Does Sweating Help You Lose Weight?

If you're drenched in sweat after an intense workout, you might assume you're burning more calories and shedding weight. But is this actually true? As it turns out, sweating doesn't affect how many calories you burn during a workout session (via Health). In fact, your body sweats to help regulate your internal temperature and to prevent you from overheating.

"Sweating is the way in which we cool the body during exercise or other heat stress," Dr. Thad E. Wilson, PhD, a professor in the department of physiology at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, told Health. While your body uses some energy to sweat, it won't drastically impact the number of calories burned.

Although sweat can be an indication of muscle exertion and thus calorie-burning, it doesn't mean you can't burn calories if you're not sweating. Because sweating occurs at different rates for different people, one person could burn more calories and sweat less than another person doing the same activity. So, what does help with weight loss?

Burning calories and other weight loss factors

It's important to remember that the number of calories you'll burn during an exercise varies depending on your age and activity level (via Byrdie). Therefore, when thinking about weight loss, it can help to focus on the duration and intensity of the workout, as well as consistency and enjoyment.

"For a given pace, the longer you work out the more you'll burn. But also, for a given duration, the more intensely you work out, the more you'll burn," certified personal trainer Jodi Cagle told Byrdie. "The most important things to remember for any effective workout program is to find things you enjoy doing. Do it consistently and do a variety of things to maximize effectiveness."

If you enjoy high-intensity interval training (HIIT), you could try an Orangetheory class known to boost metabolism and burn calories long after the workout is over (via Orangetheory). An hour-long Orangetheory class can burn between 500 to 1,000 calories (via Byrdie). If you enjoy weight-lifting and sprinting, you could try CrossFit, which may help you lose weight, build strength, and improve agility. A 60-minute CrossFit workout can burn nearly 800 calories.