Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight?

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Do saunas help you lose weight

Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight | Way To Promote Fat Loss | Risks | FAQs

Saunas have been around for centuries, and their popularity has grown over time due to their ability to promote well-being and relaxation. But can they also help you burn fat and shed a few pounds? 

Just like high-intensity workouts like squats, a sauna causes your body to sweat, and therefore, it can help you lose some water weight. But it is not the weight you want to lose. 

To understand how saunas help you lose weight, let us dive deeper into the concept. 

Do saunas help you lose weight?

No, saunas do not directly help you lose weight but can cause temporary water weight loss. However, this weight loss is regained quickly once you rehydrate, making saunas ineffective for long-term weight loss solutions. 

A study [1]PubMed: Differential effects of sauna-, diuretic-, and exercise-induced hypohydration on the effects of sauna bathing found that while the body does experience an increase in metabolic rate during intense heat in a sauna, the number of calories burned is not enough to trigger weight loss. 

Therefore, saunas alone are not an ideal way for weight loss.

4 Ways to promote fat loss with Sauna

A study [2]PubMed: The effect of sauna bathing on lipid profile in young, physically active, male subjects on the effects of sauna bathing suggests that saunas can be compared to a moderate-intensity workout in terms of their effects.

This study also found that Finnish saunas caused a reduction in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. This can indirectly contribute to weight loss by preventing weight gain caused by high cholesterol.

1. Pairing Saunas With Exercise

Using a sauna after exercising can amplify the effects of a workout, providing long-term health benefits for weight loss.

In addition to weight loss, a sauna after a workout can also improve sleep quality and elevate mood due to the release of endorphins.

Although there is no direct relationship between sleep and weight loss, it still plays a crucial role in the process of losing weight. Thus, regular sauna use can positively affect the weight loss journey.

2. Boosting metabolism to burn calories

Utilizing a sauna regularly can enhance your metabolism, enabling the efficient burning of calories and fat. Research [3]National Library of Medicine: Sauna-Induced Body Mass Loss in Young Sedentary Women and Men indicates that the sauna can increase your basal metabolic rate, enhancing fat burning.

Exposure to extreme heat or cold results in an increased metabolic rate of the body that enhances the heart rate by up to 30%. 

It also supports calorie burning, eventually leading to weight loss. So, when incorporated into your fitness routine, a sauna bath can effectively boost metabolism and achieve weight loss goals.

3. Make it a regular practice

To lose belly fat or overall fat with a sauna, you must be consistent with your approach. 

Although some may feel discouraged by the lack of immediate results, it’s important to recognize that the body needs time to adapt to the extreme heat and detoxification provided by the sauna. 

Moreover, regular use of saunas can enhance cardiovascular health and promote better blood flow. Thus, schedule a sauna bath twice or thrice a week. 

4. Try different types of sauna

Exploring various types of saunas can be advantageous for those seeking to lose weight by utilizing saunas. It’s important to note that each type of sauna can affect the body in distinct ways.

For instance, a traditional dry sauna uses high temperatures to promote sweating, which can help rid the body of excess water weight. Alternatively, an infrared sauna utilizes a different type of heat that penetrates deeper into the skin, stimulating the body to burn calories and release toxins.

Moreover, steam saunas can also help with weight loss by creating a humid environment that promotes sweating, which can aid in losing water weight. 

Ultimately, experimenting with different sauna types and observing how your body tends to lose water weight can assist in finding the most effective sauna for your weight loss goals.

Risks associated with losing weight with sauna

While saunas can aid in weight loss, there are some risks associated with it:


One of the most significant risks is dehydration, as excessive sweating in the sauna can cause the body to lose significant amounts of water. 

Staying well-hydrated before, during, and after sauna sessions is important to replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration.

Electrolyte imbalances

Sweating can also lead to the loss of electrolytes such as potassium and sodium, leading to fatigue, muscle cramps, and irregular heartbeats

Eating a balanced diet and replenishing lost electrolytes with low-calorie energy drinks can help prevent this.

Low blood pressure

As you sweat and lose water during a sauna session, your blood vessels dilate, and your blood pressure may drop. This reduction in blood pressure can potentially lead to lightheadedness or dizziness. 

Therefore, individuals with low blood pressure should consult with their personal doctor before using a sauna for weight loss.


Besides, Sauna weight loss benefits, some risks are associated with utilizing saunas for weight loss. 

To avoid adverse effects, taking precautions such as ensuring your body is well-hydrated before and after each session is crucial. 

Additionally, relying solely on saunas for weight loss isn’t recommended. Combining sauna usage with a balanced diet and regular exercise is always best for maximum results.


How long should you sit in a sauna for weight loss?

When using a sauna for weight loss, starting slowly and gradually increasing the time spent inside is essential. It’s recommended to begin with 5-10 minute sessions before working up to longer sessions. Once acclimated, sessions can last anywhere from 15-20 minutes.

Which is better, steam or sauna?

The choice between a steam room and a sauna depends on personal preference and health goals. Saunas have higher temperatures and lower humidity, promoting detoxification and cardiovascular stimulation. Saunas use dry heat, while steam rooms use moist heat. Both induce sweating, but steam rooms have lower temperatures and higher humidity levels.

How many calories do you burn in a sauna?

While you burn more calories when exercising, you can burn a few calories in a single sauna session. A 30-minute session can burn around 45-90 calories. Don’t rely on the sauna as your sole means of weight loss. It is far more effective when incorporated into a healthy fitness routine.

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