Among the many weight-loss products available, some are effective, some are futile and some are dangerous. Sauna belts are futile. They promise to help you lose the fat around your midsection but cannot deliver.
Sweat Loss Only
A sauna belt increases the body temperature around your midsection. Sauna belts can raise the local temperature to nearly 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The increase in your body temperature increases the activity of your sweat glands. Any weight loss caused by a sauna belt is due to increased sweat gland activity and added perspiration.
Weight loss caused by a sauna belt is temporary. Fluids and weight lost through perspiration are restored as soon as you drink water. Wrestlers and other combat sport athletes used to attempt to employ a related item, sauna suits, to quickly lose weight before a weigh-in.
Wearing a sauna belt for extended periods can leave you at risk for a variety of conditions. These conditions include heat stroke, dehydration, dermatitis, skin rashes and some cardiovascular problems. Some of these conditions may lead to serious complications if left untreated. You should not stay in a sauna longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Anyone with uncontrolled blood pressure issues, prostate cancer or testicular cancer should not enter saunas.
Stick to Diet and Exercise
The only proven, healthy methods of weight loss without medical intervention are diet and exercise. To lose weight in certain areas, you must use medical procedures such as liposuction and abdominoplasty. Sauna belts are ineffective and have the potential to be harmful as well.
- Harvard Health Publications: Sauna Health
- Preventive and Social Medicine; K. Park, J. E. Park
- Journal of Athletic Training: National Athletic Trainers' Association Position Statement: Exertional Heat Illnesses