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The Four Best Types of Scales to Purchase

Fitday Editor

There are many types of scales to choose from and when you're working hard on your weigh loss, you want one that's going to be accurate. While there are many brands and styles to choose from there are some key differences between scales that may help you decide which scale will best fit your needs and help you get to your desired weight loss result.

1. Balance Scale

Balance scales are the ones you see in doctor's offices and at the gym. They are large upright models where you stand on a platform that then utilizes a balancing mechanism that will balance with the weights on the top. You move the weights around on the top piece until the scale is balanced in the center. These are large and heavy, so unless you have the space, you might want to look for something a little smaller.

2. Spring Scale

This is the standard scale that's been around forever. You step onto the floor scale and your weight on the platform compresses a spring which then causes the disc to move. Gravity helps determine how far the disc needs to turn and a spindle points to your weight. These are pretty reliable, but they can break if used excessively or incorrectly. There generally is a simple knob, button or other way to recalibrate spring scales.

3. Digital Scale

With the digital era came the digital scale. You simply step onto a scale and your weight is calculated and projected onto a screen. These are often battery powered (though solar models are available) and can read incorrectly when the battery is low. They have the added feature of a reset switch if there is a problem with the scale.

4. BMI & Other Features

Digital scales offer the added benefit of additional features that can tell you more about your weight loss, such as Body Mass Index (or percentage of body fat), muscle mass, water content and more. These additional features offer a more detailed readout of information all of which greatly effect your overall weight. In weight loss the most powerful number is body fat, as that is the percentage you need to focus on. Weight can vary depending on the time of day, body water levels, and for women, hormones, menstruation and even stress levels.

Regardless of the scale you choose, the key is to make sure it works properly and is calibrated correctly. Always follow the instructions that come with your scale to ensure it's accurate. If you're specifically looking to track muscle mass and metabolic rate, investing in a high end digital scale is a good choice. If ever you find your scale doesn't seem to be functioning properly (consider comparing it to your weight on a scale at the gym), simply invest in a new one to make sure that you're meeting your weight loss goals.

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