The Truth about Sauna Pads on your Belly Fat.

I first saw this product at a Home Shopping Network (HSN). For those unfamiliar, it’s a TV show that showcases an assortment of household products ranging from kitchenware, cleaning materials, technology and exercise equipment. The product that really drew my attention is their Sauna Belt.¬†

According to the product description, the pad produces a heating effect on the area applied causing your body to perspire– which produces sweat similar to exercising your core or doing cardio leading to a decrease in fat density. Some belts offer a compression mechanism to help “tone that tummy”. There was this one sauna belt  product( which name I will not state) I saw on amazon which claims to mimic the reactions and contractions of cardio exercises such as running and cycling.

5 years ago, out of curiosity I borrowed this product from my block mate for a few weeks; I used it as a substitute weight trimming activity on days when I don’t feel like hitting the gym. To my disappointment I hardly saw any change — I was still in college back then so I was still getting to know more about the human body at that time. Although I love the relaxing heating sensation, in a PT’s perspective, it doesn’t really do you any good when we talk about belly fat. Here are three reasons why:

1. Fat is not Water Soluble

Basic scientific fact guys. To make thing easier put into mind that “like dissolves like” meaning cells with the same polarity can be mixed or dissolved. Lipids or your fat cells are know as non-polar molecules which means that their ends are not charged– compared to water molecules which are polar molecules. Basically speaking if you place a small amount of fat substance and mix them with water in a small container, the most likely result will be chucks of lipids or fat cells floating on the water.

This is the same with whats going on in your body fat– they do not go together with your body fluids so they remain in your body despite perspiration. Not really that convinced? Here are two articles from the University of California, Los Angeles and Dallas Learning Cloud for some scientific evidence pertaining to the polarity of both fat and water.

2.It Leads to Faster Dehyrdation

The belt’s effect is to increase perspiration on your abdominal area– without the fat. So what goes out of your body? Some toxins, a lot of water and electrolytes. Prolonged use of this product may lead to minor symptoms of dehydration such as dizziness, nausea and excessive thirst if not taking enough fluids.

3. It Might make you more inactive

I remember the HSN episode of the sauna belt, showing a man just sitting on a couch watching TV while wearing the product. The idea of being inactive and letting the belt do its work is practically unhealthy for your body. Although the sauna belt can be used as an adjunct to other activities due to its detoxifying effect, it cannot replace your regular exercise routine.

PT Recommendations

  • The best way to reduce belly fat is through proper diet and regular exercise.
  • The Sauna belt cannot reduce your belly fat sad to say.
  • The product has some detoxifying effects so it can be used as an adjunct to exercise or other physical activity.
  • Take extra precaution due to the possibility of burns when applying the product
  • Take a lot of fluids after application to prevent dehydration.

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