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TOPIC: Could a scale be wrong?

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May 5, 2012 7:59 AM
This morning to weigh myself I put a huge thing of sugar on the scale, to make sure it was correct and it was 1lb off. Okay that you can just add onto your weight.

Knowing that my house sits on a hill and kind of slopes, I take 4 sometimes 5 measurements all through out the house. Some saying 151 others on the more even parts, said 154. I took the 154 and said okay 1 lb off it's 155.

Then why don't I look, or feel like 155? I don't know I just don't seem like it's true and my clothes don't seem like it's either. I feel more like 165. No I haven't ate right more often then not it's more then what it should be but been exercising.

Could my scale be wrong?
  21497662
May 5, 2012 8:01 AM
yes it could be wrong, but you need to put a known weight of around your own weight on it to really check it. Or take yourself off to somewhere with known accurate scales on a level floor - ye olde balance type perhaps at a gym or healthcare facility.
  18022302
May 5, 2012 8:13 AM
okay thanks, I just did it on a level surface outside. It's a huge cement patio that was here when we got here, right before it slopes off and it still says 154 lol GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR maybe time for a new digital scale?
  21497662
May 5, 2012 8:15 AM
Sometimes scales need to be recaliberated too depending on what kind you are using.

My scale was high this morning but only because I overdid the sodium yesterday.
  15169154
May 5, 2012 8:15 AM
Before joining MFP I had problems with my scale. I thought it was accurate but my 3 year old was gradually losing weight (according to the scale). I was staying about the same. Took DS to the dr thinking something was wrong with him. Dr. said everything checked out ok. A few weeks later my scale said the battery was dead. Bought a new battery and it wouldn't turn back on. Got a new scale and I weighed 8 lbs MORE than the old scale. Agh! I took one of my husband's 20 lb weights and put it on the scale and it was 1 lb off but still significantly more than the old scale had been.

In your case I would weigh a few things that you know what their true weight is and keep the scale in one spot. I would also weigh at the gym or someone else's house to see how it compares to your scale. It is normal for weight to fluctuate a bit but it should be fairly stable at the same time of day under same circumstances (first thing in the morning, before eating, no clothes, etc).
  14068738
May 5, 2012 8:22 AM
Okay thank you, I'm thinking I might set up an appointment with the doctors office. I also need to get my cholesterol checked anyway, HUGE family history of high cholesterol strokes and heart attacks so even though I don't have it at all, my doctor just wants to keep tabs on it twice a year.
  21497662
May 5, 2012 8:25 AM
The number really doesn't matter. Just be consistent about where you weigh and what scale you use to track your progress. My home scale is about 5 lbs off from other people's scales, but I really don't care. A differences of up to 5 lbs is not huge. You still get the gist of where you're at.
Edited by Elizabeth_C34 On May 5, 2012 8:27 AM
May 5, 2012 9:09 AM
QUOTE:

This morning to weigh myself I put a huge thing of sugar on the scale, to make sure it was correct and it was 1lb off. Okay that you can just add onto your weight.

Knowing that my house sits on a hill and kind of slopes, I take 4 sometimes 5 measurements all through out the house. Some saying 151 others on the more even parts, said 154. I took the 154 and said okay 1 lb off it's 155.

Then why don't I look, or feel like 155? I don't know I just don't seem like it's true and my clothes don't seem like it's either. I feel more like 165. No I haven't ate right more often then not it's more then what it should be but been exercising.

Could my scale be wrong?


Did you put an unopened bag of sugar on your scale or a container with sugar on your scale? What weight was the sugar supposed to be? If you have dumbbells, other weights or weighted ball, put it on your scale to see what it reads. A 5 pound dumbbell may read 5.02, it's still 5 pounds.
May 7, 2012 11:37 AM
It was unopened and it weighed 4lbs, the scale ony said 3 that's why I added a pound to my weight.
  21497662
May 7, 2012 3:29 PM
QUOTE:

It was unopened and it weighed 4lbs, the scale ony said 3 that's why I added a pound to my weight.


It could have been the way the bag was on the scale. Try weighing something else that has a visible weight and see if the scale pick up that weight.
May 7, 2012 3:35 PM
I had an old scale....it said I weighed 162....I bought a new digital scale and grrrrrrrrrr I weighed in at 170......So beware of the new scale!
  21723039
May 7, 2012 3:39 PM
Yeah, I'm wondering about this myself. I know my current scale is a couple of pounds off, but it's what I've been using to track my progress... I'm hoping to get a more advanced scale (with body composition, et cetera...) and I guess I'm just going to "blip" my weight track if it's significantly different.
  20734823
May 7, 2012 3:40 PM
I hate my scale and I think it's a liar! One day I will weigh 130. then the next day (same spot, same time, same clothes) it will say 135. Never the same. I try really hard not to care what the scale says, but it can be very depressing sometimes. I just try to take it with a grain of salt and move on with my day. Go more by how you feel than the number on the scale and do measurements, they don't lie.
  9317533
May 7, 2012 3:48 PM
that is the cool thing about scales. They are never wrong. What is wrong is what you want to see.
Water fluctuations and inner movements make the weight change pretty often : water retention, muscles congestion, glycogen levels, heart-rate, sodium, and way more things.

Try to weight yourself 6 or 7 times in a day, you would notice how the weigh keeps changing.
May 7, 2012 3:54 PM
QUOTE:

that is the cool thing about scales. They are never wrong.


I'm sorry, did you miss the part where people are saying that the scale is misrepresenting the actual weight of an item placed upon it, and that two scales differ by as much as 8 pounds? Both can't be right, and most likely both are at least a little bit wrong, dude.
  21117336
May 7, 2012 3:55 PM
A four pound bag of sugar that reads 3 is off by 1 pound...or 25%.
May 7, 2012 3:58 PM
If you move your scale a lot it may not be accurate and if you are not on a hard surface that is level also affects it. If you have a hard time finding a level surface you can go to Home Depot or other like store and purchase 1 large ceramic tile and put your scale on that and then don't move it around. If your scale is old may be time for a new one.
  15852058
May 7, 2012 4:00 PM
QUOTE:

that is the cool thing about scales. They are never wrong. What is wrong is what you want to see.

Not true. Particularly older spring scales and some strain-based scales are very sensitive to their inclination and any internal distortions, like being set in a slightly different spot on an uneven tile surface.

QUOTE:

Water fluctuations and inner movements make the weight change pretty often : water retention, muscles congestion, glycogen levels, heart-rate, sodium, and way more things.

Try to weight yourself 6 or 7 times in a day, you would notice how the weigh keeps changing.

Any internal shifts, like blood moving from place to place, shouldn't make a difference in weight, but you're mostly right here. I know my weight can change up to four or five pounds in a day. Always weigh at the same time, and don't trust a change until you've seen it a couple of times. Salt and such can play havoc with weight. :)
  20734823
May 7, 2012 4:03 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

that is the cool thing about scales. They are never wrong.


I'm sorry, did you miss the part where people are saying that the scale is misrepresenting the actual weight of an item placed upon it, and that two scales differ by as much as 8 pounds? Both can't be right, and most likely both are at least a little bit wrong, dude.


So ? my scale gives me a weight other scales won't. Does your gives you the right one over the nutritionist one ?
Why your weight should be the true one at 8 am, and the one a 10 am should be the false one. We just need to track changes, and use fixed pointers, that's the only way
May 7, 2012 4:08 PM
Depending on the scale, it may not be calibrated to measure something 3 or 4 lbs. Weigh yourself, and then weigh yourself holding something of a known weight- like your sugar bag or better yet a dumbbell. If the difference is the weight of the bag/dumbbell that will give you a much more accurate sense of if the scale is on point.

The battery is a likely culprit. Also make sure you are on a hard surface. Scales on carpet or otherwise padded flooring cannot be trusted.
  20711900
May 7, 2012 4:10 PM
i would get a new scale if your that worried about it. or just weigh in the same place, at the same time, naked. personally... i think it dosnt matter at all, 10 lbs lost is 10 lbs lost and it should be how you look instead right? get a tape measure :]
Edited by xHelloQuincyx On May 7, 2012 4:11 PM
  3667914
May 7, 2012 4:10 PM
QUOTE:

So ? my scale gives me a weight other scales won't. Does your gives you the right one over the nutritionist one ?
Why your weight should be the true one at 8 am, and the one a 10 am should be the false one. We just need to track changes, and use fixed pointers, that's the only way


Well, if two scales give you different weights... THEN AT LEAST ONE IS WRONG. That's basic deductive reasoning, dude. Try to keep up, here. If you can't realize that scales can be wrong, no one should ever take advice from you, ever.

At the very least, people, get some freaking body calipers, lol. Track your BF% instead of your weight.
  21117336
May 7, 2012 4:17 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

So ? my scale gives me a weight other scales won't. Does your gives you the right one over the nutritionist one ?
Why your weight should be the true one at 8 am, and the one a 10 am should be the false one. We just need to track changes, and use fixed pointers, that's the only way


Well, if two scales give you different weights... THEN AT LEAST ONE IS WRONG. That's basic deductive reasoning, dude. Try to keep up, here. If you can't realize that scales can be wrong, no one should ever take advice from you, ever.

At the very least, people, get some freaking body calipers, lol. Track your BF% instead of your weight.


I get what you mean bacitracin, maybe using a third scale, and get the average of the two that are the most close ?
As for calipers, an error margin up to 200 % exists, depending on how the person using them is skilled.
DEXA seems a good way (supposing bone mineral content is directly proportional to the amount of photon energy absorbed by the bones)

Measures seem a good start in the end (easier to apply)
May 7, 2012 4:18 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

So ? my scale gives me a weight other scales won't. Does your gives you the right one over the nutritionist one ?
Why your weight should be the true one at 8 am, and the one a 10 am should be the false one. We just need to track changes, and use fixed pointers, that's the only way


Well, if two scales give you different weights... THEN AT LEAST ONE IS WRONG. That's basic deductive reasoning, dude. Try to keep up, here. If you can't realize that scales can be wrong, no one should ever take advice from you, ever.

At the very least, people, get some freaking body calipers, lol. Track your BF% instead of your weight.


Geez no need to be so rude,. I think he means that if there is a downward trend you are doing it right.
PS calipers... aussies don't even use them anymore.. you know why? cause they can be the most inaccurate thing even when done by a professional. both my teachers are trained to using them and got a 5% difference between the both of them. Sigh just use a tape measure.. that thing never lies *except stay away from it at TOTM*
May 7, 2012 4:20 PM
you really need to stop worrying about the numbers so much... weighing all over the house and such. Just leave the scale in one spot. Weigh first thing in the morning wearing as little as possible (naked would be great) and just leave the scale along for a week. Don't eat or drink before weighing and make sure you urinate first! Then leave the scale along for a WEEK (ya, impossible for me most of the time too lol) and then see how much you have lost! Don't let them scale make you "lose it"(I know, easier said than done). You honestly will feel better if you don't freak out over the scale!

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