Whether you are on a weight loss or gain program, keeping track of your weight on a scale that does not give you consistent readings is an ordeal. You will be stuck wondering whether your weighing scale is accurate, or whether it is your weight that keeps fluctuating.
And here is where the problem arises. Your weight can fluctuate up to as much as one to two kilos in 24 hours which is considered perfectly normal. However, if your weighing scale keeps showing consistently inaccurate readings, you will have a hard time tracking your progress.
One of the common reasons for inaccurate reading on a weighing scale is the floor you set it on. In other words, the accuracy of readings on your scale is also dependent on the quality of flooring under the scale.
For tracking your weight for medical purposes, you need a scale that will give you consistently accurate readings.
Reasons Your Bathroom Scale Will Give Different Readings
There are several explanations for why your scale might be giving you inaccurate readings. If you notice fluctuations, dismissing the device as faulty could be too early (but check the warranty tag anyway). Even when weight measurement mechanisms are fully intact, a scale might still show odd fluctuations in the weight reading.
Why does this happen? Several reasons:
1) Uneven Floors
The most dominant culprit for skewed weight readings: the state of the flooring or surface you place the scale on. Placing weighing scales on soft surfaces, such as carpets or floor mats, may result in inaccurate readings.
To get an accurate reading, place your weighing scale on a hard surface (for instance, a tiled bathroom floor). Take caution, however, as some tiled floors are uneven.
Why Do Scales Not Work on Uneven Floors?
Scales placed on flooring that is uneven or even with the slightest slope will not give you the correct weight. This is because the uneven flooring prevents you from applying your weight evenly on its sensors.
The load placed on a scale should be parallel to the gravitational direction and perpendicular to the surface. In short, weighing scales measure the vertical force exerted on the surface.
However, the load on a scale placed on an uneven floor does not push straight down. Instead, the load pushes down at an angle. The addition of a horizontal force unevenly distributes the load weight onto the scale, giving you a lower readout of your weight.
In other words, the slope of the floor impacts the accuracy of a weight reading and it has a mathematical explanation.
Remember: The next time you use a weighing scale, make sure you place it on a hard and flat surface for accurate readings.
2) Weighing At The Wrong Time of Day
The time of day you choose to check your weight also affects the result you will see. This is because body weight can fluctuate quite a bit throughout the day due to consumption and waste elimination.
Say your goal is to drop a kilo every week by shedding part of your body fat percentage. Or you want to gain some kilos in muscle mass. To discover whether progress is taking place, you have to weigh yourself each day. Your weight should ideally follow a downward or upward trend based on your goals.
When is the Best Time to Weigh Yourself?
Since your body weight fluctuates by several kilos during a single day, the best way for you to track whether your fitness regimen is working is to weigh yourself at a fixed time every day. A good time would be in the morning after using the bathroom but just before you’re breakfast. Doing so helps, especially if you are also keeping a tab on your body mass index (BMI), which is the fat and muscle levels in your body composition.
That way, you are getting your actual weight minus the food and waste part. Also, try wearing similar lightweight clothes each time — no shoes or slippers.
3) Your Batteries Might Be Getting Weak
Most home scales use AAA batteries, which have a life of approximately 3-5 years, depending on the brand. When batteries get weaker, your weighing scale starts to show inaccurate readings.
If you notice the LCD screen on your scale starting to fade a little, it is an indication you may need to replace your AAA batteries. Although such batteries last long, for the sake of accuracy, replace them with fresh ones every six months or so.
How to Increase Your Scale's Accuracy?
Many people ask questions on how to set, calibrate, and use the weighing scale to ensure accurate readings. The answer is simple, although instruction manuals tend to complicate it.
Here is a breakdown of what you need to know to generate accurate daily weight readings.
How Do You Level A Body Weight Bathroom Scale?
The procedure for setting digital and analog scales is similar, but with a slight variation.
The scale will work well only on a flat surface. Consider this the cardinal rule of using weighing scales. Find a suitable flat and hard surface in your house where you will put the weighing scale. Adjust all four corners and ensure the weighing scale is parallel to the ground below it. If you are using a digital scale, remember to check the batteries.
Use the knob or buttons to recalibrate the weighing scale back to zero (0). Follow the instruction manual that came with the weighing scale.
No matter how much weight you put on, your scale needs to return to zero (0) every time you take the load off. Otherwise, you might be looking at a faulty piece. This rule applies to both digital and analog scales.
How to Calibrate A Digital Bathroom Scale?
Bathroom scales have sensitive internal parts. Wear and time will affect the accuracy of a weighing scale. Hence, every scale requires calibration after some time.
The user manual should illustrate the precise steps to follow or the buttons you need to push. If you do not have the manual, step on and off from the weighing scale a couple of times. You could also press your hands on the weighing scale. If the weight reading always comes back to zero, you have an accurate scale.
With digital scales, you can also reset the metrics if you want to note your weight in pounds instead of kilos, or vice versa.
Where is the Best Place to Put a Scale?
There is no specific place in the house where you ought to set your scale. But here are several things to keep in mind:
Do NOT put it on rugs, carpets, mattresses, or any soft surfaces. Pick a sturdy surface to set the scale one.
Do NOT put it on any surface with an incline. Doing so will result in inaccurate readouts.
Do NOT put it on uneven surfaces. Scales are for flat surfaces only.
The optimal surfaces for weighing scales are ceramic, porcelain, concrete, tiles, or hardwood.
Where Should You Stand on A Scale?
How you step on the scale also affects the accuracy of the measurements. Maintaining your center of balance is the right way.
If you do things like apply more weight to your left leg, move around or squirm, or keep your shoes on, you will not get your accurate weight. You need to stand still but stay in a relaxed position.
The platform on your scale should also be large enough for you to stand with room between your feet. If you have larger than usual feet or wide hips, consider purchasing a scale with a large platform.
Choosing the Best Bathroom Scales
If accuracy is important to you — as it should be if you are trying to get in shape — you should consider purchasing a high-end scale. Preferably one with a range of useful measurements for assessing your body composition.
Nonetheless, even the most ordinary weighing scales can be spot-on, especially those made by a reputable brand (e.g., FitTrack).
If you have fitness goals other than losing weight — say, you need an accurate scale to monitor your health during pregnancy — investing in a smart scale is a good move. Smart scales can do many things, including:
Approximating bone mass and bone density
Approximating muscle mass
Checking to see if body water levels are healthy based on your water weight
Weight accurate to 0.3kg
Approximating body fat percentage
We live in the age of technology and smart devices. Earlier, a weighing scale irrespective of all its bells and whistles only showed your body weight. But now, technology and innovation have led to the development of digital bathroom scales with wi-fi and other applications. These scales can measure various aspects of your body composition including your body fat scale, bone mass, etc. With such capabilities, a smart scale can complement your exercise routine and dietary changes.
Why the FitTrack + Bluetooth Smart Scale is the Best Choice for Tiled Floors
In addition to measuring your weight, FitTrack uses cutting-edge technology to provide 12 other measurements in addition to the things given above. This smart scale supports over 12 languages. You can also install a related FitTrack mobile app on your phone or laptop.
For all its functionality it is small which makes it convenient to find a level place for it. It also connects quickly and gives out the reading immediately unlike a lot of other scales where the numbers tend to waver all over the place before settling down. The readings of the FitTrack are also consistent with other more expensive digital bathroom scales, making it a value for money buy.
For the sake of convenience and accuracy, you’ll find 4 pads on the scale that you need to align your feet on. This will ensure accurate and consistent reading each time you check your weight.
FitTrack is available on Amazon, with free shipping.
How to Recalibrate the FitTrack + Bluetooth Scale
Recalibrating is easy. Step onto the scale for a second or two, and then step off. The scale automatically recalibrates back to zero (0) pounds.