Are Bathroom Scales Useful?

Some fitness professionals say that bathroom scales are useless. Their reason for saying so is simply because scales don't distinguish between different types of body tissues.

For example, two women who have the same bodyweight can look completely different simply because they have different body compositions. Even if they are the same height the women can look different simply because one may have a large amount of muscle with very little body fat, while the other may have little muscle with a lot of body fat.

Are Bathroom Scales Useful?

As a result, some fitness professionals say that bathroom scales are useless and suggest that their clients literally throw them out so they don't become disappointed with possible slow progress.

Furthermore, day-to-day fluctuations in bodyweight resulting from changes in hydration or food intake can affect the results.

However, I tend to disagree with the suggestion to disregard scales altogether. They can be a useful tool that indicates that you're heading in the right direction with your weight-loss results.

On several occasions I have heard trainers consoling their clients as a result of their weight gain by suggesting that they have put on muscle. Even though that may have been the case, let's face it, a woman who weighs 90 kilograms doesn't want to weigh 95 kilograms even if all the weight she has gained is muscle!

A woman who wants to lose weight wants to see the numbers decreasing, period! Therefore, if a woman does perform a regular weight-training routine, as they should do if they want to lose weight, then they must ensure that they control their food intake. Otherwise they may very well build muscle and put on weight!

Of course, there are better methods to assess your weight-loss results. Girth measurements around body parts, skinfold testing, and DEXA scans are all very good methods to use. However, they have their drawbacks too. Skinfold testing requires a well-trained person to perform the test and DEXA scans can be expensive, time-consuming and also require a well-trained person to perform the test.

Overall, bathroom scales are a quick and easy way to monitor your progress even though they may not be entirely accurate. Therefore, as long as you keep the results in perspective they are a good tool to use.

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