Have You Been Fooled by the “Sweat-That-Weight Off” Trap? January 27, 2016
Have You Been Fooled by the “Sweat-That-Weight Off” Trap? January 27, 2016

Most every gym has one—the man or woman working out in what looks like a giant piece of aluminum foil, or maybe just a full sweat suit. Sometimes, they’re even wearing all of this in the sauna or steam room.

The truth is that you will, albeit briefly, lose a few pounds with such a stunt. However, what you’ll be losing isn’t unwanted fat; it’s much-needed water. The weight will come back once your body rehydrates. For example, wrestlers who need to make their weight class before a weigh-in may go sweat it out. But the pounds will come back soon after the match is over, and they’re throwing back Red Bulls and egg-white omelets.

Why Does This Bad Idea Persist?
So if this is such an amazingly ill informed concept, why do people still believe it? The reason, in part, is the logical error of mistaking correlation with causation. For example, if you’re working out regularly, you’re burning calories–and likely sweating, too. It’s easy to think that this sweating causes any subsequent weight loss. However you’re sweating as the result of your rigorous exercise–the actual activity that contributes to any weight loss.

Caution Sweat Heads: Danger Ahead
Okay, so now that we’ve determined that the idea of sweating off weight for good is an old wives’ tale, you should know why it’s also dangerous. A recent advisory for athletes, published by the New York Department of State, highlights the risks of using sweat and dehydration as weight-loss tools:

The takeaway: Sweating out five or ten pounds for good in two or three days is a foolish proposition. Want to lose weight for real? Put away the spacesuit and plan a program of steady, manageable exercise and balanced, reduced-calorie meals. And it can never hurt to consult your doctor or a certified nutritionist before starting any weight-loss program.

PumpOne’s complete workout guidance, tracking and scheduling tools include more than 1,000 workouts, or you can create your own sessions from 7,000 exercise images and videos. Download it from the App Store or Google Play, or sign up at PumpOne.com.

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