Is Pilates Good for Weight Loss? How Pilates Helps You Shed More Than Weight
As a Pilates instructor, I’m often asked if Pilates can successfully help you lose weight. Joseph Pilates (the Founder of the workout system) once famously said: "In 10 sessions you will feel a difference, in 20 sessions you will see a difference, and in 30 you will have a new body." I used to think his words sounded too good to be true. But after physically witnessing how many lives the exercise has transformed, including my own, I can honestly say he’s speaking the truth.
The question surrounding weight loss, however, deserves more than a simple “yes” or “no” answer. Because the reality is, Pilates will wind up shifting your entire perspective surrounding body image while providing a multitude of benefits in the process.
Can Pilates Help You Lose Weight?
From a purely scientific perspective, if you’re someone who despises working out or you live a hectic lifestyle but you’re not very active, Pilates will naturally inflate your overall caloric expenditure. To paint a clearer picture, let’s say you burn an average of 1200 calories on a regular, ordinary day. By adding a quick, relaxing Pilates workout to your routine, you can burn off another 300 calories – a 25% increase from where you started. And don’t forget, by adding muscle and reducing fat, you’ll see a positive impact on your basal metabolic rate.
Pilates workouts are effective because they redistribute weight throughout the body. For example, let’s say you weighed exactly the same amount as you do right now, but your body was sculpted and toned – would you even care what the scale said?
Yes, you heard me correctly; Pilates reframes your entire mindset to the point where you can ditch the scale once and for all. Imagine how freeing it would feel to simply let go – to realize that the number flashing on your scale is unpredictable, and more importantly, an inaccurate representation of the full picture. There are so many other influential factors to the equation, such as muscle mass, your level of happiness, and your physical and mental health.
And the best part? You’re still doing a total-body workout even though you’re not gasping for air and completely drenched in sweat. While Pilates heavily targets your core, each exercise requires you to engage every muscle throughout your body. That means with each mindful movement, you’re enhancing your flexibility, strength, and mental control over your body.
My Relationship with Body Image & Exercise
The truth is, Pilates is SO much more than a weight loss system. The workout, which draws inspiration for areas like ballet and yoga, uses gentle movements, controlled breathing, and calisthenics to help achieve a level of self-love, strength, and well-being that is unrivaled by any other exercise out there.
In all my years practicing Pilates, I’ve discovered there’s an extensive number of motivating factors that drive people to try this workout. For me, I was forming an unhealthy relationship with exercise. I slaved away at the gym day in and day out, forcing myself to perform high-intensity workouts and an endless slew of burpees until I was drenched, panting, and barely able to stand.
My definition of “fitness” became warped and I began adopting self-sabotaging behaviors – “punishing” myself for that dessert I indulged in over the weekend or allowing #fitspiration accounts on social media to dictate my views on body image. Unrealistic and unattainable standards of beauty blinded me from respecting and caring for my body. The result? I became anxious, depressed, and miserable – in literally every aspect of my life.
Shed More Than Weight with Pilates
Fast-forward to when my physician recommended I start Pilates as a way to manage my back pain. Holy [insert curse word here]. Talk about a complete mental and physical transformation. The exercise was so impactful in turning my life around that I became inspired to help others reap the same benefits I did.
First, it taught me the importance of body neutrality. If you’re not familiar with the term, it simply means learning to love your entire self as a person – not just your body. It’s incredible how powerful a single workout system can be; Pilates truly rebuilds your confidence, energy, mindset, and more.
Today, I am humbled by the opportunity to watch other women discover a renewed sense of inner strength (just like I did). When your life is filled with genuine happiness, your whole perspective on your body, health, and well-being changes for the better. And in the same vein, the system tones your muscles, reshape your body, and create a long, lean physique. I’ve never experienced something so life-changing and powerful.
The Pilates Effect
There’s a little secret I want to let you in on – it’s called The Pilates Effect. And, yes, it’s a real, widely-recognized reward of stepping into a Pilates workout. The exercise system uses purposeful movements to ensure practitioners are lengthening their necks, lifting the abdominal muscles in and up, and retracting their shoulders. The outcome is a narrower waist, an elongated spine, and a posture that stands tall and proudly. You literally look and feel taller!
On top of feeling like there’s a bit more pep in your step, you’ll get to enjoy the myriad of other benefits Pilates offers, including enhanced flexibility, improved posture, reduced stress, a calmer mind, deeper, more effective breathing, increased energy, and from a holistic standpoint: a healthier lifestyle.
Pilates: An Exercise Rooted in Empowerment
If you're like me, you’ve probably tried your fair share of fad diets, quick fixes, and extreme exercises. What if you could finally put all of that behind you and adopt a routine that is transformative, easy to maintain, and zero percent overwhelming? It’s attainable. And it’s right here to help you to discover the joys of achieving your wellness goals while gaining a healthier mind and body. Heck, you’ll actually enjoy giving your body the care and attention it deserves. Why? Because you’ll finally be introduced to an exercise regimen that promotes self-love while delivering results.
Ready to dive into a routine that can be performed anywhere, anytime? That includes the comfort and convenience of your home.