There's something about sweating during a workout that makes us feel accomplished. Many people wonder whether there's a link between sweating and weight loss. But is sweating a surefire sign that we're losing fat? Or are we losing water weight?
The link between sweating and losing weight exists, but it's small. Sweating is one of several indicators that our metabolism is shifting into its fat-burning mode.
More than anything (and this is important), sweating helps us psychologically when trying to lose weight. You can think of sweat as a form of currency that fuels our motivation and drive. Our confidence gets boosted, and it's hard to turn back after that.
We don't start seeing signs of weight loss or muscle gain immediately, which tends to cause a lack of motivation and disappointment. Sweating is more immediate, allowing us to see the results of our hard labor. Eventually, all the hard work pays off!
What's the link between sweating and weight loss?
When we sweat, we're likely losing water weight and not fat. Our body comes with a built-in cooling system. Our body predominantly sweats the water out through our pores to cool us down and maintain our core body temperature.
Since water is weighty, we're bound to get a lower reading on the scale after a sweaty session. You don't have to exercise to sweat; having a fever or being out in the heat will cause you to sweat. That being said, sweating isn't precisely the same as burning calories.
Is Losing Water-Weight Permanent?
Unfortunately, losing water weight is only temporary. Rehydrating puts fluid back into our body, which naturally adds some water weight back on.
It's essential to understand how losing water weight is beneficial for us, even if only momentarily. When we see the number on the scale is lower, it encourages us to keep working and pushing to meet our better-body goals. Sweating is a sign that we're doing what we should be doing to lose weight.
Does Sweating Burn Calories?
One of the main reasons we sweat while we work out, is our muscles generate heat internally. So, technically, if you're working out hard enough to be sweating, you should be burning calories in the process.
Whether the calories we're burning come from carbs or fats varies. The amount of time and intensity of the workout delegate where the energy comes from. Typically, carbs are used first, but they're stored in limited amounts in the liver and muscles. After a certain time, the body has to switch to burning fat reserves for energy.
Does Sweating Burn Fat?
Technically, no. It's more of a sign from your body that it's entered the fat-burning mode. Fat burning is a metabolic process.
How Can I Sweat More?
Increasing the intensity of your workout or physical activity should help increase the amount you sweat. Remember, the more intensely our muscles work, the higher our internal temperature will rise.
Sweat vests, belts, and bands can help work up a sweat in targeted areas. The materials used naturally help our body generate sweat using our body heat. You could wear one while you work out or do everyday chores and yard work.
Sweating is natural, healthy, and benefits our body. It's essential to rehydrate after a good sweat. Some of the water our body releases needs to be replenished to function at its best. There's also the possibility that we will work up an unexpected sweat later and that water will be necessary.