Weigh yourself with a see-saw
This method is also known as the fulcrum method, and it is slightly more practical than some other methods for checking your weight without a scale. But there's a lot of room for error regardless. To use this method, you sit at one end of a see-saw while having the other end loaded with known weights like paint cans which typically weigh about 8 pounds.
You wait till the see-saw achieves equilibrium, and then you count the weight on your side, and that's your body weight. Easy, right? No.
Loading the other side with the right weights can be a hassle. And there's no way to monitor minor weight gains or losses, so this method is grossly unreliable.
Weigh yourself in the bathtub
In the water displacement method, you’ll completely submerge yourself naked in a bathtub, while someone else marks the water level on the tub.
You’ll let some time (perhaps a week) pass and then return to repeat the process, comparing the difference between the last water line and the present water line. If you have taken up more volume this time, you have gained weight; if less, you have lost weight. Do you think it's a ridiculous method? You're not alone in thinking that.
The variables are too many, and the margin for error is enormous. But it is one way to calculate your weight without a scale.
Weigh yourself every morning and night
Experts say that the best time to step on the scale is in the morning after you have emptied your bladders and before eating breakfast or doing any workout. At this time, you're most likely to get a lower number, which will be a more accurate indication of what your weight is.
All through the day, our body weights fluctuate due to water retention and other factors so you must be consistent with your weight checking routine. You may hop on the scale in the morning and at night but make sure to do this regularly. This will enable you to accurately track your weight and get a sense of your weight fluctuation.
Are there any good ways to weigh myself without using a scale?
Not really. As you have noticed above, all other alternative methods are either highly unreliable or unbelievably stressful or both. So if it's the water displacement method you choose to use, how exactly will you determine how many pounds you have gained or lost? How will you monitor progress? Will you keep defacing your bathtub with marker signs every week?
It’s all shades of problematic for a method that does next to nothing for you if you’re trying to lose weight and closely monitor your progress. Even taking progress pictures monthly that you place on the walls of your home gym will by far trump water displacement or see-saw as a non-scale weighing method.
How can I reduce my stomach fat?
A quick online check will produce a long list of what you should do or not do. But according to experts, the following are some of the most effective steps to burning stomach fat.
- Avoid foods that have Trans fats.
Trans fats are found in some bread spreads, margarine and processed foods. Abundant research links them to inflammation, heart disease, insulin resistance and abdominal fat gain.
- Cut down on alcohol intake
Observational studies connect heavy alcohol consumption to a bloated waistline.
- Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress triggers the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, which in turn increase appetite and drive belly fat storage. Stress less and rest more (including sleep).
- Cultivate a High-Protein Diet
Experts say that high-protein consumption boosts the release of the PYY hormone, which promotes fullness and decreases appetite.
- Flee sugary foods
Sugar contains fructose which has been linked to obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Avoid sugary beverages too.
- Get some Aerobics
Aerobic exercise (cardio) can be effective for burning calories and generally improving health.
- Cut Back on refined carbs
- Lift Weights
Strength or resistance training can help reduce belly fat and enhance fitness. Studies suggest it’s even more effective when combined with aerobics.
- Probiotics are great for you.
Eating probiotic foods or taking probiotic supplements may promote a healthy digestive and enhance weight loss. Try Kombucha!
- Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a diet pattern that alternates between periods of eating and abstaining from food. Studies show that it can be useful for weight loss and shedding abdominal fat.
- Combine Different Methods
For the quickest results, you are better off combining a few of the above rather than sticking to one.
How do you accurately measure body fat percentage?
- Skinfold Callipers
Skinfold callipers measure the thickness of subcutaneous fat (fat underneath the skin) in anywhere between three to seven body locations which differ in men and women. The accuracy, however, depends on how skilful the person performing the procedure is.
- Body Circumference Measurements
This is a good old tape measure method for body fat estimation. For men, the circumferences of the neck and waist are the majorly used pointers while for women; the circumference of the hips is included to that of neck and waist.
- Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)
This is a relatively new method. To have a DXA scan, you lie supine for about ten minutes while the X-ray scans your body fat. DXA is a reliable method for determining body fat percentage. However, it is costly and not feasible for regular home testing since it’s not accessible to most of us in general. Nevertheless, it's about the best in terms of accuracy.
- Hydrostatic Weighing
Hydrostatic weighing involves holding your breath under a pool of water. It is, however, an accurate method of determining body fat. That is when you finally learn how to dunk yourself and hold your breath properly.
- Air Displacement Plethysmography (Bod Pod)
While hydrostatic weighing uses water, this method uses air. You sit in an egg-shaped enclosed chamber for some minutes while the pressure of the air within the chamber changes. The correlation between the volume and pressure of air enables the Bod Pod machine to assess the density of your body and pinpoint your body fat percentage.
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)
This is the technology used by body fat scales. It works by underfoot sensors which transmit electric current up one leg and down the other as it tracks body density through the resistance the current meets in its path. You won't feel the current, so don't be afraid.
However, you should be aware that BIA devices are not as accurate as any of the above-listed methods.
When losing weight, when should I weigh myself?
If you’re trying to lose weight, the best time to weigh yourself is in the morning before breakfast, workout or drinking any liquids. That's when you'd realize your actual weight. Make sure to use a calibrated weighing scale that is in proper condition. That’s the only way you can trust the number on the scale which, by the way, is likely to be a number that will make you feel good.
It is also best to weigh in one day each week, every week.
And as an aside, it helps to have accountability partners who you regularly call or email with updates about your progress or lapses in your weight-loss journey.
I wish you the best results.