To Sauna or Not to Sauna


Before getting into the sauna weight loss tips, let’s understand the meaning of ‘sauna’. A sauna is defined as a room or enclosure where a person can experience dry heat bath sessions (the enclosure is generally made of wood). It has its origin in Finland, and the Finns used it as a means for recreation and mind healing. In conventional saunas the heat was generated from heated rocks (water was poured over the rocks to create the steam). Later, many modifications were made and then came infra red saunas which make use of infrared lamps to generate the required heat. Saunas offer lots of health benefits. They help in detoxification of the body, improving blood circulation, boosting the immune system, relieving joint pain, and last but not least, soothing the mind, etc. They have a rich history; the Finns and many other cultures used it as a means of recreation thousands of years ago. You all must be wondering if saunas help with weight loss? The answer is yes! One can definitely experience weight loss in a sauna, if one keeps some tips in mind.

How Does a Sauna Work for Weight Loss?

A sauna is based on the use of heat to provide the benefits, be it weight loss or just recreation. The increased temperature levels lead to extreme sweating, and the sweating is used as a means of healing in the sauna. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and the harmful toxins in the body are eliminated through the skin pores. The sweat generated in a sauna helps in carrying the toxins out of the body, and restores the skin’s elimination ability. Are you now wondering how to lose weight in a sauna? It has been proven that regular use promotes weight loss, and it helps in burning around 200 calories per session. The heat and steam generated increases the heart rate. With an increase in the heart rate, the calories are burned due to increase in the metabolic rate, and the body also eliminates excess of salt in the body. Salt is largely responsible for the fat in the body. As salt is eliminated, it takes water with it, and this decreases the water weight. But remember that you will lose weight in a sauna only if you are consistent in your sessions and follow some tips.

Infrared Sauna for Weight Loss

In case of these saunas, the object or the people using it, experience heat, i.e., they are supplied with dry heat.

When you sweat, you actually release the salts, which are deposited under your skin, and these salts have a very important role to play in the weight of your body.
It is not that saunas help in melting the fat in your body, but they certainly eliminate the salts, that are deposited under the skin when you gain excess weight.
As a matter of fact, the salt deposition under the skin needs to be non-toxic and for that, there is a need of water retention. Therefore, there is more consumption of water to fulfill this requirement, which finally results in excess weight gain (which is actually water weight and not fat weight).

Now, what the sauna does is that, it increases your body temperature and helps you get rid of this water weight including the salt by making you sweat.
Thus, when you say, that sauna promotes weight loss by burning fat, it is wrong, because loss of weight is experienced due to dehydration (loss of unnecessary water weight) and detoxification (removal of toxic salts). This is why, they are helpful in weight loss.

Health Risks

Saunas can also be dangerous in many instances, as they can cause serious hyperthermia. This is prevalent in infrared varieties, as they don’t heat the air but the body.
If you are a heart patient, you are more likely to suffer from hyperthermia, as heart patients are more vulnerable to this disorder.
There can be a major loss of electrolytes from the body, if you are a regular visitor of the sauna.

Since, this method of weight loss depends mainly on dehydration, it can lead to heart attacks and strokes, and other heart diseases. Also, you have to wear a sauna suit, which can be suffocating at times, if the temperature of the room is not maintained.
Tips to Keep in Mind:

  • How Often: You should visit the sauna at least two times a week (in the initial days), and should indulge in 30 minute sessions. You can later increase the sessions to alternate days.
  • What Temperature: If you are using the sauna in a spa or a gym, you don’t have to worry about the temperature. But if you have one at home, make sure the temperature is around 150 degrees F.
  • Diet: On most instances, it is seen that a person regains weight after the sessions end and the weight loss is temporary. So, follow a proper diet rich in fruits and low on junk.
  • Water Intake: A sauna session can lead to dehydration, as huge quantity of water in the body is lost due to sweating. So the trick is to drink lots of water before and after the session, and also during the session.
  • Alcohol Intake: One should avoid consuming alcohol before the session as this can this can impair the body’s ability to sweat (limit the consumption on a whole for an easygoing life!).
  • Don’t Overdo: No matter how desperate you are to lose weight, don’t overdo the sessions, and avoid going to the sauna if you are not feeling well.
  • Sauna Suits: With sauna suits you can skip sauna sessions, as the effect seen after one wears them is same as that seen in a sauna enclosure. Sauna suits make the body sweat and thus helps in reducing the pounds. Many people have benefited using these suits.

Who Should Avoid

Before you confirm the decision of using a sauna to lose weight, keep in mind the risks involved. Consult a health expert before using a sauna if you are a heart patient or suffer from any other kind of illness. Patients with infections and allergies are advised to stay away from public saunas, and use private ones (specially if the allergy or infection is contagious)

Doctors don’t recommend saunas for weight loss often, but people claim to have benefited by it. Me being one of them. For people who don’t want to exercise, it is a good and easy option. So keep in mind the tips and enjoy the benefits of a sauna for mind relaxation, enviable skin, overall health, and detoxification, along with losing those extra pounds.


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