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Does Sweating Help You Lose Weight?

July 6th, 2009

Lots of people hate sweating. In fact, I’d have to say at least 80% of my female clients can’t stand it, and at least half the mean seem to find it pretty gross as well. The think it’s icky, unhygienic, and embarrassing. In fact, many of my clients apologize to me for sweating. Well apologize no longer, because it’s official: I LOVE sweating. Okay, so I don’t LOVE touching your sweat (although it really doesn’t phase me), what I mean is I love the feeling of getting a good sweat up in my own workouts.

does-sweating-help-you-lose-weight

I can’t remember whether I’m just kind of weird and have always been this way, or whether my delight at each sweat drop is a result of my knowledge about its many benefits. To me, sweat feels like success. It feels like challenge accomplished. It tastes like detoxification (I don’t deliberately taste it, it just sneaks in sometimes). And I know it means I’m keeping my body healthy both inside and out.

But does sweating help you lose weight? The short answer is yes, absolutely. Let me explain. First off, you need to know that it’s a misconception that only overweight or unfit people sweat. The truth is that the fitter you are, the more you’ll sweat. So if feeling and looking amazing is your goal, then you better start loving that annoying salty drip. The reason you sweat more as your fitness increases is to keep you cool. Sweat is your body’s inbuilt air-conditioner. By keeping you cool, the sweat allows you to train harder, and for longer. Outcome? You burn more fat.

I guess that’s more of an indirect way that sweating helps you lose weight, so let’s take a look at the direct consequence of a good sweat, namely detoxification. This is directly related to weight loss. Have you ever been around somebody who really and truly stinks the place up when they’re sweating? You know the types – they always seem to have at least 2 meters of space around them in every direction, regardless of how busy the gym is. The more you stink when you sweat, the more toxic you are, and the more you need to sweat. It could be the after-effects of a big weekend, or you could just be plain unhealthy in most of your eating choices. Strong spices and herbs can also change the smell of your sweat temporarily. Whatever the cause, sweat (along with more water and cleaner food) is the simplest way to purify your insides. And this directly impacts your weight because toxins (yep, all of ‘em), are stored in your fat cells, causing them to expand. Your body keeps toxins in your fat in order to keep your vital organs safe.

So how do you put this into action? The best way to get your sweat on is with a great workout. Duh, right. But what I mean by that is don’t go thinking a couple hours in the sauna, or wrapping yourself in cling-wrap under your clothes, will do the job. These kinds of extreme crazy activities can definitely result in some short-term weight loss, but a lot of it will be water and in the long run they’ll stop working for you. A sauna or steam room is a great complement to a good workout, and can certainly speed up detoxification, but it’s not designed to be used for lengthy periods of time. One of the reasons a truly sweaty workout burns fat is because the sweat benefits are combined with the exercise benefits. Bikram (hot) Yoga is a perfect example of this, but so is any decent gym session. So don’t get me wrong – sweating is not a magic or quick fix.

If you’re keen to shed a few pounds, the best way to do it is still good nutrition, smart exercise, and appropriate supplementation for your hormonal type. The sweat factor just gets you there a little faster, a little fitter, and a little cleaner on the inside. So next time you’re wiping away that icky stuff, take just a moment and thank your lucky stars that your body is intelligent enough to make your weight loss journey easier for you. Sweat is there for a reason, and if fitness is your goal then it’s most certainly there to stay – so start lapping it up.

Metaphorically of course :-)

And remember -

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat

What is your favorite way to sweat? Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post in the ‘post a comment’ section just below. If you’re reading from RSS or email you’ll have to enter the blog to do this. You can do that by clicking on the title of this piece. ‘Post a comment’ is at the article end, right under the ’share this’ and ‘related posts’ options.

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77 people have commented
  1. Kat (from Guam) says:

    You’re so right! I personally love to sweat and feel disappointed if I don’t sweat enough esp. after strength training (I have absolutely no problem sweating during a run, in fact I’m usually drenched afterwards!) My clients often seem embarrassed when they’re sweating after a session and when I tell them they’ve sweat out toxins they usually seem grossed out about that, too. I usually don’t notice any offensive smell but when I do will somehow try to hammer in the point of eating clean to make a connection there. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Steph says:

    I love sweating too! It makes me feel like i’m working hard.

  3. Samantha says:

    it says here that sweating doesn’t help you lose weight.. you’ll gain the same amount of weight by drinking water..

    http://munfitnessblog.com/can-hot-yoga-help-to-lose-weight-faster/

    • Kat Kat says:

      It’s not about how much weight you would lose by weighing before and after on the day of exercise, it’s about the effect it has on your metabolism and detoxification pathways … which leads to overall weight loss, or a contribution toward!

  4. Samantha says:

    wow so sweating really does help lose weight overall?

    how about exercising and not sweating at all? does that lose weight?

  5. Kat Eden says:

    Yes, definitely :-)

    In fact, some people don’t sweat much at all, even when working out at an extremely high level.

  6. [...] If you’re pushing yourself hard enough, a good weights session should have your heart racing, and leave you fairly sweaty. [...]

  7. alex says:

    i have exessive sweating and once the sweat has drien i notice white stains where it was, my question is are these stains fat?

  8. Annalise says:

    Hi thank you for the info it helped a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Princess says:

    Yeah. Thnx for the advice. Now I know whether I sweat or not, I m doing good by exercising. Ofcourse, with sweat, its better cos the skin is breathing well… plus detoxicification. Wld u know the appropriate gap to keep between food and exercise, both before and after exercising, so that weight loss is optimisized ?

    • Kat Kat says:

      I would stop eating 60 minutes before training, and eat within 45 minutes of training. If your goal is fat loss, do NOT eat carbs after training, just protein and good fat.

  10. Christopher says:

    Very nice article and very true.
    I think sweating is awesome. When I am cycling or running with a sweat jacket it reminds me of being in my mothers womb again. Exercise is vital to longevity. Cross-training is very important. Sometimes too much jogging can cause tendinitis especially on concrete.

    Thank you for the knowledge.

  11. Princess says:

    Thanks Kat ! Just one doubt – eat within 45 mins of training means how long should I wait after I finish my cardio to eat ? The before training gap is clear – 60 mins. The within 45 mins is not clear. How long to wait exactly after I finish cardio to eat ? And thanks again. Will take protein and avoid carbs !

  12. Princess says:

    Allrite. Thanks a lot !!

  13. Princess says:

    Allrite. Thanks a lot , Kat !!

  14. mmariah says:

    hello im 14 and im 196 lbs it dont show that im fat fat but im chunky in the arms an thighs and in my belly part.

    1st–whats best way to loose weight
    2nd–if i stopped drinking pop would i loose weight?
    3rd–how many times should i excercise

    please let me knoww

    • Kat Kat says:

      HI. Yes, definitely stop drinking soda. For the other questions; just start reading through all the posts on this blog, you’ll learn a lot that way!

    • will says:

      yes the soda is not a good thing, im 15 and 210lbs and i have the same problem, but i strength train and workout 5 times a week for at least 30min. im losing the fat, (but it takes time) and i’m gaining muscle in return and muscle weighs more than fat so don’t be disappointed if you are not losing pounds as fast as you should be, and now im one of the strongest guys in my freshmen year and benching almost 250lbs.

  15. Bubbly says:

    Hi, Kat. I have a very basic qn to ask. On the news today, I saw, a young man followed a wrong high protein diet and that put him in big trouble. I have been having WHEY protein Isolates, imported from Optimum Nutrition, IL, USA. Everybody says its very good – my personal dietician says so, and even my doctor. I thought getting an opinion from you, an American Dietician would be great. Is this protein powder good and most importantly, does it contain any steriods? I want to strictly be away from them.

    • Kat Kat says:

      Hi Bubbly. I’m actually Australian :) and not a dietician; simply a nutritional coach. I’ve never come across this brand, but in general real food is a smarter choice than liquid protein, the exception being post workout. Hope that helps. Kat

  16. Bubbly says:

    Thanks , Appreciate your honesty ! Yes, I prefer real food too, but since I am a vegetarian, I was advised to supplement my diet with protein since it seems the daily requirement of a female is 60 gms per day and Vegetarian food simply cant reach that limit. Anyways, thanks for your help !

  17. Ashish says:

    Really awesome advices! So true – just need reflec tion…yes being fit is not abour showing off alone BUT feeling that purity and strength from within – and there hangs the case for sweating out and achieving inner purity!

    Cheers to life!

  18. SzuSzu says:

    i am trying to get from a size 11 to size 6 by september 7th. is it possible? i am also on SlimQuick Ultra Fat Burning Drinks and i wonder if it is possible to get to that size so soon. thanks

  19. mark montoy says:

    i am prescribed closapine for being just plain mean. but it also makes me sweat like all heck and it makes me feel strong and intelligent. so dont believe everything you hear about the doctor being wrong
    and there are some really smart people on this planet like navy intelligence.
    when i was let go from the usn thay showed me a large book type stack of computer print out that showed my every thought and action.
    thank you very much. mark montoy

  20. Princess says:

    Hi Kate, am doing gud with ur tips ! wanted to know your advice on a doubt in my mind. I have been losing weight , yes :) but I want to know the ans. to a basic query about exercising on the airbike ( stationary cycle ). I bought one for myself, and I have noticed that it is easier to cycle anti-clockwise on it, than clockwise. Anti-clockwise takes less effort. The calorie count is almost same, but maybe calorie count is measured by the cycle according to the rotations of the pedals, so I am not sure if I should go by it. Can you advise me on this ? Is cycling anti-clockwise which is less cumbersome and much easier , help me lose calories too ?

    • Kat Kat says:

      Hi Princess, it doesn’t really matter because I wouldn’t advise doing repetitive cardio such as cycling anyway, the body adapts too quickly to lose fat on an ongoing basis. My advice is weight training!

      • Princess says:

        Thanks for ur reply, Kat …i just saw it today ! well, u say it doesnt really matter, but in the meantime, before i saw ur reply, I had asked a fitness trainer and she said that cycling anti-clockwise is bad for the knees.. so I have stopped doing it since.
        Thanks for ur info, abt cardio… but if the body adapts too quickly.. isnt that good ? the body adapting quickly will make weight loss faster, right ?!

        • Kat Kat says:

          As the body adapts you will burn fat or get stronger IF you’re doing a form of exercise that allows this. But as soon as your body adapts you will stop getting results. The more experienced you are as an exerciser, the faster this will happen. So repetitive cardio is not a great idea. But also not great for joints, that’s true.

  21. Princess says:

    Hi Kate ! I hv a Simple question. If my diet plan is successful, meaning it is making me lose weight since I am taking care of timing of food, content of food, and exercising properly too, then should I change the diet or continue the same? I have been on my current diet since past 6+ months and have lost weight steadily which is great ! Only reason for change would be just cos it is 6+ months, nothing else. All is good, still I am wondering if changing it will give me faster results ? Or Should I think that since this diet has anyway given good results, so let me stick to the same till I reach my goal ?

    • Kat Kat says:

      So long as you are losing fat and not muscle I’d say stick with it.

      • Princess says:

        Thanks a lot !! I believe my strength has increased over the months since I am able to do more of the workout in same time, so I believe I have lost fat, not muscle. Isnt that the right way to make out if you hv lost fat or muscle ? If there is any other way to make out fat/muscle loss, pls let me know. And You are a darling Kat, … thanks again !!

  22. Kayleigh says:

    wow, thanks so much! This is the first article i have read about sweating and i read all the comments too. i am 12 years old and currently weigh 14.6 stone. its really embarrasing! there is a girl at school who is chubbier than me, mean as it may be it makes me feel better. I was wondering if you could help me out with a diet plan for losing weight, as i also have a very slow matabolism which doesnt help anything. Thanks. Kayleigh.

  23. Kayleigh says:

    that really is an amazing blog you have there.:D

  24. GabbyG says:

    Hi Kat, i have one question: Im trying to get rid of the cellulite that is in the back of my thighs, do you think running and drinking alot of water will get rid of them quick?

    • Kat Kat says:

      Water yes; running not so much! Heavy weight lifting and increase cruciferous veg and good fats :) (and fiber!)

  25. Cristin46350 says:

    i Also have a question about trying to get rid of the cellulite that is in the back of my thighs -> i drink 1 gallon of water a day + some juice and i walk 30 min and do yoga 30 min every day with NO results :( HELP

    • Kat Kat says:

      Eat more good fats like coconut oil, and increase collagen in your diet – from real home-made gravy and bone broths. Or you can get it as a supplement :)

  26. Abigail says:

    Hello! I have a question … Does Playing basketball outside in your back garden for 30mins help lpose weight … I sweat alor during it

    • Kat Kat says:

      Any sort of fun outdoor sports is a good way to move your body more and hence burn fat! For serious fat burning I’d include weight training … and a good nutrition plan!

  27. Jules says:

    What about sweating when it is hot or humid out and you are doing nothing but sweating? Will you lose weight even if you are drinking water?

    • Kat Kat says:

      Just water weight … although any sweating is still good for detoxification, providing you are eating and drinking clean!

  28. There’s definitely something satisfying about sweating in a workout, they go hand in hand for me and I love it! Although don’t like it when it drips in to my eyes, so as long as the towel is nearby I’m happy!

  29. Lauren Montgomery via Facebook says:

    Hate! However attempting to switch to love post workout.

  30. Savanna Campbell via Facebook says:

    I HATE IT! But also have sensitive skin and will breakout if i dont shower or wipe down within 30 mins post workout

  31. Melanie Wenona Leano via Facebook says:

    i LOVE to sweat.. in fact i love anything that involves it! I also love Bikram.

  32. Helena Morland via Facebook says:

    love it!

  33. Me too Helena. Even though I can get really disgustingly sweaty. Thanks for the order you just placed for Woman Incredible protein powder!

  34. Helena Morland via Facebook says:

    No worries. re: sweat – Me too! Looking forward to my protein powder :)

  35. I realized more something totally new on this fat loss issue. Just one issue is that good nutrition is especially vital while dieting. A massive reduction in fast foods, sugary foods, fried foods, sweet foods, red meat, and bright flour products might be necessary. Holding wastes parasites, and wastes may prevent objectives for losing belly fat. While certain drugs in the short term solve the problem, the bad side effects aren’t worth it, plus they never give more than a non permanent solution. It is just a known incontrovertible fact that 95% of diet plans fail. Many thanks sharing your opinions on this blog.
    Now if I could only figure out how to share this on facebook, that would be great!

  36. Kristy Moore via Facebook says:

    I guess if we still looked pretty and presentable after a workout, then we didn’t work hard enough. Also helps with a trainer saying “sweat, excellent, that’s what we like to see!”

  37. Jen says:

    Im not aiming to lose weight, just basically slim my waist a little. I bought a waist trimmer- and will be buying a cream called sweet sweat– and using both together – And doing some ab workouts with it on and occasionally my yoga. Would that help trim my waist?

    Thank you.

  38. Ola! Kat,
    Thanks for the info, how to burn body weight rapidly, how to burn fat without delay
    Thx.

  39. Dear Kat,
    Thanks, on a related note, Losing weight needs a lot of courage for you to be able to achieve your goals. You certainly have to focus and be determined so that you can get efficient fat loss results. With the many ways to lose weight at present, you have a lot of options for you to choose. Yet, you have to know very well if these options are good for you or not.
    Catch you again soon!

  40. Melissa says:

    Dear kat,
    I’m 20 years old and i’m a size 26 and I want to at least get to a size 16, but i’m having trouble with decideing what kind of food I should eat. Can you help out?

  41. derek says:

    hi kat, i actually found a diet benefit to me. june 1st i was 250 and this morning i was 241.6. is that a heathy weight loss for 3 days? for breast i eat 3 letture and turkey wraps. i wrap turkey into letture and add chinese hot sauce to it. i eat watermelon throughout the day cause i love it. all i drink is water. i love water. i do eat carrots and onions too. i try to have a dinner of chicken or some kind of red meat. i live in a mountain area so i power walk downhill and jog uphill as far as i can. it is about 1 mile one way. i also do heavy hip hop dances and i also dance on my street pole across the street cause i read pole dancing is really good. after i am done, i am super drenched with sweat. i noticed the sooner i finish with my two miles the more i sweat. one time i did the two miles in 35 mins and it looked like i just got out of the shower.

    is possible to get down to 175 from 241 by october 18th 2012? is jumping a good exercise for the body? just jumping.

    • Kat Kat says:

      Jumps are good! Plyometric work :)

      Try to eat plenty of protein and good fats, and lots of greens.

      Regarding your question – anything is possible but it will come down to nutrition. Have you checked out my eating plan?

  42. Doyle says:

    Hey Kat I have a question, I’m currently taking care of my parents and cannot afford to go on a diet seeing as I have to budget my spending. I have completely cut out soda, and I cut down on my calorie intake quite a bit. I have also been eating a lot of oatmeal, tuna(straight out of the can), and green veggies. I exercise for an hour to an hour and a half everyday. I’m currently 5’11, 235 pounds and I have never been active until this past month. If I cut down on my calorie intake (as much as my budget allows) and drink nothing but water, will I see results?

    • Kat Kat says:

      Hi Doyle no that won’t work. You need to eat enough to lose fat, so focus on including more protein and greens as well as some good fat. You could use protein powder as it is good value compared to eating animal protein at each meal. Eggs are also good value, and I’d avoid tuna – salmon is far healthier.

  43. Ritz says:

    hi, I just have belly fat, n have been drinking a lot of warm water to get into shape, as suggested by a friend. due to this i’m sweating a lot. will this work?

  44. danielle says:

    I’m from the uk, I don’t have to exercise when sweating, my body does it naturally, but when I do attend the gym, I don’t burn off anything nor sweat, its quite annoying really.

  45. trae says:

    i just put a snow coat on and put my electric balnket on high and sweat in bed does tha thelp??

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