Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Pilates & Yoga Weight Loss | Guest Post

This week it is my pleasure to bring a post written by Peter MinkoffPeter is a yoga enthusiast and fitness lover writing at My Empowered World magazine. He is dedicated to healthy living, exercising and spending time outdoors as much as possible. A firm believer in organic diet for overall health benefits, Peter is powered by true motivation in all aspects of yoga and fitness-ing. He hopes to run his own yoga and fitness center someday. Today he shares with us his advice for losing weight with help yoga and Pilates, something I, personally hope achieve! :)

Often, yoga and Pilates are considered mere stretching and toning exercises and their contribution to weight loss is being overlooked. Still, these two activities are so diverse that they have the capacity to transform your body, if done properly and with that goal in mind. Celebrity yoga trainers Ana Brett and Ravi Singh, who have worked with stars, such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna, also believe in yoga’s weight loss powers and Pilates can truly make your weight loss efforts much easier by increasing lean muscle and toning your body. Let us see how else these two activities can help you lose weight.

Yoga and Weight Loss

A study published by American Journal of Managed Care found that restorative yoga (yoga that does not feature flowing body movements or challenging poses, but focuses on relaxation instead) can trim subcutaneous fat in overweight women, even more than other, more demanding kinds of yoga. It is also known that yoga reduces stress, and thus slows the production of cortisol – the hormone responsible for stubborn belly fat. Yoga, on any level, can help achieve the mind and body balance, which can actually change your perspective for some bad eating habits. That consciousness translates into a better appetite control and works as a spiritual stimulus for making changes.

Pilates and Weight Loss

Pilates is a body-toning program that improves muscle control, core strength, flexibility and coordination. It requires different exercising tools, such as resistance bands, rings, balls and other smaller props. According to American Council on Exercise, Pilates features some exercises that can strengthen the abdominal muscles and the back, improve posture and flatten the belly. The technique is based on using one’s body weight as a resistance and it includes a number of range-of-motion exercises. Similarly to yoga, it promotes body/mind connection which leads to body awareness and better eating patterns.


In spite of all these facts, you cannot expect that yoga or Pilates will torch of thousands of calories. Even power yoga, which is considered to have the best fat burning potential, burns only 300 to 400 calories per hour. The most important benefit yoga carries is a new awareness of your body which prevents overeating. There are no credible evidences on how pilates affect weight loss, but it does build muscles, which, in turn, boosts the fat burning process. Neither one of these two activities can help you lose weight without reduced calorie diet and including some other physical activities. Still, if you are recovering from an injury or have some chronic illness which prevents you from engaging in more demanding exercises, Pilates and yoga can be great ways to remain fit.

How to Get the Best Results?

There are two things that play a major role in the effectiveness of your Pilates/yoga weight loss program: your decisiveness and a fitness instructor. Finding a fitness instructor that will match your goals, needs and personality can be very challenging. There are several things a person which will train you should have: Pilates instructor certificate (from a credible Pilates institution), a professional should also have a certified diploma of disability (if you are recovering from an injury, are prone to injuries or suffer from a disease) and a supportive character. After you truly decide that you want to commit to weight loss regimen, you should create a strategy which will include Pilates, yoga, cardio exercises and healthy diet. Take certain days to practice cardio workouts and devote the remaining days to muscle recovery and relaxation with yoga and Pilates. Focus on healthy foods and smaller portion sizes to additionally improve your chances of success.  

Can You Do Yoga and Pilates at Home?

Let us face it, not every one of us can afford a personal fitness trainer, so we have to play with the cards we are dealt with. Fortunately, it is perfectly doable to practice yoga and Pilates at home. For the first, you will need a mat and for the second a Pilates ball, resistance bands, and similar props. YouTube tutorials sometimes are not sufficient, because anyone can make it and they do not show everything you need to know, so it is better to equip yourself with quality yoga and Pilates DVDs and books or even join an online class, which is cheaper and offers similar benefits. Take 25 minutes per day to get your body in shape, and if you are committed enough, you will succeed, regardless of the location of your workout.

Both Pilates and yoga have undeniable benefits. Still, if you focus just on these activities your chances of losing weight are small. Instead, combine them with healthy diet and occasional aerobics exercises and you will see how fast you will lose the stubborn fat.

You can find Peter on Twitter and Facebook :)

Do you practice yoga or Pilates? I am determined to get back into yoga this year! Do let us know if you have any advice on yoga, Pilates and weight loss or practicing these exercises with a chronic illness in the comments below. Big love.


  1. I do yoga at home, it's easier for me as I will more than likely faint. It's the best kind of exercise I've tried as its gentle and doesn't effect me as badly as other workouts. This was a really good read, I'm going to send it to a few friends who are thinking about doing yoga! I love the illustrations btw lise 😁 Xx

  2. It really is more illness-friendly in so many ways! I really want to get back into it :) x

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