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A good heart rate monitor can be your BEST friend when you're trying to figure out your calorie burn. The estimates provided by a lot of charts can be really off, so knowing a more accurate calorie burn for your body at your weight can help you more accurate track the work you're really doing.
I have six simple rules that, if I follow, will help me lose weight. (1) No white starches (flour, rice, potatoes); (2) no refined sugars: the obvious ones - pop, candy, ice cream, cookies, cake, etc.; (3) NO EATING PAST 7pm; (4) One small exception a day: 1 cookie, 1 square of chocolate, etc... this way, those cravings are satisified, but with boundaries; (5) no alcohol (stupid source of calories, plus I tend to "cheat" more after a glass of wine)... and (6) MOVE... DO SOMETHING physical.
My favorite places to by groceries are the local dollar stores, i.e; 99 cent stores, Dollar Tree, etc. They carry REAL FOOD, produce, and quite often NAME BRAND items, for less than $1.00! I know that I'm spending my husbands hard-earned money wisely when I shop for groceries and household items at the dollar stores as opposed to larger stores.
I make a deal with myself that I only have to do the absolute minimum, e.g. only 20 minutes on the treadmill at a moderate pace, rather than 30 min at the challenging intervals a full workout would take. Maybe only 6 upper body strength exercises, rather than my whole normal regimen. I find that once I get started, I generally get motivated to do more than I'd planned (especially if I'm using my personal workout music playlist of favorites to inspire me on!!)
I stand instead of sit when ever possible. I have to wait for the bus so I stand until the bus comes. I also have to sit in classes so I try and stand, or get up to get something as much as possible. Standing burns more calories than sitting
Anytime I cook I try to cook two days worth of food. For instance, instead of one healthy casserole, I'll cook two and freeze one for a day when I'm feeling too tired to cook. It's sometimes too tempting to call for pizza delivery. If I have that casserole to throw in the oven, that's one day that I won't give in to temptation!