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5 Tips for Weight Loss With Pilates

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Updated March 25, 2013

Pilates exercises are great partners for weight loss. However, how you do your Pilates workouts, and what you combine them with, makes a real difference in how effective your weight loss plan will be.

Here are 5 tips for using Pilates to aid weight loss, along with lots of linked articles to give you the details.

1. Workout to Burn Calories

pilates photo
Photo Courtesy of Steven Boschoff
To achieve weight loss, you have to burn more calories than you take in. Exercise, like Pilates, helps you do that. But if you want to increase your weight loss potential with Pilates, then you also need to find a way to step up the exertion level so that you burn more calories (as long as you can maintain good form). Here are tips for making your Pilates workouts burn more calories:
How to Workout for Weight Loss
How to Maximize Your Pilates Classes
Measuring the Calories Pilates Burns

Another way to increase your weight-loss potential is to add calorie burning cardio activities to your workout program.
Know What Makes a Workout Cardio
Cross Training with Pilates

2. Build Fat Burning Muscle with Pilates Equipment

Pilates Strength
Photo Courtesy of Core Pilates NYC
Pilates is known for creating long, lean-looking muscles, and muscle is a good fat burner.

Pilates mat exercises will get you started, but at a certain point you will want to add Pilates resistance equipment in order to build muscle, strength, and stamina. Be sure to get proper instruction in the use of Pilates equipment.

Learn about Pilates equipment:
Pilates Equipment Buyer's Guide
Small Pilates Equipment in Pictures
Large Pilates Equipment in Pictures
Find Pilates Equipment Exercises
Pilates Equipment Reviews

3. Buy a Pilates Weight-Loss DVD

weight loss pilates
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber
Most Pilates weight-loss DVDs combine cardio and strength training. They also often use the smaller pieces of Pilates equipment like rings, balls, and bands. Pilates weight-loss DVDs are useful in that they give you a strong workout, they inspire you to workout at home, and they give you new ideas for designing your own workouts.

Reviews of Pilates DVDs that are suited to weight-loss goals:
Weight Loss Pilates
Winsor Pilates Super Sculpting
Stott Pilates Power Paced Fitness Circle
Sexy Body Pilates with Weights
More Pilates DVD Reviews
Compare Prices on Pilates Weight Loss DVDs

4. Get Support from Pilates Classes

Pilates Class
Photo: David Fischer / Getty Images
There are lots of reasons to go to Pilates class and they don't depend entirely on home workouts. You will want to have an instructor who can keep you going and make sure that you are working out to your fullest potential. Also, one of the best reasons to go to class is the power of the group as a weight-loss tool.

If you want to lose weight healthfully, exercising regularly is critical. Being a committed member of class will motivate you to do that. Plus, research has shown that who you spend time with has a big influence on your weight and fitness level.

Get Past Fears of Starting Pilates
How to Find a Pilates Class
Preparing for Your First Pilates Class

5. Eat for Health and Weight Loss

health shake
Photo © Marguerite Ogle
There is no getting around it -- the combination of proper diet and exercise is the best way to weight loss. Proper diet for weight loss means a diet that is both nutritious, and low enough in calories that it helps you lose weight. Exercise, Pilates or other, won't help you lose weight unless you eat fewer calories than you burn.

Here are some dietary resources:
Diet and Exercise: a Power Combination
CalorieCount.About.com
Weight Loss Site at About.com
Workout Health Shake Recipe

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