Does Sweating Burn Fat? Nope…Here’s Why!

SweatingOne million dollar question: does sweating burn fat?

Unfortunately, misinformation and false legends have lead many people to believe in sweating to lose weight.

Well, if you believed it too, let me disappoint you.

If that was true, it would be sufficient to spend some time in the sauna every day for your body to magically get fit without diet and training.

Sweating is losing body water.

Keeping hydrated is extremely important for healthy reasons because our body is made of a high percentage of water.

That alone doesn't need further explanation, but if that's not motivating enough, remember that we need to drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep our muscles growing.

Insufficient hydration can cause digestion problems and other issues such as

  • Bloating
  • Water retention
  • Intestinal problems
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Irritability
  • Mental and physical fatigue

...just to name a few. It's not surprising that when you have a headache, the first thing they suggest to do is to drink more water.

Does Sweating Burn Fat or Lose Weight?

Here's the trick. We need to distinguish two concepts that are similar, but not the same.

People often confuse losing weight with losing fat.

How many times have you named one or the other thinking to talk about the same thing?

There is one small-but-big difference:

  • Losing weight refers to the quantity of pounds lost
  • Losing fat refers to where the weight that you lost came from

So one is about quantity, the other is about quality.

You can gain weight, but still look more fit than before, and here is the important thing that you need to know.

How I explained in my article How to Lose Fat,

A certain volume of muscle weighs 4 times the same volume of fat

That means that if you take two people that weigh the same, but one is muscular and one is fat, the fat fat one looks much bigger.

Sometimes people start working out to lose weight, and find out they actually gain weight and it scares the hell out of them.

That's what I was talking about.

They are building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.

They gain pounds, yes, but actually burn fat.

So let's go back to the main question: does sweating burn fat?

The purpose of sweating is to avoid the body temperature to increase too much

Sweating doesn't mean burning fat

Sweating causes temporary weight loss but not fat burn

Now sweating makes you lose weight, yes, in the short time. Sweating is loss of fluids from the body, so if you weigh yourself before and after physical activity that caused a lot of sweating, you will certainly weigh quite less.

But that weight that you lost is immediately regained as soon as you start drinking again.

Sweating a lot is dangerous for your health if you don't replace the fluids fast.

The correct way to burn fat is to consume energy, not fluids. And I mean consume calories.

If you work out or do other sports that cause a lot of sweating, it doesn't matter how much you sweat because you will gain that weight back by drinking.

What is important is to avoid drinking beverages with calories, because

You need to replace the fluids you lost without replacing the calories you burned

So does sweating burn fat?

  • Yes: only because sweating means you must have burned calories.
  • No: you burn fat only because of the workout, not because of sweating. In fact, some people sweat very little and still can burn fat.

Example of Sweating Without Burning Fat

I understand it may some confusing and contradicting, but here's another example.

  • Imagine a very hot day at the beach, you lay down on the beach chair in the sun.
  • You sweat a lot because of the heat.
  • In the end you lost weight (pounds) but you didn't burn any fat because there was no physical activity involved.
  • Then you drink, and weigh the same as before.

I hope this answers your question, and next time they ask you does sweating burn fat, you can be the one to kill the myth!

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