It’s no secret that our weight affects our health, wellness and quality of life. Do we need to lose weight to be happy? Not necessarily, but since our health and longevity depends on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it can be important to understand what a healthy weight for your body is.
Bodies are made up of muscle, bone, water and of course fat. How much we weigh is affected by the amount of fat we have on our bodies, but for the record, our bodies need some fat to be healthy. What we don’t need is an excess of it. Also for the record, this is a no body shaming zone! So, if you’re feeling down in the dumps about your current weight while reading this blog it may be time to make a change in your lifestyle and mindset. Be nice to yourself and let infrared heat assist you with dropping some pounds, all while you sit back and relax.
The weight of our bodies can fluctuate and this changes as we age, consume foods and go about our busy lives. Losing weight most often refers to reducing the total body mass due to loss of fluid and body fat, in this blog we'll explain how infrared can help. We interviewed Dr. Aaron Flickstein, FIT Bodywrap's Clinical Director and he says there are three ways full body infrared exposure can contribute to weight loss. So, here’s the skinny on infrareds weight loss benefits, and remember there’s no time like now to get started!
“Sweating is a calorie consuming process,” says Flickstein. What can we attribute the calorie burn to? “In Guyton's Textbook of Medical Physiology, we find that producing one gram of sweat requires 0.586 kcal (stored calories).” But how much sweat can one person really produce? In the American Medical Association’s journal, we find that, "A moderately conditioned person can easily sweat off 500 grams, in a [less efficient hot air] sauna, consuming nearly 300 kcal - the equivalent of running 2-3 miles. A heat-conditioned person can easily sweat off 600-800 kcal with no adverse effects.”
Your body needs to excrete water to sweat, but this does not mean the results from infrared sessions are simply due to loss of water weight. While the weight of the water lost will be regained by rehydration, the calories consumed to make the sweat will not!
Infrared body wraps can provide lasting weight loss and wellness results, even for those that don’t sweat buckets every single session. “Immersing the body in infrared heat really helps generate the production of sweat, even for those who may normally have a hard time perspiring,” said Flickstein. When the body produces large amounts of sweat, it can burn more calories as well as release more fats and toxins. Dr. Flickstein went on to explain that, “a regular infrared regimen is key for the cardiovascular conditioning of those who can’t exercise yet want an effective weight control and fitness program.” Strenuous workouts and visits to the gym are not available for everyone, especially those who are sedentary due to medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, cardiovascular or respiratory problems. One of the many perks of an infrared wrap is that the participant can lay down comfortably while their body experiences a passive form of exercise.
Fat & Toxin Loss
“Fat becomes water-soluble at a body temperature of approximately 100.5 degrees F and it can then “melt” by breaking up into smaller particles,” says Flickstein. Because of the high temperatures infrared can produce, body fat can begin to soften and dissolve during infrared exposure, it can then be released through our sweat glands and our bodily functions. Flickstein also says, “once fats and toxins are broken up they can be more easily be purged from the body through infrared induced sweating, but that is not the only way they are released. Some of the fat molecules that infrared exposure dissolves and the toxins it releases may enter the blood stream to be eliminated by the liver, kidneys and bowels.”
Raising and Rebalancing the Metabolism
Studies indicate that infrared can raise your basal metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories while resting. The human body responds to the infrared loading experienced during a session by increasing the heart's output and the rate of the heartbeat. This beneficial “stress” that is applied to heart during infrared exposure can lead to cardiovascular conditioning training effects, as research for the space program has confirmed. Research done by NASA in the 80’s led to the conclusion that because infrared can stimulate cardiovascular functions, it can be an effective way of maintaining cardiovascular conditioning in American astronauts during their trips to space (Alpert & Szymanski). In his research Dr. Flickstein has found that toxin release is also important to the metabolism, “not only can this soothing heat assist with the cardio system, but its ability to induce profuse sweating can help clear fat and toxic debris from the body directly through the pores of our skin, and the decrease in the overall toxic burden can then allow the body to rebalance its metabolism.”
We’re all about paying attention to wellness and taking care of our bodies, they carry us through our everyday lives! If you are on a weight loss journey it can be beneficial to keep these FIT Tips in mind.
- Avoid negative self-talk. We often think things about our bodies that are just outright mean. Guess what, your body can hear you, so stop. Staying positive about your goals and the progress you make will keep you on track.
- Celebrate every success! Even the small ones. Just watch out for high-calorie celebrations!
- Don’t focus on weight alone. That every day weigh-in is old news! Don’t get hung up on how much you weigh today, instead, monitor how you feel. How do your clothes fit? Do you have more energy?
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations. Some might not see their desired results immediately. The key word there is immediately, stick with it. #Youcandoit
For those looking to drop a few pounds, we recommend multiple infrared sessions per week until desired results are achieved. Once a goal has been reached, the amount of sessions needed per week may be less. Motivation and consistency are key. It’s also crucial that you introduce healthy foods and some kind of workout. Remember, drink TONS of water (so that you can get your sweat on!) and place your focus on progress instead of perfection. Show yourself what you can do!
- Imamura, M., S. Biro, and T. Kihara. "Repeated Thermal Therapy Improves Impaired Vascular Endothelial Function in Patients With Coronary Risk Factors". ACC Current Journal Review2 (2002): 32. Web.
- Alpert, Nelson L, William E Keiser, and Herman A Szymanski. IR; Theory And Practice Of Infrared Spectroscopy. New York: Plenum Press, 1970. Print.
- Widmaier, Eric P, Hershel Raff, and Kevin T Strang. Vander's Human Physiology:13Th Revised Edition. London: MCGRAW HILL HIGHER EDUCATION, 2014. Print.
- "Medical News". JAMA 245.22 (1981): 2277. Web.
- Guyton and Hall.,. Textbook Of Medical Physiology. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2011. Print.