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Pilates offers numerous health benefits, but isn't efficient at burning calories.
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While Pilates offers an array of health benefits, including core stability developments, improved posture and balance, increased flexibility and a decreased risk of lower back pain, it will not help you lose fat in the belly. It isn't possible to spot reduce, which means you can't target fat loss at a particular area. To lose fat in the stomach, you'll have to engage in higher intensity exercises that burn more calories, though you may continue to do Pilates to tone muscles for more defined abs.
While Pilates can strengthen and tone your stomach muscles, you need a caloric deficit to lose fat.
Forget Spot Reducing
Pilates is effective for developing strength and stability in your abdominals and other core muscles. However, the muscle tissue that Pilates develops is completely independent of the excess fat tissue that you have on your stomach. It's not possible to lose fat in a specific area on your body. The American Council on Exercise, however, adds that as you lower your overall body fat levels, you'll notice changes in the areas you deem as problem areas.
Feel the Burn
In order for an exercise activity to be an effective way to lose fat, it's got to burn a high number of calories. This is because you lose fat when you burn more calories than you take in from what you eat and drink. Therefore, a successful weight loss plan includes regular calorie-burning exercise while limiting your calorie intake by making daily adjustments to your nutritional habits. By incorporating these habits regularly, the caloric deficit you create will eventually lead to fat loss. When you reach a 3,500 caloric deficit, you'll have lost a pound of fat.
Add Other Exercises
A 2014 study published in the "Archives of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry" confirms that Pilates isn't an effective way to lower your body composition. After six months of regularly participating in Pilates, subjects didn't see significant fat loss. According to a calorie calculator provided by Health Status, a 150-pound person will burn about 252 calories during a 60-minute beginning Pilates workout, 351 calories during an intermediate-intensity workout and about 432 calories from an advanced workout.
Consider Other Cardio
You've got to do exercise that raises the heart rate to burn fat effectively, says ACE. Cardio activities such as running, cycling and swimming will help you lower your body fat percentage more effectively than Pilates; as you lose that fat, you will begin to see your belly transform. While the 150-pound person will burn up to 432 calories with Pilates, she will burn 576 calories running for 60 minutes at 5 mph and about 774 calories during a 60-minute elliptical workout.