Can a Weight Scale be Wrong: Understanding the Product and the Process

Can a Weight Scale be Wrong

The holidays are finally over, and now that it is a new year, most people start off with a bang. They are interested in fitness, eating healthy and seeking a lifestyle of wellness. One way to begin a weight loss and fitness journey is to get yourself a scale. Some people don’t believe in scales because they sometimes think that scales misrepresent their weight. So, the question is, “Can a weight scale be wrong?”

According to experts,  the inaccurate reading of weighing scales will depend on several factors. Nonetheless, you should not discredit the product. That is because they are a good and the only way to keep track of your weight. So, even if the answer is “Yes.” to the question, “Can a weight scale be wrong?”, you should still have a scale to manage your weight loss and fitness journey.

Apart from keeping track of your weight loss or gain, scales will also help you determine if you need to reevaluate and change your diet plans and exercise programs.

What is a Weight Scale?

A weight scale, as the name implies, is a product that is used to measure weight or mass utilizing a spring balancing technology. It usually reports using the units kilograms or pounds. Although available, it is rare to find one that gives a measurement in grams or ounces. It can actually measure anything—the weight of living, inanimate objects, and even food products. Also, it is not only used at home but can also be used in industry, agriculture, the doctors’ office and in the gym.

Amazingly, some scales can calculate body mass index and height.

The Different Types

When referring to the types of weighing scales, such can be based on the mechanism on how they work and how the numbers are displayed.

Based on Mechanism

  • Mechanical scales can measure the mass of an object without a power supply. These are either spring, hanging, triple beam balances or force-gauge scales.
  • Digital scales are scales that weigh objects electronically. They can be described as “smart” and can connect to your smartphone and measure your BMI, body fat and water ratio.

Based on Display

  • Analog-type weighing scales are the traditional ones wherein the numbers are engraved on the face of the product and pretty much look like a rounded ruler with a needle in the middle of it.
  • Digital-type weighing scales are those wherein the numbers are displayed once the user stands on them.

How to Properly Use a Weight Scale?

To use a weight scale, you may just have to step on it and look at your weight in the display (if the scale has a display). As straightforward as it sounds, there are actually some things that are worth considering.

  • Getting your actual weight

Some experts advise that you weigh yourself naked or in light clothing. That way, the weight of your clothing will not add to your actual weight. You should also not weigh yourself wearing sneakers or any shoes. Doing it barefooted is better because you don’t want to add any unnecessary weight. It is also better that you take your weight only when you are dry, meaning not after taking a shower or bath since water also adds weight.

  • Time when you take your weight

Weighing yourself the same way every time, is also advisable since such will give you consistent results. Some people weight themselves first thing in the morning after they have used the toilet and before they have had anything to eat.

  • Type of scale you are using

If you are using a normal or ordinary scale, you should stand still and wait for a few minutes before reading your weight. On the other hand, if you are a person using a medical-grade scale, it is advised that you slide the balance and marker from left to right until you see that the apparatus is balanced.

Why Would Your Weight Scale be Wrong?

There are several reasons why your weight scale is reading different measurements when you weigh in.

The first notable factor that may make your weighing scale inaccurate is mechanical-related. Meaning, the product may not be calibrated well or not properly balanced. To determine and correct such, you have to balance out the scale by ensuring that it is on zero before using it.

For an analog scale, if it is not on zero, you will have to turn the wheel at the bottom of the scale until it gets to zero. With a digital scale, you will have to use a button rather than a wheel. Once it is balanced, you can weigh an object that you know the weight and do it repeatedly to ensure that the results are consistent.

Then, there are also physiological factors that may affect your weight that is why you may notice that your weight fluctuates between weighing on the same day and when you use different scales at the same time. Some studies have explained some reasons behind such.

They have shown that people weigh more on certain days of the week, for instance on Mondays because they may have overindulged over the weekend, as well as different times of the day. Your weight may also be off if you weigh yourself post-workout since your body has lost fluid.

Can a Weight Scale Be Wrong: The Conclusion

Generally speaking, weight scales have been constructed and designed to give accurate readings. However, they can be wrong if there is a mechanical issue. As mentioned, you should always ensure that it is balanced before you weigh in to prevent such.

Also, it is crucial that you read the product’s manual to know how and when you need to calibrate it. Inaccurate readings may also be related to normal bodily functions that is why it is advisable that you take your weight at the same time of the day with similar routines.

Hence, the problem with inaccurate weight readings may just lie with us and not necessarily the scale. Nonetheless, when you found out that your weighing scale can no longer be calibrated well, you must replace it with a new one.

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