Can You Lose Weight in a Sauna?

By Kim Nunley

The sweating that results from sitting in the high, dry heat of a sauna won’t help you lose weight. Wrestlers, boxers and other athletes who are concerned with making a particular weight class will use saunas and other techniques to sweat excessively in an attempt to quickly lose water weight. However, this fluid weight loss, which can be about a pint after just a short time in a sauna, is completely temporary.

Fluid Loss From Saunas

Saunas are not effective for weight loss because your body will promptly make efforts to replenish the lost fluid as soon as you eat or drink, and you’ll therefore gain the weight right back. In addition, extreme fluid loss can be unsafe, as you significantly increase your risk of overheating, cardiovascular emergencies from a loss in blood volume and a loss of electrolytes that can lead to kidney damage or even death. A safe method for weight loss is the creation of a gradual caloric deficit through healthy eating and regular exercise.

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