“Sauna Sessions” Episode 8: Weight Loss with Sauna?
Can you lose weight by being in a dry sauna?
The answer to this question is yes. Yes, technically you can lose weight while relaxing in your sauna, however the type of weight you are losing is water weight. This means that you are losing weight by sweating.
Perspiration and Hydration
Perspiring, or sweating, is incredibly beneficial for the body. And it is possible that you will see immediate results when stepping on a scale after a sauna session. Unfortunately, these results are not long lasting. Because so much water is lost during a sauna session it is important to replenish the body. Meaning hydrate, or rehydrate, during or after your sauna experience. Our bodies depend on water in order to function properly and even to lose weight. As a result of this rehydration, much of the weight that is lost in the sauna will return.
But do not fret!
Tim Jackson, doctor of physical therapy and functional medicine specialist at the NeuroSensory Center of Charlotte in Huntersville, N.C. says this about the benefits of sweating: “Because your sweat is made from lymphatic fluid, increased sweating allows the body to rid itself of unwanted toxins that may be lodged in the lymphatic system. Eliminating heavy metals and other toxins supports your body in burning fat, because those foreign molecules are no longer interfering with your metabolism.” By releasing these toxins through sweating, you will be able to lose weight more effectively outside of the sauna. Especially when paired with good nutrition, active workouts, and hydration.
There is also another component of weight loss that can take place during a sauna session. Calorie burn. The increase in body temperature will help circulation and blood flow to the heart helping you to burn extra calories. An article written for Livestrong.com talks about how this increase in body heat helps kick your metabolism into gear, continuing to help burn calories hours after you have left the sauna. Sitting in a sauna is like getting a mini workout while relaxing. For more on whether or not an active workout can be replaced with a sauna session check out “Sauna Session Episode #6.”
The Weight of Stress
Stress can be a major culprit in gaining unwanted weight. You’ve heard of emotional eating? Stress eating? They both can be effects of the cortisol that is released within our bodies when we are stressed. Stress can add literal weight to our bodies, but it can also add mental and emotional weight. The atmosphere and the dry heat or steam heat from an Almost Heaven sauna is specifically designed to help you relax, take a deep breath, and let go of stress.
Although perspiring, calorie burn, and stress relief are incredible benefits of sauna use, it is probable that they will have minimal long term impact when stepping on the scale. However, without the stress of the day and the heavy toxins weighing you down, we promise you will leave your sauna feeling lighter.
For more information, read an interview by Jen Sinkler, the editorial director for fitness content at Experience Life Magazine.