Digital Scales

Sadly, over the weekend my Polar Balance scale bit the dust. My toilet clogged and overflowed, causing the Balance scale to get wet. As a result, the scale stopped powering on.

I really liked the ease of use the Balance scale afforded me. While simple and only measuring weight, it made it easy to keep my weight up-to-date in the Polar Flow app and on my Vantage V watch. You see, having an accurate daily weight is important for Polar’s calculation of caloric burn during the day & during activity. This is also true for Garmin and others as well. So, you can see my conundrum when the scale died.

But, the problem was exacerbated. First, because of how my scale died, it isn’t covered under warranty. Second, Polar discontinued the scale, thus making it difficult to find a replacement. Finally, Polar does not integrate with third parties to access weight data (not even from Apple Health or Google Fit, which it can send data to).

With all that in mind, I want to share with you two solutions for keeping your weight up-to-date in Polar Flow & your Polar device without the use of a Balance scale.

The Annoying but Free & Easy Way: Update on the Watch

The first way is stupid simple, but it’s annoying because of the manual steps required to update your weight. It’s as simple as stepping on your scale, viewing your weight, and updating the weight on your watch. Yup, it’s that simple. The problem? Getting to the weight setting is a few button presses away on the Vantage watches. Here are the steps to get there:

  1. Press the back/menu button (bottom left button)
  2. Scroll to & select “Settings”
  3. Select “Physical settings”
  4. Select “Weight”
  5. Update your weight & save

This process is easy enough, but not something I want to remember to do every morning. So, I wanted to find something that was a bit more automated. So, here’s how I automated the process.

The Automated Way: Using Web Services to Update Polar Flow

The automated way requires owning a scale that has a web service. Also, know that this method costs a few dollars a month, which was totally worth it to me. So, here’s a step by step walkthrough of how to set everything up.

Step 1: Setup Your Scale

This step is as straightforward as can be. Purchase and setup your scale. My scale of choice was a bluetooth scale from Weight Gurus. It has an app for both Apple and Android phones that connects to the scale to read the data. If you’re using this scale, you’ll want to create a Fitbit account and setup their integration. This will send your data from Weight Gurus to Fitbit (this is necessary for the next step).

Alternatively, you can purchase the Fitbit Aria, Garmin Index, or the Withings Body+ scale. Set these up and you’re one step closer to getting everything connected to Polar Flow.

My choice of Weight Gurus is pure preference. I’d owned one of their scales before & liked it, and it’s fairly inexpensive compared to those from Fitbit, Garmin, or Withings, but gives the same information.

Step 2: Setup Smart Scale Sync

The second step requires setting up an account with SmartScaleSync.com. This is the step that requires money. At the time of writing this tutorial, you can pay $14.99 annually or $2.99 per month for the service.

The setup process is straightforward:

  1. Create an account
  2. Setup your billing information
  3. Connect your source account (in my case it was Fitbit)
  4. Connect your Polar Flow account by entering your credentials

That’s it! There are only four easy steps to setting up this service.

Step 3: Weigh Yourself Daily

Now, all that’s left to do is weigh yourself every day and make sure your scale logs your weight. For me, the process looks like this:

  1. I open the Weight Gurus app on my phone & set it down
  2. Step on the scale & weigh myself
  3. The phone logs the measurements
  4. Weight Gurus sends this data to Fitbit (almost immediately)
  5. Smart Scale Sync sees the new weight in Fitbit & sends it to Polar Flow (it usually checks every few minutes)
  6. Polar Flow now has my updated weight
  7. My watch syncs to Polar Flow (on my phone) at some point during the day & gets the updated weight

Of all these steps, only the first two require direct interaction from me. All I do is weigh myself, and automation takes care of the rest.

Not Just for Polar

This is exactly what I needed to keep my life easy. I hope this helps you if you’re having a similar problem & looking for a way to keep your weight updated on your fitness device. Hopefully one day Polar will be able to pull in the data from Apple Health or Google Fit so we can get rid of all these extra steps & tools. It’s also worth noting that Smart Scale Sync also works with Garmin, Peloton, Strava, and TrainerRoad just to name a few others. So, if you use any of these services & want an easy way to keep your weight updated, this is one way to do it.

The only downside to the automated method is the cost, especially if you have multiple users in your household. For example, my wife owns a Polar Vantage M, so I’d have to spend another $14.99/year for her to be just as automated.

Oh, and funny note: as soon as I purchased & setup the Weight Gurus scale, my Balance scale started working again. For now, I’ll keep both around for a week to make sure the Balance doesn’t die again. If it keeps working I’ll return the other. I guess it got jealous & intimidated by having another scale around.