Do Fat Lads Sweat More?

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Full disclosure, this article may have started off as a Google search after a traumatising spin class, but as I read around the topic it struck me that sweating is often presented as a fat-person problem. From the timeless Sid The Sexist chat-up line: “ye divvnt sweat much for a fat lass”, to the oft-repeated myth that somehow wrapping yourself in clingfilm will allow you to sweat out the fat (interesting side note – when you lose weight you actually breathe out the fat) – fat and sweat have always been interlinked – but is that factually accurate and, if so, what can we do about it?

man in white and black crew neck shirt

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

First of all – the basic science: sweating is a natural physiological response of the body to regulate its internal temperature. The body maintains a constant temperature of around 37°C and when it gets too hot, it produces sweat to cool down. However, when you’re carrying a few extra lbs – you may experience excessive sweating. This is because when you are overweight or obese, your body has to work harder to maintain its internal temperature, and this can lead to increased sweating. The reason is that adipose tissue, or body fat, acts as an insulator, trapping heat and preventing it from escaping.

Additionally, overweight and obese guys may be more prone to sweating due to a higher basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the rate at which the body burns calories to maintain basic bodily functions such as breathing, circulation, and maintaining body temperature. A higher BMR means that the body is burning more calories, which can lead to increased sweating.

Be warned though, if you’ve noticed that you’re particularly prone to excess sweating, there are a number of medical conditions that can cause it, and these conditions are more common in people who are overweight or obese. For example, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and certain medications can all cause excessive sweating.

So regardless of why it happens – what do you do if you’re experiencing it? When you’re dripping with sweat 10 seconds into a spinning class (see my earlier google) it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, and it can also lead to other problems such as B.O. and skin irritation. So these are all the things you can do to fight back against the great pit stains:

  1. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to reduce excessive sweating. Losing weight can help reduce the amount of body fat, which can improve your body’s ability to regulate its internal temperature.
  2. Wearing loose, breathable clothing can help reduce sweating by allowing air to circulate around your body. Avoid tight-fitting clothing made from synthetic fabrics, as these can trap heat and make sweating worse.
  3. Antiperspirant can help reduce sweating by blocking the sweat ducts. Look for antiperspirants that contain aluminium chloride, which is the most effective ingredient for reducing sweating. BUT you will want to read around the concerns that some people have about aluminium chloride and decide which side of that health debate you want to stay
  4. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your body cool and reduce the need for sweating. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can dehydrate the body.
  5. Using a fan or air conditioning can help reduce sweating by keeping the air around you cool and dry. If you don’t have access to a fan or air conditioning, try taking a cool shower or bath to lower your body temperature.
  6. Spicy foods can increase body temperature and make you sweat more. Avoid foods that are high in spices or hot peppers, and opt for milder options instead.
  7. Good hygiene can help prevent body odour and skin irritation caused by excessive sweating. Shower regularly and use a mild soap, and apply a talcum powder or cornstarch to areas that are prone to sweating.



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