After a long, difficult day, sitting in a hot tub can be a relaxing activity. You do burn calories in a hot tub, but not enough to contribute to any significant weight-loss goals.
Burning Calories in a Hot Tub
A 150-pound person would burn about 17 calories sitting in a hot tub for 15 minutes. Calories burned in any activity, though, are also a factor of gender, age and health issues.
Alternatives to the Hot Tub
A sauna is often touted as burning up to 300 calories in 15 to 20 minutes. While you may lose a pound or two through sweating, you'll gain it back as soon as you rehydrate your body. A sauna actually burns about the same number of calories as a hot tub.
Steam Rooms and Calories
Sitting in a steam rooms burns about as many calories as sitting in a hot tub -- about the same as you would sitting anywhere. The temperature is lower in a steam room than in a sauna, and the benefit is more for the skin, not weight loss.