You might be inundated with ads left and right about burning belly fat. Can infrared saunas really help you burn belly fat? Or is it too good to be true?
An infrared sauna can’t burn belly fat specifically because targeted weight loss itself is just a myth. However, it can help you burn fifty percent more calories than you would at rest. This is because sitting in the sauna mimics moderate cardio activity and boosts your metabolism.
Read on to learn weight loss facts that are backed by science – and how the sauna can help you reach your goals!
Is it possible to just burn localized belly fat?
Many people are looking to burn belly fat specifically. Unfortunately, we have some bad news.
It is not possible to just burn localized belly fat. You may lose fat in some places more than others while losing weight depending on genetics, but you can’t target weight loss to specific areas of your body.
It’s simply not possible to burn localized belly fat. Even if you do core workouts, the accompanying weight loss will be spread throughout your body.
Although many programs claim to target your belly, they’re ripoffs. No matter what diet you eat or how much you work out your core, you can’t localize weight loss.
However, you can tone your core with core workouts. While this isn’t burning localized belly fat, it is changing the appearance of your belly.
Does infrared heat get rid of fat?
If we’re talking about infrared saunas, it’s important to know if infrared heat burns fat or not.
Infrared heat on its own does not get rid of fat. Rather, your body’s reaction to the infrared heat gets rid of fat. Saunas can boost your metabolism, helping you to burn more calories and shed those pounds.
Let’s talk in-depth first about what it means to burn fat.
Fat cells exist in your body to store energy. The number and size of fat cells increase to store excess energy when you eat more calories (energy) than you burn.
Fat storage evolved as a means of survival in humans for periods when there was little or no food available, such as in the wintertime.
Now onto fat burning. When you’re burning fat, two things happen:
- The energy in fat cells is being used.
- Less energy is being put into fat cells.
The more your body gets used to doing this, the easier it becomes. Your metabolism will increase, which burns more energy and, in turn, more fat.
So, where do infrared saunas come into the picture? Well, the sauna can boost your metabolism. Your metabolism burns calories – and if you burn more calories, you burn more fat!
How infrared saunas burn calories
Burning calories is the name of the game when it comes to burning fat. Where do infrared saunas come into the mix?
Infrared saunas can potentially burn 1.5x the number of calories you would burn while at rest. This is because infrared rays boost your heart rate as if you were performing moderate cardio.
When you’re exposed to infrared light, your heart rate increases as if you were walking at a normal pace for about half an hour. This creates a higher metabolism, which burns calories more quickly.
And as previously discussed, burning calories means burning fat!
If you’re looking for an exact number, multiply your resting metabolic rate by 1.5 to discover how many calories you would burn during an infrared sauna session.
More on that to come!
How many calories do you burn in a 15-minute infrared sauna session?
Lots of people only have time for a quick sauna session.
The average person burns about 23 calories in a 15-minute infrared sauna session, compared to 15 at rest.
To discover how many calories you burn in a 15-minute infrared sauna session, calculate your resting metabolic rate and multiply it by 1.5.
To demonstrate – and these numbers are just as an example – if you typically burn 10 calories in 15 minutes while at rest, you’ll burn 15 calories in 15 minutes during an infrared sauna session (10 x 1.5 = 15).
Most people burn about 1 calorie per minute at rest.
Your resting metabolic rate depends on factors such as your age, weight, height, gender, general health, and more.
How many calories do you burn in a 30-minute infrared sauna session?
Thirty minutes is the recommended amount of time for an infrared sauna session.
The average person burns nearly 50 calories in a 30-minute infrared sauna session.
Just as previously discussed, to discover the number of calories you would burn in a 30-minute sauna session, you have to calculate your resting metabolic rate for 30 minutes and multiply it by 1.5.
For example, if you usually burn 20 calories in 30 minutes while at rest, you’ll burn 30 calories in a 30-minute infrared sauna session (20 x 1.5 = 30).
Should you use an infrared sauna for weight loss?
Now that you know how infrared saunas help you burn fat, the question remains: is it a good idea?
You should use an infrared sauna for weight loss if you want to add another aspect to a weight-loss regimen or if you can’t exercise for health reasons. Using an infrared sauna on its own for weight loss isn’t very effective.
Infrared saunas are a great way to aid weight loss, but they should not be used as your only means of burning extra calories.
Let’s talk about some safe ways to use infrared saunas for weight loss and some additional methods to help you lose weight.
Is infrared sauna a safe method for weight loss?
It’s important to stay safe in the sauna, and it’s also important to stay safe while losing weight.
The infrared sauna is a safe method for weight loss: for people who can’t exercise for health or safety reasons, as an addition to a weight loss regimen, and if you follow sauna safety guidelines.
Infrared saunas can be a safe method for weight loss if implemented correctly. Here are some guidelines!
Infrared saunas are safe:
- For those who can’t exercise for health or safety reasons
- As an addition to a weight loss regimen
- When following sauna safety guidelines
On the other hand, infrared saunas are generally unsafe:
- For people who shouldn’t use saunas
- When used alongside unsafe weight loss techniques
- If you don’t follow sauna safety guidelines
How often should you use an infrared sauna for weight loss?
Infrared saunas may help you lose weight, but how often should you use them?
For weight loss, you should use an infrared sauna as often as you would for any other benefit: three times a week for half an hour each session. Ways to help you lose weight along with using an infrared sauna include eating fewer calories, exercising more, drinking water, and eating regularly.
For weight loss, you should use an infrared sauna three times a week and stay in for thirty minutes each session.
There are other ways to help you lose weight in conjunction with an infrared sauna. Here are some ideas:
- Eat fewer calories – To eat fewer calories safely, your intake should – generally speaking – not fall below 1,200 per day in women or 1,500 per day in men.
- Exercise more – Along with other health benefits, exercising for half an hour per day will help you lose weight.
- Drink water – This will keep your body healthy, along with helping you feel more full.
- Eat regularly – Eating regularly will help keep your metabolism working all day long.
How long does it take to see results from the infrared sauna?
Okay, finally, the real question: when will you start to see results?
If you go to the infrared sauna three times a week for half an hour each session, you will lose about 150 calories per week in the sauna. You need to burn an extra 3,500 calories to lose a pound. If your only method of weight loss is the sauna, it will take roughly two months to lose a pound.
Since the average person burns 50 calories in a 30-minute sauna session, and it’s recommended to go to the sauna three times a week, you can lose about 150 calories a week in the sauna.
To lose a pound, you need to burn an extra 3,500 calories. That means it will take about two months to lose a pound if your only weight loss method is the infrared sauna.
It’s safe to lose about one or two pounds a week (so long as you talk with your doctor first). That means that your best bet is to combine using an infrared sauna with the techniques stated above to achieve your weight loss goals.
What type of sauna is best for weight loss?
So far we’ve only talked about infrared saunas. Let’s double-check to ensure there isn’t another kind of sauna better for weight loss.
Most people use infrared saunas for weight loss, but it’s unclear what the reasoning behind this is. Has this just become a myth, or is there just an overlap in the demographics of people who want to lose weight and those who use infrared saunas?
Infrared saunas differ from traditional saunas in many ways. Infrared saunas work by using infrared rays to penetrate your body to heat you up from the inside out. Meanwhile, traditional saunas heat the air around you.
Traditional saunas can reach up to 195°F, while infrared saunas only reach about 140°F.
Despite this, they have similar health benefits. But most people who are using saunas for weight loss opt for infrared saunas.
Part of this is probably due to the advertising that infrared sauna companies put out. They push weight loss as a benefit more than other kinds of saunas do.
There also may just be an overlap in the demographics of those who use infrared saunas and those who want to lose weight.
Lastly, it may just have become a myth that infrared saunas are the best kind of sauna to use to lose weight.