Why ignore your daily weight numbers and look at weight trends instead? Well, let me tell you. The following is a paraphrased The Hacker's Diet. If you want a more comprehensive explanation, I highly recommend reading this free book.
Trend Lines Are Better
It boils down to this: Your weight fluctuates day to day based on a number of factors that you can't always control. If you gain half a pound between yesterday and today, you didn't necessarily gain fat. You might just be retaining some extra water because you had a salty meal the day before. The next day, you might lose 1 pound. Again, you didn't necessarily lose fat. It might just have been that extra water coming off.
Here's an example of a fictional person, Dexter, who is trying to lose weight and weights himself every day:
Dexter is frequently frustrated because every time he makes some progress, he seems to backtrack the next day. But notice that he started at 154 lbs and ended at 144lbs. So he actually is losing weight. It's just hard for him to see that when he looks only at how his weight changed since yesterday.
The solution is to look at the trend of the weight over time. You do this by looking at a moving average. A moving average smooths out day to day changes and shows you how things are changing over time. See the Signal and Noise chapter of the book for more details on types of moving averages.
If we take Dexter's chart, remove the day to day weights and replace them with a moving average, it looks like this:
When Dexter looks at this chart, he is much less frustrated. He can see that he is steadily losing weight over time. Success!
Where Does TrendWeight Come In?
TrendWeight automates this process for people who don't want to do math themselves or keep track of things in an Excel spreadsheet.
The way it works is that you record your weights in either the Withings Health Mate app or the Fitbit app. This can be done manually, or you can get one of their WiFi scales that loads your weight into the apps automatically every time you weigh yourself.
TrendWeight connects to your Withings or Fitbit account, gets your weight readings and shows you your weight trend over time in an easy to read chart (the dark line is your trend line, while the diamonds are you individual weight readings):
You also get a number of statistics on your progress over time:
In a nutshell, TrendWeight makes it easy to see if you are really losing or gaining weight without having to do much more than step on a scale every day.
Email me with any questions you might have at firstname.lastname@example.org.