The weight loss industry is notorious for being riddled with endless “solutions” with new ones popping up every day.
While you will find some treatments that are potent to varying degrees, many others are homeopathic at best and sometimes just plain gimmicky.
From ubiquitous slimming teas to caffeine-infused shapewear, these remedies all have one thing in common. They all promise to be the one-stop solution to all your weight loss needs.
One of such solutions that have been gaining in popularity on weight loss forums is sauna belts. These belts are touted as a remedy for combating belly fat, but do they work? If so, how well?
What are Sauna Belts?
Sauna belts are a type of fabric band for your stomach that is supposed to bring the “sauna effect” directly to your belly.
These belts work by like compression belts that compact your stomach and help you sweat more during exercise. The significant difference between a sauna belt and a traditional fitness belt is that they add a self-heated component activated by a push-button.
A Look at Sauna Belts Proposed Benefits
If sauna belts work as advertised, they are supposed to provide multiple weight loss benefits that include:
Facilitate Weight loss
As they help stimulate perspiration, sauna belt manufacturers are working the same angle as weight loss enthusiasts who praise the effects of regular sauna use. A sauna belt, when used correctly, is supposed to help you burn more calories both during exercise or at rest.
However, we could not find any conclusive evidence that sauna belts help with weight loss. The closest these belts come is with the temporary loss of water weight from sweat.
A report by Harvard Medical School debunked the myth that saunas help with permanent weight loss, and the same applies to sauna belts. However, since these belts help cut water weight, they might be excellent for some unique situations. An example of this is quickly going down a notch, say to fit in a dress for your wedding.
Ease Pain and Tension
Thanks to their steady supply of warmth, sauna belts are supposed to help ease aching muscles, making them less tense and more flexible.
This one is a substantial advantage of sauna belts.
These belts provide uniform heat that helps to ease sore muscle aches and relax the abs for improved blood flow. Sauna belts are particularly helpful for reducing stress during and after a workout. They are also an excellent option for easing some forms of mild back pain.
However, sauna belts have the opposite effect for any inflamed regions. Do not use sauna belts in areas with inflammation as it will only aggravate the situation.
Help Correct Posture
Another benefit that is often touted by sauna belt sellers is that they help to straighten your back and improve overall posture. This remedy is supposed to work because sauna belts are made from sturdy, lightweight material that wraps itself firmly to your silhouette. The firm grip helps rights the position of your spine and relieves any pressure on your lower back.
There is only some truth to this claim as sauna belts do help keep your lower back and your spine in line, but they cannot prevent you from slouching.
If you are looking at a sauna belt solely for posture correction, you are better off getting a cheap standalone posture corrector like the Marakym Posture Corrector. The Marakym is better at fixing your stance, and it skips the heating component that can create several side effects, especially with prolonged use.
Remove Toxins from the Body
Another popular one is that sauna belts help to increase perspiration, which aids in flushing out impurities and toxins from the body. The rapid sweating is supposed to pull out retained toxins from within the tissues directly under the skin.
Considering the successful reach of this marketing gimmick, it’s too bad you can’t actually sweat toxins out of your skin.
A recent research report published in Environment International shows in clear terms that we only excrete a minuscule amount of pollutants through our pores that it is negligible.
Sauna Belt Side Effects
Prolonged use of sauna belts comes with several potential side effects.
Prolonged direct contact with a sauna belt can lead to burns due to the constant production of heat. To avoid any incidents, we recommend that you wear a sauna for less than 45 minutes at a stretch. Furthermore, you should always wear a piece of fabric underneath the belt and avoid direct contact with your skin.
The constant low-level heat with the sustained sweat and the lack of fresh air can combine to create a breeding ground for irritation. Prolonged sauna belt use can lead to the development of acne or rashes, especially in those with sensitive skin.
Sauna belts supply heat directly to the body, which can prevent the body from cooling off efficiently. Inadequate body heat regulation combined with warm temperatures, can lead to adverse conditions like heat stroke or heat exhaustion from prolonged use. This risk of either of these happening is exceptionally high during heat waves.
Sauna Belt Models
Sauna belts that have received high ratings online include the UltraComfy Waist Trimmer Sweat Belt, the Sports Research Sweet Sweat Premium Waist Trimmer, and the Unisex Waist Trimmer Belt from WIN.MAX.