Blog Fitness Pilates Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

pilates calorie burning

Chances are that you have come across individuals talking about the benefits of Pilates. From your discussion with them, you have gathered that the exercise could help you lose weight. Following this insight, you decided to start this exercise program and have now been doing Pilates exercises for a month. Of course you expect that doing Pilates every day for a month will give you tremendous results. In contrast, upon weighing yourself, your scale still does not budge. The question you are probably now asking yourself is, does Pilates help you lose weight?


Pilates can undoubtedly help improve your balance, posture, flexibility, and core strength. The benefit that has left most people up in the air is doing Pilates for weight loss. Losing weight happens not by chance but by dedicating yourself to a practical weight loss exercise program and healthy eating habits. Is Pilates one of such programs? Does Pilates help you lose weight?

This read will unveil most of what there is to know about the link between Pilates exercises and weight loss. We will lay out the effect of such a routine on weight loss, Pilates calorie burning process, and practical Pilates exercises for weight loss. Let us get started!

Does Pilates Help You Lose Weight?

Generally, weight watchers indulge in exercise programs to help them burn more calories for weight loss. Since Pilates ranks as an exercise program, some people believe there is potential for the regime to prompt weight loss. But is this the case?

According to Medicine Net, there is no evidence directly linking Pilates to weight loss (4). Now, this does not mean that all your efforts go to waste. No, they do not. Practicing Pilates or any other exercise program helps you burn calories, and this counts in weight loss.

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However, what research shows is that there is no guarantee that Pilates exercises will automatically help you drop pounds. According to fitness experts, the primary principle of weight loss is consuming fewer calories than your body is burning (8). It helps you create and maintain a calorie deficit that helps trigger the fat-burning process.

With that said, even if you lift weights, run miles, or swim all day but still disregard a calorie deficit, you will not lose weight. The secret is to focus on creating and maintaining a calorie deficit while still performing Pilates exercises.

Read More: Pilates For Back Pain: Effective Low-Impact Exercises Your Back Will Thank You For

does pilates help you lose weight

How Does Pilates Help With Weight Loss?

As mentioned above, there is no direct link proving that doing Pilates will help you lose pounds. That said, this workout routine can help you lose pounds because it does put you in a position to burn calories. The Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) recommends that individuals lose one to two pounds every week for safe and healthy weight loss (3).

Mayo Clinic acknowledges that you have to cut 500 to 1000 calories in your diet to lose just one pound. Sticking to such a technique will help you lose at least 0.5 kg or one pound in a week (2). Knowing this, we understand that dieting can be challenging for most people. 

With this fact before you, instead of cutting all these calories from your diet, try shedding most of them by following a Pilates workout plan. Such a routine can help you burn even 480 calories if you practice an advanced exercise version (4). If you lose this many calories through this program, plus others from your calorie deficit, you may lose one to two pounds in a week.

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does pilates help you lose weight

How Many Calories Do Pilates Exercises Burn?

Several factors come into play while analyzing the calories you burn every day. Some of these include your activity levels, the chosen exercise program, its intensity, the workout duration, and individual characteristics like your body weight. 

Whether you lead an active or sedentary lifestyle, a Pilates workout program is bound to help you burn calories. However, the number of calories you burn will depend on the stated factors above. 

If you typically choose intense Pilates workouts and exercise with them for more than an hour, you are bound to burn more calories. An advanced Pilates workout lasting for one hour can help an individual weighing 165 pounds burn 480 calories (4).

If such an individual chooses an intermediate Pilates regime, they would most likely burn 390 calories per hour (4). Similarly, the individual would lose 276 calories per hour while performing the basic or beginner Pilates workout for one hour (4).

Notice how the amount of calories your body is burning is increasing with an increased intensity. The same concept would apply if you were to increase the exercise duration. If such an individual were to exercise longer than one hour, they would burn more calories.

This is to mean that there is no standard count on the number of calories you can burn while following a Pilates workout plan. It all comes down to factors such as the routine’s complexity and duration. Just remember to first talk to your trainer and doctor before making any adjustments to your Pilates workout routine.

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What Pilates Exercises Can You Do For Weight Loss?

If you are interested in losing weight or burning more calories from such a routine, the secret is choosing more intense workouts. With this in mind, it is not applicable for beginners. Beginners need to first learn all the basic Pilates moves and stretches before progressing to something technical.

Advanced Pilates exercises are recommended for weight loss because they give your body a thorough workout and help it burn more calories (5). These exercises entail complex moves and poses that you have to hold for longer durations, giving your muscles an additional workout (5).

Research indicates that Pilates exercises done on a mat can help you maintain an ideal weight (1). These refer to a series of workouts done on the floor and in the absence of Pilates machines (4).

You must be very cautious when picking out these workouts. Do not be fooled by their simplicity because one wrong move can result in pain and injury (4). The best approach to help you come up with practical Pilates exercises for weight loss is consultation. Talk to a professional for insight on a routine that helps you meet your fitness needs.

does pilates help you lose weight

Is Pilates For Everyone?

Just because you want to drop a couple of pounds does not mean that you are suitable to try a Pilates exercise program. There is an exception for who can practice this workout regime. Below are individuals who need to check in with their health care providers before using this routine to shed pounds:

  • Seniors

Losing weight beyond 50 is challenging. If you are past this age group and want to lose weight, consider first checking in with your doctor. You may be captivated by Pilates stretches and exercises but end up discovering that they do more harm than good to you (6). So, do not jump heads first without consultation in any new exercise program.

  • Beginners

One misperception that people have is that because Pilates does not necessarily require equipment, they are effective for any beginner looking to shed pounds. Maybe you have seen most beginners rush to try such a program because of this point. 

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However, you must remember that the simplicity of an exercise program does not mean it is safe for everyone. The reality is that Pilates exercises can still cause more harm, especially if you experience acute or chronic back pain (7). You need first to talk to your doctor and fitness coach and assess the safety of the regime. The last thing you want is injuries that might or might not be resolved.

Read More: Pilates Exercises For Beginners: 10 Moves To Build Your Core Strength

pilates to lose weight

  • Pregnant Women

It is natural to find pregnant women looking for weight loss strategies, especially if they end up putting on tremendous weight in their pregnancy. One strategy that most of them consider is Pilates. You must check with your doctor if you are pregnant and think of practising Pilates for weight loss

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Although exercise has not been deemed unsafe for pregnant women, you should check with your doctor first for safety purposes. This is regardless of whether you are doing a Pilates workout, weight lifting, yoga, or aerobic program.

  • Sick Individuals

Talk to your healthcare provider and trainer if you have various medical conditions but still want to practice Pilates. They will assist you in modifying such workouts to help meet your needs without increasing your risk of injuries.

The Bottom Line

Does Pilates help you lose weight? The following program can help you shed pounds as it triggers calorie burning, which helps in the fat-burning process. However, doing Pilates does not automatically guarantee weight loss. The weight loss principle remains – maintain the consumption of fewer calories than your body burns. Please note, as much as you are doing these workouts, remember to create and maintain a calorie deficit for weight loss results.

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This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Best Exercises for Weight Loss (2021,
  2. Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020,
  3. Losing Weight (2020,
  4. Pilates (2021,
  5. Pilates and Yoga: Are They Good Exercise? (2014,
  6. Pilates for beginners: Explore the core (2019,
  7. The Benefits of Pilates (2007,
  8. Weight-Loss and Maintenance Strategies (2004,