But most of us are weighing ourselves all wrong. And when you don’t use a scale the right way, false readings and fake gains can make you lose faith in your diet.

Before you let the numbers make you feel bad about your diet effort, read on to find out about the right way to use a scale to get a good gauge of your weight loss.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

It’s OK If The Numbers Go Up

If you’re hitting the gym hard because you may be gaining muscle (which weighs more than fat) as well as losing fat. And that may make your numbers go up a bit even though you’re getting healthier.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

You Should Measure Yourself As Well

The scale is the most traditional way of measuring progress, but measuring tape can tell you where you’re losing inches — even if muscle gain is stopping the scale from taking the dip you’d like to see.

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There Are Scales That Track Body Fat Percentage

They’ll tell you just how much fat you’re losing, regardless of the numbers on the scale.

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Weigh Yourself In The Morning

Before you eat and after you go to the bathroom. It’s the time of day when you’ll get the most accurate read on your weight.

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Weigh Yourself On A Friday

Studies show this is when we’re most likely to be at our true weight. After Friday, we’re likely to binge a little during the weekend and hit the gym harder at the beginning of the week to compensate. But by the time the end of the work week rolls around again, most of us have balanced out to our true weight.

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Image Source: Shutterstock

Keep It Consistent

If you can’t weigh yourself one morning, don’t weigh yourself at other times of the day. Your weight fluctuates over 24 hours depending on what you eat or drink.

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Only Weigh Yourself Once A Week

We all have ups and downs during the course of a few days, which can lead to falsely high readings that can wreck your confidence. Weekly weigh-ins are the best reflection of your long-term progress.

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Switch To A Digital Scale

Sometimes weight loss can be a slow process. And if the needle on your scale only estimates every two pounds or so, it can be hard to see the progress you’re making.

Most digital scales track your weight down to tenths of a pound which can better tell you when you’re going in the right (or wrong) direction.

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Don’t Let It Give You Anxiety

If you have a tendency to obsess about the number on a scale, don’t weigh yourself as often. Once a month or once every two weeks can give you a good gauge of your progress without stressing you out.

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Use The Same Scale Every Time

They’re not all created equal. Weighing yourself off schedule at the gym may give you a false sense of progress or failure.

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Keep Track

Keep track of your weight in your diet and workout journal. That way when you plateau, gain or lose, you’ll know exactly what you did before so you can change it up.

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Don’t Weigh Yourself When You Feel Like Cheating

You’ll give yourself an excuse to splurge, and you’ll be more likely to overdo it. Treat yourself but wait a week before you weigh yourself again so you don’t snack your way into backtracking.

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Wear The Same Thing Every Time

You’re not crazy for taking your jeans and socks off before you step on the scale. Together, your clothes and shoes can weigh as much as eight pounds.

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Don’t Weigh Yourself When You’re On Your Period

Your water weight is fluctuating, and your mood isn’t great. Save yourself the stress and skip your weigh-in that week.

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