Does Red Light Therapy Work for Weight Loss?

Does Red Light Therapy Work for Weight Loss?

Among the many incredible ways red light therapy works in our bodies is by promoting weight loss, making it one of the most popular treatments in the health and wellness market today.

Red light therapy is known primarily as an effective method for treating various skin concerns and also a powerful tool for chronic pain management; however, more research is pointing to its ability to promote weight loss, and this is incredibly promising for those who are seeking safe, natural, and non-invasive tools in their efforts.

Red light therapy promotes weight loss in both direct and indirect ways, which we will explain in more detail below. First, we will take a look at how red light therapy works in general and why so many people are turning to these devices for a wide variety of health benefits.

What Is Red Light Therapy, and How Does it Work?

Red light therapy treatment devices deliver natural wavelengths of light to our bodies. (We will pause here to clarify one of the most important points you should know up front: this light will not damage your skin! Red light and near-infrared rays will not tan or burn skin as UVA or UVB rays will. They come from a “safe” area of the electromagnetic spectrum).

What Is Red Light Therapy, and How Does it Work?

When light from a red light therapy device is directed toward our skin (in short increments from 2 up to 20 minutes), it is absorbed by photoreceptors in our cells. In that absorption process, mitochondria are stimulated and give our cells a “boost” of energy, which helps them to repair, regenerate, and perform their functions more effectively. The knock-on effects from this boost to our cells are hugely beneficial, with red light therapy improving quality of sleep, energy levels, skin tone, muscle recovery, and more.

If you think that cells power virtually every bodily function, it makes sense that red light therapy becomes a tool to address a wide range of health and wellness issues. Best of all, red light therapy offers a safe and natural alternative to complicated or costly procedures, prescription medications associated with addiction risks, or invasive and painful treatments. Red light therapy can also be used in the comfort and privacy of your own home with affordable and effective devices such as the Hooga HG300.

How Red Light Therapy Promotes Weight Loss Directly

Red light therapy stimulates cell function in our bodies in a few key ways that are related directly to weight loss.

For many people carrying excess body weight, metabolism is at the root of the issue. Red light therapy’s stimulation of cellular energy means metabolism is also stimulated, which can make a tremendous difference in weight loss. Increased metabolism means you will have more energy to burn calories in a workout, a brisk walk, or even just through household chores.

New research is also suggesting red light may cause cells to “leak” fat and expel lipids; in other words, red light can stimulate the death of excess fat cells. This is one of the most promising developments in the research around red light therapy, especially when compared to the invasive and serious surgical procedures some patients opt for to manage weight issues.

Red light therapy has also been linked to appetite suppression, since our cells produce appetite-regulating hormones (leptin and ghrelin). By boosting the ways our cells function with red light therapy techniques, we could change the way our appetite functions naturally (instead of relying on gimmicky fad diets or supplements to do the trick).

How Red Light Therapy Promotes Weight Loss Indirectly

Red light therapy aids in so many other bodily processes that there are also numerous ways it can stimulate weight loss indirectly.

One such example is the way that red light therapy is used to improve sleep quality. It is well documented that poor quality sleep can lead to a number of health complications, including weight gain.

Red light therapy is used by many people for improved sleep, with benefits seen especially by those who use a red light therapy device just before bedtime. Once sleep improves, the other bodily processes involved in weight management also tend to improve, so an add-on effect of better sleep is often weight loss.

Inflammation is often linked to obesity (and other health issues), and when we use red light therapy to target systemic inflammation we may see weight loss as a result. In general, anything we can do to reduce inflammation in the body is a good thing! Weight loss may be one of the most desired outcomes, but reduced inflammation also reduces our risk of many diseases and other serious health complications. Chronic inflammation, when left untreated, can contribute to the development of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more.

Red Light Therapy and Thyroid Regulation

Red Light Therapy and Thyroid Regulation

An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from some type of thyroid disease, but many of them are unaware or mistake their symptoms for another condition. Red light therapy can be a powerful tool for those suffering from low-functioning thyroids.  When we restore the thyroid to normal functioning we also increase metabolism, which may spur on weight loss. Thyroid function can also be linked to depression, so there are important mental health benefits to treating it as well. Many who use red light therapy call it a “mood booster.”

Targeting Specific Fat with Red Light Therapy

For some individuals, it can be incredibly frustrating to stick to a consistent, healthy routine of diet and exercise but still have some stubborn areas of body fat that won’t go away. We can target layers below the skin with a combination of red and near-infrared light to increase fat loss beyond what we are able to achieve with exercise.


A consistent red light treatment schedule could lead to fat reduction in your waist, hips, and other “problem areas” over a period of six weeks or more. It is important to note that you should not expect results overnight. Red light therapy must be used consistently to deliver results, whether you are seeking an improvement in sleep quality, better skin tone, weight loss, pain management, or any combination of these.

A Final Note on Health and Weight Loss

Be sure to check with your doctor before trying any therapeutic or other measures for weight loss. And remember that red light therapy is not a cure-all for weight issues; it should be used in combination with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other specific measures that may be recommended by your doctor.

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