Whether you have just a few pounds to go to develop your beach body or are kicking off a hard-core weight-loss program, it's easy to be tempted to take shortcuts. Visit any gym long enough and you're bound to see someone wearing a plastic or rubber suit in an attempt to burn fat quicker. What she probably doesn't know is she's not helping her weight-loss goals and could be putting her health in jeopardy.
You'll sweat more while wearing a sauna suit, but the perspiration dripping off your body doesn't mean the pounds of fat are melting away. Military.com notes the excess sweat you experience while wearing a sauna suit is water weight, rather than fat. If you sweat heavily enough and weigh yourself before and after your workout, you might notice you've dropped a pound. However, that pound will quickly reappear as soon as you consume water to hydrate after your workout.
The excess sweat you experience while wearing a sauna suit might do more than dampen your workout clothing. Whenever you sweat, your body is losing important hydration and electrolytes. If you sweat profusely and don't replenish your lost fluids in a timely manner, you're at risk of developing dehydration, overheating, exhaustion and even cardiovascular system issues.
Boxers and martial artists often use sauna suits to lose a few pounds quickly, although in these cases, their weight loss still isn't related to the loss of fat. If a fighter needs to lose a few pounds to meet her sport's weight-class limit, she'll don a sauna suit and exercise in a hot environment, typically under the care of a trainer or other health professional. Upon making weight, she'll always hydrate her body to replace the lost fluids.
You won't find a viable fat-loss alternative to the consistent burning of calories. On the bright side, the exercises you can add to your workout routine to help you burn calories are seemingly endless. To experience fat-loss results quickly, use such exercises as swimming, jogging and bicycling. If you're satisfied with a moderate approach and want to lose weight in a slow and steady manner, lower-intensity exercises such as walking can help. Sports can also lead to fat loss while providing a social and competitive element.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.