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Replace Your Bathroom Scales With This Free Dieting Hack

Timothy Boyer Ph.D.'s picture
The skinny on bathroom scales.

Want to lose weight quickly? Then it’s time to abandon that bathroom scale when dieting. Here’s a refresher on why bathroom scales are the bane of successful dieting and one bathroom scale replacement that is more accurate and already in your home.

[With a new focus on how to lose weight during 2021, future Emaxhealth articles will follow the exploits of the intrepid Dr. Boyer as he reviews and re-evaluates past weight loss health articles and puts what he has learned into actual practice in a personal weight loss experiment to help others discover what works and does not work while trying to lose weight.]


The Fallacy of Your Frenemy—The Bathroom Scale

One of the most common tools in a dieter’s arsenal in the fight against fat is the traditional bathroom scale. However, relying on your bathroom scale is also one of the most common dieting mistakes many dieters make. Why? It’s a matter of accuracy…and psychology.

Keto Dieting Mistake Many Dieters Make

Previously, Emaxhealth writer Thomas Secrest wrote an article titled “To successfully lose weight you need to have and use a bathroom scale” that explained why relying on your bathroom scale to tell you the truth about how your dieting was progressing on a day-to-day basis can and does fail as a reality check.

This is a common problem all dieters face. For example, you start weighing yourself at the beginning of a diet and take note of how much you weigh. Then, as your diet continues, you get into the habit of weighing yourself pretty regularly and find that your dieting efforts are beginning to pay off. However, one day—and this happens to everyone—after what seemed like a particularly productive dieting day, you step on the scales and discover that you actually gained 2 or more pounds! According to the scale.

The result is that many dieters take this much harder than they should, which can lead to giving up on a diet.

The First Step Toward Losing Weight Quickly

Secrest points out—quite accurately—that most bathroom scales are not the machines of precision many believe them to be. In fact, there are numerous reasons why you should give the day-to-day reading on your bathroom scales only a modicum of attention:

• Your scale could have an expected accuracy of plus or minus a few percent. In other words, if you weigh 250 pounds in reality and step on a scale that has an accuracy range of +/- 2%, then that scale reading could range anywhere from 245 pounds to 255 pounds at any given time. Therefore, one day you can weigh 250 pounds, but feasibly the next day be as much as 5 pounds lighter or…5 pounds heavier, despite of doing everything right dieting-wise.

• The mechanical and electronic components of scales do age and do go wonky. For instance: springs weaken over time, precision gears and levers get rusty in a humid environment, and batteries weaken, yet remain functional enough to appear to be working.

• Your body’s fluid content is not constant. Think of it this way: 1 gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. So, if you are either slightly dehydrated or overly hydrated, it’s easy to see why it looks like you’ve gained or lost a few pounds contrary to your expectations.

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Should You Really Go To A Frenemy With Your Problems?

My thoughts about bathroom scales and having the habit of weighing yourself daily is that it is like going to a frenemy for advice and affirmation. In spite of the fact that you KNOW that someone you are confiding in is a frenemy, it still hurts when they give you some less-than-comforting words when venting about a problem.

In other words, the bathroom scale is a similar type of competitive relationship. Yes, it is just a mindless tool; however, you are going to it each day for affirmation that your dieting efforts are working. And like a frenemy, the bathroom scale has its faults as pointed out earlier; and, can affect you emotionally and wind up hindering your weight loss goals.

A Better Solution for Weight Dieting Affirmation and Weight Loss Reality Check

I do not check my weight daily. In fact, partly because of the limitations of scale accuracy and body hydration fluctuations, I limit myself to actually stepping on a scale to once a month—and that’s only because when talking about losing weight, most people want to hear the numbers.

I propose that there is a better way for checking your dieting success or lack of, and it’s in your closet.

I recommend taking out some clothing that no longer fits and divide the items into three categories of (1) Can barely button and still wear in public, (2) Can barely button, but may pop at any second, and (3) “Someone set the dryer heat setting too high and shrunk my clothing.”

Set the categorized clothing aside with labels taped on and use them as your measure of weight loss success. In other words, try out the category 1 and 2 clothing items once a week and see if you notice that the fit is somewhat—if not significantly better. If it is, then you can be sure that you are losing weight because you are doing what works for you. If you don’t feel any difference then you are either in a plateau stage of dieting; or, need to try another dieting method. But if after a month, you also find that you can recategorize level 3 clothing to a level 2 or level 1, then you have supporting evidence that you are indeed losing body fat.

The Experiment Continues

As reported earlier about my weight loss experiment and the evils of sugar, the diet continues. And, according to my recommended clothing affirmation, the plan appears to be working. Soon, I will discuss the second step toward losing weight quickly, so that after following it for two weeks, you too should see and feel some noticeable results with your old clothing.

Timothy Boyer has a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Arizona. For 20+ years he has been employed as a freelance health and science writer. Today, with an eye on the latest news, Timothy continues writing about science with a focus on what you need to know for healthier living. For continual updates about health, you can also follow Timothy on Twitter at TimBoyerWrites.

Image Source: Courtesy of Satheesh Sankaran from Pixabay