Some days you love your bathroom scale, other days you want to chuck it in the trash and set it on fire. You may not always agree with the numbers, but if you take emotion out of it, your bathroom scale is trying to tell you something. This chart helps you decipher what.
Like other chubby kids, I was picked on. I went to a geeky high school where everyone had their own issues to worry about, so this didn't last very long. There was one bully, however, that persisted. Even after losing weight, it took pleasure in shaming me as much as it could. That bully is the scale, and it's probably still bullying you.
When a number appears, most people probably only think, "Crap, it's not the one I wanted to see." (If it is, congratulations!) But if we just take a moment to think about what it actually means, we'd realise that weight loss progress or general health cannot be accurately summed up with a single piece of data. One day's weight might be drastically different from another's. Maybe you had too much to eat the previous day so you've stored more carbohydrates as glycogen. Maybe you're bloated and holding more water because it's that time of the month. Or maybe you're dehydrated. As Talens writes:
The true secret to interpreting the scale is building a story. Most people use the scale as a final number, rather than piece together a story using relevant pieces of data. The scale number alone is useless when you need to troubleshoot.
If you have a specific weight goal in mind, you need to put the scale weight in context using other pieces of data, like waist measurements, your strength numbers in the gym, and bloat. Track all of this for a week or so, then use the chart below to help you make actionable decisions instead of freaking out and giving up (or doing something more drastic).
Understanding the Scale, Bloat, and Weight Loss [Dick Talens Fitness]