One question I get asked all the time is…
“Is Pilates good for weight loss?”
YES, it is.
But the really funny thing is that if you spend some time researching this topic on the internet, you will see some negative so-called “studies” about how Pilates won’t help you lose weight.
It’s quite ridiculous, really.
…and maybe that’s how you’ve landed on this page…Googling, looking for an answer to that question.
You know, this is probably the most common misconception about Pilates – that it’s not intense enough to help you lose weight.
But it’s just not true.
I’d be willing to bet that the majority of people who are saying these things are either not working out at a high enough intensity level, or their diet is not geared toward weight loss (or a combination of both). Or they’re just plain doing it wrong.
Having said that, I will be honest with you and say that doing Pilates alone at a moderate intensity without changing your diet, or including some form of cardio probably won’t get you very far in terms of weight loss.
But neither will weight training without cardio and a proper diet, for that matter.
On the surface, Pilates may seem to be less effective at producing weight loss than some other forms of exercise and may not even be considered to be the *best* form of exercise to do when you are trying to lose weight. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work.
Its all in how you do it.
Check out what Idea Health and Fitness Association had to say about what makes Pilates good for weight loss:
…A person wishing to improve or maintain weight and body composition through Pilates mat work would need to progress to the point of being able to do the intermediate to advanced workouts–and perform these workouts at least 4 days a week for 45-60 minutes each session, not including the warm-up and cool-down. (To attain a significant change in body weight, dietary monitoring would also be important.)
I have to say that I agree with this. Pilates is what you make it. I believe it is totally possible to see a “significant change in body weight” by doing Pilates at a high enough intensity level…provided there is proper dietary changes being made.
Exercise Does Not Equal Weight Loss
Yeah, you read that right.
I’m gonna let you in on a little secret:
Exercise (no matter the type) should only be used as a HELPER, or a way to ENHANCE a healthy diet when you are trying to lose weight.
You should never depend on just exercise alone as a way to lose weight. NO amount of exercise can make up for an atrocious diet. I don’t care what you do. Even if you see results initially, you will eventually hit a wall.
This is actually good news for you though, because it means that you can choose the form of exercise you *like* doing (intense or not so intense), rather than following the herd and going along with forms of exercise you just hate.
Personally, I know that if I dread my workouts, I simply won’t do them. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to jog when you have bad knees, or complete a round of P90X just because that’s what everyone else is doing.
That’s just a one-way ticket to failure.
The best workout for weight loss is the one you STICK WITH.
Pilates is NOT a waste of time.
If your goal is to lose weight and change your body composition, and you think you will enjoy doing Pilates, don’t let anyone stop you!
Just ignore anyone who says otherwise and get yourself on a good, healthy diet and find a Pilates class you can get to at least 4 times a week. Throw in some cardio, and you’re good to go.
If you can’t get to a class or you can’t afford them, there’s always online Pilates classes (my personal favorite).
Whatever you choose, just be consistent and you can be confident that the results will come.
Have you personally seen weight loss results with Pilates? I would love to hear your story, and I am sure others would like to be encouraged by it too. Feel free to post in the comment section below!