I have this friend whose sole purpose in life is to be fit and she would do anything to accomplish that goal. She came up to me recently and said she had found a way to lose some extra weight. When I asked her to share what she had found, she said Saunas could help with weight loss.

Does the sauna help you lose weight

Initially I didn’t know if there was a connection between the sauna and weight loss but I got curious and in there next few lines, you will see what I found out about her claim.


A sauna is a heated room which people go into to sweat and relax. How do saunas generate their heat? That is a good question. Traditional saunas from back in the day who heat up stones and rocks in a room and the radiation of heat from these rocks is what would heat up the room. Water is thrown on the rocks after some time interval and it is not to reduce the heat – quite the contrary. The water thrown on the rocks creates steam and a feeling of more intense heat.


I guess if you are sweating then that is some water weight you are losing and maybe that is where my friend got her idea from. I decided to go see for myself. The first thing I found is that athletes in the past and up till now use saunas to shed off extra weight before a sporting event such as wrestling, boxing etc. and the logic behind this was simple; the more you sweat, the more you lose.


  1. You burn 300 – 500 calories in a 20 – 30 minute sauna session.
  2. Sweating causes your body to work harder as it increases your heart rate
  3. Sauna sessions increase circulation and as you sweat, you shed salt and water.
  4. Sauna sessions boost metabolism and that means you lose even more calories faster.


Well the answer to this is yes and no. No because most of the weight we lose in a sauna is water weight and as soon as we dehydrate, we gain some of it back. Yes because if you sauna regularly, you will lose enough calories to actually start losing weight.


Does the sauna help you lose weight

This is the good part of sauna weight loss. How can we lose weight with the sauna and make it stick? Read on let’s find out shall we?

#1 Start small. Go in for 15 – 20 minutes at a time and work your way up to 30 minutes. An ideal sauna ternary would look like this.

  • Arrive at the sauna
  • Take a bath (to clean off lotions and creams from body)
  • Change to sauna clothes and go in for 15 minutes
  • Leave the sauna and take a break for 5 – 10 minutes
  • Go back in for another 15 minutes
  • Take another short break of 10 minutes
  • Go back in for a final 10 – 15 minutes

Doing this two days in a week would start to show lasting results soon enough. Daily saunas are recommend though if you want to take it to the next level but should you choose to go in daily, then 30 minutes per day is just fine. (If you are a beginner, which is two 15-minutes sessions)

#2 Drink water. Having water in your system helps when you use sauna for weight loss. it will make your body not hold on to fat and will help you stay hydrated all through the sauna sessions. Drink lots of water before you go in, and drink water during your breaks.

#3 Go in for a sauna after you have exercised. Infrared saunas (due to the fact that the lamp lights penetrate your skin directly) aid in muscle recovery so it is ideal to sit in the sauna after an exercise session.

#4 Combine a healthy diet. This is just the best advice for lasting results.


Having found out all I have just shared, I called my friend and told her whatI am about to end with. Going to a sauna once in a month, whether in your home or the gym will not help you lose weight. Sure if you get on the scale immediately afterwards, you may have lost a few pounds but that is all water weight. Real results come when you have made the sauna a part of your healthy routine.

That being said, I started combining sauna with my exercise program and I can say that it has surely helped me lose some of those extra pounds with less strain on my body. So try it out and share your good news as well.

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