does a sauna help you lose weight

Saunas have been used for centuries as a form of relaxation and detoxification. But can they also help with weight loss? In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around the idea of using saunas for weight loss. In this article, we will explore the connection between saunas and weight loss and whether or not they can actually help you shed those extra pounds.

The Science Behind Saunas and Weight Loss

How Saunas Work

Before we dive into the weight loss aspect, let’s first understand how saunas work. A sauna is a small room or space that is heated to high temperatures, usually between 150-195 degrees Fahrenheit. The heat is typically produced by a wood-burning stove, electric heater, or infrared lamps. The high temperature causes the body to sweat, which is the body’s natural way of cooling down.

Sweat Therapy

Sweat therapy

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Sweating is a natural process that helps regulate body temperature and remove toxins from the body. When we sweat, our body releases water, salt, and small amounts of other minerals. This process is known as sweat therapy and has been used for centuries to promote overall health and well-being.

The Connection Between Saunas and Weight Loss

So, how does sweating in a sauna relate to weight loss? The theory is that by sweating, the body is losing water weight, which can lead to temporary weight loss. However, this weight loss is not the same as losing fat. The weight lost in a sauna is primarily water weight, which can be quickly regained once the body is rehydrated.

The Truth About Saunas and Weight Loss

While saunas may cause temporary weight loss, they are not a long-term solution for weight loss. Here’s why:

Water Weight vs. Fat Loss

As mentioned earlier, the weight lost in a sauna is primarily water weight. This means that once you rehydrate, the weight will come back. In order to lose fat, you need to create a calorie deficit, which can be achieved through a combination of diet and exercise. Simply sitting in a sauna will not burn enough calories to result in significant fat loss.

Dehydration Dangers


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Spending too much time in a sauna can lead to dehydration, which can be dangerous. When the body loses too much water, it can cause a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, and even fainting. It is important to stay hydrated while using a sauna and to limit your time to no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Other Health Benefits of Saunas

While saunas may not be a magic solution for weight loss, they do offer a variety of other health benefits. These include:

  • Improved circulation: The heat from a sauna can help dilate blood vessels, which can improve circulation and lower blood pressure.
  • Stress relief: Saunas are known for their relaxing properties, which can help reduce stress and promote overall well-being.
  • Detoxification: Sweating in a sauna can help remove toxins from the body, promoting overall health and wellness.

Using Saunas for Weight Loss

While saunas may not be the most effective way to lose weight, they can be used as a supplement to a healthy diet and exercise routine. Here are some tips for using saunas for weight loss:

Combine with Exercise


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To see any significant weight loss results, it is important to combine sauna use with regular exercise. This will help create a calorie deficit and promote fat loss.

Stay Hydrated

As mentioned earlier, it is important to stay hydrated while using a sauna. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sauna session.

Use Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their ability to penetrate deeper into the skin, resulting in a more intense sweat. This can lead to increased detoxification and potential weight loss benefits.

Don’t Rely on Saunas Alone

While saunas can offer some health benefits, they should not be relied upon as the sole method for weight loss. A healthy diet and regular exercise are still the most effective ways to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Real-Life Examples of Sauna Use for Weight Loss

Infrared Sauna Weight Loss Before and After

Infrared sauna weight loss before and after

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There have been many claims of significant weight loss from using infrared saunas. However, it is important to note that these results are not solely from using the sauna. In most cases, these individuals also followed a healthy diet and exercise routine, making it difficult to determine the exact impact of the sauna on their weight loss.

Sweat Therapy for Athletes

Many athletes use saunas as a form of sweat therapy to help with muscle recovery and detoxification. While this may not directly lead to weight loss, it can help improve overall performance and well-being.


While saunas may offer some health benefits, they should not be relied upon as a weight loss solution. The weight lost in a sauna is primarily water weight and can be quickly regained once the body is rehydrated. However, saunas can be used as a supplement to a healthy diet and exercise routine and may offer some additional health benefits such as improved circulation and stress relief. As with any form of exercise or therapy, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating saunas into your routine.