Why you should care
Because “Do these pants make me look fat?” is not working as well as it once did.
We are in the midst of a brave new world of quantifying every single thing having to do with I, I, I and Me, Me, Me. You don’t have to apologize for it — we couldn’t hear you even if you did as we’re obsessively checking our fitness trackers and taking pictures of the meal we’re about to eat. The latest advances are inviting us to delve deeper still into the ephemera of what exactly constitutes our selfsame uniqueness: a crazy array of scales ready to quantify every ounce.
High-tech scales can tell you — and everyone around you, if you so choose — how much you weigh at the moment, how much you used to weigh, how much you hope to weigh, how much you’re eating to weigh that much and how much exercise you’re getting. Almost immediately after having done so, the scale will speed the information off to your phone, tablet, laptop, computer, cloud drive or whatever kind of calculating machine best serves your needs.
“I was always more focused on exercise with my clients,” says personal trainer Paul Frausto. “Until I realized that only covered what happened when they were with me. But if I can get them to use the [Withings] WS-50, it tells me what’s happening with their weight throughout the day.” And while we’re unsure if having minute-by-minute updates of one’s body mass index and heart rate sent to one’s boot camp instructor is going to motivate anyone into an old pair of pants, it’s worth a try. Even at $150, or thereabouts.
Further down the scale price-wise (at $129.95), but higher up quality-wise, the Fitbit Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale wins friggin’ awards for doing very much the same thing. While all of these high-tech wonders calculate weight, BMI and heart rate, send texts and tie into fitness apps, some are prettier, and more costly, than others. Each one will tell you — as often as you can stand to hear it — exactly how fat you are.
“It’s a nice add, but you know what?” says Doyle Childs, owner of Three Sixty Training Center in San Jose, California. “None of these bells and whistles are substitutes for the ass-kicking that goes into losing weight. The number on the scale is really much less significant than a half a dozen other things that go into losing weight well.”
Bob Dylan once said that you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. High-tech scale innovators would seem to vigorously disagree. And until we lose those last extra 10 pounds? Well, maybe so do we.