I’ve had this question asked so many times. Recently I had a neighbor tell me that all you have to do to lose weight is “work up a good sweat”. So now I’m nipping it in the bud.
Let’s look at what sweating actually is
We have between 2 and 4 million sweat glands in our bodies. Women, on average have more sweat gland than men; however, men’s glands are more active.
So, the more I sweat the harder I’m working right?
Not necessarily. We are all different and we all sweat at different levels. There are habitual and environmental factors to take into account, too. If you drink beverages that are diuretics, like caffeine and alcohol, you will sweat more. How hot it is when you’re working out, the type of clothes you’re wearing and how much body fat you have will also determine the amount you sweat.
Also check out these Surprising facts about sweating
Fit people tend to sweat less for a couple of reasons:
1. They have less body fat (fat being an insulator) and
2. They typically hydrate more. The more water we consume typically, the less we perspire.
Use what’s called perceived rate of exertion (PRE) to gauge whether or not you got a good session in.
So what does sweat do?
Sweat is an autonomic nervous system function that is activated when our core or inner temperature gets too high. That function is to cool us off. When we exert ourselves in the form of exercise, our core temperature rises. When our core temperature rises, the rest of our body begins to overheat and then the sweat glands kick in to cool us off.
How do I burn more calories?
When we use our muscles, they require energy/calories in the form of either fat or carbohydrates. When we train in certain energy zones we use more of one energy source over another. Sweating is simply a side effect of burning calories or doing work. So wearing sweat suits while training is a horrible idea because you’re losing water your body needs to function.
What’s a good idea, on the other hand is to follow a well constructed diet and exercise plan that will help you remain in calorie deficit and shed the pounds in no time.