Sauna for weight loss: Does it work?

sauna for weight loss

When it comes to weight loss, we all want quick and easy.

Few people have the time or energy to spend several hours in a gym, so we take shortcuts where we can.

And recently, the sauna has become one of those popular shortcuts.

But there are those weight loss shortcuts that work, and there are those that leave us frustrated and blaming ourselves for failure.

The question is – Is sauna weight loss the former, or the latter?

The Popular Theory Behind Losing Weight in a Sauna

Here’s how it’s supposed to work: You’re in the sauna. You get hot, and you sweat. As a result, your metabolism skyrockets, you burn more calories, burn more fat, and you lose weight.

Sounds logical right?

Wrong. And here’s why:

The Sauna Weight Loss Myth Debunked

We all know that the sauna is effective for shedding pounds quickly. Boxers and wrestlers do it all the time to cut weight before a fight. But is it really burning fat by accelerating your metabolism? Let’s think for a sec…

When you are in a sauna, your body starts overheating. It needs a way to cool off, otherwise you’ll die.

So how would an accelerated metabolism affect you in this situation? You would burn more calories, and create even more heat…not less.

Sounds like a bad plan if the goal is to not die. Luckily, our bodies are smarter than that.

The Truth of What’s Really Happening

Your body recognizes the imminent threat of overheating. So it starts taking actions to cool off.

It starts sweating. The sweat evaporates, drawing heat away from your skin, and cooling you off. That’s what’s really happening.

The truth is: all you’re losing in the sauna is water.

  • You won’t gain muscle
  • You won’t burn fat
  • You won’t burn more calories

You just get dehydrated. That’s it. Not so impressive is it?

Sit in the sauna long enough and you could even lose as much as 15-20 pounds…but you will leave looking and feeling terribly sick…maybe even dead.

So what’s a better alternative to using a sauna for weight loss?

Other than proper diet and exercise, there is one technique similar to a sauna that is actually effective for HEALTHY short term weight loss.

Instead of sitting in a hot steamy room, do the exact opposite. Sit in a tub of cold water. The water will draw heat away from your body, and your core temperature will begin to drop.

In this case, it makes sense that your body would have to increase it’s metabolism to keep you warm. Not only will you lose weight, but you will actually be burning fat instead of just dehydrating yourself. Trust me, it works.

It’s one of those little known weight loss methods that seems so obvious even though no one ever does it. Try it out and see if it works for you.

About Kyle McMillan 73 Articles
Even as a child, Kyle had an inquisitive mind and a deep passion for writing. After completing high school,  he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism that gave him the opportunity to combine his passions. Today, Kyle is a top writer for Noble Nashville where he contributes pieces in a variety of genres. In his spare time, he enjoys being home with his wife of five years and the couple’s two children.

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