Sweating doesn't lead to fat loss
Exercising in hot environments is a popular fitness trend. Think hot yoga. When you finish your workout dripping with sweat, you feel a sense of accomplishment. But what does that sweat really mean? It may surprise you that sweat doesn't equate to fat loss.
Sweating is necessary to help you achieve weight loss, but it does not actually cause the pounds to melt away. You can lose water weight by putting yourself into excessive heat but that will only give you short- term weight loss – emphasis on the “short."
Helen Vanderburg, an elite athlete, and renowned fitness trainer, explains what happens when we sweat during a workout.
“Perspiration is a physiological reaction to heat, the body's thermoregulation to cool itself. Normal body temperature is approximately 37 C or 98.6 F. During exercise, due to the demand of the muscles to produce energy, the cardio- respiratory system ramps up and produces heat. In order for the body to maintain normal temperature and avoid the risk of overheating, it automatically produces sweat in response to the temperature change.
"Once sweat is produced, it leaves your skin through the sweat glands. As the air contacts the skin, sweat evaporates and your body cools down. This process continues throughout your exercise session until your body eventually returns to a normal temperature. This process is an indicator of an increase in body temperature and fluid loss."
In other words, higher amounts of sweating does not mean more calories burned. Highly fit people may sweat more than unfit people as their bodies' cooling systems are highly developed and their exercise intensity is typically higher. Some people just have more sweat glands than others.
Heat increases your body temperature, which makes you sweat, but it won't increase the number of calories you burn.
But all this doesn't mean that sweat is a bad thing. If you're running on your treadmill or lifting weights and breaking a sweat, that means your muscles are working hard and your body is cooling itself – and that's exactly what you want to do when you workout. Just don't make your home gym a sauna – that increased temperature won't make you lose more weight.