Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss

✓ Medically Reviewed by Jack Cincotta


Red light therapy is a non-invasive form of low-level laser therapy that has been disclosed in numerous studies to aid with fat loss. Whilst on its own red light therapy is not a miracle fix for fat loss, in combination with a nutritious diet and physical exercise, red light therapy can act as an accelerant to lose weight which has been utilised in the biohacking communities for years.

red light therapy for weight loss

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is a type of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) that administers scientifically bioactive wavelengths of visible and invisible light onto the target area on the body. The frequencies of photons that are typically administered are visible red light between 630nm and 660nm and invisible near infrared light at 850nm.

red light therapy for weight loss

Red light therapy works by freeing up more oxygen atoms at the fourth phase of electron chain transport where cytochrome c-oxidase is utilised to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP energy) more efficiently. Adenosine triphosphate can then target specific areas for weight loss or body contouring.

Some studies have hypothesised that red light therapy allows stored body fat in the adipose tissue to be released from the body by shrinking it and then expelling it out of the body via its natural biological waste removal processes. This reduces the number of fat cells in the body.

Red light therapy can be administered in your home or in a salon by a clinical dermatologist. At home red light therapy sessions are a great cost-effective way to get the weight loss benefits of LLLT in the comfort of your own home and lose fat over the long term. Red light therapy has been shown in studies to work for weight loss.


What are The Experts Saying About Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss?

In 2017 a great study was released that showed people who exercised on a treadmill when utilising red light therapy achieved significantly greater stored fat loss than those you did not use red light therapy.

Further to this study, in 2020, 60 overweight participants were proven to have a greater reduction (2 inches) in waist circumference when utilising red light therapy twice a week. This coincided with a significant decrease in body weight.

Researchers in a 2013 study involving 86 people discovered that LLLT lead to accelerated fat loss. The participants conducted 20 minute red light therapy treatments every other day for fourteen days. This study indicated decreases in waist, hips and thigh circumferences.

The critics of red light therapy for weight loss state that a multitude of studies do not contain a control group. Whilst there are some studies that do not use a control group there are an array of studies which do.

The 2017 study which showed accelerated weight loss when treadmill participants performed red light therapy sessions was a randomised, triple-blinded, placebo, controlled clinical trial.

In 2009, a clinical trial used a control group and discovered that over 2 weeks the participants that received red light therapy dropped on average 2.8 inches more from their hips, stomach and thighs than the control group.

In 2012 a study was published which showed that by using red light therapy increased leptin (satiety hormone) and decreased ghrelin (hunger hormone) in participants. Leptin and ghrelin are important hormone found in the gastrointestinal tract. This shows that red light therapy can be used to control appetite which should aid with weight loss.


How to use Red Light Therapy for Weight Loss?

Red light therapy is simplistic to use for weight loss. You can practice red light therapy either at home or at a registered wellness institution. Red light therapy has been shown to be extremely safe in studies which indicates you can enjoy its benefits for weight loss in your own home.


By having red light therapy sessions in your home, you can save on the significantly high costs associated with performing sessions in your local salon. For example, 6 sessions at a wellness institution can set you back over $2,000, whereas a high-quality red-light therapy device will cost the same amount and can be used as often as you want.

To use red light therapy for weight loss you want to follow these simple steps:

1.     Set up your red light therapy device as per the manufacturers guidelines

2.     Select both the red light and near infrared functions on the control panel

3.     Perform a light sensitivity test (this will be shown in your user manual)

4.     If you pass the test in step 3 start with a 20 minute session by setting that time on the control panel timer

5.     Remove your clothes, place on the protective goggles and stand about 3 inches to 1 foot away from the device

6.     Once the session is completed you can turn off the red light therapy device

red light therapy for weight loss

Is Red Light Therapy Safe?

Countless independent studies have shown red light therapy to be safe, however its always best to proceed with caution. Speaking to your medical practitioner before you start a red light therapy treatment course is a recommended. 

If you have already purchased red light therapy you should always perform a light sensitivity test prior to full use. This involves shining red and infrared light from the device onto a small surface area of skin to test for any reaction.

The studies that have been performed show no significant side effects to using red light therapy at home or in a wellness establishment.


Is Red Light Therapy Worth the Money?

Using red light therapy for fat loss is not going to work if you do not dramatically improve other paramount lifestyle factors. Getting regular physical exercise and eating a balanced nutritious diet are essential. Using red light therapy in tandem has been shown to facilitate greater fat loss than if you did not use red light therapy.

Red light therapy is great as it is a non-invasive treatment for fat loss and body contouring with no noticeable or significant side effects.


Final Thoughts

Red light therapy has been proven to be an amazing non-invasive tool to use alongside diet and exercise to increase fat loss. There are no significant concerns about the safety of using red light therapy for weight loss which makes it an excellent tool in your weight loss tool kit.

By using red light therapy from as little as 20 minutes per day you can see significant decreases in waist, thigh and hip circumference then you would have if you did not use this form of treatment.

When choosing the best red-light therapy panel ensure you choose one that have passed electrical safety standards, is entered into the ARTG or FDA registers and has a clinical grade irradiance (power). The best red-light therapy devices can be found here, from BON CHARGE.

Another excellent resource to read is What is Red Light Therapy?

BON CHARGE red light therapy devices are registered with the FDA and classed as medical devices (export only) with the ARTG under 390333.

Further Reading

Does Red Light Therapy Work?

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