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How to Get an Accurate Weight Measurement

Jingze Tian, MS, RD
January 28, 2024
January 28, 2024
3

Measuring weight with a scale sounds simple: step on it, and get a weight. We always hope the number will show what we want, but sometimes we get a "weird" number—much higher or lower than usual readings. Then, we start questioning the accuracy of the scale. Does this sound like you? Watch this video or read on!

Actually, the varied readings could be due to many factors that affect the measurements—where you put the scale, clothes and shoes, food and drink, and checking time, among others. To get a more accurate reading, here are some tips:

Place your scale correctly

  • Use a hard, level surface. Avoid placing the scale on carpet.
  • Ensure the scale remains stable when weight is applied.

Time it right

  • Food and drink can affect your weight, so it's advisable to use the restroom before taking a measurement.
  • The best time to measure is in the morning, before eating.
  • Wear light clothes and remove your shoes before the measurement.
  • Consuming salty foods may cause fluid retention for days afterward. If you notice a slight increase in weight, reflect on your recent meals, and check again in a couple of days.

Stand straight, stand still

  • Don’t lean or hold on to something for balance.

Use only one scale for consistency

  • It is NOT recommended to compare between scales.

Measure against a standard

  • Find a standard weight, like a dumbbell that is 20 pounds or heavier.
  • Weigh the dumbbell by itself, and your scale should register the same weight as the dumbbell (+/- 0.1 lb).

If you drop the scale..

  • If the scale is broken and giving you an inaccurate reading, please contact your Care Team to replace the device.

If all the factors above are ruled out and you feel the scale is inaccurate, please contact your Care Team.

Please Note

If you have been diagnosed with heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, or are taking water pills (diuretics), changes in weight may indicate water retention or loss in your body. Please contact your doctor if you notice abnormal weight changes and experience any symptoms.

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