Track Your Weight The Smart Way With Libra [Android]

Erez Zukerman 19-01-2012

android applications weightToday I’d like to tell you about an Android application I have been using every day since March 16, 2011. That’s over 300 days of use, day in, day out. It’s a free application called Libra, and it’s used for entering your weight every morning and then getting a picture of where you are going. Libra is so good, that it is one of the applications hand-picked for our Best Android Apps The Best Android Apps on the Google Play Store for 2019 Looking for the best Android apps for your phone or tablet? Here's our comprehensive list of the best apps for Android. Read More page.


If you care about your weight and health even remotely, read on. As you will see, Libra will not solve all of your problems, but it makes it easier to get a clear picture of where you stand.

About Tracking Your Weight

android applications weight

Above is a screenshot of my own personal weight graph, extending back from May 27th, 2008. That’s over 3.5 years worth of data, more than 1,300 data points in all. That is not a screenshot from Libra: Android didn’t even exist when I started this graph. It is my own home-brew weight tracking solution. I coded the first version with AutoHotkey, and the next one with Ruby, and I use it to this day, in tandem with Libra. But the idea is certainly not my own, and it’s the same idea Libra uses.

Let’s take a closer look at how the graph works:

android weight tracker


As you can see, there is a trend line, and dots which go over or under the line. The dots are individual data points, while the line is a moving average. Having a trend line is extremely important, as it is the only real way to see where your weight is going. The trend line is calculated according to a formula from The Hacker’s Diet, a book by John Walker, founder of Autodesk. The Hacker’s Diet is a classic reference for geeks trying to lose weight, and that’s the graphing system Libra implements.

Looking at the graph above, it is easy to see that I’ve been gaining weight over time. The lowest point on this graph is September 2009, and since then it has been going up in fits and starts. Despite all this (actually, because of it), I remain confident that graphing your weight is essential to losing it. I will tell you why later on, but first let’s look at Libra itself.

About Libra

Let’s look at the same period within Libra:

android weight tracker


As you can see, the principle is exactly the same, only Libra adds a bunch of vital information. It knows my height, so it can tell me I am considered overweight now according to the body mass index. Overweight, by the way, is 25.0 and above – so I am just barely above normal. It also shows me I am actually gaining weight at a rapid pace, which is why it is “unknown” when I will get to my final weight goal (62.0 kg, which is about 136 lbs). I know this post would have been more dramatic if I could show you an impressive weight loss, so here is a screenshot of a real one from my past:

android weight tracker

This is a period of several months during which I am steadily losing weight and tracking it with Libra. Note that the stats down the bottom don’t change, because they reflect the current situation and project the future.

Entering Your Weight

track weight android


Every morning when I wake up, I enter my weight using the screen above. The date is automatically selected, and the tape scrolls smoothly when you flick it left or right. It’s a beautiful way to enter your weight, and it sure beats fiddling around with the keyboard. Libra lets you create a shortcut that launches you right into the “Insert value” screen, for maximum speed.


track weight android

Apart from the graph, Libra lets you see numeric stats showing your trends over various periods of time, as well as “records” of highest and lowest weight/trend values. Libra also offers a homescreen widget showing three quick stats:

track weight android


Why Tracking Your Weight Is Important


Now we go back to the big question – why even do this in the first place? Well, because it is usually easy to gain weight, and it is easy to ignore the problem until it is way too late. Tracking your weight on a daily basis and graphing it is crucial, because that way you know where you stand. And as they say, knowing is half the battle.

I know some people who are overweight, and are actually afraid to know how much they weigh. But if they can’t face even that simple number, how will they be able to face the slow process of weight loss? I think that without tracking my weight, I would be much heavier right now, and would feel more hopeless about it.

Of course, once you do begin losing weight, tracking your losses is an essential part of staying motivated.


Why Tracking Your Weight Is Not Enough

android applications weight

Above is a period of several months when I was tracking my weight daily, but also gaining a lot of weight. So, sadly, tracking your weight may not be enough. You need to make some lifestyle changes to lose weight, as well as some public commitments. We’ve featured social fitness websites 3 Fitness Sites That Make Use of Social Features Read More before and I feel these are an important part of the equation. The idea is to care, and not give up.

Tracking your weight is the first step – once you take it, it may be easier to take the next one, but you will need to do something more. I’ve recently started exercising again – maybe next year I will be able to share a different-looking graph. At any case, I will probably still use Libra to plot it.

Let us know what apps and methods you use to track and lose weight.  What do you think of Libra?

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  1. Catt
    July 8, 2016 at 9:25 am

    I know I'm posting on an old article, but I've been using Libra for about six weeks now and I'm very disappointed. The trendline seems to bear almost no relation to the data - the vast majority of the data points are below the line, which flies along about 2lb above the actual data on average. If I enter a point which would be above the line, the line is hiked up to go above it - so high points have a completely disproportionate effect on the line compared with low points. I also maintain a chart on Excel, and the Libra trendline bears no relation at all to any of the trendlines offered by Excel, which track through the middle of the cloud of data points as I would expect. I note you say Libra uses a moving average, but even the moving averages on Excel are nothing like this. The thing I don't understand is that I seem to be the only person in the entire world who has this problem, everyone else seems to be happy with it. I'm very confused.

  2. Joe R.
    January 21, 2012 at 12:03 am

    It's definitely not a cheap solution, but I use the Withings WiFi scale. Anytime I weigh myself it automatically uploads the data into their webapp which gives you pretty much the same output as the graph posted in the article.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      I've always wanted a Withings. Too bad they're so expensive to ship all the way here.

  3. Eric Darchis
    January 20, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I've been using it for about 6 months now and it is absolutely great. What you can't feel on a website is the smooth navigation in the graph, it scales smoothly so you get the best pictures possible.

    • Erez Zukerman
      January 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      True, I love the pinch-to-zoom.