Does The Scale Lie?

United States
November 10, 2009 12:37pm CST
I used to watch this television program called "Celebrity Fit Club". They ended every episode with the motto "Remember, the scale doesn't lie". Is this really true, though? The other day, I was rummaging through my closet, and I grabbed a pair of jeans and put them on. It wasn't until I had them on that I realized they were not the pair that I originally thought I had grabbed. In fact, they were a pair that I haven't been able to fit into since I was pregnant. Well, I was very happy about this, and I very excitedly stepped onto the scale the next morning expecting the number to bring me joy. It did not. In fact, the darn scale said that I had gained two pounds. How could this be? The scale is self-adjusting, but I weighed the little one just to make sure that it was accurate. It was. This took a little of the joy out of the victory for a moment, but I decided to focus on the fact that obviously I am losing inches even if the number on the scale is not satisfying. Has this ever happened to you? Does your scale lie, too? Did you get upset over the number on the scale or did you decide to focus on the positive aspect of the situation?
6 people like this
14 responses
@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
10 Nov 09
Hi purplealabaster, my scales don't lie as they weighed my son the same as he weighed when he stood on the ones in the pharmacy. They were a bit confusing at first as I went from pounds to kilos but now I can't even remember what I weighed in pounds. My scales appear to not go over 50 kilos which is nice. The fact that you can get into your jeans is all that matters and shows that you are getting nicely toned. I remember that feeling of getting in pre pregnancy clothes as the only things I had at the end were awful and I was determined to get back into my jeans instead of elasticated waists. It took three weeks but it was a great feeling to get back into them. As others say though weight fluctuates and I can weigh more on the days I feel good than on other days.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
Do you know that you are evil, Thea? It took three weeks but it was a great feeling to get back into them. - If only!! I had complications, though, so that is part of the reason that I was not able to lose the weight as quickly with my second one as I was with my first one. It really is a great feeling being able to wear these jeans again. I have now tried on some other clothes, and they fit me, too. I am starting to look like my old self again, which is wonderful, so I guess that I really am getting toned rather than putting on weight.
@thea09 (18327)
• Greece
10 Nov 09
I'm not really evil you know, apart from a baby I didn't put any weight on as had heartburn for almost the full nine months - I was even glugging gaviscon down in the delivery room. I'm glad to hear you're getting back ot normal now though. Wish I still had those jeans though, they wear out quicker than our bodies.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
That is how I was with my first one. I only gained twenty pounds, and ten of that was in the last four weeks. I did not have morning sickness - I had all day, every day sickness, and the doctor was worried about my not gaining enough weight. For my little one, I was getting so violently ill that they prescribed anti-nausea medicine. Between the ani-nausea medicine and other complications that I did not have with my oldest, I gained more weight than I wanted. I thought that I wouldn't have much problem taking it off, but boy was I wrong! It really does feel good to be able to fit back into some of my old clothes. I am not where I want to be, but I am happy with the way that I look for the first time in a while.
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
16 Nov 09
My sister and I were joking the other day and she funnily commented that whenever she wanted the scale to 'prove' that she's putting on weight, it's always accurate and the scale doesn't lie at all. But whenever she feels like she has lost some pounds, she would get on the scale and the scale will add on 1 or 2 pounds, which in turn, she was only 0.5 heavier. She would get demoralized after that. Funny weight scale that she has, LOL. She said the scale and her weight are ganging up against her..
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Nov 09
LOL - that is funny! Unfortunately, I can totally relate to what she is saying. For a long time, I actually was trying to gain weight, because I was WAY too thin. It was pretty disgusting, because you not only could see my bones but could also count all my ribs. The scale did not want to co-operate with my then, either, because it refused to show that I had gained any weight. Now, it appears to be conspiring against me in the opposite direction. I think it is just an evil force that can read your mind and knows what you want to see, so it shows just the opposite. Alright, that really isn't what I think, but it does kind-of feel like that sometimes.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17627)
• Singapore
19 Nov 09
LOL... you are right. It's always telling something else.. So did you mange to gain some weight then?
• United States
19 Nov 09
Yeah, I was really into weight-lifting for a long time, and it took a lot of hard work but I finally managed to gain weight, mostly through muscle mass. The down side of that was that I had to work even harder to maintain, since muscle burns more calories and I already had a high metabolism. Before I got pregnant with my little one, though, I was maintaining a good weight and was happy with my body. That is where I would like to be again someday, hopefully in the not too distant future.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Nov 09
The scale lies, especially those digital ones can get off. But the pants don't lie. And actually you can gain weight in different places. Things shift. Used to be I gained weight pretty evenly, now it all goes to the waistline.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
Yeah, I thought that it might be off, even though it is supposed to be a self-adjusting one. When I weighed the little one, though, it was right. I was feeling pretty good about being able to fit into these jeans, however, until you reminded me that things shift and you can put on weight in different places. I think that I am pretty much losing inches right now, though, and they seem to be coming off in the right places at the moment. I had noticed before as I was losing weight that it was coming off my face and upper abdomen, but my lower abdomen still had a lot of the baby pouch. Now, I can't see the pouch when I put on my jeans, and it doesn't show in my sweatpants, either, unless I move just right and accentuate it. Overall, I am really happy with the progress that I am making, but it does still bother me a little that the number on the scale is not getting smaller as quickly as I would like.
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
10 Nov 09
You'll get there, especially now that I've taken the brownies back. :-)
• United States
10 Nov 09
Hey wait! Those are my top-secret weight loss brownies. I could never have dropped the inches without them, as they keep me from getting frustrated and allow me to chase the rainbows and shiny objects. Bingo - that is what it is! I have lost the weight from chasing all those shiny objects ... and here my husband said it was from all the "exercising" that we have been doing since I came back home.
1 person likes this
@babyangie27 (5177)
• United States
11 Nov 09
Well for me I always go with the clothes don't lie! I like that one better. Same thing has happened to me a few times and the scale tells me different. Personally I haven't been on a scale in forever now Now my hubby has lost 30 lbs since he started his new job in June which is all good with me,now if only I could do that.
• United States
12 Nov 09
I will go along with "the clothes don't lie", but again that is only to a certain extent. If you try on something fresh out of the dryer, then it might fit tight. After a couple of minutes of wearing it, though, it might fit normally again, because the dryer tends to shrink things a little. Obviously if something is falling off of you, though, then there is no question whatsoever that you have either lost quite a bit of weight or toned up a lot. I lost weight after I had the little one, but not enough to fit back into my normal clothes. Enough, though, so that my pregnancy clothes were way too big on me. I have been wearing baggy clothes for quite a while now, so I guess it was not as noticeable that they were getting baggier. I did notice that some things were literally falling off of me, but I just stopped wearing them. I actually thought that they had stretched out rather than that I had lost weight or toned-up. It sounds funny now, but since I wasn't really focusing on losing weight it seems to have come off quicker, so I wasn't really thinking that I was getting smaller.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Nov 09
Thanks Alice he is pretty excited about it. And purple yea I have clothes that fall off but I think mine really is just stretched out I haven't bought new clothes for myself in ages and well I only have about 1 or 2 shirts anymore that I can even wear in public LOL
• United States
13 Nov 09
Alice, you are definitely right about it being much easier to lose weight when you are working, especially if your job keeps you moving or even just too busy to snack. Angie, I think that you have probably lost weight but just don't realize it. I thought that mine were just stretched out, too, but it turns out that they really were just getting big on me. I can relate to only having one or two shirts that you can wear in public. I have several shirts, but I only have about two pairs of pants that are even remotely respectable. The rest have patches on their patches.
1 person likes this
@weasel81 (2501)
• Australia
10 Nov 09
i usually do measurements, it's better. i find the scales lie to much, mine are being good to me at the moment thou. i also tell by what clothes i fit in better, right now my size 14 pants are taking a hike south and i'm needing to find my belt. my partner complains how one second he's one weight then it goes up the next day, so i measure him to keep him quite.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
I should get the tape measure out and take my measurements. I was doing that in the spring, but I got frustrated because I was not seeing the results very quickly. I am not sure where the paper with the measurements is, but I guess I should try to find it. I am not in a hurry to take the measurements, just in case I am disappointed, but since I am finally liking what I see when I look in the mirror, I guess that I shouldn't be too upset with whatever the measurements are. It sounds like you are losing weight or at least inches right now, too. Congratulations! This is usually the time of year when people gain weight, so I guess that we are doing something right.
@weasel81 (2501)
• Australia
11 Nov 09
i'm going in to summer here, long as you are happy with the way you feel. i find it can take a while before you see results, better. keep up the good work.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 09
Thanks Weasel. We are in fall here, so that is the time when most people gain weight. Spring and Summer tend to be the seasons that people lose the most weight. It might have to do with wanting to look good on the beach or it might be that they are able to get outside and be more active in the nice weather. Either way, you are right that it takes a while to see results, but they are definitely worth it in the long run.
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 09
When they say the Scales do not lie they mean the top rated one If you have managed to fit back into the Jeans then you must have lost some weight, or they would not fit, that is how I always know if I have put weight on or lost it by my Clothes The only Scales that I trust are the ones at the Doctors But well done for getting back into them
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
Thanks Gabs. I think my scale is pretty accurate, because I weighed the little one and it was right. I think that I might finally be getting the muscle tone that I have been working on for a while, which would account for the higher number on the scale but the loss of inches. It took me by surprise, and I didn't really think that was the case at first, because I have not been working out as much as I was over the summer. I think that all my hard work over the summer is finally paying off, though, so now I don't have to work quite so hard to see the results. Whatever it is, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to look in the mirror and like what I see.
1 person likes this
@gabs8513 (48715)
• United Kingdom
10 Nov 09
Hi Purple, well that is different lol I did not realize you had been working out as you say you will have lost the Inches and that is wonderful I will still say well done
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
Well, I wasn't exactly working out as much as being active. I did intend to lose not only weight but also inches, however that did not work so well in my previous attempts, so that was not my primary focus over the summer. I just tried to keep active and have fun, and that worked out really well. Once fall came and I returned home, though, I have not been as active, so it did not occur to me that I might still be getting thinner. It was a very pleasant surprise to realize that it happened.
@rg0205 (2638)
• Hong Kong
10 Nov 09
Scales are weird sometimes. I have two of them in my home and they say I weigh differently. Maybe they're both liars? Haha. Well, I only look at the fitting of my clothes. If they became more snug, I gained and if they became a little loose then I lost weight. I don't really pay attention to the numbers on my scale anymore. Most especially when they keep coming up in different numbers within 10 seconds of eachother. I'd weigh on one, step down, and weigh on another. I couldn't possibly gain or lose much weight within those 10 seconds.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
That is weird that both your scales say that you weigh different, especially in such a short amount of time. I know that you can gain or lose a pound or two over the course of a day, which is why you are supposed to weigh yourself at the same time each day - preferably in the morning before you eat or drink anything. They should not fluctuate in such a short amount of time, though. I know that the best determination of whether you have gained or lost weight is how your clothes fit. Unfortunately, it takes a lot longer to see results that way, although it does tend to be more accurate. If you can see the number on the scale going down, though, it tends to positively reinforce what you have been doing until the clothes can confirm that you are moving in the right direction. I guess that I don't have enough patience, especially if there is a chance that I could be putting on weight rather than taking it off. I really am trying to focus on the positive aspect of fitting into my "skinnier jeans", but I still have to admit that I am a little disappointed that the scale does not confirm that I am losing weight. As Hatley pointed out, however, the exercising that I have been doing might finally be turning into muscle mass, which would be wonderful news.
@rg0205 (2638)
• Hong Kong
11 Nov 09
I have the digital scale and the regular one. They both say different things. I agree with Hatley. You are probably building body mass and muscle tone since you're working out. I hope you reach your target before Christmas :-)
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Nov 09
That makes more sense, because the scales are different kinds. Overall, I think that the digital scales are more accurate, but that is not always the case. I think that you and Hatley are right about the muscle mass and muscle toning theory being the right one, in my case anyways. I was out today and someone that I haven't seen for two or three months commented on how great I look and how much weight I have lost and how I look more toned, so I guess that it is definitely noticeable.
• United States
11 Nov 09
I think any device can always make a mistake. The non-electric scales can always be off a little, unless you make sure the line is exactly at the zero point, and even digital scales can make mistakes every now and then. But also, remember that our weight changes a lot during the day, considering all the actions we do: eating, drinking, moving around, exercising, sleeping, using the bathroom, etc. So, everything can have an effect on our weigh, so if you see you're a little lighter or heavier, it's mainly because of what your actions were previous to being weighed.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 09
Soybeans, you are entirely correct not only about scales but also about how weight can fluctuate over the course of a day. That is why I waited until the next morning to weigh myself and double-checked the accuracy by weighing my little one. Unfortunately, I think the scale was accurate. It is not all bad, though. I have found that I can fit into more of my former clothes than I had originally thought. I have a "brand new" wardrobe without having to spend a penny on it. Apparently, the weight loss is more noticeable to other people, too, because I have gotten comments about it since I have started wearing my "new" old clothes. I guess that it is hard to tell that someone is losing weight and toning up when they only wear extremely baggy clothes that hide their shape. It feels good to have a figure again.
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
11 Nov 09
I don't know why when I go to my doctors' office, the scale registers 10bs more than my scale at home. If I were to rely on my home scale, it would tell me that I am not overweight for my height. But since I saw the discrepancy, I calibrated my scale. How? I bought a 5kilo bag of rice, placed on the scale and made sure that the scale registered 5kilos. I've never had problems with my scale since then.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 09
That is a really great idea, Anne. I should try weighing something that I know the exact weight of on my scale. Mine is supposed to be a self-adjusting scale, and when I weighed the little one on it, the right weight displayed. This would be a great way to double-check it, though. I think that in my instance, it is just a case of "muscle weighs more than fat". I have tried on several things that I have not been able to wear since I was pregnant, and most of the items have fit. There are some things that are still too snug to wear, but most of them fit nicely. I have not been exercising as much as I did over the summer, so I was not really expecting to have lost inches. I think that all the work that I did over the summer is finally showing, though, and maybe I do not have to work as hard now to see results.
• United States
11 Nov 09
Scales can vary and generally behave weirdly in my opinion and I ALWAYS weight differently on my Doctor's scale than I do at home. So, though I am trying to lose weight right now, I try not to focus too much on the numbers and I only weigh once a week, at a class I am going to, so its consistent on the same scale. As someone else said, you can fluctuate throughout the day, and also at certain times of the month, for women. So I would say, regardless of the number, THE JEANS FIT! You go girl....celebrate that victory, claim it, its yours!!
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 09
Yes, you brought up a great point about weight varying, especially at different times of the month for women. I read somewhere that during that time of the month, although you might feel bloated and uncomfortable, that is actually the best time to exercise, because you burn more calories. It is related to your hormone levels, etc. I try to remember to exercise more at that time, but sometimes I just don't feel like moving. Thank you so much, English, for that vote of confidence! It really is a victory, and it feels wonderful. I was out with my husband yesterday, and we saw some guys that he used to work with. I haven't seen them in about three months, and they noticed that I lost weight. They said I look great, so I guess it is noticeable, especially if guys are noticing and commenting on it.
• United States
10 Nov 09
Purple- Yep, even the doctor scales. My own physcian told me that if he's monitoring someone for weight loss/gain that he has the same nurse weigh the patient in the same manner, same time, etc each time the patient is weighed. He said otherwise the results are skewed. I use a Wii Fit for exercise and I weigh at the same time, and in the same outfit so that nothing is different. It's the closest weight tracking I've seen in a long time. For me, I've experienced the same thing though when losing weight. I forget, a lot, that muscle weighs more then fat so I often am upset. However, when my clothes start slipping off or need to be taken in I know I'm on the right track. Namaste- Anora
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 09
Yes, the way your doctor recommends is obviously the proper way to do it. We had to monitor the little one for quite a while, so I am pretty careful about doing it the right way. That is why I waited until the next morning to weigh myself instead of getting on the scale as soon as I realized that I could fit into the jeans. You do the Wii Fit, too? We borrowed one for a while, and it was wonderful. It not only tracks your weight but also your balance and fitness level. I was doing it every day and really enjoying it. As soon as we can afford it, my husband and I are going to buy one as a joint Christmas present, because we both liked it. There are two player things, but we also take turns and try to beat each others scores at games. It is a fun and competitive way to lose weight while increasing muscle tone and flexibility.
• United States
10 Nov 09
Muscle weighs more than fat does, so perhaps you are losing inches but gaining muscle mass so therefore staying at the same weight. Simple concept and easily explains why a pair of jeans would fit without seeing the scale go down.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
Yes, that is definitely true, and it is an easy concept to understand. I have not been exercising as much lately as I was over the summer, though, so I did not think that this would be the case. I guess that my efforts have slowly caught up with me, however, and the muscle mass is gradually replacing the fat, so I am finally starting to see the results. I guess it just surprised me that it is happening now instead of over the summer, which is when I would have expected it to happen, so I did not jump to that conclusion right away.
@Hatley (164485)
• Garden Grove, California
10 Nov 09
purplealabaster the fact is our weigth flucuates during the day depending on what time you weigh , also when you exercise and evenmaybe gain a pound or two it is because you are firming up muscles and thus your muscles weight a bit more but you are also slimmer as you can wear skinnier clothes so do not let it bother you at all.
1 person likes this
• United States
10 Nov 09
Hatley, I did know that your weight can fluctuate a couple of pounds over the course of the day, which is why I waited until the next morning to weigh myself. When I weigh myself, I do it when I first get up in the morning, as this produces more accurate results. I also knew that exercise firms up muscles, and muscles weigh more than fat. I just didn't think that I had been doing enough lately for this to be the case. As you pointed out, though, I obviously am becoming slimmer, since I can now fit into these jeans again. I guess it might have just taken time to slim down from the exercising that I have been doing, especially since it has not been as much lately as it was over the summer. Maybe you are right and now I am just building muscles, which takes longer but also burns more calories. Thanks for the encouragement and the reminder that I should just focus on the fact that I am now able to wear my "skinnier" clothes.
• United States
26 Nov 09
i have heard certain times of day your weight will show higher-tides,moon,gravity,whichever.so that is normal. startling,but normal.
• United States
6 Dec 09
First, I am sorry that it took me so long to respond to you. I didn't notice that I had another response here, since it got buried under my other discussions and I have a very bad habit of not checking my e-mail for notifiers. I do go back through my discussions now and then to make sure that I haven't missed anybody, which is how I found this comment. You are right that there are a lot of factors that can affect your weight, like the time of day, whether or not you have eaten or drank anything and how much, the "time of month" for women, etc. That is one of the reasons that I waited until the next morning when I woke up to weigh myself instead of doing it when I realized that I could fit into the jeans that I could not previously wear. Unfortunately, the scale has remained steadfast in its weight, only fluctuating really during those "expected" times. I am not as concerned as I was before, though, because I have decided that the exercising that I have been doing is finally paying off in muscle tone and muscle mass, which can make you thinner but still weigh a couple of pounds more. Now, I am just trying to stay motivated during the winter, so that I do not lose the progress that I have finally made. So, do you have any of these issues? Do you weigh yourself or just go by the way your clothes fit or are you not even concerned about it at all? I remember the time before my last little one when I was not concerned about my weight or the way my clothes fit. Ahhh ... those were the days!