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Losing Weight in the Sauna: Effective Strategies and Tips

Saunas are always in popular demand due to the impressive number of health and fitness benefits they provide. Sauna bathing relieves minor aches and pains, boosts heart health, and relieves stress. Some users also rely on this wellness habit to burn calories and lose weight.  Indeed, sitting in a high-heat sauna does produce a similar effect on your body as a good workout. When paired with other healthy lifestyle habits, regular sweat sessions can fuel weight loss and optimize your body’s physical and mental performance which ultimately can lead to you losing weight in the sauna.

To help you make the most out of your experience, we’ve put together some effective strategies and tips on losing weight in the sauna. These tips and tricks might be the key to achieving better fitness results and maximizing the health benefits of each session, so keep scrolling!

1. Establish a Pre-Sauna Routine

Did you know that a healthy and sustainable pre-sauna routine can amplify the calorie-burning effects of your sessions? A bit of preparation goes a long way in protecting your body from injury and heat stress. It also positions you to fully absorb the fitness benefits of your time in the heat.

Exercise and Hydration

It’s a good idea to squeeze in your yoga or gym session before, and not after, a sauna to avoid extreme exhaustion. This habit relaxes your muscles, dilates your blood vessels, and prepares your body for the session. Skip the alcohol and drink at least one glass of water before entering.

Snacking and Nutrition

As for snacks, try to keep them light to avoid feeling ill, sluggish, or bloated during your session. You can also wait until after the sauna to have a regular meal. Yogurt, apples, and nuts are good snack options, but you can always go for oatmeal or rice if you want something satiating.

Hygiene and Sauna Wear 

Showering before your session stimulates blood flow and unclogs your pores of dirt, makeup, and residue, so you can perspire freely. Some users claim that this pre-sauna step makes them sweat quickly and heavily, thus boosting their weight loss efforts.

Wear light, breathable, and comfortable clothes, preferably made of cotton. Tight-fitting clothes restrict your blood flow, and uncomfortable ones will make you want to leave the sauna early. Bring a towel for you to sit on as well.

2. Stick to Your Sauna Schedule

It’s safe to use your sauna daily, but when’s the best time for you to use it? Note that scheduling your sauna in the morning warms up your muscles for the day’s errands and conditions your brain to make healthy food and lifestyle choices throughout the day.

This setup can fuel your mental and physical drive to lose weight. On the other hand, evening sessions wind you down for a good night’s rest, which is vital for weight loss progression. Night saunas can also be a form of rewarding yourself for taking care of your body during the day.

How Long Should You Stay in a Sauna to Lose Weight?

Another important consideration is the overall length of your sauna time. If you’re a beginner, start with 5–10 minutes of sauna time until your body grows accustomed to the experience. Generally, the recommended duration for healthy sauna users is 15–20 minutes per session.

Experienced sauna enthusiasts can extend their time for up to 30 minutes to maximize the calorie-burning effects of each session, but sufficient hydration is a must. It’s best to skip a session if you’re sick, have open wounds, or are suffering from a sensitive skin condition.

3. Detoxify Your Mind and Body

Sweating it up in a sauna effectively cleanses your body of toxins and heavy metals, such as nickel, copper, lead, arsenic, and mercury. Eliminating these harmful substances strengthens your immunity, promotes weight loss, and provides you with more energy for physical activity.

Sauna time also acts as a stress reliever. It clears your mind of negative thoughts, lowers cortisol levels, and releases happy hormones. As a result, you’re less likely to indulge in stress-induced behaviors like overeating, unhealthy eating, fad diets, and low water intake.

You can supplement your body’s natural detoxification process by practicing mindful eating and sticking to foods with antioxidants, potassium, and prebiotics. A healthy low-carb diet can speed up fat burning and help you get a flatter belly, more energy, and stronger muscles, too.

4. Boost Your Metabolism and Exercise Capacity

Hot temperatures from inside the sauna trigger your body’s cool-down response: your heart rate rises, circulation increases, and you start sweating heavily. These processes heighten your metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories burned or energy used in a given time frame. 

But wait, there’s more! Sauna sessions enhance your exercise capacity or the maximum amount of physical activity your body can sustain. A higher exercise capacity lowers your risk for cardiovascular diseases and amplifies your ability to work out longer and lose more weight.

To reap the full benefits of an increased metabolism and exercise capacity, commitment to regular sauna sessions is vital. You may not see huge results after a session or two, but when combined with a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be surprised by your transformation in the long run.

5. Replenish Your Water Weight

Intense sweating during a sauna session causes your body to lose a good amount of water. This leads to a corresponding decrease in your weight, which is called “water weight” loss. Losing much water puts you at risk for dehydration, so you’ll need to replenish your bodily fluids.

An effective strategy would be to drink water before and after sauna bathing. You can also go a step further and bring a bottle of water with you to drink while inside the sauna. Electrolyte-rich and sugar-free sports drinks can also help you replace lost minerals and electrolytes.

A cool-down session, a cold shower, and a long rest are other things you’ll need post-sauna. Remember not to push yourself too hard, and always consult a doctor to properly guide you on your weight loss journey.

Wrapping Up

There are plenty of ways to burn extra calories and shed a few pounds, but for some sauna enthusiasts, consistent sweat sessions are one of the best ways to do so! Do you agree?


If your answer is yes, remember to incorporate sauna bathing into an active and healthy lifestyle. This ensures that you’ll reap long-lasting benefits when it comes to losing weight in the sauna. Lastly, follow the above-mentioned strategies and tips for an effective sauna experience.