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How Much Weight Can You Lose in a Sauna? (Science-Based Facts)

There are many health benefits of using a sauna regularly. Some claim that saunas help lose weight. Many of you are wondering if the claims are based on medical facts or are just plain old myths. Let’s find out. 

According to research, a sauna does help you lose some weight. 

A person’s gender, weight, height, and overall health play a vital role in the weight loss process. But on average, a person should lose 50% more calories than sitting idle and resting. You should expect to lose 25 calories by staying at a sauna for 15 minutes, 50 calories in 30 minutes, 70 calories in a 45-minute session, and 100 calories in an hour.

man weighing himself
(Image source: Yunmai from Unsplash)

How Do You Lose Weight in a Sauna?

Saunas can help with weight loss, however, it is not as some people think. A lot of people imagine that when they use a sauna daily, they simply need to sit in it and the heat will burn their fat. It doesn’t work that way.

Saunas help people lose weight in three ways.

1. Increased Metabolism

Metabolism is a term used to describe all the chemical reactions that help a living organism and cell maintain its state. However, it also has a role to play in your weight.

Having a high metabolism means that your body will be able to handle more calories. You will need to take in more calories to maintain your weight meaning that if you don’t you can lose weight. With a high metabolism, you will have a higher shot at losing weight because when your body can metabolize at a good and steady rate, your body can lose weight much easier. With a high metabolism, you will be able to burn fat much faster and end up with the body you want.

Metabolism doesn’t only concern weight loss. Although having a high metabolism will go a long way towards helping you lose weight, good metabolism comes to play in so many other fields. If your body doesn’t metabolize fast enough, it is not only your weight that will be affected. For one thing, it also helps make you feel better by topping up your energy levels.

2. More Calories Burnt

It has been proven that using a sauna burns calories directly. However, a lot of people exaggerate at which these calories can be burnt when it comes to using saunas.

The question is how many calories can you burn from sitting in a sauna. The gospel truth is that sitting in a sauna cannot lose you as much as exercising. When considered logically and through research, it is just not possible.

When you sit in a sauna for thirty minutes, although you can burn calories, it is not as many calories as you could have lost on a thirty-minute jog. If you weigh 185 pounds, you can lose anything between 65 and 85 calories from sitting in a sauna. Note that the amount differs based on how much you weigh. This means that while you can lose weight to saunas, it is nothing compared to exercises.

The right way to do this is to make use of your sauna and also exercise afterward. The saunas can complement your exercises and help you burn calories even faster resulting in the body you want.

man running on road
(Image source: Jenny Hill from Unsplash)

3. Combine it With Exercise

This benefit is related to the obvious way that saunas help with body pains. Without any scientific explanation, it is quite obvious. The heat helps relieve pains in joints and muscles. If you are experiencing pain of any sort, a sauna is a right thing for you. They practically unwind your body and leave you feeling new and rejuvenated. The increased circulation reduces pains, soreness, and discomfort.

One reason a lot of people do not exercise is because of the aches and pains associated with it.

When you exercise frequently, you could get a lot of aches and pains in your body that would make it hard for you to continue. Apart from relieving the aches in joints and muscles, saunas go a little further.

Saunas reduce DOMS. DOMS is short for delayed onset muscle soreness. Delayed onset muscle soreness is caused by high-intensity exercises. These exercises cause tiny tears in your muscle fibers when you exercise. To combat this, your body increases inflammation which results in delayed onset of muscle soreness.

In addition, it will reduce any pain and inflammation gotten during exercises and so, the next day, you’ll be able to exercise comfortably.

If you make use of saunas regularly, studies have proven that they help combat delayed onset muscle soreness. As a result, it would be easy for you to move on to the next phase of your exercise and keep up with it. The changes in your body will encourage you to do more.

How Long Should You Stay In a Sauna to Lose Weight?

You should stay for no longer than 25-45 minutes in a sauna to burn adequate calories that’ll eventually help you shed some weight. 

Want to stay longer? It depends on your ability to handle the heat. The healthier you are, the more hydrated you are, the longer you can stay without experiencing dehydration and lightheadedness. No one should stay for more than an hour. But you need to be in excellent health to be able to stay that long. For an average person, we recommend 30 mins which should be enough for a good sauna session. 

Sauna Weight Loss Calculator

To calculate the calories burned by spending time inside an infrared sauna, you need to divide your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) by the amount of time spent inside the sauna and then multiply it by 1.5. For example, if the BMR indicates that you burn 1550 calories per day then the amount of calories you are losing in a sauna session is – (1550/30) x 1.5 = 77.5

Use these BMR calculators:

man's smartwatch counting calorie burns
(Image source: Artur Luczka from Unsplash)

How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Sauna for 15 Minutes?

You can burn 20+ calories by spending 15 minutes in a sauna. 

On average, men burn 1600 calories and women burn 1400 calories in a day. Assuming an average person burns 1500 calories per day then how many calories does one burn in a minute? The math says 1 calorie.

In a sauna, with increased blood circulation and heat neat you are likely to burn over 20 calories in 15 minutes.

It’s worth noting that it takes an infrared sauna a few minutes to heat up so if you spend 15 minutes in an infrared sauna then you will burn less than 20 calories. 

How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Sauna for 30 Minutes?

You burn roughly 40-50 calories in a sauna for 30 minutes. 

An average person should spend no more than 30 minutes in a sauna. 40-50 may not seem like a lot but for regular sauna visitors, it amounts to a lot.

How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Sauna for 45 Minutes?

You burn roughly 60-70 calories in a sauna for 45 minutes. 

45 minutes is a long time to spend in a sauna and we don’t recommend an average person to spend 45 minutes in a sauna. But if you are in excellent health then go ahead but make sure you are visiting the sauna only once or twice a week. 

How Many Calories Do You Burn in a Sauna for 60 Minutes or 1 Hour?

You burn roughly 100 calories in a sauna for 60 minutes. We don’t recommend using the sauna for an hour but if you think you can take it, please restrain from visiting the sauna more than once a week. 

FAQs

Q. Is the Sauna Good for Weight Loss?

A. Yes, the heat inside a sauna increases your metabolism rate which causes an increased level of calorie burn. The heat also causes your heart to beat faster and requires more energy from your body. This leads to more calorie burn. As we said, earlier, you can expect to burn 50% more calories than you would by resting and doing nothing outside the sauna. That said, don’t expect to burn hundreds of calories in a single session. 

Many of you are probably wondering if losing water weight counts. When you are inside the sauna sweating profusely you end up losing a lot of water from your body which somewhat reduces your weight. But you gain that weight as you drink more and more water to counter dehydration.

It’s worth noting that weight loss is not the only benefit of using a sauna. Spending time in the sauna regularly can help boost your immune system, flush out toxins, and relieve pain in muscles and joints. Read more:

Q. Does Sweating Help You Lose Fat?

A. Sweating is a natural process that helps the body cool down. It is also a way to release toxins from the body. Sweating does not help you lose fat, but it can help you lose water weight. When your body gets too hot, it starts to sweat to cool down. The sweat contains water and salt that are eliminated through the pores in your skin. However, as soon as you drink plenty of fluids, your body will gain the water weight back.

The bottom line is when it comes to losing weight, there’s bound to be some sweating involved but it’s not a lose-it-fast formula for weight loss.

Conclusion

Saunas are a great way to lose weight. The fact that they burn calories and help your body keep up with exercises while increasing metabolism rates makes saunas great assets.

Although there is no doubt that saunas are useful for weight loss in addition to several other things, do not be one of those people that intend to use only saunas in their quest to lose weight. It will be a slow and sad process. Rather, pair your sauna sessions with healthy eating and exercising to get the best results.

Saunas are highly beneficial for a lot of other things and not only weight loss. If you have made or frequently make use of a sauna, you’ll know that it is highly relaxing and calming. Saunas have multiple benefits for both the mind and body.

Getting the right sauna can improve your lifestyle. It is an investment with no possible losses. Your sauna is going to be something you can use for the rest of your life. If you buy a sauna now, you can still enjoy it as you get old. Saunas have a lot of benefits for both old and young people.

More importantly, make use of your sauna and make sure you exercise and eat healthily. You must do these things. A sauna can never take its place.

Issac Maxfield sauna hacks

Article by

Issac Maxfield

I used to be a marketing guy working for technology companies. After 15 years of corporate life, I burnt out. Severely. I turned my focus on my health and made drastic changes in my life. Today I’m the happiest person I know.

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