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Stop the Confusion about Diet and Exercise- Use Pilates for Weight Loss!

Jennifer Adolfs

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If Pilates is not an aerobic exercise that is sustained for over 20 minutes how can Pilates for weight loss be effective?

First you must understand that there are three, not just one, component necessary for weight loss, then you will realize why Pilates for weight loss can work.

Most people have false beliefs based on mis-information given to us by the weight loss industry. Because weight loss is a major goal of most people there is lots of money to be made and many gizmo's and gadgets that offer you false hope for weight loss. They want you to believe it is quick and easy to lose weight and their workouts for weight loss are the best.

Let's clear things up a bit before we go on. 1. There is no single diet alone that can get you lean, firm, and fit. 2. No single piece of equipment can do it. 3. No pill, powder, or liquid can help you lose weight.

If you want to live in a healty, fit body you'll need to integrate these three components:

Resistance Training:

I, and many other fitness professionals believe this is the most important component for weight loss. When you understand first that building muscle through resistance exercises like Pilates, the other two components will fall into place.

Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in the body, so the more you have of it compared to fat tissue the more active your metabolism will be, in turn burning more fat and calories.

Pilates for weight loss works then because it not only builds lean muscle tissue through the anaerobic type strengthening and stretching exercises, but it also builds the muscles that improve your posture making you look taller and leaner.

Frequency: A weight workout for weight loss should be every other day, making sure not to overload the same muscle groups two days in a row.

Overload: The resistance needs to be challenging, with Pilates the reps are between 6-8 times, challenging the whole body with each exercise instead of isolating muscle groups like a traditional weight workout. Functional exercises challenge the muscles that prepare you for activities of daily life.

Moderate Aerobic Exercise:

Moderate aerobic exercise is recommended because it does not develop skeletal muscle. Doing too much aerobic exercise can cause the body to eat your lean muscle tissue leaving you with less muscle and, in turn, more fat.

Aerobic exercise only burns fat and calories when you are actually doing the exercise. Lean muscle tissue is active even when you are at rest.

Frequency: Minimum of 4 times per week Intensity: 60-90% of your age estimated maximum HR = 220 – age x 60-90%. Time: 30-60 minutes Type: Doing any movement that you enjoy using your large muscle groups. Biking, swimming, walking, jogging, gardening, sustained exercise.

Eat the Right Foods:

Starving yourself or cutting out certain food groups from your diet impedes your metabolism from working efficiently.

Think of your metabolism as a fire you have to stoke it often to make it work, which means you have to feed it the right stuff and often if you want it to continue to work properly.

Small, healthy meals eaten every 3-4 hours is recommended throughout the day. Start with breakfast right away to wake your metabolism up. Combine in every meal a lean protein (fish, chicken, beans, nuts, lean beef), a starchy carb (sweet potato, whole grain bread, English muffin), and a fibrous carb (fruit or vegetable) of equal portions.

Raw foods such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, cereals are thermic in nature, meaning they take energy to digest. If you are looking to lose weight then the best way would be to fill up on raw foods so the metabolism has to burn extra calories to metabolize or digest these foods.

Jennifer Adolfs is a certified Pilates Mat and Equipment Specialist who works with people of all ages and abilities, specifically those with musculoskeletal conditions. Find more articles about the benefits of Pilates by going to her web site at


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