3

votes

Has anyone thrown out or considered throwing out their scale?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 27, 2012 at 8:02 AM

I have been following paleo for only about a month. I have lost only about 2lbs BUT I have lost about an inch off my waist. I do not exercise ...I just live...so it is not do to exercise. This is making me think the scale is just a waist of space in my bathroom. Anyone tossed their scale after paleo?

I am small woman who started paleo for other health issues (not necessarily weight loss)

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Re-read it the post, then re-read it again and after you're done reading it, read it again. But I'll do you the favor of being a smart ass in return as well... I was specific of males because males tend to have more muscle because of their genetic/hormonal make up. Women tend to have more fat because of their genetic/hormonal make up. A 15% bf female could look as lean as a 10% bf male. Either way males tend to have more muscle. It's a hormone called testosterone that is way more prevalent. Read a book instead of browsing feminist blogs and being offended by scientific facts.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on September 28, 2012
at 08:39 PM

"Especially crucial if you are a strong male that lifts heavy"- so scales are more critical for strong females that lift heavy because....

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 28, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Your comment doesn't make sense. You realize muscle weighs more than fat right and that if you're lifting heavy the proportions are going to be different therefore making it seems as if you're not losing much weight when in fact you're losing fat and gaining muscle. It's bodybuilding 101, gym rats even know this. Gym rats not on steroids know this.

05de181d71c1df6304a03566fe821d4b

(795)

on September 27, 2012
at 08:20 PM

I fight my mother on this all the time, she's a scale watcher, so I told her why don't you watch the measuring tape as closely! if you want to know if you are truly losing weight get some calipars :)

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 27, 2012
at 08:10 PM

+1 for talking about signal, noise, error in measurement, etc. Too many people just take the day-to-day number as their "weight". And that's even assuming weight is a valid measurement in the first place.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on September 27, 2012
at 07:02 PM

I would give this +1000 if I could.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Bull. I lift weights but I've got another 80lbs to drop. The only way weight is irrelevant if you are fat is if you start doing a shit-ton of steroids.

83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

(487)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Right on rob!!!

83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

(487)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Measurement tape is the best indicator... Totally agree!!

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on September 27, 2012
at 10:07 AM

Hmmmm a whole pig or a dead body! Could come in useful...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:01 AM

The first thing I would rescue (or would probably try to rescue) after my documents would be my refrigerator. I have the best refrigerator in the world, much better than side-by-side (hate those things, they are poorly designed). I can keep one whole pig in my fridge (not that I have one, but I could).

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14 Answers

4
Aa748fb43334ffd2db3934aa00874bbe

on September 27, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Screw the scale. Apart from all the health and logic reasons, vanity rules. You don't look at someone and think, "that 140 pound person is sexy," you think "look at at that fine ass!" The Fine Ass factor is definitely not calculated by the scale, nor is the Sweet Shoulders, Long Legs, Flat Stomach, or Self Confidence.

Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on September 27, 2012
at 07:02 PM

I would give this +1000 if I could.

4
8af1e83ec3ea5a39f050baf362708a78

(253)

on September 27, 2012
at 11:30 AM

John Walker's ebook The Hacker's Diet discusses the problem. Read the chapter on "Signal and Noise".

His solution: calculating a moving average of your daily readings, and calculating the trend-lines. I know of three websites that will do the math for you:

My chart for the last 30 days shows some significant ups and downs - but the moving average is moving steadily downwards, through it all:

has-anyone-thrown-out-or-considered-throwing-out-their-scale?

510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on September 27, 2012
at 08:10 PM

+1 for talking about signal, noise, error in measurement, etc. Too many people just take the day-to-day number as their "weight". And that's even assuming weight is a valid measurement in the first place.

3
61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 27, 2012
at 12:24 PM

If you lift weights then it's pointless to weigh yourself. You should be more concerned with bodyfat percentage.

This is especially crucial if you're a strong male that lifts heavy. Weight loss does not equal fat lass. Just ask the cardio queens/kings out there. It's true that you want to lose weight, but you want to lose the fat and not the muscle. And there's a correct way of doing it. Weighing yourself everyday or every week for that matter is not it.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 28, 2012
at 03:45 PM

Your comment doesn't make sense. You realize muscle weighs more than fat right and that if you're lifting heavy the proportions are going to be different therefore making it seems as if you're not losing much weight when in fact you're losing fat and gaining muscle. It's bodybuilding 101, gym rats even know this. Gym rats not on steroids know this.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:55 PM

Bull. I lift weights but I've got another 80lbs to drop. The only way weight is irrelevant if you are fat is if you start doing a shit-ton of steroids.

83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

(487)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:18 PM

Right on rob!!!

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on September 28, 2012
at 08:39 PM

"Especially crucial if you are a strong male that lifts heavy"- so scales are more critical for strong females that lift heavy because....

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on September 30, 2012
at 03:57 PM

Re-read it the post, then re-read it again and after you're done reading it, read it again. But I'll do you the favor of being a smart ass in return as well... I was specific of males because males tend to have more muscle because of their genetic/hormonal make up. Women tend to have more fat because of their genetic/hormonal make up. A 15% bf female could look as lean as a 10% bf male. Either way males tend to have more muscle. It's a hormone called testosterone that is way more prevalent. Read a book instead of browsing feminist blogs and being offended by scientific facts.

3
F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 27, 2012
at 08:58 AM

Never. I love my scales. They are beautiful (all white, match my bathroom) and expensive. I weight myself every morning (or most mornings) but I do not pay attention to numbers. It is just interesting that weight makes absolutely no sense. I can down tons of meat and lose weight. On some days in the past I have gained 5 lb in ONE DAY due to salt and water retention. Just think - one jar of sauerkraut and you are suddenly 5 lb more? Does it make sense?

I keep them as a source of useful information. No strings/emotions attached.

3
B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on September 27, 2012
at 08:12 AM

I weigh myself obsessively every morning using my Wifi scales. I now have 3 years of data which highlights to the day when I "caught" T2 diabetes (and my weight started to drop rapidly of it's own accord). I find looking at the history motivating...

BUT, I can see where you are coming from. I recently did the Whole30 thing, for which one of the rules was not weighing yourself for the entire 30 day period. That helped me alot, because it took my focus away from meaningless day to day fluctuations and gave me something to look forward to at the end of the 30 days. I was thrilled when the scales said -10lbs.

So I'm not ready to toss my scales (they'd be one of the first things I'd tried to rescue if my house burned down), but ignoring them for a while probably helps.

The measurement tape is a much better indication of weight loss than scales...

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:01 AM

The first thing I would rescue (or would probably try to rescue) after my documents would be my refrigerator. I have the best refrigerator in the world, much better than side-by-side (hate those things, they are poorly designed). I can keep one whole pig in my fridge (not that I have one, but I could).

B3173217a49b5b0116078775a17eb21d

(11488)

on September 27, 2012
at 10:07 AM

Hmmmm a whole pig or a dead body! Could come in useful...

83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

(487)

on September 27, 2012
at 03:16 PM

Measurement tape is the best indicator... Totally agree!!

2
Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on September 27, 2012
at 07:49 PM

I think the scale can be a useful gauge, but that's all it is: a gauge. A tool to see whether you weigh more or less than the day/week/month before.

Used sensibly, this is good data. Let's take someone who weighs around 300 pounds. That person could lose 6 or 7 pounds and not even really notice a difference. But the scale would show them a difference, and they could feel confident that whatever changes they've made are working.

And then, there's a 21-yr old, 5'5" girl who weighs 115 pounds soaking wet and will starve herself for two days if she wakes up one morning and the scale says 117. Never mind where she is in her cycle, never mind the salty pretzels she's been eating the past few days, or the humidity, or any of a hundred other factors that influence weight plus or minus a couple of pounds.

If someone has a healthy relationship with the scale, it's totally reasonable to keep it and weigh regularly. I think this can also be a good tool for accountability in Paleo land over the long-term -- not weighing every day, but maybe every 2 weeks or so, just to make sure your 90/10 or 80/20 hasn't slowly morphed into 70/30 or 60/40. Sometimes this does happen and we don't really notice until the evidence (clothes not fitting anymore, feeling like crap) is undeniable.

I especially like the scale for very heavy people who go low-carb, if for no other reason than for them to see for themselves how much fat they can eat - especially butter, cheese, red meat, and whole eggs (gasp!) - and lose weight consistently. Like I said, someone who's very large could lose a fair # of pounds and not even realize at first.

BUT... for the people (women, mostly, but not always) who define their self worth and quality as a human being by the # they see first thing in the morning (or 10 times a day...), I think ditching the daily weigh-in (or, shudder...multiple weigh-ins) is not only helpful, but critical. Far too many people decide whether they're going to have a good day or a bad day after seeing that #. Or they let it set them up for a good, happy, positive mood, or just the opposite.

I'm not so great about this, myself, so I don't weigh every day. I hop on the scale once in a while, usually to confirm that I'm still about where I think I am. The fact is, at 5'2" and 133, I don't need the scale to be my reality check. I know damn well when I feel bloated and when I feel especially lean. And I know what I've been putting in my mouth, how my workouts have been, and what that might do to my scale weight, for better or worse. I know when I need to use another belt loop and when I need to go back to the bigger one. In this case, the thing the scale is best for is giving me a slap upside the head when I've been "off the rails" for for too long. I know when my clothes are tighter on me, but the scale can give me a more concrete wake-up call than just putting on my fat pants. ;-)

Bottom line? I wish people knew a little more about human physiology before using the scale (or BMI) as the end-all be-all. It's helpful, yes, but we all know you can get too much of a good thing.

2
Fc6a9e07f6056d465573c8969d3a2ddd

(370)

on September 27, 2012
at 07:18 PM

I severed my connection to the scale after it told me I had gained 20 lbs in six months, yet my clothes were only a leeetle tighter. (Swimming and hill-running muscle.) The data you get from it is minimal--that number doesn't describe much of anything--and it's not worth the psychological burden of tethering your self-worth to three digits on a bathroom appliance. For someone who doesn't have a complicated relationship with body image, it's not as much of a problem. Personally, I find that how my clothes fit and how I feel are much better indicators of my health.

2
F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:17 PM

I have gone decades of my life without a scale. I don't think it is important. You can tell in many other ways whether or not your body composition has improved or gotten worse.

2
83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

on September 27, 2012
at 03:22 PM

This may sound somewhat vain but I use the mirror method. Before showering just look at your body composition. If you stick with Paleo and exercise a little you will see a shift from fat to muscle. Mirrors unlike scales, don't lie on how your "new' body looks...

2
Cbda678b2a6bf0537d8c4ea0ce8aa9ad

(4319)

on September 27, 2012
at 09:15 AM

Hah! Me.... Once the rainy season starts the scale gives way higher readings. So yeah, not gonna throw it out, but not gonna use it. I'll use the hand rub over tummy test to see about any weight gain.

1
0a9ad4e577fe24a6b8aafa1dd7a50c79

on September 28, 2012
at 05:10 AM

I don't have a scale in my house and I haven't weighed myself in 2 years (last time was at the doctors office.)

1
59fa7cd87fb9d669adf21e5cf3e7ada5

on September 27, 2012
at 05:54 PM

The scale is evil, it is a tool of the devil.

Go by how your clothes fit and how you look standing naked in front of the mirror.

0
783704d6b31f91d4aebb402f089e082f

on September 27, 2012
at 07:29 PM

For a long time I would weight myself once a week on Sunday mornings just to see where I was at. After a while I realized that I had gotten to a point where I was making a bigger deal out of the number than it really was. I had lost 130 pounds by that point and a much better measure of my progress was how I was feeling and how my body was changing. I got rid of the scale by not bringing it with me when I moved. I wonder if the new people are putting it to use at that apartment.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 27, 2012
at 04:58 PM

Who are you?

As has been said a young, fit man who lift weights probably shouldn't bother. Is he strong, can he see a 2, 4 or 6 pack? That's probably enough.

I'm a former morbidly obese man. I've lost 150lbs and have 80 to go. Measuring tapes don't work well when you have extra skin and your belly sags and bodyfat shifts as much in inches as it does in weight.

A scale is absolutely relevant over the long-term for people who are trying to drop a lot of size. In a given year, even with lifting heavy, I'm not going to gain more than 5-10lbs of lean mass and so compared to the 80lbs of fat I want to lose I still need a downward trend.

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