women over 40 doing pilates exercises on mat

Is Pilates a Good Way to Lose Weight?

As a Pilates Instructor, I have often been asked the popular question “Is Pilates a good way to lose weight?” While Pilates by definition is not a weight loss exercise system, it still is one of the reasons clients choose to take classes with me.  If you are wondering if Pilates will help you lose weight, keep reading below.  

Pilates can be used by people at any fitness level 

Pilates is a great way to improve your mobility and allow your body to move optimally. Many of my clients use Pilates to improve their posture, balance and overall physical fitness. 

The practice uses a mat or special equipment that helps strengthen the body through resistance training. The exercises focus on strengthening the muscles of the entire body so they’re low impact and can be done by people with injuries or joint problems.

Pilates combines a range of fitness techniques

Pilates is a fitness method that focuses on body awareness and control, building strength and flexibility. Pilates is often used as a form of rehabilitation for individuals suffering from injuries or ailments, but it can also be incorporated into more traditional workouts to improve performance and ultimately plays a key role in weight loss. 

The movement system of exercises known as Pilates combines strength training with other forms of exercise such as yoga and meditation. In addition to core conditioning and strengthening exercises like the plank and the roll-up, Pilates also includes breathing techniques and meditation practices such as focusing on one’s breath while stretching or performing various poses.

Since Pilates is a form of physical fitness it can help you maintain a healthy weight if done regularly as part of an overall fitness program that includes a healthy diet. Staying consistent with your exercise routine plays a key role in success in your weight loss journey.

If you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off strength training is a good choice

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, strength training is the way to go!  

Strength training exercises will help improve your muscle mass and metabolism, which helps your body use energy from food. Muscle is also a very active tissue that uses more energy than fat does when at rest, so exercises that build muscle can help you burn more calories even when you’re not working out.

From my own personal experience working with clients, I have seen women lose anywhere from 15- 20 lbs after incorporating Pilates into their weekly routines. It’s also what I credit for getting my body back in shape after having children. 

With a newborn and toddler my body couldn’t handle high intensity, strenuous workouts anymore. I was tired. My body was tired. This was when I switched to Pilates. It was a low impact workout with slow controlled, mindful movement – just what my body wanted. It was gentle on my body and didn’t leave me feeling depleted. After a short time the weight melted off, my muscles lengthened, my body composition changed, I gained over 1 inch in height and healed my pelvic floor.

If your goal is to lose weight fast or gain muscle mass quickly, Pilates may not be a good choice for you! If those aren’t an issue though then there’s nothing wrong with starting a regular Pilates practice to slowly start shedding those extra pounds. Most health experts will agree with me when I say “fast weight loss is not sustainable weight loss”. Slow and steady wins the race and this applies to sustainable long term success with weight loss as well. 

Pilates can set you up for success in other areas of your life

Pilates also helps to prevent injury by improving your movement patterns and aligning the muscles in your body. Losing weight and looking good are part of the benefits of Pilates but it also helps to reduce pain and allows the body to move optimally. Expect to feel better and move better after a consistent Pilates routine. 

In addition, when people start a new exercise routine, it can have a domino effect on other areas of their lives. Once we commit to an exercise routine, we tend to introduce a healthier diet and low impact cardio. Naturally, this will lead to better sleep and the shedding of those extra pounds.

It’s important to note that no exercise program alone will result in long-term weight loss if a person isn’t making other lifestyle changes as well—such as making better food choices such as adding more fruits or vegetables into their daily meals or managing their stress.

To keep off the pounds you’ve lost through Pilates, remember to exercise regularly and make healthier food choices. 

Conclusion

If you’re feeling stuck with your weight, take inventory of your lifestyle. Ask yourself if there is any area in your life that you could improve unrelated to your weight. This could include starting a mindfulness practice, spending more time in nature or developing better sleep habits. As the Chinese proverb says “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” 

I also encourage you to give Pilates a try and see if it is a good fit for you. You might just be surprised at how good it makes you feel inside and out!

Christine Kirkland is a Certified Pilates Instructor offering online Pilates classes. She specializes in helping women to increase their balance, strength, mobility and feel their best every day. Sign up for her newsletter includes fitness tips and advice for women, bonus freebies and subscriber exclusives by clicking here