How to Use Smart Weights Without Getting Hung up on Your Weight

Your weight is nothing more than a number that describes how much gravity is acting on your body. You can happily ignore this most of the time. But if you need to keep an eye on it for medical or personal reasons (whether you need to lose or gain weight, or maintain a certain range), it’s easy to get hold of.

A few years ago, my husband needed a smart scale that would connect to our Wi-Fi. At first I laughed (why does the scale need Wi-Fi?), And then I said, damn it, of course. Then I got used to using it. This is great, not because I care about detailed tracking, but precisely because I do n’t – I can step on the scale, immediately forget the number and know that another point has been added to the graph on my phone. I can look at this graph later, or never, or when it suits me.

However, this scale is not sold like this. Their manufacturers want you to constantly think about your weight (and all other metrics that smart scales measure), and they want you to perceive this information as a kind of super accurate mirror of your health, and they want your new hobby to be obsessed with their app. My personal and professional opinion on this approach is: fuck it.

So, here’s how I would recommend using a smart scale if you want to take your mind off that level of focus but still want (or need to) know how much you weigh.

Switching units

One of my kids once thought the scale was a fun toy to carry around the house, and by the time we got it back, the scale was in pounds and stones , a favorite pair of British units for weighing people and large animals. … … (The two work together like feet and inches; the stone weighs 14 pounds.) We couldn’t immediately figure out how to get it back, and in the end we just went with it.

I was trying to lose a few pounds at the time, and putting units on my scales that looked like something from Lord of the Rings was a little silly in a good way. It bypassed all the emotional baggage of knowing that I was in relation to what I weighed in college, that I weighed when I was pregnant, and so on.

We eventually found a setting to get it back, but decided to use kilograms over pounds. (I need to think in kilograms for weightlifting anyway.) Switching units is like using Monopoly money: they are useful for the task at hand, but should not be relevant to anything else in the real world.

Disable unnecessary metrics

Smart scales claim to tell you your body fat, bone mass, and other metrics that they really don’t have the accuracy to measure . Mine even wants to tell me something like if I weighed more today than yesterday. No thanks.

Fortunately, these scales often allow you to turn off some extra numbers, or at least hide them in the respective application. (For quick access, find the setting recommended for people with a pacemaker; it completely cuts off the electrical current that measures body composition.)

Weigh yourself constantly

Our bodies fluctuate in weight throughout the day and from day to day for the week, so if you only weigh yourself when you think about it, you might end up with a set of mismatched data.

To more accurately assess what is happening to your weight, take one measurement at a time of day at which you can be most consistent. For most of us this is the first thing in the morning after you urinate but before anything to eat or drink, and every time naked or in one and the same clothes (pajamas?).

Pay no more attention to this than you need to.

Remember, the best thing about smart scales is that they update your app on their own. You don’t have to keep the number in your head, think about what it means to you, and write it down somewhere. You can simply step on the scale, look out the window for a second, and step off the scale. You don’t even need to look at the number .

Your scale app probably wants to send you tons of notifications; turn them all off. In fact, don’t use a scale app at all if you don’t like it. Instead, if you want to track your weight, use an app like Happy Scale , which focuses on general trends and doesn’t focus on daily variations.

I use all these techniques myself. I weigh myself every morning, usually without looking at the number; the scale is set to kilograms; he tells me nothing but my weight; and I almost never open the app. But when I want to see if my weight is tracking the direction I want (I have been consciously gaining weight most of this summer), I can open another, more convenient application and check it against it.

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