Can a Pilates Reformer Machine Help You Lose Weight?

I have this friend of mine who is always on the lookout for the latest in weight loss regimens. From diet fads to so-called ‘miracle’ weight loss pills, nothing seemed to work. There are even manufacturers of Pilates reformer machines who will sell you the idea that several sessions on their equipment can already spell a more pleasing, sexier body. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work that way. And while you can go shopping for the best pilates machine to help losing weight, you really need to understand that this machine is not your only ticket to having more favourable numbers on your bathroom scale. Rather, it is part of a more comprehensive weight loss strategy.

The thing about losing weight is that you have to tip the balance between energy consumption and energy expenditure more towards the latter.

Think about it. If you eat more than what you spend in the form of energy or calories, then you will still have a net gain of such calories. These calories can be stored in the body and lead to an increase in body weight. This is quite an oversimplification of the process, I have to admit. But, I hope I am able to drive home the point that, while Pilates moves on a mat or on a reformer machine can help you lose weight, if you don’t change your attitude towards food, then you really cannot expect to see any desirable change in your bathroom weighing scale’s numbers.

Pilates reformer machines can help us tone and strengthen our muscles which is essential in weight loss efforts. Muscles are more prolific at the use of calories or energy such that they will still be using these calories several hours after finishing our exercise regimen. Unfortunately, if we take in more calories than what is absolutely necessary, then we run the risk of converting these calories into fats.

A study in 2005 suggested that folks practising Pilates on an ordinary Pilates mat usually burn about 4 calories on average every minute. This is for those who are just beginning in their Pilates. If you were to practise Pilates for a full hour on a Pilates mat, you’re burning 240 calories.

Pilates practitioners in the intermediate to advanced classes can burn up to twice the number of calories utilised by newbies on a per-minute basis. As such, advanced Pilates practitioners can expect to burn about 480 calories per hour. This is almost the same as jogging for about 45 minutes at a speed of 8 KPH or about 7.5 minutes per kilometre.

Using a Pilates reformer machine will perhaps net you a slightly higher calorie expenditure, but there are currently no verifiable data that can give us the exact figures. Let us just say it’s 10 calories per minute for advanced Pilates practitioners. That means, we’re burning 600 calories per hour on a Pilates reformer machine.

Given that we need to spend 3,500 calories to lose a pound or roughly 0.45 kilogrammes, we have to perform daily Pilates reformer exercises at a minimum of 1 hour each day for 6 days just to shave a pound off our weight.