Why Do Fat People Sweat More

Author Larry Palmer

Author: Larry Palmer

Fat people often seem to sweat more than people who are considered average. If you’re struggling with overactive sweat glands as a fat person, you aren’t alone. The closer we move to obesity the more sweaty we can get.

The real question is why does this happen? Is it body temperature or do overweight people just have more sweat glands causing them to generate more sweat?

The simple answer is fat people generate more heat. That’s something of an oversimplification, but that is the shortest answer.

So Why Do Fat People Sweat More Often?

Why do fat people sweat more often? To clarify, not all fat people sweat more, but many do. There are several factors that contribute to the extra sweat that fat people produce.

One is the simple fact that there is more mass on your frame to move around from place to place. More mass means more body fat.

Fat beneath your skin means you are more insulated than someone with an average BMI. In the winter that insulation helps you stay warm. Unfortunately, it does the same thing in the summer.

Add interior heat to exterior heat and you get hot and sweaty.

How Can Fat People Sweat Less?

Since excess sweat is one contributing factor of body odor, it makes sense to do whatever possible to sweat less. Here are some tips to help you sweat less, or at least make it appear that you sweat less.

Dress Right

The simple fact is that as obese people the tendency is to try to cover up as much as possible. That means layers of clothing to hide body rolls and imperfections. Wearing layers adds extra heat to the already overheated frame.

Wearing loose fitting clothing made from polyester or nylon will help you feel less hot. Feeling less hot will make you sweat less. Some companies even make undershirts that are sweat-proof, so when you are required to wear layers you’ll sweat less.

Control Your Diet

You’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” and the truth is, you sweat what you eat too. That’s right, foods can cause you to sweat. Different people have different triggers, but some foods are common culprits.

Not only do these foods increase the amount you sweat, but also they cause your body odor to be worse when you sweat.

Some of the foods that cause increased sweat include:

  • Red meat: meat is hard to digest and the amino acids literally rot in your body. Why does that matter? Being hard to digest makes your metabolism ramp up causing you to get hotter which causes you to sweat.
  • Sulfur-containing vegetables: vegetables that contain sulfur cause you to sweat more and it will also cause your sweat to stink.
  • Spicy foods: spicy foods ramp up your metabolism like red meat and also contain sulfur, so you have increased sweat production and increased smell.
  • Processed and junk foods: these foods might now increase sweat production, but they don’t have the natural deodorizer of chlorophyllin which is found in plant based foods in them.
  • Alcohol: Your body processes approximately 90% of the alcohol you consume, and the other 10% leaves your body as sweat.
  • Eggs, fish, and other choline rich foods: Choline is good for your liver and your brain, however, it leaves people smelling like fish when they sweat.

This isn’t a comprehensive list of foods that make you sweat, but if you eat this combination of foods, it could indeed make you sweat more.

Consider Adding Supplements

If you routinely deal with excessive sweat, the chances are good that you are willing to try almost anything if it will help the sweating. While you can’t take a magic pill to make the sweating stop, there are some supplements you can consider to help make it at least a little better.

  1. B-vitamins: B-vitamins are commonly recommended to help increase energy and decrease stress. Because some people get sweaty, and therefore smelly, when they have a stress response, B-vitamins could be a good addition to the routine.
  2. Topical zinc: If your skin flora (bacteria) is out of balance, it can cause body odor from sweat. Topical zinc has been shown to help with odors. It has been tested most often with feet, but it could be helpful for other body odors as well.
  3. Chlorophyllin: This is probably the one that has the grossest reasoning behind adding it. Basically, it can reduce the bacteria, and the smell, in your fecal matter which can also reduce the bacteria in the rest of your body, thereby helping with body odor.

In addition to these supplements, you can consider adding things like a super deodorant, having your armpits Botoxed, or trying a Miradry procedure, which uses thermal energy to eliminate sweat glands in your armpits.

Does What You Eat Affect Overweight Sweating?

The foods you eat can affect how much you sweat. If your diet is high in salt, it can increase your need for water.

If you aren’t getting enough water, your body may pull water internally from organs or other areas of the body to counteract the salt intake.

This will increase the amount of sweating you experience. Increasing your intake of water rich foods like fruits or dark leafy greens can help keep your body from sweating so much.

Six Factors Contributing to Excessive Sweating for Overweight People

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple reasons we sweat. Here are six factors other than temperature that affect how much you sweat.

Physical Fitness

The more active you are the higher your body temperature rises. That means the more intense your workout gets the more you will sweat. Intense can mean different things for different people.

For one person an intense workout could be walking from the bedroom to the laundry room with a load of clothes in your arms. For someone else, it could mean running a marathon.

The sweating you do during physical activity is designed to cool your body down. Active, athletic people tend to sweat profusely during a workout because their body needs to cool itself. Obese people tend to sweat profusely during everyday activities because their bodies have generated excess heat and need to cool down.

Body Weight

Overweight people tend to have difficulty dealing with heat. Their bodies have added insulation, so they tend to sweat profusely–even without a lot of activity–and have a hard time cooling back down.

A leaner person’s body uses sweat more efficiently, so they don’t tend to sweat as excessively during everyday activities. Instead, they handle heat more easily than a fat person in the same place.

Distribution of Sweat Glands

There is some evidence that fat people have more sweat glands. Or, rather, their sweat glands are distributed differently because they have more skin.

There are approximately 2-5 million sweat glands in the body. Two to five million! If you sweat more in certain areas, it’s likely you have more sweat glands in that area.


Believe it or not, your DNA plays a role in how much you sweat. It isn’t all about feeling hot. Some people are genetically predisposed to sweating in certain areas of the body–like the armpits or the bottoms of the feet.

Their body releases sweat there first because the brain’s signal to the sweat glands gets there first. Sweating excessively, also known as hyperhidrosis is a hereditary condition.

If you feel you are experiencing excessive sweating due to a medical or hereditary condition, you might consider consulting your doctor. Overweight people sweat a lot, but even an overweight person could have something else going on that is causing an excess amount of sweat for them.

Gender – Fat Guy Sweating vs Women

Yes, this is one case in which being a fat guy sweating vs a woman sweating makes a difference. Women have more sweat glands, but men sweat more – typically.

Men tend to be more physically active than women even when those people are overweight. Physical activity regardless of size or gender leads to more sweat production.


Acclimatization is a big word with a simple meaning. It means getting used to the outside temperatures. If you are exposed to more heat in your daily routine, your body will adjust to those temperatures quicker.

However, if you never expose yourself to external heat, then your internal temperature won’t acclimate to the external one as easily.

Health Benefits of Overweight and Sweating

Another way to deal with overweight sweating is to see it as a positive thing. You may not realize it, but sweat has health benefits!

Increased Immunity

Sweat releases peptides onto your skin. These peptides act as antibiotics against foreign bacteria. So, sweat is like a natural antibiotic and helps you fight off germs.

Clearer Skin

Have you struggled with clogged pores that make your skin look “muddy”? Sweat helps with that too! The more sweat that runs through your pores the less gunk that gets into them. Cleaner pores mean clearer skin.

Body Detoxification

Toxins can enter your body in various ways, Your body then attempts to rid itself of the toxins. Sweat is one way the body gets rid of toxins.

Sex Appeal

Are you thinking we’ve gone crazy with this one? We haven’t! Sweat can be sexy. As a matter of fact, some researchers at the University of California discovered that when women smell sweat, it releases sex hormones. However, body odor does not have the same effect.

FAQ – Do Overweight and Obese People Sweat More?

Will losing weight help sweating?

A lower body weight helps to ease the strain on the body’s system. In turn, this could result in less sweat. Obesity is associated with hyperhidrosis, and losing weight can lessen those symptoms.

Does sweating mean burning fat?

Sweating doesn’t mean that you are burning fat. It means that the body’s internal cooling system has begun to work. As we work out, we generate internal body heat.

As we generate internal body heat, we are burning calories. So, while sweat doesn’t necessarily burn fat, it does signal that the body is beginning to burn calories.

How many sweat glands are there in the average person’s body?

The average person has approximately 2 million sweat glands in their body.

Is all sweat the same?

All sweat isn’t the same. There are two types of sweat glands in the body. One kind produces water and salt and is designed to help cool your body. They are located all over the body but mostly in the hands, feet, and face.

The other kind of sweat gland produces less sweat and is found in areas with hair follicles (like armpits). These glands produce odor excessive sweating.

Does everyone have the same amount of sweat glands?

The short answer is no. The number of sweat glands varies from 2 million to about 5 million and varies depending on the individual.

Does Being Fat Make You Sweat More?

Yes, being fat can make you sweat more, but it depends on other factors such as diet, DNA, gender, fitness level, body weight, etc.

Conclusion – Why Do Fat People Sweat So Much?

Fat people sweat more than the average person primarily because their body weight adds extra insulation to their bodies. The added insulation causes the body to heat up faster causing extra sweat to form. Sometimes that sweat is accompanied by severe body odor.

Even obese people can take control of how much they sweat. Wearing the right clothes, eating the right foods, and adding specific supplements to your regimen can decrease the amount you sweat.