Pilates is a good choice if you’re seeking a low-impact workout that strengthens and tones your body. You can lose a significant amount of weight doing Pilates for three weeks, but the actual amount of weight you’ll lose is based on your total calorie expenditure and how much you eat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests aiming for a 1- to 2-pound-per-week weight loss – up to 6 pounds in three weeks -- because it’s safe and effective for long-term success.
Optimal Calorie Deficit
Burning more calories than you eat on a daily basis is the key to weight-loss success. Combining a reduced-calorie diet with a regular Pilates routine is optimal. One pound of body fat equals 3,500 calories. Therefore, to lose 2 pounds per week -- or 6 pounds in three weeks -- you’d need to burn off 1,000 more calories than you eat every day for those three weeks.
Pilates Calories Burned
The number of calories you’ll burn doing Pilates is based on your body weight and the duration of your workout. According to the University of New Mexico, a 130-pound adult burns about 206 calories doing Pilates for one hour, a 160-pound person expends 254 calories and a 190-pound adult burns about 302 calories during a one-hour Pilates workout. If you burn 300 calories a day doing Pilates, you’d need to reduce your dietary intake by 700 calories daily for three weeks to shed 6 pounds.
In most cases, it’s much easier to reduce your calorie intake than to burn 1,000 calories a day doing Pilates – which could take up to five hours daily depending on your body weight. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests that active women who reduce their calorie intake to 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day are often successful losing weight. Active men may require slightly more calories depending on their usual calorie intake and activity level.
Fast Weight Loss
If you follow a very low-calorie diet while doing Pilates regularly, you can lose up to 5 pounds weekly, or 15 pounds in three weeks, according to Weight-Control Information Network. However, you also run the risk for developing nutrient deficiencies, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation and even gallstones. For this reason, very low-calorie diets -- containing 800 calories or less -- that promote quick weight loss are only recommended for obese individuals at high risk for health problems, who diet under medical supervision.
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