In this blog post, I’ll cover three unusual yet effective tips to burn body fat. These three tips consist of using an infrared sauna, cold exposure, and red light therapy. Let’s consider these options in more detail:
1. Infrared Saunas
Fortunately, you and I don’t have to guess how many calories you’re burning in an infrared sauna session – scientific research has investigated this topic. In fact, spending an hour in a sauna actually helps you burn between ~500 and 1,100 kilocalories per hour (1; 2).
Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend a whole hour in a sauna to attain the optimal health benefits. For most people, a 20 – 40 minute session after you’ve built up heat tolerance is optimal.
As a result, the average 30-minute infrared sauna session helps you burn 250 – 550 kilocalories in one session. If you use that infrared sauna for four sessions per week, you’ll burn an additional 1,000 – 2,220 kilocalories that week.
Keep in mind that I’m only talking about the direct benefits of increased fat burning here. Evidence also exists that infrared saunas improve sleep quality, enhance recovery from workouts, and increase well-being, all of which indirectly support your fat loss efforts as well.
Moving on to the next tip:
2. Cold Exposure
Cold exposure through cold therapy has become extremely popular in the last few years, with people like “The Iceman” Wim Hof promoting it to a broader audience.
The benefit of cold exposure is that it massively increases what is called your “basal metabolic rate”. Basal metabolic rate signifies the calories you’re burning at rest, without engaging in any activity. In fact, when your body is exposed to the cold it increases the number of calories burned to keep you warm.
Different studies show that calories burned can increase ranging from a low 30% to a whopping 400% (with extreme shivering) (3; 4). Many of these calories are sourced directly from your body fat.
You have to keep in mind that cold exposure is potentially dangerous. For that reason, I recommend very slowly building up your cold tolerance over time.
If you’re a beginner or in poor general health, I only recommend plunging your face into cold water, to begin with. Carefully monitor how you’re doing during and after a session as well. Over time, you can work yourself up to cold showers with a progressively lower temperature.
Only after you’ve consistently gotten used to cold showers do I recommend cold plunges into cold water.
For the best results and foolproof risk management, use an infrared thermometer to measure the temperature of your skin and ensure that skin temperatures never go lower than 10 degrees Celsius. With that method, you’ll automatically avoid complications due to excessively low body temperatures.
Lastly, alternating infrared saunas and cold exposure take your experience to the next level.
3. Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy has taken the health and wellness space by storm in the last few years. And, there are good reasons for that.
Red light therapy uses non-invasive and non-heating red and near-infrared wavelengths of light that move through your skin and act as a nutrient in your cells.
A recent study shows that you can lose 2 centimetres off your waist and a kilogram of body fat in just two sessions per week for six weeks compared to no treatment at all (5). Many people use red light therapy more frequently than that, potentially leading to greater fat losses over time.
More comprehensive studies that summarize much of the existing scientific literature on the red light therapy topic suggests that it can set energy free from fat cells so that it can be burned off by the human body (6). Reductions in cellulite are also observed, which is achieved through different biological mechanisms.
Currently, Clearlight Infrared® Saunas – with our website https://www.infraredsauna.co.uk/ – is the only company that offers a red light therapy device that can be used inside an infrared sauna. This Clearlight® Light Therapy Tower allows you to combine the benefits of both modalities – infrared saunas and red light therapy. You thereby double the different health benefits you gain without having to take any additional time out of your day.
And with that being said, let’s conclude:
Conclusion: Combine These Therapies For Synergistic Effects
Hopefully, you’re just as excited as I am with these new unusual yet effective tips to burn fat.
When you combine these three tips, they will lead to synergistic effects, meaning that each of these three therapies leads to additional fat burning. In an ideal world, you’d engage in red light therapy during your sauna session and use a cold shower before and after your session.
Many people, however, are unaware of these benefits, which is why I’m delighted to inform you of this possibility.
- Gutiérrez A, Mesa JL, Ruiz JR, Chirosa LJ, Castillo MJ. Sauna-induced rapid weight loss decreases explosive power in women but not in men. Int J Sports Med. 2003 Oct;24(7):518-22. doi: 10.1055/s-2003-42017. PMID: 12968210.
- Podstawski R, Borysławski K, Clark CCT, Choszcz D, Finn KJ, Gronek P. Correlations between Repeated Use of Dry Sauna for 4 x 10 Minutes, Physiological Parameters, Anthropometric Features, and Body Composition in Young Sedentary and Overweight Men: Health Implications. Biomed Res Int. 2019;2019:7535140. Published 2019 Jan 21. doi:10.1155/2019/7535140
- Acosta FM, Martinez-Tellez B, Sanchez-Delgado G, et al. Physiological responses to acute cold exposure in young lean men [published correction appears in PLoS One. 2018 Jul 12;13(7):e0200865]. PLoS One. 2018;13(5):e0196543. Published 2018 May 7. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0196543
- Brychta RJ, Chen KY. Cold-induced thermogenesis in humans. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2017;71(3):345-352. doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.223
- Croghan IT, Hurt RT, Schroeder DR, Fokken SC, Jensen MD, Clark MM, Ebbert JO. Low-level laser therapy for weight reduction: a randomized pilot study. Lasers Med Sci. 2020 Apr;35(3):663-675. doi: 10.1007/s10103-019-02867-5. Epub 2019 Aug 31. PMID: 31473867.
Avci P, Nyame TT, Gupta GK, Sadasivam M, Hamblin MR. Low-level laser therapy for fat layer reduction: a comprehensive review.