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The Truth Behind Losing Weight by Having Sauna or Steam Bath

September 3rd, 2007 · 15 Comments ·


After the class at gym, while walking to the changing room, was chatting with a gym member.”Hey, you want to join me for a sauna session to lose some weight?”

Politely declined his offer. Why?

It is a misconception to lose weight by having steam bath or sauna. First thing first, what we want to lose is fat. Weight could be fat, water or even muscle tissue. The loss of weight through excess sweating as experienced in the steam room is not fat, but water.

After the session, you will be thirsty. Once you drink water, such weight will be back. More worrying is that if the fluid loss is replaced by a high calorie drink, you may end up by gaining fat as a result of your weight loss attempt. So, weight loss after sauna is a temporary loss.


However, another school of thought – steam bath may help in weight loss. Their approach is to detoxify the body. From the scientific point of view, it is true that steam bathing has a stimulating effect on the cardiovascular system. The pulse rate will increase within short period. This increases blood circulation, since the heat causes the blood vessels in the skin to expand, accommodating the increased blood flow.

Also, they believe that weight loss cannot be accomplished unless toxins are first removed. Furthermore, they believe that sending more blood to the capillaries and converting fats and carbohydrates results in much calories burned during one short steam bath session.


So, who is right?

In the steam bath or sauna, increased cardiac output and the cooling process make the body use its energy resources and therefore making your heart rate increases. So, your heart is the only muscles working hard. While the heart is an important muscle, physical activity such as jogging, swimming or weight lifting is better choice. These physical activities make your muscles grow and muscle tissue burns energy even while you rest.

Use steam bath as one of the methods to achieve your goal for weight loss, but not the only one. In order to reduce body fat, cardiovascular exercise is a must. So does a good diet plan with a strong discipline to do weight lifting. In fact, between a steam bath or a 30-minute brisk walking, I will go for the latter.


If only steam bath is so effective, I guess everyone will flock to have steam bath, twice a day, seven days a week, to become slimmer.

And we will never have overweight people in the world.



Category: Weight Loss

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15 responses so far ↓
  • Simon Paul // Sep 11, 2007 at 4:20 PM

    Hey MUN, cardio workouts for the win ;)

  • Jessie // May 5, 2008 at 9:45 AM

    I’ve actually seen people lost weight through steam bath… but of course, like you, we all question its effectiveness. I really wonder if it is true because I didn’t have a chance to try it.

  • assad // May 22, 2008 at 2:52 PM

    hi… i am in dieting and i also use on 7th day i drunk alcholic drink it is good or bad

  • vaibhav jain // Jan 12, 2009 at 1:57 AM

    Dear ,
    After reading this statement it help me a lot to understand the way to use sauna & steam bath. i have a doubt in my mind that if i take sauna bath everyday , it hepl me to reduce weight , but when i use it on daily basis my skin becomes dryer day by day .
    i will thank you that this statement help me a lot,but i would like to request you to guide me what is the best way to reduce weight by cardio excersice , sauna & steam bath .

    vaibhav jain

  • jhun // Jan 28, 2009 at 10:30 PM

    i have a question ,is it save to tke a shower after exercise and before going to steam

  • live4ever // Mar 5, 2009 at 3:43 PM

    Hi, steam baths are extremely affective for the health of the body, that’s what we all want to be anyway is healthy. Plus, a steam bath is usually in the gym so that gets you there and when I steam I feel so much better after a workout and it is a reward . My muscles are warm and I stretch in the steam room. I say stop dissin it and get some info on how good they are for you. I don’t know if there is a study on this but I know that a steam bath everyday will help prevent that loose skin that you gain after weight loss.

  • Lilibeth // Mar 21, 2009 at 3:21 AM

    I like the answer on my clarifications…It’s clear to me now

  • Darcy // Mar 26, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Steam baths and/or saunas are great if you’re interested in clearing out your pores and stretching out your muscles. The swedes believe it helps detox the body by sweating things out. I go running a lot, and when you are doing it outside in the northeast, you’re never going to be completely warm. Its great to really warm your muscles up completely and get a good, safe stretch.

    As for weight loss, the only things you are losing are really salt and water. If you’ve easten a lot of salty foods, go for it but remember that for any salt you lose, you’re losing even more water and are going to have to replace that. The weight is entirely water weight, and to actually benefit from getting your heart rate up by overheating yourself, you’d have to be in there long enough to send you off into brain damage land.

  • Steam boy // Jul 9, 2009 at 10:22 AM

    walking or jugging for 30 min is alot easier than steam bathing for 30 min.

  • DASTI // Sep 10, 2009 at 3:15 PM

    can i use steam bath or sauna after a hard session of gym??

  • Mahesh // Jan 22, 2010 at 11:14 PM

    I think workout are better than saun or steam.This really helps and makes your blood level and heart stronger.While disadvantage about steam is increase of weight in twice the compare and also disease such as blood presure and hair fall.

  • Ross kennedy // Mar 17, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    Is ti safe to have a sauna every day. I feel very relaxed and rejuvinated after along sauna

  • Jennfer Z // Nov 20, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    I go to the steam shower, then sauna and then hot tub, each for 15 minutes, then the 52 degree cold plunge pool to close up the pores..all after a mile lap swimming, this is my reward!!

  • jgalkdfjowev // Jul 16, 2011 at 7:02 AM

    why not excercise and then steam.?you can always to both! :D

  • Capt.Chougle // May 24, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Jogging if done on sandy beaches is MORE BENEFICIAL.
    In trying to get rid of extra kilos, All above disciplines are important as you also need to continue Doing what is needed to be done as your Daily Life requires from you

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