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Behind the Forecast: Can the weather affect weight loss?

Listen to Science Behind the Forecast with Meteorologist Tawana Andrew every Friday on 89.3 WFPL at 7:45 a.m.
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 11:07 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Sometimes it’s a struggle to get that “summer body” during the hotter months, and there may be a legitimate reason for that.

The typical assumption is that more weight is lost when we’re hot due to sweat. However, it’s important to remember that losing weight when you’re sweating comes from water loss, not fat loss.

On average, water comprises around 60% of someone’s weight. Sweat is second to urine as a significant source of body water loss. As temperatures rise, we tend to sweat more. In hot and humid situations, sweat falls off the body instead of evaporating, so we can’t cool down.

Our bodies can acclimatize to heat at humidity which can cause us to sweat sooner and more.

Our body weight can increase due to water retention to keep our fluid balance in the summer heat. Certain hormones in our body allow our kidneys to retain more water and reduce our sweat’s salinity (this also helps with water retention).

According to experts, water weight returns quickly, so anything lost through sweat can come back when you are more hydrated.

It might be better to start your weight loss journey during the winter. Our body works more to stay warm than it does to cool off, according to experts. So exercising outdoors when it’s cold could burn more calories than doing the same workout on a hot day.

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