How Using Red Light Therapy Can Speed Up Your Fat Loss
Photobiomodulation, also known as RLT, doubles your fat loss associated with exercise and boosts muscle building.
Everyone wants to maximize their benefits from exercising. If one of your goals is to lose fat, then Red Light Therapy (RLT) may be your magic bullet. However, fat loss is just one of the many benefits associated with RLT.
This first study took 64 obese women between the ages of 20 and 40 years old and randomly assigned them into two groups. One group was the Exercise Training plus Sham light group (ET-Sham, n=32) and the Exercise Training plus Photobiomodulation group (ET-Photo, n=32).
This study used a wavelength of laser light at 808 nm. However, the foremost authority on photobiomodulation, Dr. Michael R. Hamblin, believes we achieve the same effects using LED lights of suitable wavelength and power. In many studies LED’s perform with equivalency to low level laser lights. LED’s are far less expensive and more readily available than lasers.
Light treatment was delivered after each exercise session. The length of the study was 20 weeks. The participants in the study performed three exercise sessions per week. Each session included aerobic and resistance training.
After 20 weeks the results were clear. The ET-Photo group had doubled the fat loss of the ET-Sham group. The ET-Photo group lost close to 25 lbs of fat, compared to the ET-Sham group that lost about 12 lbs of fat.
In addition the ET-Photo group gained a pound of muscle mass, while the ET-Sham group lost about 3 pounds of muscle mass. See chart below. (Study)
This next study enlisted a group of 20 postmenopausal women, broke them into two groups (n=10). The treated group did 30 minutes on a treadmill while being illuminated with 850 nm light. The control group did 30 minutes on the treadmill without the RLT. Each group trained twice a week for three months.
The treated group developed more power and performed more work in the 30 minute training, an increase from baseline of +223 Joules. The control group’s increase from baseline was + 118 Joules. (Study)
A similar study shown improvements in performance and recovery. (Study)
A similar study shown positive effects on reducing cellulite. (Study)
Body Contouring with Light
This study used Low Level Laser Light (LLLT) at 632nm to effect body contouring. There were 86 participants in this study. They were given 20 minute laser treatments every other day for two weeks. The results were that they on average lost 2.99 inches. (Study)
How Photobiomodulation Aids Fat Loss
We can see from the clinical studies RLT definitely aids in fat loss, but how? The best guess is that the RLT light causes the fat cells to release their fatty lipids into the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream they can be burned off or excreted.
One important co-factor in this process may be exercise. The simple reason may be that as the lipids are released into the bloodstream the muscles can utilize them for energy. Fortunately, this lipid release into the bloodstream does not adversely affect the lipid profile of the blood. (Study)
I am writing a series of articles. Below are a few articles available on Medium and I will add more in the future.
- How To Use RLT For Muscle Building
- How To Use RLT For Muscle Recovery
- How To Use RLT For Brain Cognitive Enhancement
- How To Calculate RLT Dosage
I have began using photobiomodulation myself. I am limiting my dosage to approximately 15–20J/cm² full body exposure. The system I have set up allows me to reach this dose level in three minutes front, then three minutes back.
Some fat loss studies quoted used higher level of exposure, closer to 100J/cm². I have not found a reliable source to really quote the levels required for fat loss. I would advise against using high dosages of RLT, since high doses may be biphasic and become counterproductive to achieve a beneficial effect.
I am adding RLT for my general health and incorporating it into my routine. RLT has proven itself beneficial across all the medical disciplines such as muscle building, muscle recovery, fat loss, joints, skin, etc.
The RLT unit I use is pictured below. This is a 600 watt RLT unit available on Amazon. It provides light in both 660nm and 850nm wavelengths of light.