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Can a Sauna Help You Lose Weight?

Saunas have been used since historical times to offer humans many health benefits. They provide relaxation and rejuvenation and help to detoxify the body. Besides, a sauna session can help increase blood circulation, improve lung health, and boost the immune system.

But can a sauna help you lose weight? The short answer is Yes! A sauna session can help you lose some weight- but it is not a miracle weight loss solution. It provides some weight loss benefits but is best when combined with other elements, such as a consistent workout routine and a healthy diet. 

If you have questions about how a sauna can help you transform into a healthier, fitter person, or concerns about how you can healthily lose weight, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss everything you need to know about sauna weight loss benefits as well as the safety considerations and precautions when using a sauna to lose weight. Keep reading to learn more.

The Science Behind Saunas and Weight Loss

The body contains two types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. The eccrine glands regulate the temperature of the body. Stressful settings, physical exertion, and relatively high temperatures can all cause your body temperature to rise. As the body temperature rises, eccrine glands are stimulated to release sweat, which produces a cooling effect. 

Generally, saunas use dry heat. They are typically heated between 180°F and 195°F with very low humidity. You can heat the sauna stones using a wood-burning or electric stove. Whether a sauna uses hot rocks, wood, or a stove, it is all relatively the same since you are heating the space with embers to generate dry heat.

Traditional outdoor saunas induce sweating as a result of two things: dry heat and higher temperature. Sitting in the hot sauna space will automatically affect your body temperature. A sauna session can raise the skin temperature to roughly 40° Celsius or 104° Fahrenheit. As the skin temperature rises, the body kickstarts its natural cooling process. Blood is brought closer to the surface of the skin, opening the pores to release sweat. 

You may be wondering how long it takes to sweat in a sauna. It typically takes 15 to 20 minutes to start sweating in a sauna. Sweating in a sauna will make you lose additional water stored in the body since a large percentage of sweat is water. An average person loses one pint of water in sweat during a short sauna session. That is equivalent to 568ml of fluid during a single sauna sweat session.

A traditional outdoor sauna session can help you lose weight by burning calories. Research has shown that your body has to work harder to stay cool in the heat. This causes an increased heart rate, temporarily boosting your metabolism and leading to increased calorie burn. Experts calculate that the high heat in a sauna can increase your metabolic rate by around 20%. The impact will last during your sauna session and afterward.

Water Weight and Temporary Results

Losing water weight is the most notable form of weight loss from using a sauna. It is an effect often used by wrestlers and boxers to drop numbers on the scale fast. Since the sauna heat makes you sweat heavily, you will likely lose excess water stored in your body. So you are most likely to see the scale go down after an intensive sauna session. Depending on the amount of water in your body and the starting weight, you can lose up to four pounds in a single sauna session. 

However, sauna weight loss is not permanent. It is entirely due to a loss of body fluids and not because of exercise and burning of calories. You will gain most of the weight back once you drink water to replenish your hydration after your sauna session. The water lost through sweat must be replaced as soon as possible to prevent dehydration, which can lead to serious health issues.

If you want to shed some weight for a short-term goal, then a sauna session can be beneficial. For instance, you can step into your sauna if you want to drop a few pounds for a job, sports weigh-in, or photo shoot.

Traditional Outdoor Saunas as a Complementary Weight Loss Strategy

Using a traditional outdoor sauna does not only make you lose water weight instantly but also helps you lose body weight gradually. Using a sauna alone will not produce dramatic weight loss results but, as part of a healthy lifestyle, can enhance the effects of diet and exercise.

When using a traditional outdoor sauna to lose weight, you will want to combine your sauna sessions with a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise routine, to get the best results. If you incorporate the full spectrum into your sauna routine, you will notice that your workouts will become easier, your cardiovascular health will improve, and the extra calories you shed in the sauna will be boosted by the improved lifestyle, leading to the loss of the extra pounds.

The following are ways in which a traditional outdoor sauna can be used as a complementary weight-loss strategy.



Reduced Stress

Stress is a normal psychological and physical reaction to the demands of life. A small amount of stress is okay, as it can motivate you to work harder and meet your goals. However, too much stress can lead to various health issues, such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Studies have shown that weight loss and high stress levels are linked to one another. Stress may cause you to eat more, increasing the production of stress hormones, like cortisol, which is linked to weight gain. These hormones can make your body crave calories and make it difficult to lose weight.

A traditional outdoor sauna offers time to relax and distress. It allows you to breathe deeply and release tension, helping you to exit the state of fight or flight.

More Effective Workouts

Using a traditional outdoor sauna can cause your muscles to relax, which can be beneficial if you have a good workout routine. It will help you get back to the gym sooner and experience less muscle stiffness and pain.

When you work out with a rejuvenated body, you are able to work out with more intensity for longer periods. This will allow you to burn more calories and lose weight.

Safety Considerations and Precautions

Traditional outdoor saunas may sound fun and an incredible way to lose weight. However, it is essential to consider your health and safety before using a sauna to lose weight. 

The following are safety considerations and precautions when using a sauna for weight loss.


A sauna can help you lose water weight by sweating. While sweating helps the body get rid of toxins, it also causes the loss of important minerals like sodium. Therefore, you must always get rehydrated before, during, and after your sessions. A glass of water before a sauna session is okay. You may also want to drink electrolyte-rich sports drinks, like Powerade and Gatorade, to rehydrate and replace lost electrolytes.

Work Your Way Up to Longer Sessions

It is advisable to avoid longer sauna sessions, especially if you are a beginner. Longer sessions can make you feel lightheaded and even faint since your body is not used to too much heat. If you are a beginner, you can start with a 5-minute session per week and work your way up. Once you get used to it, you work your way up to two or three 15-minute sessions per week.


A traditional outdoor sauna can be an effective tool for losing weight as it can help you lose water through sweating. Sauna use can also boost your metabolism to enhance the faster burning of calories. Besides, it can help you lose weight through stress reduction.

Consider traditional outdoor saunas as part of a holistic weight loss approach. Browse our collection of Forever Sauna Products for a traditional outdoor sauna that suits you. Do not forget to contact our team with any questions.

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