We have all been down this lane. Followed our gym instructor’s advice and done 10 minutes of treadmill, 20 minutes of cycling and 10 minutes of cross-trainer. And happily by the end of each gym session, we are soaked in layers of sweat. We step of the gym thinking these droplets of our hard work have translated into tremedous fat burn (and weight loss). But is your weight monitor showing the same on the scale?
What does sweating mean?
Sweating is your body’s mechanism of cooling down. This means that when you are sweating excessively during a workout session, your body needs to cool down and get back to its normal body temperature (98.6 F). People, who exercise regularly and eat right, tend to sweat more than a person who has just started their fitness journey.
However, to mistake this sweat for fat loss is wrong because even though you are burning more calories, your body is using its fat stores to generate energy. Therefore, everytime you workout, this process of sweating and burning calories repeats itself and results in weight loss and not fat loss.
What is fat loss?
There are three kinds of fat that you will come across if you get a total body analysis done. This includes three types of fat – subcutaneous, which is under the skin, visceral, which is present in the body cavity and a small amount in our muscles, intramuscular.
It is important to understand that these three kinds of fats often turn into stubborn fats if not treated properly. Being on crash diets or not eating enough food to feed your body often results into the deposition of these three kinds of fats in excess as our body stores fat and uses this energy to keep itself running.
Why sweating does not mean fat loss
While working out excessively or going in for a sauna does cause your body to sweat a lot, it does not mean that your body is losing fat as well. Your body will burn calories and use energy from your fat stores, but this will be refilled once you eat your next meal. Fat loss can happen with intake of proteins and fats. Along with this, if you include resistance training with your cardio training, your body will respond to these foods well.
To think that disciplines like yoga and pilates do not lead to fat loss because they make you sweat less is wrong because they work on building a functionally fit body. Therefore, sweating it out at the gym or running for hours does not mean that you’re burning more fat, but rather that your body is trying to cool itself down.