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I read this article in the New York Times about the appropriateness of heart rate monitors. The article discusses the pros and cons of using heart rate monitors. Mainly focusing on the reasons why you do not need and should not use them.

This got me thinking because I advise my clients, who can afford one, to use a heart rate monitor. I also use one myself when I’m doing my high-intense uphill treadmill walking. Can you feel the burn?

My initial fear was that I had misled my clients and myself. But I quickly reassured myself of the benefits of using a heart rate monitor.

If you are trying to lose weight, a heart rate monitor is the best portable way to gauge how many calories you are burning. Knowing this is important when trying to figure out how much cardio you should be doing.

Most people overestimate how many calories they are burning with exercise, and a heart rate monitor brings you back to reality. Overestimating your calorie expenditure leads to overeating because you feel you “deserve” the food for all of your “hard” work.

If you are trying to lose weight, and you can afford it, I would recommend you get and use a heart rate monitor. It may or may not be accurate in gauging your cardiovascular fitness, but it is definitely the best portable device for gauging calories burned.

Dr. Kal is a weight-loss expert and ex-fat man.

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