BMI and the Scale

Author: Sarah Marshall, CPT
Was losing weight one of your New Year’s resolutions? Resist the urge to hop on the scale every day, you may become discouraged. Weight varies by time of day and by the time of month. Other factors such as your level of hydration also affect the number you see on the scale. Most of these fluctuations in weight are due to water, not fat loss/gain. Use the scale for occasional readings only - at most, weekly. Keep in mind too, that muscle weighs more than fat so although you may work out faithfully, you may not see the changes in weight you were hoping for.

A common method for analyzing body fat versus muscle mass is the Body Mass Index (BMI). Unfortunately, many research documents indicate that the BMI is an inaccurate measurement of body weight since it only takes into account height and weight. It does not consider one’s muscle mass versus body fat. For example: a very muscular, fit individual may be “overweight” according to the . Body composition analysis (Could be bioelectrical impedence, hydrostatic weighing, the bod pod, calipers etc) should ideally be used in conjuction with BMI.