A common question on many of our customer’s minds when sauna shopping is the health benefits which owning a home infrared sauna will provide. Any discussion of health and wellness without a discussion of weight loss would be cut short. So let’s cut to the case and deal with the question everyone is wondering. It determines whether or not owning a sauna will actually help you lose weight.
Common Misconception: Water weight = weight loss
A common misconception that often fools individuals looking to lose weight is, ironically enough, the number shown on the scale. For example purposes, if I were to weight myself before a jacuzzi home sauna session, I may weigh 200 pounds. I could then have a nice steamy 45 minute sauna session and weigh myself again. The scale may even say as low as 196. Sadly, I did not just lose 4 pounds – this is not how it works.
When you sweat out water, while you are “technically” losing 4 pounds of weight. It is all in the form of water, which when you have some more to drink. It will be re-absorbed into your body, and will again increase your weight.
Importantly, not all hope is lost. Infrared saunas can help you lose weight, it will just not be this easy!
Infrared Saunas Weight Loss Benefits
Maintaining a healthy weight is important to your overall quality of life. Among many benefits, infrared sauna gives the body the illusion of exercise. Therefore burns calories at faster rates than a vigorous cardiovascular workout.
Increased Metabolic Rate
Infrared saunas do not heat up the environment around you, but rather, they release infrared waves which permeate into your skin. This is why infrared saunas are significantly less “hot” than traditional saunas, but can actually make you sweat close to twice as much.
An implication of these infrared waves permeating into your skin is that they increase your metabolic rate – otherwise known as your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories, and lose weight. For example, if someone were to lie in bed for an entire day without moving, their body would still burn calories digesting food, retaining body heat, thinking, and more.
This is known as your “base metabolic rate”. The infrared waves increase this – so for example, rather than burning 100 calories sitting on your couch watching tv, you may burn 250 sitting inside your infrared sauna. Studies have shown that a 45 minute infrared sauna session can help you burn between 200-600 calories because of increased metabolic rate.
Release of Toxins
Often times, people will be doing everything right – staying active, eating healthy, working out, but they get “stuck” and cannot seem to lose anymore weight. This may be because of harmful toxins such as PCBs and PBs can remain stuck in your cells and trigger inflammatory responses within the body – which make weight loss extremely difficult.
Luckily, because infrared saunas permeate deep into your skin, they help release these harmful toxins that can remain marred in your cells, and help you push through these plateau stages on your weight loss journey.
Overall Healthier Lifestyle
After close to 10 years of working out and staying fit, one thing I have found is that the more you aim to live a healthier lifestyle (opposed to staring at the scale), the easier weight loss becomes. For example, by working out and walking daily, eating healthy becomes easier – because I do not want to throw away the progress I just made, and I want to instead fuel my body to recover.
In a way, you can begin “stacking” your healthy habits – each one making the next one easier. Working out makes eating healthy easier, which makes getting to sleep on a good time easier, which makes your early infrared sauna session easier, and so on.
Infrared saunas are by no means a requirement to live an overall healthy lifestyle, but they can certainly be a staple part of any wellness routine. By creating the habit of having an infrared session every day, you will begin to feel healthier, which will make other elements of your healthy lifestyle come with ease. You can do it!
What is realistic in terms of weight loss?
Regardless of what the scale may say as your body fluctuates daily with water retention, inflammation, and more – to burn 1 “true” pound of fat, you must burn 3600 calories more than you consume.
For example – if I burned 5000 calories in a day by going for a run, working out, and staying active, but consumed a healthy diet of whole, natural foods of 3000 calories, I would have a “caloric deficit” of 2000 calories. This would equate to roughly just over 1/2 of a pound of “true” fat loss. (2000 is just over one half of 3600).
Putting this into the context of infrared saunas – if a 40 minute infrared session can help you burn 400 calories – it would take nine 40 minute sessions to burn 1 pound of “true” fat. In other words, if you did this daily for 1 month, it would equate to over 3 pounds. If you did this for a year, it would amount to over 36 pounds! This is why we always recommend staying consistent in order to get the full benefits of a home infrared sauna.
In short – yes they do! However, do not buy an infrared sauna and think the pounds are going to magically fall off. It is not a “solution” in itself, but a “tool” that can help you accomplish your goals.
Many people look for quick fixes, magical diets, crazy workout plans etc. The only way that you will truly accomplish, and more importantly, sustain over a long period of time. Your health goals is by creating a healthy lifestyle based on healthy habits that are executed on a daily basis.
Owning an infrared sauna has many benefits. It can aid you on your weight loss journey, but you still must do the work to see the results!
If you are thinking of purchasing an infrared sauna, I would recommend checking out our blog post. Alternatively, you can check out Clearlight Infrared Sauna Collection! These, in our opinion, are the top rated infrared saunas in existence.