This Is How To Know If Your Scale Is Accurate

Most of us experience fluctuations in our weight. We know it can be unsettling. When you step onto the bathroom scale first thing in the morning and see that the number is three pounds heavier (or more, yikes!) than yesterday morning's weigh-in, you wonder: How could that be? Was the nacho platter for dinner last night a serious mistake? Of course, a few cheat days in a row really can make the number on the scale rise. But before you cringe with regret and swear off all nacho platters in the future, know that the problem may lie with your scale. There are a number of ways to check if your bathroom scale is playing a nasty joke on you, or if it is, in fact, telling the truth. 

The most important factor to ensure an accurate reading is the location of your scale. "First and foremost, you have to make sure you are weighing yourself on a hard, flat surface," says Tom Dorsey, e-commerce manager at Lifetime Brands, to Wirecutter. Placing your scale on a carpeted or soft surface can make for an inaccurate reading. Also, try to avoid moving the scale, and perform your weigh-ins at a consistent location. Kurt Labanowski, a regional sales director for Rice Lake Weighing Systems, explains to Wirecutter, "When you move them, you can get funny readings."

Take these steps for the most accurate reading

Eat Smart also recommends that you calibrate your scale after every use, and even if you have just moved it from out from under the sink. It is also important to remember your scale's "birthday." Note which month and year you purchased the scale, as the electronic versions often only come with a two-year warranty. 

But say you've found a hard and flat surface, calibrated, are within your scale's warranty period, and you still believe the number is inaccurate. There is one other tried and tested way to check the accuracy of your scale. Medium suggests gauging your scale's accuracy by weighing an object that has a confirmed weight, such as a 10-pound free-weight for example. 

We know morning weigh-ins can sometimes make for a stressful start to your day. But before you start blaming yourself for a weight gain, try one of more of these methods to ensure your scale can be trusted.