Can Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Can Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

We all know that losing weight is a combination of regular exercise and the right, balanced diet.

If you are doing Pilates regularly, then you may wonder whether this counts towards your weight loss exercise training.

In this article, we find out whether Pilates can help you with your weight loss journey.

Is Pilates A Good Exercise To Help You Lose Weight?

Pilates has become immensely popular in recent years, and as a low-impact exercise, it is very gentle on your muscles.

However, this also means that you cannot use Pilates for weight loss. It is not an alternative to high cardio exercises, such as swimming or running.

The reason for this is that, with Pilates, you burn a lot fewer calories than with cardio exercises which are commonly needed for losing weight.

Saying this, Pilates is still very effective when it comes to building lean muscle, toning up and improving your posture.

That’s why, it is important that you also regularly join Pilates classes, if you enjoy them. They will help you maintain a balanced lifestyle.

If you are looking to lose some weight then you can combine Pilates with other types of strength training and a healthy diet.

Some of the best types of exercises are cycling, walking, running or swimming.

How Many Calories Does Pilates Burn?

The exact amount of calories that you can burn with Pilates depends on your body weight. Also the type of Pilates and the difficulty can affect how many calories you burn.

For example, if you are doing Pilates with a Pilates mat class on a beginner level then you burn a lot fewer calories than when you do advanced Pilates for the same amount of time.

As a rule of thumb, you can burn a lot more calories with any exercises that raise your heart rate.

This means that Pilates reformer classes are better at burning calories than some other Pilates workout.

Although you do burn some calories with Pilates, this is usually not enough to help you lose weight.

Generally, you will need to burn around 3,500 calories per day in order to lose one pound. You could not burn all these calories, even if you did Pilates for the entire  day.

For better results, it’s best to go for cardio exercises, plus Pilates. Also make sure that you eat a healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean protein.

What’s The Pilates Effect?

Can Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

As mentioned, Pilates has some great benefits when it comes to improving muscle tone, core strength and posture.

All this means that you may appear to lose weight. However, you are likely to have gained muscle or toned your muscles, rather than having lost body fat.

This particular phenomenon is called the “Pilates effect”.

Pilates Research

There have been a few different studies that have proven a number of benefits of Pilates, including the lowering of BMI, weight loss and decreasing hip and abdomen circumference.

Interestingly, the studies did not show a particular difference in body mass, which is related to your body’s fat weight.

However, Pilates did increase the lower and upper limb strength of many participants.

It can even be effective for managing chronic lower back pain but there haven’t been many studies on the effectiveness of Pilates of injury rehabilitation yet.

How Often Is Best To Practice Pilates?

Generally, you can practice Pilates as often as you like but for beginners, it is recommended that they start out with practicing two to three times a week.

This will help everyone new to Pilates understand the benefits and also gently start toning the muscles.

How often you want to practice Pilates is very much up to you and your personal preferences.

Some Pilates classes, such as Pilates reformer classes, are a little more advanced.

To burn a few more calories than with your standard Pilates class, you can also try out Yogalates (a combination of yoga and Pilates) or Piloxing (a combination of Pilates and boxing).

These help you burn more calories and can contribute more to losing weight. If you are looking to lose weight a little faster, then it’s best to go to a number of different classes a few times a week.

You can also alternate between strength training, cardio exercises and Pilates. This is ideal for achieving your weight loss goals and toning your muscles at the same time.

Weight Loss Tips

It’s worth pointing out that although exercises are essential when you are looking to lose weight, but you will also need to eat a healthy diet.

Snacks and meals that contain whole grains, vegetables, lean protein and fruit will make sure that you do not put on the body fat that you are losing with the exercises.

Saying this, it is important that you do not cut down too much. After all, your body still needs energy for you to function properly.

If you are not sure about what you should eat, then it’s a good idea to contact a nutritionist or your doctor who will be able to create a diet plan for your weight loss goals.

Pilates Exercises For The Best Muscle Tone

Here are a few healthy Pilates exercises that can help you on your weight loss journey, and they also tone your muscles at the same time.

  • Lunge Warm Up: A lunge warm up helps to target your hamstrings, deltoids and quadriceps.
  • Pilates Push-Ups: With a Pilates push up you can target your back and shoulders, and you can improve your core strength.
  • Standing Footwork: If you are standing in a squat, then this will help improve your hamstrings and gluteals.
  • Leg Pull-Up: Leg pull ups can be so versatile, and you will be able to target muscles, such as your hamstrings, triceps and gluteals.

Final Thoughts

Pilates is a great weight to keep your muscles toned and to create core strength.

Although this low-impact workout isn’t very effective in helping you lose weight, you can combine it with cardio exercises to get the most out of your training sessions.