Weight Loss

Sauna For Weight Loss – How It Works, Benefits, And Precautions

ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
Sauna For Weight Loss – How It Works, Benefits, And Precautions March 9, 2018

Can a hot and steamy sauna (sow-nah) take inches off you? YES! Just relax and enjoy this traditional Finnish bath in a heated (150-195 оF) room and sweat it out. It has been scientifically proven to aid weight loss (1). A research study also showed that sauna for weight loss could be directly compared to a moderate-intensity workout (3). If your dream is to lose weight without doing much, your prayers have just been answered. Give this post a read to know all about how sauna aids weight loss, benefits, and points to remember. Let’s begin.

How Sauna Aids Weight Loss

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One can wonder how can a sauna help you lose weight, it does so by aiding weight loss in a number of ways. It not only boosts your metabolism and improves stamina but is also rejuvenating, stress-relieving and is also quite a unique bath for weight loss. Scroll down to find out how you can lose weight just by sitting or lying down.

  • Acts As A Detoxifier

Sweat is made from the lymphatic fluid. And since the heat in the sauna will make you sweat more, your body can get rid of toxins easily. This is healthy, especially if you do not workout regularly (or at all!) or stay indoors all day long in low temperature conditioned air.

Sweating will also help flush out heavy metals like nickel, mercury, copper, and zinc that are absorbed via the foods you eat. Once your lymphatic system is clear, you will start losing weight by burning the fat effectively.

  • Boosts Metabolic Rate

The high temperatures in the sauna allow your heart rate increase by 30%. This, in turn, boosts your metabolic rate by 20%. And once your metabolism is kick-started or accelerated, you tend to burn more calories in a shorter amount of time. In fact, even after a couple of hours out of the bath, your metabolism will be up and running at a higher rate and this, in turn, is how can you lose weight in a sauna.

  • Helps Lose Water Weight

Water weight can contribute up to 5 pounds of your total weight. And it takes about seven days to lose the water weight with restricted diet and a mixed workout routine.

Sauna, on the other hand, will help expel the excess water by inducing heavy sweating. It is extremely helpful in dropping a few pounds in just a day or two.

  • Reduces Stress

A sauna can be described as the most relaxing bath. It helps reduce stress and lowers the cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released when you worry too much or are under mental or physical stress. This leads to an increase in the number of harmful free oxygen radicals and inflammation in the body.

When you relax by taking a bath in the sauna, the cortisol levels drop, and so do inflammation and the harmful free oxygen levels. This reduces the chances of inflammation-induced weight gain.

  • Improves Stamina

Ever felt out of breath too soon while working out or even climbing up the stairs? Well, the sauna can help tackle that problem. It improves your breathing capacity, increases respiratory function and production of the vasodilator nitric oxide, and reduces respiratory problems.

When you increase your stamina to workout, go on long walks, lift heavy objects or climb up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, you will start burning the fat.

  • Aids Muscle Recovery

Many athletes rely on sauna to help their muscles recover from a strenuous workout or exertion. Since the muscles also play an important role in your metabolic rate, keeping them rejuvenated and strong will help you lose weight. Sauna helps to relax and remove all the soreness from your muscles.

This is how sauna can actually aid weight loss. Now, let us find out about the common types of sauna.

Common Types Of Sauna For Weight Loss 

  • Steam Rooms – Also known as Turkish baths, these rooms are steamy (no pun intended!) and humid.
  • Infrared – Not the conventional sauna, but the acting principle is the same. Light waves are used to heat your body directly and produce sweat.
  • Wood Burning – Sauna rocks are heated by lighting up wood. This is a typical traditional Finnish sauna, and the room temperature is high and is humid.
  • Electrical Sauna – Instead of wood, the room is heated up using electricity.

Now, the main question is how many calories can you really expect to burn? Find out in the next section.

How Many Calories Will You Burn In A Sauna?

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Here’s an equation to make it easier for you to calculate the number of calories you will burn in a sauna.

Number of calories burned in 30 min of sitting or resting * 1.5 (and 2) = calories burned in a sauna.

Say, you are 132 pounds and burn 30 calories in 30 minutes of sitting or resting. Multiply it by 1.5 and 2 to get an estimate of how many calories you will burn in a half hour session of sauna.

But, does this mean you can be in the sauna for 24 hours and come out slimmed down? Before your imagination runs wild, let me tell you how to make it work for you.

How To Make Sauna Work For Your Weight Loss

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If you’re wondering, “How much weight can I lose in a sauna?” let me tell you that sauna is an effective weight loss method. However, it’s not a magic room where you just go and come out all shaped up. You must time the visits depending on your current body weight and target weight. Visit the sauna bath two-three times a week for two weeks.

After two weeks, you will start to feel energetic and refreshed. Then, you must include light exercise in your daily routine. For the next three weeks, take a sauna bath twice a week. After that, include strength training and cardio in your workout routine and take a sauna bath to relax and rejuvenate your muscles.

Well, I know what you are thinking! “She told I don’t have to workout!” Here are the reasons I recommend strength training and a few other things when you are using sauna for weight loss approach.

[ Read: Strength Training – A Beginner’s Guide ]


  • Sauna helps you burn fat but does nothing about the muscles. To tone the muscles and prevent sagging, you must gradually incorporate strength training into your workout routine. Since sauna will help improve your stamina, cardio or strength training will not cause as much exertion as it would have without the sauna.
  • You must keep yourself hydrated. Sauna causes too much dehydration, which may inhibit weight loss.

Before closing, here are a few more points on why sauna is good.

Why Is Sauna Good For You?

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  • Sauna increases blood circulation, and it has been found to be beneficial for the heart.
  • It helps speed up injury recovery.
  • Improves skin health and makes the skin glow.
  • It helps flush toxins out of the body.
  • Helps you sleep better.

Sauna is a great choice when you are just starting to lose weight. It will not only aid weight loss but also impart other health benefits. But you must eat healthy and slowly introduce your body to cardio and strength training to look toned up and strong. So, take care and be fit. Cheers!


How much weight do you lose in a sauna?

You can lose anywhere between 2-5 pounds, depending on your age, height, weight, sauna duration etc.

How often should i use the sauna to lose weight?

You may use it twice every week for 15-20 weeks to lose weight.

How long to sit in sauna to lose weight?

About 15-20 minutes in sauna will give you good results.

How much water weight can you lose in a sauna?

You can lose about 2 pounds of water weight in sauna.

Is a sauna good for losing weight?

Yes, it is good for weight loss but you must eat healthy and exercise to make it work.

Is it healthy to have a sauna every day?

Avoid sauna everyday. You can go for it once in every two days initially and then reduce the visits to twice or once a week.

How long is it safe to sit in a sauna?

15-20 minutes.

How much weight you can lose in one day?

You will not lose weight in a single day.

Do saunas help you detox?

Yes, sauna is a great way to detox and feel refreshed.

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