Recently, I have heard quite a number of people say that sweating helps you lose weight faster. Many tend to believe that excessive sweating quickens weight loss, hence the reason why people wear sweat suits, and why some people spend hours in a sauna. Quite frankly, at some point, I also believed that sweating was evidence of body fat melting away, but then I thought if this is the case, then I would have vanished into thin air as I am drenched in sweat for most of the day. If this is also true, then the overweight female traders I see in the market, who are always sweating would be losing weight by the second. 

Sweating (perspiration) is a bodily function that helps regulate your body temperature. It is the release of a salt-based fluid from your sweat glands. Although you may actually lose weight after a sweaty session, this difference in weight is only water weight and would most times be gained back once you replenish your water intake. The body needs adequate fluids in order to maintain a healthy blood volume and transport nutrients to the organs and tissues. As a result, your body will work to absorb fluids as soon as you consume them after your workouts. Extreme sweating not only is ineffective but dangerous to your health as well. Depleting your body’s water reserves this way can cause dehydration, overheating (heatstroke), extreme loss of electrolytes (kidney damage/death), and other health problems. The weight lost through sweating does not lead to long-term body mass reduction, as sweating merely releases liquids within your body’s cells and tissues rather than eliminating fat storage.

Losing body fat has nothing to do with how much you sweat. In order to permanently lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume over a period of time. Therefore, increasing how many calories you burn by exercising regularly and decreasing the number of calories you consume by eating healthy are two recommended methods for successful weight loss (i.e. regular exercise + healthy diet = healthy weight loss).

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