Whether your goal is to improve your overall health, lose stubborn fat, get a lean body, or all three of these, red light therapy may be the answer you’re looking for. It is a non-invasive treatment with many other potential benefits, such as overall skin care, anti-aging, etc.
But how often should you do red light therapy for weight loss? The usage frequency of RLT for a particular issue like weight loss is always important.
In this article, you can learn more about how red light therapy targets weight loss and how often you should do it. Also, you may discover what benefits it has and what are the pros and cons.
Let’s start and lose weight!
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is also referred to as LLLT (low-level laser therapy) or infrared light. It has recently emerged as a non-invasive treatment for fat removal.
To some, it may sound like it’s too good to be true, but research has shown that red light therapy may help remove the “stubborn” fat that many diets and exercise fail to. However, there are still many health experts who are skeptical of this method.
The popularity of RLT
Red light therapy is a non-invasive procedure that may help remove fat cells from your body and sculpt it without having to undergo surgery.
The procedure uses a low-irradiance laser that releases red, blue, and infrared light waveforms. This light goes up to 1 to 2 inches or 2.5 to 5 cm into your skin. It is meant to target the fat that sits right under the surface of your skin.
Although this mechanism is quite controversial, a common theory is that red light therapy may break down part of the cell membrane for a temporary time. This possibly makes fat cells shrink, leach out, and leave your body via your body’s natural process of waste removal.
How Often Should You Do Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss?
During laser sessions, you have a trained professional that places a laser on each treatment area for approximately 10 to 40 minutes. Most clinics will recommend a minimum of six sessions if you want to see results from this procedure.
If you want to relieve your body from stubborn cellulite, you should consider some of these RTL devices for cellulite.
Furthermore, LLLT sessions may look different in various clinics, and the sessions may vary according to your goals. If you’re someone that’s looking for a weight loss solution, then you’d have to undergo full-body treatments rather than doing LLLT on a specific area.
Typically, LLLT treatments last 20 minutes up to 30 minutes. The results can be cumulative, so you may need to return to your clinic for about eight to 10 sessions, all while taking one to two-week breaks between sessions.
What do LLLT sessions look like?
In most clinics, you’ll have a separate room to take off your clothes and put on protective goggles for your eyes. Here, you will be lying down under panels that beam out warming red lights, and you get to relax during the session.
The trained professional may also put a LED light-infused wand over specific areas to boost the effects of the treatment. You don’t get to do anything other than lay back and relax during the treatment, so make sure to zone out and enjoy.
Does This Treatment Work for Weight Loss?
This question can be quite complicated if you’re seeking a “yes” or “no” answer; thus, we will get into the science. Your body functions best when it is in balance. This means that you need a plethora of beneficial light each day.
Most people spend over 90% of their day indoors, which is a really big health risk, more than most people realize. If your body’s cells don’t get enough light throughout the day, they will produce insufficient energy.
Even if you have a healthy diet and exercise, not getting enough light may affect your sleep pattern, inflammation levels, and in this case – your weight.
What do different studies say about the benefits of LLLT?
Using this therapy for losing weight is quite controversial. Despite there being positive testimonies from patients and various impressive results from different studies, many healthcare professionals are still skeptical of this treatment’s benefits.
Here, we will look at a few studies that have found that red light therapy really does provide benefits. These studies have been done to determine how often you should do red light therapy for weight loss and if this treatment does work for it.
The first study is a very recent one where 60 people underwent LLLT treatments two times per week. This led to a significant reduction of 0.8 inches or 2 cm in waist circumference. However, this study is limited due to the lack of a control group.
This study was done with 67 people. It revealed that those who received six red light therapy treatments for two weeks had lost significantly larger fat around their hips, abdomen, and thighs (3.5 inches/8.9 cm) than those of the control group.
This study was a two-week study of 86 people. It was done at a US clinic. Here, the researchers at the clinic observed a compelling reduction in waist circumference (2.9 cm or 1.1 inches), hip circumference (2cm or 0.8 inches), and thigh circumference (3 cm or 1.2 inches).
However, this study, too, lacked a control group.
This study had 40 people, and it compared how efficient LLLT treatment is when it is done on the circumference of people’s upper arms via a placebo treatment.
The patients had to undergo two weeks of treatment, and the group that had LLLT done had a noticeable decrease in the upper arm circumference. To be precise, it was 3.7 cm or 1.5 inches, while the control group didn’t have any changes.
All of these studies, along with several others, claim that LLLT for fat loss really does show significant benefits.
Red Light Therapy and Its Effect on Circulation
One great benefit of doing red light therapy is that it may increase circulation. When it comes to having issues with stubborn fat, having increased circulation is claimed to increase the fat-burning process.
This particularly occurs in brown fat, which is the type of body fat that gets activated when your body temperature goes down. The brown fat may aid in body temperature maintenance by producing heat.
What Red Light Therapy Is Best Known For?
Red light therapy or LLLT treatment is best known for how effective it may be for pain relief and, treating chronic skin conditions such as skin damage from aging, scars, and promoting muscle recovery after getting injured.
For what we’re discussing specifically, clinical research has shown that this therapy may lead to weight loss as well. As we’ve mentioned, it is becoming very popular as an option for body contouring.
We already know that leading a healthy lifestyle is the most optimal way to lose stubborn fat and maintain an overall healthy weight. However, with the benefits of red light therapy, you may also gain an emotional boost because you’ll see fast results. This may improve your mindset and give you the extra motivation to stick with your weight loss plan.
Moreover, red light therapy also may support your body on a cellular level. Additionally to losing fat, it may treat the different causes of your excess weight.
How Red Light Therapy Works for Weight Loss?
This therapy refers to both red and near-infrared wavelengths. The most beneficial wavelengths are between 650 nm to 850 nm. This is a window known as the “therapeutic window”. The red light in this window ranges between 620 to 700 nm, while the near-infrared light ranges from 810 to 850nm.
These two wavelengths have been studied in depth by professionals, and they are proven to have a multitude of therapeutic benefits for our bodies. If you want to speed up your process, RLT belts might help you.
LLLT uses LED bulbs (light-emitting diodes) to submerge the body in light waves that have both red light and near-infrared light. For the LLLT treatment, powerful panels that have fitted LED bulbs in them are used by having specific red and NIR wavelengths precisely calibrated into them.
Once the light photons from these LED lights come in contact with the body’s cells, they start to interact with them, and that leads to a plethora of positive effects on the body.
You Might Be Interested: Best Red Light Therapy Device for Weight Loss
Here, we will see some of the different ways that red light therapy helps you lose weight:
It may increase your cellular metabolism
Red light therapy may help stimulate cellular energy due to the absorption of these red and NIR photons by the chromophores in the mitochondria. This, in turn, might help stimulate the amount of adenosine triphosphate that’s being produced, which is the main fuel for your body’s cells.
Having increased cellular energy may lead to healthier cells and a boost in cellular performance. Your organs may function better, you’ll have more energy to hit the gym, and it will lead to weight loss.
It may reduce your fat cells
LLLT triggers the creation of pores in fat cells that release fatty acids, also known as lipids. Just undergoing four minutes of LLLT may cause 80% of lipids to be released from fat cells.
It may increase your muscle mass
Everybody knows that muscle helps burn calories. A pound of muscle is known to burn around 50 calories per day while you’re resting. Thus, building mass in your large muscle groups will be one of the best ways to boost your metabolism and prompt it to lose weight.
Research has shown that red light and NIR light may be able to increase muscle mass, as well as decrease oxidative stress and inflammation in muscles.
It may help you regulate your thyroid
Having a normally functioning thyroid increases your overall energy and makes it easier to stick with a fitness regime. Red light therapy may reduce the autoimmune activity in your thyroid gland, which, in turn, helps restore its primary function in regulating your metabolism.
It may reduce insulin resistance
Undergoing NIR therapy along with exercise may reduce insulin resistance as well as body fat. It might also enhance how physical exercise affects obese women that are doing weight loss treatment.
Research has found that adding red light therapy to your daily exercise regimen may overall reduce insulin resistance and reduce your body’s entire fat mass.
It may suppress your appetite
Red light therapy also might control your appetite-regulating hormones, which are known as ghrelin and leptin. If you’re carrying an excess of fat cells, then more leptin will be produced. Ghrelin is its counterpart and is a hormone that increases your appetite.
Studies have found that red light therapy may significantly reduce your ghrelin levels from 28% down to 19%.
It may improve your mood
Red light therapy works promisingly as a treatment for depression and anxiety. This may reduce issues with emotional eating and boost your overall mood, meaning it will possibly prevent gaining extra weight.
So, how often should you do red light therapy? We hope that by reading this article, we’ve helped answer this question and many other things concerning red light therapy.
Suppose you ever want to give this treatment a try. In that case, it is recommended that you go through two sessions per week to see a significant decrease in fat and body measurements and then continue as directed by your practitioner for maintenance.
At the end of the day, the best thing to do would be to visit a qualified healthcare provider, such as a certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, who can evaluate your health status and give you the right recommendations.
Red light therapy may be a great weight loss method to try, and it comes with many other benefits along the way. As it doesn’t bring any health risks, it is worth a shot, especially if you do it with a healthy lifestyle!
Hello! I’m Nicky Rodgers.
Almost a decade ago, I got excited about the idea of employing alternative methods like red light therapy to create a healthier life.
To learn more about it, I did my Certified Light Therapist course from Photonic Therapy Institute and started looking into the intricacies of how light therapy influences several bodily processes. Before I knew it, my interest had become an obsession which resulted in this extensive blog.
Here, I offer countless well-researched articles to help you understand the benefits and uses of light therapy. I hope this information gives you a head start in your wellness journey.