Beyond calorie counting, regular exercise or counter-intuitive strategies like the “Cookie Diet,” one of the easiest ways to boost your chances of losing and maintaining weight is … a scale (duh). Self-tracking can be tedious, though, especially if you’re keeping tabs on a number of metrics. Hence, automation is as good as it gets.
The Wi-Fi Scale from Withings isn’t the only web-connected digital scale on the market, but for now, it’s the best we’ve stepped on. Aside from weight (to a tenth of a pound), the scale immediately calculates Body Mass Index and fat/lean mass (based on measurements like height, which you self-report upon signing-up online). Nice part is that if your computer’s not on, the scale will save data and upload it— in a matter of seconds — next time you log on. Better part is that multiple people (read: your roommate who borrows everything) can use the scale, too. If your weights are very similar and the scale isn’t sure who’s who, the data will be attributed separately to an “unknown” user for you to claim and add to your user name. (Our account tracked three separate people, and only one weigh-in was unclear).
Sleek, sexy and simple, the online interface not only lets you quickly chart trend data for all of the metrics and set and track specific goals, but publish and/or share data in a multitude of ways including Twitter, Google Health and Training Peaks, which allows you to log workouts. Speaking of which, there’s no reason you have to be tethered to a desktop to check out your progress. Withings’ free iPhone app is a particularly solid approximation of the browser experience. Portrait shows you the numbers by day. Turning the phone to landscape gives you a chart of your weight over time. After all, knowing really is half the battle.