Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and you should always consult a licensed health practitioner before making any significant changes to your lifestyle or existing pain treatment regimen. In the blog post, we referred to a clinical study that used a cabin sauna and measured its temperature to demonstrate the practical applications of using the sauna and the outcomes that were observed during the experiment. It is important to note that the benefits are not derived from the temperature of the sauna cabin itself, but rather from the increase in the body's core temperature, and the cabin temperature serves only as a means to raise the body temperature in a controlled manner for the purposes of the study. This fact is supported by peer-reviewed studies that outline specific requirements for duration, frequency and cabin temperature for the safe and effective use of a sauna.
There are no more relaxing means of trimming fat and burning excess calories than in an infrared sauna, but how effective are they really when it comes to slimming down your waist?
Well, that’s the question we’ll be biting off today in this blog.
Infrared sauna weight loss is actually a remarkably simple phenomenon.
By exposing the body to higher temperatures, our bodies attempt to regulate our temperature by triggering the sweating response, increasing the heart rate, and cardiovascular system, and conveniently for those looking to burn fat cells at home- the metabolism. Before we explain the mechanisms of why we burn body fat in an infrared sauna, lets get down to the meat of the question.
How Long Should You Sit In An Infrared Sauna For Fat Loss?
For weight loss, a sauna for 45 minutes at 50 - 60ºC, at least 3 times a week for an 8-week period, according to a two-phase sauna weight loss study conducted by Binghamton University in New York. The study deduces that "On average, the study subjects lost about 0. 5% body fat per week totalling approximately 4% over 8 weeks". This was in comparison to the control group, and control participants' exercise regime and nutrition remained the same, as did the variable groups. Of course, how long you should spend in a sauna is completely up to you and regardless if you spend more or less time inside your sauna than what is recommended here, you will still reap sauna benefits.
This reference to a clinical study that utilised a cabin sauna and measured its temperature to underscore the practical applications of using a sauna and the resulting outcomes. Note that the sauna cabin temperature alone does not create the benefits, but the increase in the core temperature of the body in which the cabin temperature serves to raise in a controlled environment.
How Often Should You Go To The Sauna To Lose Weight?
To lose weight using infrared saunas, a frequency of above 3 times per week has been shown to produce the best results. Interestingly, it is more beneficial to visit a sauna more frequently throughout the week, than it is to visit a sauna less frequently for a more extended period of time. The study found that those who used an infrared sauna three times a week over a 12-week period lost less body fat compared to those who visited the sauna five times a week for only an 8-week period. The study documents "This resulted in approximately twice the rate of fat loss as compared to Phase 1 (8 weeks vs. 16 weeks)".
How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Sauna In 20 minutes?
You can lose weight up to 0.24 kg for women and 0.84 kg for men, in a 20-minute sauna use according to a study published in the Scientific World Journal. The study was conducted on 326 women and 348 men aged 19-20 who intermittently were subjected to 10-minute traditional sauna use, twice with a 5-minute break in between sessions. The study records that "the greatest BML [body mass loss] was reported in overweight and obese subjects" which suggests that a contributing factor to how much weight you can lose in 20 minutes is how much weight you have to lose in the first place. These results are fascinating, as typically, it takes 15 minutes to begin sweating inside traditional saunas, and thus the amount of weight lost during short periods of time can be expected to increase dramatically with longer times spent inside a sauna.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Sauna In 40 minutes?
You can lose weight of up to 0.65 kg for men in 40 minutes of sauna bathing according to a study published by Biomed Res Int. The study was conducted on 45 overweight and sedentary men who were exposed to 10-minute sessions of sauna, 4 times in a single session, with a 5-minute break in between, resulting in a total of 60-minute sessions with 40 minutes inside the sauna and 20 minutes resting. The study resulted in "The participants burned 73.04, 93.82, 114.91, and 131.40 kcal during every successive 10-minute session in the sauna" suggesting that the amount of calories burned during sauna therapy progressively increases the longer you are inside. Interestingly, the results of weight loss differ when compared to the previous study mentioned, with the amount of weight lost for 40 minutes resulting in 0.65 kg in men whereas the previous study mentions a weight loss of 0.84 kg in men in only a 20-minute session. This discrepancy could be subject to forms of sauna, temperature, age of participants, diet and daily activity factors.
How Much Weight Can You Lose In A Sauna In 45 minutes?
You can lose weight by up to 4% of your total fat over a four-month period by sauna bathing an average of three times a week, according to the Binghamton University in New York study mentioned earlier. With as little as 45 minutes of sitting in an infrared sauna, weight loss occurs similarly to a moderate-intensity cardio workout. This study hypothesised "that increasing core body temperature will increase human growth hormone production and that should increase serum glucose levels". This hypothesis correlates with the above studies, further suggesting that an infrared sauna experience does cause the body to burn calories and shed excess weight, more than typical water weight lost from increased production of sweat. They went on to report "we observed that the higher the core body temperature reached, the larger the decrease in body fat".
While there’s no substitute for a healthy diet and regular exercise, using an infrared sauna to consolidate all that hard work and shed a few extra calories can’t hurt.
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Infrared Saunas and Weight Loss: The Real Deal
These studies provide us with phenomenal evidence that by simply exposing skin to infrared light the body absorbs heat, raising the body's core temperature and activating the sweat function – helping the body burn fat by burning calories. Let's take a deeper look at what's going on for the human body during an infrared sauna session.
Do Infrared Saunas Really Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, infrared saunas really do help you lose weight, and it's not only from the sauna burning calories. Infrared saunas also have a range of health benefits that are complementary to burning fat, such as their ability to increase heart rate and circulation. All-in-all, sauna therapy is great for the endocrine system - our system responsible for hormone production.
How The Sauna Affects The Endocrine System For Fat Loss
When the body is exposed to infrared heat it activates the hypothalamus – a part of the brain responsible for regulating hormone production. This can lead to an increase in cortisol levels, which can help to reduce inflammation and support a healthy metabolism.
At the same time, increased circulation through dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow delivers more oxygen and nutrients to cells in the body, which can help to support the production of hormones involved in weight loss such as thyroid hormones. Finally, a regular sauna may also stimulate the release of endorphins; hormones that reduce stress while promoting feelings of well-being.
Can Infrared Heat Break Down Fat?
Yes, infrared light stimulates fat cells in the body directly, causing them to break down and release previously stored toxins and heavy metals. This function of far-infrared rays, however, benefits sauna detoxification, and not necessarily fat loss. This is due to infrared wavelengths penetrating deep into the soft tissue. Currently, no studies specifically examine the infrared spectrum for subcutaneous fat cell disruption measurements.
How Does Body Fat Versus Water Weight Affect Fat Loss?
Understanding the science of how fat and water impact weight loss can help demystify the process of losing weight. At its most basic level, weight loss is a factor of burning more calories than you consume; however, there are different types of weight that are important to consider.
What is body fat?
Fat is stored energy and can result in visual changes to one's physical appearance with reduced amounts.
What is water weight?
Water weight, on the other hand, refers to stored water in our bodies - these stores are affected by hormones, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and foods high in sodium or carbs.
While many approaches work to lower both fat and water weight for successful weight loss, it's important to note these two components have different impacts on overall health goals. The results from the studies mentioned above suggest that infrared saunas cause a loss in fat due to the prolonged loss in weight and fat percentage. Possibly making the calories burned in an infrared sauna session the simple weight loss solution.
Other Benefits Of Using An Infrared Sauna
Infrared sauna benefits generally come from that it increases your core temperature. This helps to warm the muscles, aiding them to relax and temporarily reduce pain from exercise recovery. The heat also helps open the pores, providing glowing skin while increasing circulation. While the effects are usually temporary, regular infrared sauna sessions can lead to long-term health improvements. There is also evidence that increased body temperature can help boost the immune system, and improve cardiovascular performance and stress relief.
Saunas and Metabolism: An Additional Perk To Burn Calories
Metabolism is the process of transforming food into energy - a concept that might be unfamiliar to some. The higher the metabolism, the further calories burned and the more energy produced. As mentioned earlier, weight loss is the act of a caloric deficit, meaning more calories go out than those that come in.
Does Sauna Increase Metabolism?
Yes, sauna use increases metabolism and regular sauna increases metabolism over extended periods of time. The body benefits from infrared therapy because as the core temperature rises, it requires energy to keep it cool, thus burning calories. Frequent saunas boost metabolism across a prolonged duration, and this could explain why the studies referenced previously yielded profound impact related to how many times individuals used a sauna per week than for how long they frequented it.
Saunas and Weight Loss: The Final Say
We hope that we've been able to provide you with ample evidence to suggest how sauna therapy is potentially a 'game-changer' for those looking to drop any excess weight without needing to have drastic changes in exercise and diet routines. While infrared saunas are riding this wellness trend it is important to clarify that regular exercise and nutrition or diet are essential for optimum health. Regular saunas can be a fantastic option for those who can't get those other things in check, like the elderly or due to disability, and the studies from the likes of Binghamton University support this.
What Type Of Sauna Is Best For Weight Loss?
The best sauna for weight loss is an infrared sauna. An infrared sauna is better than traditional saunas for weight loss due to the additional health benefits the infrared heat provides to the body. The added benefits from infrared heat, such as being better for the skin, further sauna stress relief and stimulating the endocrine system, all make for a better reason infrared saunas can be seen as better than steam saunas for weight loss.
To conclude, there are many benefits to incorporating a sauna into your health and fitness routine. For those looking to lose weight and burn calories quickly, then a traditional or infrared sauna is perfect. Just an additional 3 times a week for a 20-minute session can have a tremendous effect on your waistline.
While we have discussed a few topics related to saunas and weight loss in this blog post, there is still more information out there awaiting discovery. Take a look at the health benefits of infrared saunas for more insight into what saunas can provide.
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