Sweat and Weight Loss: What’s the Connection?

Article posted in: Fitness

Hard work means breaking a sweat. It’s perfectly natural for our bodies to perspire as a way to cool down and regulate temperature. This is especially true during exercise. While sweating burns fewer calories than it’s worth counting, it does affect weight loss and means that you’re shedding immediate water weight. Whether you’ve been working hard at the gym, running outside or hitting the sauna, breaking a sweat offers a few real benefits relative to your weight loss goals.

Sweating isn’t a permanent solution to shedding pounds, however, it does promote temporary loss of water weight and can act as an indicator of physical intensity. Healthline explains that sweating causes your body to expel moisture made of mainly water and salt, providing a cooling effect when it evaporates from the skin. Find out how sweat is connected to short-term and long-term weight loss and what it means to your healthy lifestyle.

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“Normal” Sweating


There appears to be no such thing as “normal” when it comes to sweating. Livestrong.com reports that the brain tells the body to produce sweat based on various triggers. Like most bodily responses, sweating differs from person to person and can be dependent on several factors, including environment, genetics, fitness, weight and age. The International Hyperhidrosis Society explains that there are two to four million sweat glands located all over our bodies. According to Livestrong.com, people easily sweat out an average of one to 1.5 pounds in perspiration each day. However, we ideally rehydrate and gain this weight back.

Temporary Weight Loss


If you sweat out enough fluid, you will experience direct and immediate weight loss. However, this is only temporary due to the loss of water in your body, explains Healthline. True and permanent weight loss should come from fat loss. Once you drink back the water you lost, you should gain the weight back. Be sure to rehydrate after your sweat session. The American Council on Exercise recommends that you drink before, during and after your workouts. Sweating too much can cause dehydration and it’s important to drink enough water to replenish what your body loses during exercise. According to Healthline, dehydration can cause serious issues such as dizziness, fatigue, headaches and vomiting. Excessive sweating isn’t a recommended weight loss strategy, but it can benefit healthy living and enhance physical fitness activities.

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Benefits of Breaking a Sweat

benefits of breaking a sweat

There are some real benefits to sweating:

  • Eliminates toxins from the body
  • Prevents illness
  • Acts as a measure of physical intensity
  • Improves skin
  • Cools you down, improving quality and longevity

According to the Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicologysweating may be a method to eliminate toxins from the body. Your skin may also be improved due to the increased blood circulation throughout the body during exercise, says Healthline. Sweating can be a positive sign during physical activities. A study, published in PLOS One, found that long-distance runners sweat more during exercise than sedentary individuals. They also started sweating sooner in their workouts. This may indicate that long-distance running and physical fitness result in sweating more efficiently, cooling you down and improving the ease and longevity of your workout.

Sweating is not a solution to permanent weight loss and should not be treated as a shortcut for slimming down. You can skip the sauna or hot yoga if your only interest is to simply sweat out calories. South Beach Diet principles promote positive healthy living in addition to healthy, long-term weight loss. If you’re working hard enough to break a sweat, it’s a symbol that your body is working properly to enhance your physicality and comfort during exercise. Use your sweating habits as a guide to monitor your physical fitness and intensity to ensure you get the most out of each exercise.

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*Always speak with your doctor before starting a fitness routine.

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