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Why You Should Weigh Yourself in Kilograms — They’re Getting Lighter Every Year

Losing weight can be one of the hardest things to do in your life, and everyone’s always looking for a quick fix. Luckily for all of us, science may have done the work for us by simply changing the way we measure weight. In other words, congratulations, we all just lost a tiny bit of weight without doing a darn thing, and it can only get better in the years to come! What am I blabbering about? Well, a kilogram just got lighter. How’s that for blowin’ your mind?

It’s one of those questions that will make you go cross-eyed if you think about it too long. How do you know a pound is an pound? Who decided how heavy a pound would be? How do you guarantee that every pound is measured the same? Well, for the kilogram, there’s is actually a little metal cylinder in a box in Europe that is the basis for all kilograms everywhere.  It’s the perfect kilogram. But there’s a problem:  it no longer weighs a kilogram.

Wait, what? Doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? But it’s true. At some point in 1879, Europeans decided they wanted to have one system of measurement they could always depend on, according to Mental Floss, who explains it in much more detail. So, someone made a little metal cylinder made mostly of platinum, and they declared that it was exactly a kilogram.  It’s called “Le Grand K,” and it’s pretty close to the mass of one liter of water.

They even put it in a special, vacuum-sealed container so that couldn’t get their hands all over it and crud it up. These guys weren’t messing around.

But every year, they take out Le Grand K and they measure it against some replicas they’ve made, just to make sure a kilogram is staying a kilogram worldwide.  But the last time they measured it, they found out Le Grand K is about one grain of sand lighter than it used to be.

Now, yeah, that seems pretty anal-retentive.  But think about it.  If you’re one grain of sand off with one kilogram, how far are you off when you’re dealing with, say, 2,000 tons. Suddenly, those grains of sand make a real difference. Scientists are concerned that it could create some problems down the line when yesterday’s kilograms aren’t the same as tomorrow’s.

But wait — it could mess up things in America, too, because our pounds are based on kilograms.  A pound is exactly 0.45359237 kilograms. I always knew Europe would mess it up for the rest of us.

But mostly, it’s probably the best thing that could happen to the dieting industry ever. Every year, you’ll be a little lighter, and if you’re really fat like me, those grains of sand could add up. Good luck!

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