Use a Heart Rate Monitor
To Help You Meet Your Weight Loss Goals

When you're trying to lose weight, a heart rate monitor is an excellent way to monitor your intensity and see how many calories you're burning.

I personally never exercise without one and neither should you!

You have to burn through 3,500 calories to lose one pound of fat.

As a result of wearing your heart rate monitor you might learn that you're burning 200 calories in one exercise session. If you exercise 3 times per week that means you're expending 600 calories per week.

Again, you have to burn 3,500 calories to lose one pound of body fat. That means exercising 3 times per week and burning only 600 calories will not cause you to lose 1 pound in a week...and certainly not 2 or 3 pounds in a week like you might think it should!

However, burning 600 calories per week is better than burning 0 calories per week. :)

If you're burning 600 calories per week in exercise, you'd lose one pound every 6 weeks (that's also almost 9 pounds per year).

600 calories x 6 weeks = 3600 calories (and 3500 calories = 1 pound)

Don't let the numbers scare you!!

Think of your checkbook and compare the calories you're burning to the money you spend on various things. Every time you "spend" 3500 calories, you "buy" the right to have one pound of fat taken off your body.

If you find yourself disappointed because you're "regularly exercising" and the pounds aren't flying off...

...the data you'll have from your monitor will help you understand why.

To lose 1 pound per week

If you want your exercise routine to speed your weight loss by 1 pound per week, you'd need to burn 500 calories in every session (500 calories x 7 days per week = 3500 calories).

And that's the beauty of the wearing a heart rate monitor when you exercise. You'll know exactly what you're burning and can set tangible goals for yourself (e.g., I'm going to burn 1750 calories over the course of the week (average of 250 calories per day) and reduce my diet by 250 calories per day to total a deficit of 500 calories per day, or 1 pound of weight loss per week.

Enough with the math for now. On to...

...What to look for in a heart rate monitor.

A big, bold display.
Translation...easier to read. You don't have to be over 40 to appreciate big, bold numbers! Remember, you'll be looking at your monitor's wristwatch display from an arms distance while you're moving. One that has a back lit display may be easier to see during outdoor and evening exercise.

Big buttons.
They're easy to find and easy to push. Sometimes it's the simple things that make life easier!

Tip

Most heart rate monitors use a chest strap to monitor your pulse rate, along with a wristwatch display. When you put on the chest strap, make sure it fits snugly. If the strap doesn't fit properly, the reading won't be accurate.

My Recommendation

Polar F6 Heart Rate Monitor

The F6 will track your heart rate and workout intensity and calculate how many calories you burn. However, you won't need to read a thick user's manual or have an engineering degree to figure it out! It also provides a weekly summary that can help you stay motivated and set new goals.
Cost: $90-$100.

Not convinced? If a heart rate monitor isn't up your alley, maybe a pedometer is!

Back to the weight loss "tool box."

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