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Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss: Does It Work?

by Mara Welty July 05, 2024 5 min read

 Red light therapy for weight loss
In their efforts to lose weight, many people seek alternative methods to complement changes in diet and exercise. One such technique is red light therapy, a noninvasive therapy that uses low-level lasers and/or infrared light to remove body fat. 

That said, does red light therapy for weight loss actually work?

In this guide, we delve into the effectiveness of red light therapy and how it may play a role in fat loss.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light therapy is a type of body sculpting technique — a medical procedure that aims to change body composition. During the procedure, a healthcare provider uses a low-irradiance laser that emits red, blue and infrared light that penetrates one to two inches into the skin to remove body fat.

That said, there isevidence to suggest that red light therapy works for  fat loss.

One study found that red light therapy sessions twice a week reduced participants’ waist circumferences by an average of 0.8 inches. In another study, participants who had biweekly red light therapy sessions lost an average of 3.5 inches from their abdomen, hips and thighs, compared to control groups.

In another study that looked at upper arm circumference, participants lost 1.5 inches, compared to the control group, which saw no changes. 

While the exact mechanisms behind red light therapy are not fully understood, it’s believed that the ir light can break down the membranes of fat cells, allowing the fat cells to shrink and the fat to leave the body via natural waste removal. 

Another theory suggests that when the fat cells absorb the light, it triggers biochemical processes that break down the fat molecules. 

All that said, research is limited. Most studies have only included white participants with a BMI of 25 to 30. As such, a larger population sample may help confirm the efficacy of the therapy across a wide range of individuals. 

Are There Negative Effects To Red Light Therapy?

It’s important to approach any medical procedure with caution and the right research. That said, red light therapy is generally considered to be safe; however, some individuals may experience adverse effects if the machine is not operated properly, such as skin damage if the laser is applied directly to the skin.

How to Safely Manage Your Weight

In most cases, red light therapy treatments are not enough to maintain long-term weight loss. Rather, it’s important to implement traditional weight loss methods into your lifestyle,, in addition to red light therapy, if you choose. Here are four ways to do just that. 

#1 Eat a Healthy Diet

A well-balanced diet includes meals rich in proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats, as well as essential vitamins and nutrients. 

In terms of weight loss, it’s critical to prioritize a high protein intake, as protein can help you feel satiated for longer and reduce your appetite for unhealthy cravings throughout the day. High-protein foods include:

  • Lean meats, such as turkey and chicken
  • Nuts and seeds, such as almonds and pumpkin seeds
  • Dairy products, such as milk, cheese and yogurt
  • Seafood, such as salmon, crabs and lobster
  • Legumes, like beans and lentils

Additionally, foods that are high in fiber can help increase feelings of fullness and boost your metabolism to support healthy weight management. Learn more about meal timing and proper protein digestion with the help of our additional guides to make sure your diet is perfectly aligned with your goals. 

#2 Get Enough Exercise

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week. This can include walking through your neighborhood, riding your bike along a local trail or hiking through the mountains. 

Alternatively, adults can perform 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity exercises. Such activities include weight lighting at your local gym or sprinting up hills. 

Overall, regular exercise is extremely beneficial to your health. Movement can enhance brain health, support immune function, strengthen bones and muscles and improve flexibility and endurance. 

Of course, burning calories through regular exercise also helps to create a calorie deficit — a term that refers to absorbing fewer calories than you burn in a day, which helps to support weight loss. 

#3 Prioritize Your Sleep

Getting a healthy amount of sleep every night can actually reduce the number of calories you consume throughout the day. More specifically, a study found that individuals who increased their sleep duration to eight and a half hours burned an average of 270 more calories a day, resulting in an average of 26 pounds of weight loss over the course of three years. 

To improve sleep quality, individuals limited the use of electronics before bed and tailored a comfortable sleep environment.

Poor sleep may also lower your metabolism, which can impact how the body absorbs, stores and uses glucose. This is caused by a disruption in the circadian rhythm, which may also lead to weight gain.

#4 Manage Your Mental Health

When you’re feeling stressed, a hormone called cortisol floods the body. If levels of cortisol remain elevated for a long period of time, side effects can include weight gain, as well as unhealthy blood pressure, fatigue, irritability and difficulty concentrating. 

To ease stress throughout the day, it’s important to take breaks and check in with yourself. Additionally, you can alleviate tension and distress by:

  • Spending time with loved ones
  • Going outside for a walk
  • Practicing yoga, deep breathing or meditation
  • Journaling through your feelings
  • Moving your body
  • Engaging in your favorite hobbies

Support You Weight Loss Efforts With INVIGOR8

Generally, red light therapy may be effective in supporting weight loss. That said, it’s important to also incorporate traditional weight loss methods, such as eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting quality sleep and managing your mental health.

To infuse your lifestyle with a boost of protein and nutrition, reach for the INVIGOR8 Organic Superfoods Powder. Each low-calorie scoop contains 20 grams of proteins and a bevy of ingredients that support cognitive, digestive and immune health.

To take weight loss support one step further, the INVIGOR8 weight loss kit incorporates the Superfood Shake alongside a natural appetite control support supplement, unflavored collagen peptides and a clean eating meal plan to support your weight loss goals from the inside out.

Invigorate your weight loss journey today.

 

Sources:

  1. Healthline. What Is Red Light Therapy, and Does It Work for Weight Loss? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/red-light-therapy-weight-loss#what-it-is
  2. Medical News Today. Red light therapy for weight loss: Everything to know
  3. CDC. How much physical activity do adults need?
  4. UChicagoMedicine. Getting more sleep reduces caloric intake, a game changer for weight loss programs
  5. Healthline. Does Cortisol Affect Weight Gain? 

About the Author

 Mara Welty
Mara Welty

Mara Welty is a copywriter who specializes in health, wellness and CBD topics. With a background in journalism, she aims to deliver engaging, research-based content that builds trust and engages readers through informative storytelling.

The INVIGOR8 Weight-Loss Family

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