Will Pilates help you lose weight? Everyone knows the magic combination of diet and exercise can help you shed pounds more quickly than either one alone. What you might not know is that bodyweight and resistance training exercises like Pilates can be just as effective as a cardio workout when it comes to weight loss. Thank you to VeryWellFit.com for helping us discover the simple reasons that Pilates is an effective tool if you are trying to reduce that number on the scale and get your body ready for Swimsuit Season!
Calorie Burn with Pilates
The first reason is simple math. If you are a largely sedentary person or even a very busy person but not particularly active, a Pilates workout will increase your total caloric expenditure from whatever your baseline is, to a few hundred calories above that.
If you typically burn 1200 calories in a normal day and you add a 300 calorie workout to your routine, you will be burning a total of 1500 calories or 25 percent more than you were before you added the workout. This applies for all exercise that you add on to your existing regimen, not just Pilates. However, it is important to understand that an uptick in your activity is an uptick in your calorie burn which leads directly to weight loss.
Boost Your Metabolic Rate
The second way in which Pilates assists in weight loss is by impacting your overall body composition. Many people who seek to lose weight aren’t necessarily looking to be smaller.
It’s a redistribution that many of us are looking for.
If you were the same exact weight but sculpted and toned would you want to weigh less? Likely not. When we look in the mirror what we largely want to see is taut toned muscles and a minimum of excess flesh. In other words, more lean muscle mass and less fat.
In order to change your muscle to fat ratio, you must perform resistance training.
You can choose from bodyweight training or actual weight training to accomplish this. Pilates, as it turns out, makes use of both. Proper Pilates workouts require you to master a series of bodyweight exercises known as the Pilates mat as well as endless routines on several distinctive Pilates resistance devices. Note that Pilates employs large heavy springs as opposed to weights so you will be using many different levels of resistance custom tailored to your strength and capacity.
Changing your body composition by adding muscle and reducing fat will impact your basal metabolic rate in a positive way. The more muscle you add, the more calories you will burn at rest. Yes, you heard that correctly. You will burn more calories at rest simply by virtue of having added lean muscle to your body. Pilates offers two distinct types of resistance training to help you accomplish this.
The Pilates Effect
If these separate physiological reasons aren’t enough to sell you on Pilates for weight loss, there’s one final reason that should cinch the deal.
It’s the secret sauce of Pilates practitioners everywhere who call it the Pilates Effect. It makes you feel better.
Step into a Pilates workout and you’ll be forced to lift your abdominals in and up, retract your shoulders and lengthen your neck. By the end of a Pilates class, your spine will elongate, your waist will narrow and your chest will lift up proudly. Your posture undergoes a complete overhaul leaving you looking and feeling longer and taller than you did just one hour earlier.
While you’re taking care of your nutrition you can already look better with regular Pilates workouts. The last major benefit? You’ll boost your self-esteem which is positively associated with weight loss.