Key Takeaways -

  • Spending time in a sauna can help lose water weight and reduce stress levels which can contribute to achieving desired body shape.
  • A single sauna session of 30 minutes can burn up to 300 calories.
  • Using a sauna alone will not bring long-term weight loss results, but a healthy diet and exercise routine can help in achieving desired goals of weight loss.

Are you looking for a way to lose weight without putting in too much effort? If so, you may consider using a sauna as part of your weight loss plan.

While there’s no magic bullet when it comes to losing weight, spending time in the sauna has numerous health benefits that can help your overall journey towards achieving your ideal physique.

Although using a sauna alone will not help you shed pounds, it can be an effective tool to help support your weight loss goals.

In this article, we will discuss how a sauna can help with weight loss and provide tips on how best to use one. So if you are ready for an easier way of shedding those extra pounds and getting into shape, keep reading.

Can A Sauna Help With Weight Loss?

How Does A Sauna Help You Lose Weight?

You may be wondering how does a sauna help you lose weight? The answer is quite simple. A sauna can help you to lose water weight and also REDUCE stress, both of which contribute to helping you reach your desired body shape. Let's take a closer look at how a sauna can help.

Increased Heart Rate & Sweating

The heat and steam in a sauna cause your body temperature to RISE. This causes your heart rate to increase, which allows you to burn more calories during the session by temporarily boosting your metabolism (the rate you burn calories).

According to Sun Rise Speciality, a single sauna session of 30 minutes can burn up to 300 calories [2]. While this isn’t a lot, it can still make a major difference in your overall weight loss goals.

Reduced Stress Levels & Improved Sleep Quality

The heat and warmth of the sauna have also been shown to reduce STRESS levels, which is an important factor in managing your weight.

Stress has been linked to HIGHER cortisol levels and can lead to overeating, excessive snacking, and other unhealthy habits that can cause you to gain weight.

Using a sauna can also help improve your sleep QUALITY, which is crucial for maintaining good health and helping you shed pounds. A good night’s sleep can help to reduce stress levels and regulate your hormones which play a role in weight maintenance.

Help Your Body Sweat Out Toxins

Perspiring in a sauna can also help to sweat out TOXINS and other impurities from your body. These toxins can come from environmental pollutants or unhealthy foods, making it harder for you to lose weight.

Sweating these out of your system will not only improve your overall HEALTH but also help you reach your desired weight more quickly.

Stress Relief

Using a steam room can be an excellent source of stress relief. Unmanaged stress can cause you to turn to UNHEALTHY habits such as overeating or excessive snacking, which can lead to weight gain.

Spending time in the sauna every week can help relax your body and mind and REDUCE these harmful cravings.

What Are The Risks Of Using a Sauna To Aid Weight Loss?

It's important to note that using a sauna has RISKS. Overusing a sauna can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion; let's take a closer look at the risks in detail:


Spending too much time in the sauna or steam room can lead to SEVERE dehydration. It's important to drink plenty of water before and after your session to prevent this from happening.

Studies have shown you should drink at least a liter of water before and after your session to avoid dehydration [3].

Heat Exhaustion

Another risk associated with using a sauna is heat exhaustion due to the EXTREME temperatures reached in the room.

If you start to experience any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea, or confusion, it’s IMPORTANT that you exit the room immediately and seek medical attention.

Pro Tip: Start with shorter sessions of around 10 minutes and work your way up as your body adjusts to the heat.

Poor Heart Health

People with any heart condition should be CAUTIOUS when using a sauna as the high temperatures and increased heart rate can be dangerous.

High heat causes your blood vessels to expand, putting extra STRAIN on your heart. If you have any existing heart conditions, it is important to understand the risks of using a sauna to lose weight.

If you have HIGH blood pressure or take any heart medication, it’s best to consult your doctor before attempting a sauna session and sitting in extreme heat.

Types of Saunas Used To Aid Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, saunas can be a USEFUL tool. Many saunas have been designed to help people lose weight in various ways. Here are some of the most popular saunas used for weight loss.

Steam Saunas

Steam room saunas, also known as wet saunas, use hot steamy air to help PROMOTE sweating. This helps detoxify the body and increases metabolism, which can lead to losing excess weight over time.

Some BENEFITS associated with steam saunas include improved circulation, relaxation and stress relief.

Infrared Saunas

Infrared saunas use infrared heat lamps to create heat that penetrates deep into the skin’s layers. This heat helps IMPROVE circulation and boosts metabolism by increasing calorie burning during sessions.

Additionally, infrared sauna sessions may also help release toxins from the body, which could potentially lead to LONG-TERM health benefits and even aid in losing water weight [1].

Traditional Electrically Heated Sauna

Traditional or Finnish-style saunas are much HOTTER than steam or infrared varieties which leads to an increase in heart rate and greater calorie burn during sessions.

In addition, a sauna aids weight loss; traditional Finnish-style saunas have many other POTENTIAL benefits, including improved circulation, increased flexibility and enhanced relaxation.

Wood Burning Sauna

Wood-burning saunas, also known as 'smoke saunas', are an ANCIENT sauna tradition. While similar to traditional electrically heated saunas in terms of temperature and calorie burn, wood-burning saunas work by heating sauna rocks using fire, which creates steam and heat.

This type of sauna is thought to be beneficial for relieving stress, REDUCING inflammation and detoxifying the body.

Tips On How To Safely Use a Sauna To Lose Weight

The key to using a sauna safely and effectively is to UNDERSTAND the risks associated with it. Here are a few tips on how to stay safe while using a sauna for weight loss:

  • Drink lots of water before and after sessions, especially if you opt for steam or infrared types.
  • Start with shorter sessions and gradually increase your time as you become accustomed to the heat.
  • Listen to your body and stop immediately if you feel dizzy or nauseous.
  • Avoid sauna sessions if you are pregnant, have existing heart conditions or take any medications.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Do You Burn In a Sauna?

The number of calories burned in a sauna can vary significantly depending on how long your session is, the type of sauna and your current weight.

In general, it’s estimated that you can burn up to 300 calories during a 30-minute traditional Finnish-style sauna session if you weigh 180 pounds (82kg).

Can A Sauna Help Burn Fat?

Yes, saunas can help you burn fat and lose weight. By making your body work harder to regulate its temperature through sweating, traditional Finnish-style saunas may boost calorie burning during sessions.

How Long Should You Use A Sauna To Help Lose Weight?

The amount of time you should use a sauna for weight loss depends on your individual needs and goals.

It’s generally recommended to start with shorter sessions lasting no more than 30 minutes and then increase the duration as you become accustomed to the heat. You should also take frequent water breaks throughout your sessions.


Using a sauna should not be your only method for losing weight, but it can be an effective tool alongside other healthy lifestyle habits such as proper nutrition and regular exercise.

With its many potential benefits, including increased calorie burning, toxin removal, and stress relief - incorporating regular sauna sessions into your routine could potentially aid in reaching your weight goals.

Sources -

  1. Hussain J, Cohen M. Clinical Effects of Regular Dry Sauna Bathing: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2018;2018:1-30. doi:10.1155/2018/1857413
  2. Sunrise E. How Many Calories Do You Burn In a Sauna? Sunrise Specialty. Published February 13, 2022. Accessed January 29, 2023.
  3. Popkin BM, D’Anci KE, Rosenberg IH. Water, hydration, and health. Nutrition Reviews. 2010;68(8):439-458. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x