Is float therapy useful for weight management? Yes, but it’s not a simple process. I can’t promise, or even suggest, that if you float several times a week, you’ll lose weight. But if you’re determined to lose weight, I believe float therapy can help to keep you on track.
You might have excess weight for a lot of reasons, including genes, illnesses, medications, and the environment. But there are two other factors you can readily control, and these are diet and exercise. Aside from being the most controllable, they are also very effective. For proof of this, look no further than the nearest serious (not necessarily elite) long-form triathlete (i.e., Ironman or 70.3). This will be a person with body fat of 6%-13% (male) or 14%-20% (female). People in the overall population carry around two to three times that: 18%-24% (male) and 25%-31% (female).
The Exercise Connection
Serious endurance athletes generally have very little problem with weight management. They work out 10-15 hours per week, burning 5,000-7,500 calories. A pound is equal to 3,500 calories. If you’re burning a pound and a half to two pounds a week in addition to your basal metabolic rate (i.e., the calories you burn just by being alive), you probably have to eat more than an ordinary diet just to maintain your weight. And if you eat your ordinary diet, you lose weight.
That doesn’t mean you have to become an endurance athlete to manage your weight. It just means you need to understand the relationship of diet, exercise, and the number you see on your scale. The more calories you burn or the fewer calories you take in, the lower the number on the scale goes. The prescription is brutally simple: eat less and exercise more, and your weight will go down.
Weight Control Through Self-Knowledge
At Peak Recovery & Health Center, we offer several services that help with weight management. Infrared sauna is the one that acts most directly on your weight — the act of sweating itself burns calories over and above water loss. There is also evidence that whole-body cryotherapy can help control weight, by activating brown adipose tissue for non-shivering thermogenesis. Even photobiomodulation shows signs of effective weight management, by draining lipids from your fat cells.
None of these services is a weight management program in and of itself. They mostly help to offset the conditions of modern life that lead to unconscious weight gain. Float pod works the same way. By itself, it will not make you slimmer. But it can help with stress management (which can increase your control over a tendency to overeat), and it can make you more conscious of your body’s processes and more understanding of your own attitudes and motivations. Being in the tank by yourself with your own thoughts can lead to serious personal insights.
Float Therapy for Weight Management
There is some nonclinical evidence that regular floating can help in recovery from eating disorders. It helps you learn to achieve non-exaggerated self-perception. Emily Noren, who wrote a book about it, said that over time it taught her mindfulness and self-control. She was dealing with anorexia and bulimia. You might not have anorexia or bulimia, but if you’re having trouble managing your weight, something that helps you learn mindfulness and self-control is bound to help.
If that seems too indirect a method of weight management for you, just remember there are no miracles in weight loss. And if you have found nothing else helps, at least float therapy can offer you an interval of profound relaxation and refreshment, as well as a 60-minute vacation from the stresses that nag at you. Book a few sessions today.