I stepped on the digital scale this morning, and it read 200.0 pounds. That's a 15 pound difference from my reading on the analog scale from a month ago. Progress? Yes, but not the drastic progress I may have been lead to believe.

When I was researching scales on Ask Metafilter, I ran across a link to the Hacker's Diet, which is an engineering perspective on weight loss. It advocates the conventional wisdom of eating less and exercising more, but rather than speaking from a health or fitness professional viewpoint, it explains things in engineering terms. An old journalism professor of mine said design is information, and the Hacker's Diet is designed to address an audience not easily swayed by the word of athletes.

Physicsdiet.com is a web-based implementation of the Hacker's Diet. Rather than just take scale readings at their face value, the Hacker's Diet calculates moving averages and other kinds of metrics to determine the trend of a particular weight loss regimen. To do that, daily weight readings are required.

I started tracking that information a week ago, and I started out at 205.4 lbs. That's a pound less than 10 days ago, when I visited the doctor and got a reading of 206. In the week since starting that tracking, I'm down five pounds. The moving average of my weight loss only indicates a 1.5-pound loss so far, but I'm not skeptical about that.

I'm wondering if my initial reading of 215 lbs. on the analog scale was accurate to begin with. When I compare readings between the digital and analog scales, the former indicates I've gone from 205 to 204 in a week. The latter now says I'm 205, after weeks and weeks of plateauing at 208.

I found it suspicious that the analog scale showed a five-pound loss from 215 to 210 in that first week of exercise. I wonder if perhaps I really started at 210 pounds, and my loss for the month is not 15 but 10 pounds.

Neither number is anything to complain about. Rather I should be happy.

But from here on out, I'm going to rely on the digital scale. It's giving me numbers I prefer anyway.

By the way, if you want to see how well I'm progressing, my Physicsdiet.com profile is public.