Get More Burn From Your Workout

What's the secret to losing more weight? Boosting your metabolism. And how do you do that?

By Jeanie Lerche Davis
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic - Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte E. Grayson, MD

We walk and we walk. We could walk from Atlanta to Los Angeles, and still not lose that extra 10 pounds -- at least, that's how it seems. If you've hit a plateau in your weight-loss program, here are some tips to get more burn from your workout.

Boosting your metabolism is the secret, says Katie Heimburger, an exercise physiologist in Atlanta. What exactly is metabolism? It's the amount of energy -- in the form of calories -- that we burn during the day.

Sure, we burn calories when we run or walk. But we also burn calories when we sit at the computer or TV, even when we sleep -- what's referred to as "resting metabolic rate."

Tip #1: Build muscle mass. When you increase your muscle mass, you boost your resting metabolism -- and that makes your body burn more calories, says Heimburger. "That's why we recommend adding weight training to an exercise program."

Some examples: using hand weights to do bicep curls, using weight machines at a gym, even doing specific calisthenics like push-ups and abdominal crunches. "If you're building strength, you are losing weight," she explains.

Any kind of strength training is going to increase muscle mass, agrees Jamey McGee, fitness director at Wellness Center at Meadowmont, part of the University of North Carolina Healthcare System in Chapel Hill.