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Nowadays, infrared saunas are known for their unique features and make people physically lose weight. Sweating, according to proponents of weight loss, can help shed excess weight by eliminating excess water weight and burning calories. These are just some of the fitness and health benefits of the infrared sauna experience in a few words.
Before getting into the deep, it is essential to clarify what an infrared sauna is and what is the difference from the traditional saunas that most of us are aware of.
To begin with, infrared saunas heat the body directly with the help of infrared light and infrared heat rather than heating the air around it like the traditional saunas. Infrared saunas will result in more intense sweating due to the difference in which our bodies are heated.
Sweating causes some weight loss benefits, which is the main topic we will analyze in this article. Stay tuned until the end of the article to find out why sweating is a great way to shed pounds!
Can you lose weight just by sitting in an infrared sauna?
In general, weight loss happens when you burn more calories than you consume by combining physical activity and a healthy diet.
However, can you really lose weight by just sitting in an infrared sauna for some time?
The answer is no or not at all. Sitting in an infrared sauna can help you burn calories and lose water weight by sweating, it is unlikely to be an effective way to lose significant amounts of weight.
Furthermore, because sweating in an infrared sauna is mostly water weight, any weight loss will most likely be temporary and it will dehydrate you.
To avoid dehydration, it is critical to hydrate adequately before and after using an infrared sauna by drinking plenty of water.
Overall, if you are interested in using an infrared sauna as part of a weight loss program, it will definitely be a great addition to your diet plan but don’t rely just on such a little thing to lose excess weight yourself.
Sauna Weight Loss Study – A Binghampton Study
Binghamton University in New York conducted a two-phase sauna weight loss study and discovered that increasing the body’s core temperature and body temperature resulted in a decrease in body fat without changing anything in their eating and diet habits during the study.
Participants who experienced infrared sauna weight loss also did not change their exercise habits.
It concluded that people who used a Clearlight Premier IS-3 infrared sauna three times a week for 30 minutes per session dropped an average of 4 percent body fat over four months. For a 175-pound male, that means a weight loss of seven pounds.
Control groups in the study who did not use the Clearlight Sauna showed no drop in weight.
The study findings illustrate the significant boost that infrared therapy provides for our weight loss goals.
What is water weight?
Before explaining what is water weight it is important to mention that the human body is mainly made up of water, and water is essential for numerous basic activities such as temperature regulation, joint lubrication, and nutrition transfer.
But, what exactly is water weight?
It is the amount of water temporarily held in the body’s tissues, often the skin, muscles, or other organs, which is referred to as water weight. This weight fluctuates fast, perhaps by several pounds or more in a single day.
Water weight loss occurs when people use sauna thermal therapy, to lose water from their organisms.
When the body absorbs or retains too much water, however, it can create issues like oedema, which causes swelling and discomfort in the affected areas.
Water weight can be increased or decreased by hormonal changes, changes in food or exercise habits, medications, and medical disorders such as heart or renal illness.
How Does Body Fat Versus Water Weight Affect Fat Loss? (Body fat compared)
Body fat is defined as extra energy deposited in the body as adipose tissue. It builds up when the body consumes more calories than it requires, and the surplus energy is stored as fat.
When attempting to shed weight, one must establish a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than their body requires. This will eventually lead the body to burn fat for energy, resulting in fat loss.
However, water weight as we have explained above is temporary so you don’t need to worry about it. While water weight can cause small weight changes, it does not signify actual fat loss.
So, when comparing body fat to water weight, body fat is by far more important.
Can the sauna help you lose belly fat?
Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is a form of fat that accumulates around the abdominal organs and increases the risk of a variety of health problems.
The answer is no. While sauna use can improve calorie expenditure and potentially help in overall weight loss, it is unlikely to specifically target belly fat.
However, combining frequent sauna use as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet and regular exercise would be useful for your overall weight management and minimizing the risk of belly fat formation over time.
It’s crucial to remember that sauna use might be risky for certain people, such as those with heart issues, so talk to your doctor before using a sauna to check if you are fine to start using them.
How to Use Infrared Sauna to Lose Weight
While infrared saunas are known for the promotion of temporary water weight loss through sweating, they are not a magic solution for weight loss and decreased body fat.
However, here are some ways to potentially use an infrared sauna as a part of a weight loss program to receive the maximum infrared sauna health benefits while following some other key methods:
Combine with a healthy diet
A healthy and balanced diet is probably the most important thing when it comes to losing weight. It is without a doubt the key to sustainable weight loss. Infrared sauna use can complement a healthy diet by potentially increasing metabolism and promoting detoxification.
A healthy diet is a crucial factor when it comes to losing weight in a physical way along with sauna therapy.
Combine with exercise
Exercise is crucial for weight loss and overall health. Using an infrared sauna after exercise can help you with muscle recovery and potentially increase your metabolism rate, so you can burn calories faster and easier.
Also, exercise recovery is very important especially if you are an athlete or a person who exercises regularly.
This is probably the most underrated task that many people avoid in order to lose weight during an infrared sauna session.
In addition to that, it’s important to stay hydrated when using an infrared sauna to avoid dehydration and promote healthy sweating. Drink plenty of water before and after sauna use to ensure that you follow the safety guidelines.
Consistency is key
To see the potential benefits of infrared sauna use for weight loss, it’s important to use it consistently as a part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
While staying consistent is important, it is essential to keep a balance between diet, sauna and exercise to avoid overdoing any of these three factors to lose weight.
Does Sauna Increase Metabolism?
The National Library of Medicine did a study about the effects of Saunas on weight loss in general and found that people did lose a bit of weight (1-2 lbs) and had some cardiovascular increases.
Ten healthy male volunteers were exposed to dry heat in a Finnish or traditional sauna (at 80 degrees Celsius) twice a day for a week. After each exposure, their rectal temperature (putting a thermometer in the rectum) increased by 0.8-1.1 degrees Celsius, and decreased body fat by 0.7-0.9 kilograms (1 – 2 lbs).
The systolic blood pressure did not change, but the diastolic blood pressure decreased by 7-37 mmHg. The pulse rate increased from 75-80 to 106-116 beats per minute.
The metabolic rate increased by 25-33% after the first day, and serum total proteins, Hb, and Htc increased on the 1st and 3rd days but not later.
Serum K, Na, and Fe decreased on the 3rd and 7th days, indicating that attention should be given to electrolyte balance in long-lasting intense heat exposure. No ECG changes were found. Adaptation to heat exposure occurred, resulting in lower responses after the 3rd day for rectal temperature and after the 6th day for a pulse.
Why People Who Train Should Spend More Time in the Sauna
Regular sauna use can provide several benefits to people who engage in physical activity. Here are some of the reasons that people who train should spend more time in the sauna:
Enhanced blood circulation: Using a sauna dilates your blood vessels, which improves blood flow to your muscles. This can hasten recovery and reduce soreness after exercise.
Increased endurance: Heat exposure in the sauna can help your body adapt to stress more effectively. This can lead to improved endurance and performance during workouts.
Improved immune function: Sauna heat can stimulate your body’s production of white blood cells, boosting your immune function and helping you recover from illness or injury faster.
Detoxification: Sweating in the sauna causes your body to avoid harmful toxins and impurities through your pores. This can improve your overall health and well-being while also promoting clearer skin.
Cardiovascular benefits: Sauna use can have cardiovascular benefits such as lowering blood pressure and improving heart health.
Overall, spending more time in the sauna it is not bad if you are an athlete. These benefits above prove that a sauna offers so many advantages to people who train and stay longer in the sauna.
In conclusion, while infrared saunas can help you lose weight by increasing your heart rate and causing sweating, they should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise. Furthermore, there is little scientific evidence to back up the claim that sweating alone can significantly contribute to weight loss. In order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, it is critical to approach weight loss holistically and incorporate a variety of healthy lifestyle choices.