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Can You Use a Dry Heat Sauna for Weight Loss?

By Bethany Kochan ; Updated July 18, 2017

According to the Obesity Society and the data they collected in 2007, more than 25% of American adults are classified as obese and at an increased risk for disease. Weight loss can be challenging and take a lot of time. A dry heat sauna is one method that people use for quick weight loss.


Dry heat saunas can be found in fitness centers and spas. They are wood-paneled rooms with benches and a heating mechanism. In some cases the room can be heated as high as 185 degrees Fahrenheit. This can cause your skin to heat to about 104 degrees in a short amount of time. According to Harvard Medical School, dry saunas are relatively safe for most people but seem to have little health benefit beyond relaxation and a sense of well-being.

Weight Loss from a Dry Sauna

You can lose about a pint of fluid through sweating when using a dry sauna. However, you need to replace these fluids so the weight comes right back on. Some athletes that are required to make weight for their event use this as a weight-reduction method but understand that it is temporary and don't use it on a regular basis, notes the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Creating Weight Loss

Lasting weight loss is achieved by creating a negative energy balance within your body. You achieve this by consuming less calories than you burn on a regular basis. Adjusting your diet and increasing physical activity can produce sustainable results. The calories you burn in a sauna because of increased sweating and increased heart rate are not a replacement for an effective diet and workout plan, advises the Weight Loss For All website.

Diet and Exercise Recommendations

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you accumulate 225 to 420 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week to produce significant weight loss. This should be a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Follow a low-calorie, low-fat diet that includes complex carbohydrates, lean sources of protein and limits saturated and trans fats. Include a variety of fruits and vegetables for necessary vitamins and minerals. A sensible plan along with sauna use— if you enjoy it—can give you the results you desire.


Use precautions when using a dry sauna, advises the Harvard Medical School. If you are ill or feel that way when in the sauna, leave. Drink two to four glasses of cool water after you finish in the sauna and don't stay in longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Discuss sauna use with your doctor if you are taking any medications that cause your body to overheat or impede sweating, or if you have a medical condition where a sauna is contraindicated. The use of dry heat is not appropriate for everyone.

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