Have you ever had weeks when your weight loss has stalled and you a super frustrated?
Have you given up at this point and started to eat poorly again, gaining weight back, and thinking that your body does not allow you to lose weight and so why try?
I have had these same thoughts and more that I have had to deal with and work through on my weight loss journey and in this article I would like to share a hack for boosting your metabolism and burning more calories.
This hack is using an Infrared Sauna! Easy right?
If you are not very tolerant to heat maybe not so much, but for most everyone this easy hack can boost your metabolism when your body wants to stall out and not allow any more weight loss.
I purchased my Infrared Sauna, and chose to go with a sauna blanket, because not only was it a couple thousand dollars cheaper than a huge box, it also gets hotter and causes me to sweat faster.
I had stalled out in my weight loss for about 3 weeks, which in not the 4-6 weeks needed to consider it an official stall, but it was bothering me and so I was super excited when our HigherDose Sauna Blanket arrived!
We plugged it right up and used our massage table to be a permanent bed for it to stay on in our home. I hopped in and sealed myself in and withing 10 minutes was sweating. I had to turn the heat down even though I was only on level 6 and only made it 30 minutes my first time. (45 minutes is the max recommended time)
Over the next couple weeks as my body adapted I was able to stay in longer and then also turn up the heat to level 7. It was a miracle! I started to see my weight go down again and it was such a great feeling of relief.
Even though I had been tracking my pecent body fat with skin fold calipers and could see that my body fat was still going down ever so slowly over those weeks, it was still nice to see the scale go down as well and see my weight loss speed up some again. If you haven't read my post on why it is important to measure percent body fat check out my other artical HERE.
My husband also loved the sauna blanket because when he started using the infrared sauna it helped him finally reach his goal of getting to 5% body fat. He has been hovering at 6%-6.5% for a couple weeks himself. But withing 2 weeks he had dropped the last 1.5% down to his goal. He is big into rock climbing and the less weight he has to carry up the wall the better he does. Not only did it help him lose the weight, it helped him recover faster from his workouts. He noticed he was climbing harder roughts than he ever had, but was not getting the elbow pain like he used to from climbing too hard.
You might be asking yourself now... How do I get myself one of these saunas? And what makes them so effective at increasing my metabolism?
For your second question I will endeavor to explain without too much sciency mumbo jumbo.
- For starters you must understand that your body is very good at adapting to any situation you put it in. This mean as you restrict your diet and take in fewer calories your body adapts by lowering your metabolism over time to use up less energy since it is receiving less food. On the other hand when you stress your body by increasing your cardio and by lifting weights your body reacts to the stress by building muscle and increasing your metabolism.
- The Infarered Sauna works on this principle. The sauna stresses your body with heat and bombards your cells with energy. This energy heats you up and causes your heart rate to increase, your blood to flow faster, and you start to sweat. This is very comparable to more high intensity running for 45 minutes or stair climbing for that time. When you finish a workout like that you are drenched in sweat, your heart rate is up, and you feel great when you have finished (despite being tired).
- So we get that the infrared sauna stresses your body, but what is changing? How does it increase my metabolism? Well to answer you fist need to understand what your metabolism is. Your metabolism is the amount of energy your bodies cells use up in a day. Every cell in your body has Mitochondria and these mitochondria are the power houses, the things that use up energy in your body as they work. Your mitochondria are what you want to grow and develop to increase your metabolism because the more energy they burn the higher your metabolism gets.
- Back to the beginning of this explanation then for the answer. The Infared Sauna specifically heats up your body (not the air inside the box or in this case the blanket) and its stress out each cell in your body with that heat. Over time as you regularly do this your cells adapt and can handle more heat and get stranger, which in turn increases your metabolism. Whoo Whoo!
Watch this Youtube Video if you want to see how you enter and exit the sauna blanket.
Now that we got that over with and you know the basics of why the infared sauna works so well, I would love to share some useful tips for using the HigherDOSE Sauna Blanket if you chose to go that path.
- Place the sauna blanket on a yoga mat or bed when using it. You want to make sure what is underneath will not be damaged by the heat because the bottom get the hottest because of the weight of your body pressing on in when you are inside. (some beds may not be suitable based on the materials they are made of)
- Where thick socks, sweatpants, and long sleeve shirt when inside. The sauna blanket can be very hot on direct skin contact after a while and as you body is able to handle more heat sour skin may not be as ready. So the protective layer helps with that. Plus it soaks up the sweat while you are inside.
- After you reach level 7, or maybe even before, I would start laying a long towel down underneath you before you get in. With the heat increasing and with your body weight pressing down your skin might think it is too hot after a while and you may not be able to make it the full 45 minutes anymore. The towel with help you disperse the heat some and let you stay in longer to stress your whole body more.
- Make sure to wrap a towel around your pillow, or just use a towel as your pillow, because you will definitely be dripping sweat off your head and face onto the pillow and it is much easier to wash a towel and just switch it out.
- For more comfort while laying down put a bolster underneath the sauna blanket where your knees are so you can rest with your knees bent slightly and not fully extended (hyper extended for some). A rolled up towel works well enough and if you place it under the blanket it does not get sweaty and can stay there all the time if you have your sauna blanket in a permanent place in your home.
- Another great item is a miniature fan to place near your head when you are in the sauna. The air blowing across you face helps you feel slightly cooler and last longer in the heat and helps to evaporate the sweat some so it is not dripping off you so fast.
- Finally if you are like me and love to watch some good TV shows at times I use a neck phone holder to keep my phone up where I can see it while I am in the sauna. This is great because it not only distracts me from the heat, I also get to combine my sauna time with my TV time and I don't have to pick one or the other to do that day. It is a great feeling to get a "workout" while watching your favorite TV show.
Here are some reasons we decided to go with a sauna blanket instead of a full sauna box.
- Price- Most single-seater saunas boxes are still super expensive in the $2,000-$3500 range. HigherDose's Sauna Blanket is not only affordable it also has excellent standards for their design and materials. Their sauna blanket is only $500 and if you follow our Link they will also give you $50 Off your fist purchase with them.
- Comfort- The sauna blanket allows you to actually lay flat and not have to sit up for the whole 45 minutes you are in. Sure you have to do a little more work by velcroing it closed when you get in, but the comfort of lying down outweighs that in my mind. Secondly your head is outside the heat. And if you are like me that makes all the difference in heat tolerance. The comfort of breathing cool air even while your body is hot is a good feeling.
- Flexibility- The HigherDOSE sauna blanket is easily transported and can go with you when you travel. My family likes to be on the move and that means we needed it to be transportable. Even for those that are usually home, whenever you go on vacation you can still bring your sauna with you so you do not miss out on your "workouts".
I hope you have enjoyed this post and keep coming back for more! Leave a comment below if you have any questions or if you liked this post. Thanks!