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Pilates – Is it the Best Way to Lose Weight?


Let’s talk though about pilates and weight loss simply because it is actually one of the number one questions。


I get from people ,is can pilates help me lose weight,so first we need to talk about what actually constitutes weight loss in the most simple of terms,it is when you burn more calories in a day than you consume right, if you have a negative amount like that if you actually burn more than you consume then in theory you will lose weight. Let’s talk first about what burning calories means it’s movement that’s it and sometimes it’s just sitting here so you actually just sitting and watching this article,you are burning calories because you have what’s called a resting metabolism ,we all have a resting metabolism it is different for every individual.

Keep that in mind it’s different for all of us but every single one of us will burn a certain amount of calories even just sitting here right now watching this.If you add any kind of movement or activity on top of that you will burn more, it could be cleaning your house,it could be running a marathon, it could be doing a pilates class, it could be playing with your kids.It could be any of those activities just walking the stairs walking from your car to your house,right ,any kind of movement or activity is going to burn calories。


So when you look at it that way, yes ,of course. pilates can help you lose weight it can be one of those tools in your toolbox because it is movement, so when you look at it that way ,pilates will help you lose weight there are many different factors that go into that as well i am not a nutritionist,i’m not a certified dietitian so i’m not going to talk to you about taking calories in i do want to tell you.If you have a real goal to lose weight ,it’s something first you’ll want to talk to your doctor about right and find a plan that’s right for you.You could always talk to a certified nutritionist as well or a dietitian.

In fact any form of exercise can help you lose weight depending on how it’s used depending on the person depending on a myriad of factors .But yes when you’re looking at exercise and movement and how you incorporate it with what you’re eating and your lifestyle and stress and your age and all of those things of course pilates can help you lose weight.

But i want to dig a little deeper here and tell you why you will actually never hear me talk about weight loss or promising weight loss when i talk to you about my workouts or my programs, you’re not going to see big headlines about helping you lose weight and the reason is one because everybody is different,and  that is not a promise that i can ethically make for you because everybody is different and how the program is used is different,but also even more than that weight loss is not my main goal for my clients。


If that’s a goal you have for yourself i absolutely respect , i’m gonna help you achieve that in whatever way,i can as a physical therapist and as a pilates teacher but that is not going to be my goal for you as a teacher as a movement educator, i want to support you wherever you are right now,i want to help you feel stronger, i want you to feel more confident, i want you to feel more empowered in the body that you have, if you have been fighting injuries or disease throughout your life or recently,i want you to have tools to help feel strong, even within that i also want you to have fun with your workouts that’s a big part of what we do.

so we’re talking pilates and weight loss,is as a physical therapist and as a pilates teacher i will never ask you about your weight ,i don’t care about your weight, it doesn’t determine your strength,it doesn’t determine your health, it doesn’t determine your ability to complete pilates and it doesn’t determine how welcome you。


Will Pilates help you to lose weight?sharing with you 3 tips to help you lose weight

Can break the question down a little bit further ,so we can know a little bit better what we mean by losing weights.Are we referring to losing all weight on ,our body do we want to lose the bones do want to lose the skin on the rest of the organs do we want to lose the muscle on our body or in fact are we referring to body fat ,so if we’re talking about body fat, we can rephrase the question will.Pilates help me to lose body fat and the answer is yes, it is certainly possible.

So just a quick disclaimer  here, I’m going to be talking about some dietary  ,nutritional advice although I am NOT a dietician or nutritionist so it’s best to either speak to a dietician or nutritionist if you have any specific questions, however I can share with you from my experience of training people to lose weight as a personal trainer and a Pilates instructor ,which is what I’ll be discussing with you today but just to elaborate a little bit ,when we’re talking about losing body fat we can ask our selves the question what is a calorie deficit but first of all we can ask ourselves the question what is a calorie,now you may have heard the term calorie used before.

Really that’s just a way of measuring energy in the same way as a watt or a Joule is a way of measuring energy and calorie is a way of measuring energy in food or indeed through physical activity ,and then we can ask ourselves the question how can we get a the deficit ,so a calorie deficit is the idea that we have the intake of calories that we use in a day, so that is from the food and the drinks that we consume and then we have the output of energy throughout the day ,so this comes from physical activity, whether that is walking brushing your teeth combing your hair or something more vigorous such, as a fully blown workouts it can either be from sleeping ,because we use energy whilst sleeping .


we’ve got the idea of calorie inputs and a calorie output ,we can define a little better the idea of a deficit ,so we have a baseline of the calories that we need , if we increase the amounts of energy that we consume the energy ,that is left over will either needs to be used by our physical activity or it will be stored on our bodies as fat the other option we have is to increase our physical activity and by doing this it will mean that we will be below the baseline it also works. if we have fewer calories that we consume during the day then we need and will come into a deficit but also come into that deficit by increasing our physical activity one of the ways 。that we can increase our physical activity is put lottie’s yes you guessed it okay ,so that’s one way that Pilates can help you to change your body and lose body fat another idea that we come across when we’re talking about losing body fat is the idea of lean body mass or LBM well lean body mass is the amount of mass.that we have on our bodies if we took away all of the fats all that adipose tissue are the more 。that we can increase the lean body mass the more energy that will consume when we’re at rest ,so you can compare our lbm to a car’s engine。

You can imagine that if you’re in a small car that is stopped at the traffic lights with the engine turns on ,there’s another car that pulls up next to it there’s a big car that’s also at the traffic lights with its engine turned on in the car with the smaller engine will consume less energy than the car with the big engine even ,they’re both staying there we can apply the same idea to our bodies in fact if we increase the engine of our body by increasing the muscle mass and the lean tissue of our body ,and that we will in fact  consume more energy when we’re at rest。So when you’re on the sofa, when you’re you know lying down lounging around,you’re gonna be using more energy ,this is a good thing . this relates back to Pilates because you can increase your lean body mass by doing resistance training ,Pilates is a form of resistance training next point I make is that when we’re looking to lose body fat ,it’s best to focus on big compound movements, so these can be movements such as squats or push-ups ,where we’re working multiple muscle groups across multiple joints in Pilates。

We do a combination of smaller exercises to work stability which is also great, it’s going to prevent us from getting injured as well as improving stability throughout our body in general ,we also have the bigger compound movements that we can do that will work our global muscles so the bigger muscle groups . if we’re working bigger muscle groups we’re gonna use up more energy which is a good thing。if we want to lose weight answer the question can Pilates help with fat loss ,yes so well done for making it to the end of the tips I’m going to show you three tips to help you。


Lose body fat tip number one is to reduce the amounts of refined sugar that you’re eating ,so this can be sugar that can be just in the packets that you’re pouring into your tea or coffee rather than having two teaspoons of sugar。 if you are having that just have one teaspoon if you’re having one teaspoon have half a teaspoon, if you’re having a half a teaspoon try with no sugar at all there you go,if you’re eating sweets from your packets eat slightly less sweets or in fact try switching it for a piece of fruit and see if that helps you. I know it’s not really the same thing but small steps will lead to bigger changes.


tip number two is to drink plenty of water so your body is made up of 80% water or there abouts。It’s important that we’re keeping ourselves hydrated throughout the day often when we find ourselves having the urge to eat ,it is in fact because we are dehydrated and thirsty so try first to have a glass of water ,and see if you still feel hungry after having the glass of water.


Tip number three I know it’s an obvious one however it’s still important exercise regularly, so the idea of exercise often has connotations that are slightly bad, you know you hit the word exercise and you think I don’t want to do that however it doesn’t have to all be bad and in fact you can include within your routine of exercise Pilates for example.

Of course, however it could be something as simple as going for a walk or indeed going for a cycle or indeed just doing a bit of stretching you know if you if you’ve got five minutes and you spend a lot of time sat down you can just stand up move around give your body a wiggle,it’s better than doing nothing at all.

Some strategies to burn more calories

One is simply to add consistent exercise and movement to your lifestyle ,now i want to point out that to me the motivation and the way to stay consistent with movement is to find something more than simply burning calories ,i used to be in that camp for sure i would always look at how many calories i was burning when i was on any kind of cardio equipment. I always thought about the doughnut i ate the day before and how much i needed to work out to burn that off .It is a very defeating mental place to be it did not ever make me excited to work out or to move but it’s all. i knew then in 2005 when i was diagnosed with endometriosis i was told i had a chronic condition that would never be cured ,And that i had to learn to manage my entire thought process around movement changed because suddenly it was something i needed to do every single day to actually stay healthy to feel good and to feel like long term i was helping my health,now i look at it as a way to stay strong and empowered and feel good, i want to be you guys have heard me say this i want to be able to lift my own suitcase into that overhead compartment on an airplane, i want to be able to play with my kids and run across the street with them, if i have to those are important things to me.


So that now is my motivation and i highly encourage you to find something like that whatever it is find something that motivates you beyond burning calories ,and that i believe is going to help you stay more consistent and get you out of that defeatist mentality like i want you to feel empowered when you’re working out and not ever feel defeated i think it’s important ,yes, i am not going to discount the vanity part of working out, i have no problem with that if you have a pair of jeans you want to fit into by all means make that a goal, but make sure that underlying foundation for movement is about feeling empowered and strong and believing in yourself all right so that’s my number one tip.

The second thing is make sure it’s consistent throughout the week ,so i think it is much more effective and actually much healthier if you divide your exercise time throughout the week ,so maybe 20 minutes every day versus on the weekend doing two hours really hard and nothing else during the week one that will lead you towards injuries ,but two it actually doesn’t help your body get into any kind of pattern or routine ,so think of it as consistency decide how many days you truly have each week to work out and then say that’s what i’m gonna do for the first month i have three days i can commit,great that’s an awesome goal 。So three days so decide then what you’re gonna do in those three days, it could be one of  pilates videos every day, it could be a walk for 15 minutes each of those days and then a 15-minute pilates video, it could be riding your bike with your family ,whatever it is.


So start with consistency once you have that, once you feel like you have a routine then you’re gonna up the ante a little bit ,so then maybe you replace one of those days of something that feels routine to you replace it with one of my article that has some weights in it replace it with maybe doing hills or stairs instead of walking on something flat,so that makes sense so you’re going to start to up the ante a little bit in the challenge you give your body because your body will get used to activity。meaning it will burn fewer calories during that same activity, if you do the same thing all the time, if you do it to the point that your body gets used to it ,you will burn fewer calories that doesn’t mean, it’s not good for you.Walking is one of the best things you can do for yourself i love it i do it every day, but it’s to the point it doesn’t burn as many calories for me , that’s okay .i don’t do it for that i do it to feel good and because i love it .

So that’s what i mean by upping the ante you have to increase the challenge once you get to that point, you can either increase the days during the week or you can increase the time i don’t ever believe you need to work out more than 30 minutes honestly at any given day ,but you need to make the most out of those 30 minutes if you have goals you want to reach, and that’s why i do add some weights and why i have some high intensity interval training workouts that’s why i have some non-impact things because again i don’t believe you need to be doing it more than 30 minutes。 You don’t need to hurt yourself two hours every single day,but you need to make those minutes count if you have that goal to either get stronger or possibly to lose weight.


So to summarize, yes absolutely ,pilates can help you lose weight, it’s considered resistance training .Sometimes we use a reformer for it sometimes we use weights and bands sometimes we just use our body for the resistance but it is resistance training it can help you reach a goal of losing weight if you use it in whole with everything else we talked about.

So if you look at how many calories you are consuming,if you look at your consistency with movement and if you look at the fact of are you being challenged during that movement ,so put all of it together and decide on a plan that’s best for you i also believe movement should be motivating. Don’t suddenly decide you’re gonna do indoor cycling classes because your neighbor down the street does it,if you don’t like the bike don’t do it,you’re just setting yourself up for something you don’t like and you probably won’t do find something that’s motivating and at least helps you feel like you’re accomplishing something .Even if it’s hard ,it’s okay if it’s hard, but i want you to feel like you are accomplishing something because that is what that feeling,is what you want that’s going to make you do the next step and the next step all right ,so make sure you find something that’s semi-motivating for you and make sure you believe in yourself find that bigger why believe that you’re strong believe that you’re worth it and you are worth committing the time to your goal right ,i want you to be able to do it with some joy and with belief in your body that you’re able to do those things.

That is what pilates is so good for in my mind, it is a gateway to helping you find that freedom and that power and that strength and that confidence ,pilates will help you feel better at everything else you do it will give you body awareness it will help you feel better in your posture which can translate into other things that can help with pain relief depending on, what’s going on in your body and really what, pilates did for me years and years and years and years ago is it gave me such confidence in knowing how to move that it opened up other doors for me to try new and different things it made other movement things feel doable and that was exciting to me it helps me recover from surgery for the three surgeries i’ve had, it’s helped me with stress relief. So that is what pilates i feel like can do so can it help for weight loss ,absolutely it is a strengthening exercise it will help you build muscle if you’re consistent with it ,it will use your body weight as resistance ,it can help with mobility all of these amazing things which can translate to weight loss but again i want you to think a little bit deeper into why you’re doing it and that will help you stay consistent as well .


And keeping that focus on a daily basis is what helps you keep that commitment to yourself,and it allows you to set those goals set those weekly,goals monthly goals and once you have those goals written down in front of you.You have that laser beam to use to focus on that goal, and it’s never gonna be easy it’s gonna be hard and you have to stay focused and you get through it every single time you get to where you want to go.It’s like setting your sail of a ship you know if you don’t set a destination,you’re gonna,go too long direction or once you set that destination for yourself and stay to your commitment you will get there.

One thing you need to hear if you have a goal to lose weight,  my best to help give you ways to achieve that goal .Second,if you have ever felt unwelcome in a class or in any fitness setting because of your size or your ability, i am sorry that is not ever what i want from you , i know unfortunately it happens in the fitness world sometimes, so thank you for being here,thank you for taking that in remember your true ability and strength lies in you.


Where an overweight middle-aged woman with chronic pain like myself can not only find a suitable exercise program,but start to change the toxic narrative and sense of shame that has plagued me relationship with myself as a result and i find it easier to stick with the program, this is why i do what i do because of this because to me the more we feel that the more we can release any sense of shame we have the more we can release the fact that we don’t.believe in our bodies that we are ashamed that we don’t think that we can get stronger the more we can release that and step into the strength that we。The more you can step into that mental strength physical strength belief in yourself then the more you actually will have to offer to others i truly believe that.

We’re focusing on cardio to really melt off that fat covering your beautiful thigh muscles.Working out is so much more than the vanity of how you look. It is about how you feel.Work out every single day because without it I don’t feel that I’m at my best, I feel like we connect on that level.

Listen to the music,don’t worry about the pain,you’re gonna fight through it,get ready to burn fat and taps every muscle in your body,I believe movement can be a door to that for us,so thank you for staying to see.

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