During the summer, people flock to the beach, poolsides, and parks to bask in the sun. One thing that most women love is getting a golden tan that makes you look your best while the other is having a lean and trim body to wear your favorite bikini and show off your tan. So the question is can tanning make you slimmer? Let’s first look at some facts.
Metabolism and heat regulation
Humans like all mammals are warm-blooded animals which means you regulate your body temperature internally. Your body will react to the external temperatures and then regulate its own like when you sweat when it’s hot or shiver when it’s cold. Your body will also relax your muscles, lower your metabolism, and reduce adrenaline production when it’s warm.
Metabolism is the process where your body turns the food you eat into energy and supplies it to your body cells. This energy is either from the food you eat or the fat reserves in your body. The amount of energy you need will depend on your level of physical activity, so when your body is resting very little energy is used to maintain your basic bodily functions which are known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR).
So when your body is resting and it’s warm, the BMR is low which means your body is using fewer calories for it to function. Sunbathing means you’re laying still under the sun so your body is consuming fewer calories. So you only burn calories sunbathing in the general sense like when you’re asleep your body uses calories although it’s at a lower rate.
Here are some other cold facts
When you talk of losing weight it means that you’re burning large amounts of calories or fat than you’re consuming. So it means when you combine eating less and burning more calories, you’ll tend to lose some pounds.
Tanning is a chemical process that involves your skin increasing its production of melanin. This means that tanning is merely a chemical reaction and it has very little to do with calories.
Sweating is a natural process that happens in your body as a way of cooling itself. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’re burning any calories.
How many calories do you burn in a tanning bed?
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of tanning beds is a golden glowing skin, but you don’t think of weight loss or burning calories. Just because you sweat in the tanning bed doesn’t mean you’re burning lots of calories. This idea is borrowed from the fact that you can shed some weight by regularly spending time in the sauna.
So to answer the question, can you lose weight in a tanning bed, the answer is no.
By lying on a tanning bed you’re not doing enough physical exercise to burn off a significant amount of calories to lose weight. You lose about 53 calories every hour just lying on a tanning bed which is the same amount of calories you lose when binge-watching your favorite programs at home. This has nothing to do with the tanning bed, it’s just the normal calories you burn when resting. Tanning is a chemical process that increases melanin production in your skin that causes your skin to become darker, but this doesn’t mean you’re burning calories. The only time fat is burned is when your body burns more calories than it’s taking in and this doesn’t happen when you’re using a tanning bed. Tanning isn’t a process that helps to speed up the burning of fat since you aren’t performing any physical activity that will cause the burning of calories. So although you burn a few calories, they aren’t enough to cause any significant weight loss.
Sweating and tanning beds
Some people think that perspiring when lying on a tanning bed can cause you to lose weight, but that isn’t the case. You might be fairly accurate in think that the more you sweat, the more your body loses water which might result in some weight loss. However, this water loss is only temporary and you’ll put back the weight immediately you drink water. This can also be dangerous because using a tanning bed or sauna to lose water weight and sweat can cause you to become dehydrated which can cause serious health problems. So losing weight by sweating is only temporary and has nothing to do with burning calories.
Sweating is your body’s way of cooling itself down and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re working to burn calories. You sweat because the tanning bed bulbs are hot and once you drink some water after your tanning session, your weight will be the same as before you got your tan.
Facts about tanning beds
Although people love using tanning beds to achieve your gorgeous tan, it’s not the best way because it can damage your skin the same way as the sun. Using a self-tanner is the best since you won’t expose yourself to UV rays. Here are some facts you need to be aware of about tanning beds.
- If you spend so much time on a tanning bed or in the sun, you develop leathery skin and also increase the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, and reduces the firmness of your skin.
- Tanning beds don’t protect your skin from UV rays just like tanning outdoors. It drastically increases your risk of skin cancer.
- Tanning beds make your stretch marks and other blemishes more visible, however, using a self-tanner will help hide your skin imperfections because you’re able to control the coverage.
- Tanning beds can be very addictive for women between the ages of 18-30.
- There is a misconception that using a tanning bed can help in preventing sunburn, but you still burn even with a base tan from a tanning bed.
So, does tanning burn calories?
Lying on a tanning bed will not help you burn calories just the same way as lying in bed or your sofa all day. Any weight loss you notice is only temporary water loss and it quickly comes back once you drink some water. Tanning beds only help you to achieve a natural summer glow without having to spend hours in the sun.