I am often asked about what to eat before a Pilates Class. More often than not people come in either on a too full stomach or haven’t eaten for many hours and don’t have the calorie reserves to fuel their workout.
Here are a few helpful tips on Pre-Pilates meals and snacks:
- You definitely do not want to eat a large meal right before a Pilates Session. It is difficult to both digest and workout at the same time as your body must attempt to divert energy away from digestion in order to fuel your muscles. This is why you feel cramping, bloating etc. and sometimes may even feel slight nausea. Pulling your abdominal muscles “in and up” as we often say in class is particularly hard on a too-full stomach.
- You do not want to have gone more than 3 hours with no food. If your class is first thing in the morning, have a banana an hour prior to class. Even a few bites on the way to class will help and will not make you so full that you cannot workout. Not enough calories means that you will become exhausted quickly and may feel weak or even dizziness as your body expends a great deal of energy on little to no fuel
Taking Pilates Class After Dinner?
Have a full meal 2 hours before your session to have time to digest. A full meal with some protein, fat, and lots of veggies gives you just the right amount of pick-me-up to stay focused and power through your workout. Protein and fat are slow burning energy that give you the stamina and energy. They take a bit more work for your body to digest, so don’t dig into a steak 30 minutes before you walk in.
Unless you are doing an intermediate-advanced Pilates Class, Jumpboard or HIIT, you do not need carbs to burn in the same way that you do for more aerobic exercise. Pilates Cardio may not exactly equate to the same cardio expenditure of running for example, however depending on the class Pilates can be aerobic and increase calorie burn in which case carbs may be helpful.
Stick with What Works for YOU
Plan ahead and eat at least an hour before your session (2 hours if it’s a big meal) so you’re energized, not lethargic, going into your Pilates class.
• Green salad with grilled chicken, avocado, nuts and seeds
• Wrap with grilled chicken, ground beef, fish, or healthy protein and greens
• Broiled salmon, broccoli, greens with sauce of your choosing if it is relatively low in sugar and sodium
• Slow-cooker pulled pork or chicken with veggies
What about a small snack less than 1-hour before Pilates Class?
Small snack are appropriate and encouraged before class, particularly if you have not head a healthy meal within 2-3 hours before class.
• Apple and almond butter or peanut butter
• Hard-boiled egg
• Small handful of nuts
• Hummus with veggies
Avoid: Dairy and coffee less than one hour prior as this often causes Acid Reflux something very unpleasant during Pilates Session!
If you are struggling with getting started with Pilates because you think it’s only for the ultra-slim ballerina body-types, you may want to rethink this myth. Although Pilates is known for creating dancer-like physiques by sculpting long and lean muscle, Pilates is design
ed for all body-types. In fact, Pilates is the perfect exercise for someone struggling with weight issues, due to the lack of stress placed on the lower back and joints.
I am overweight…should I do Pilates?
YES!! Pilates can offer a gentle, core building program designed to be modified as needed. Reformer equipment (in-studio), is sturdy, safe and can be adjusted as needed. The health benefits gained from regular Pilates practice are numerous. When your core is strong it helps to support the spine and organs. Alignment and posture are improved by lifting the ribcage. Correct alignment doesn’t just improve posture and overall appearance, but it helps relieve back and joint pain.
I am concerned that the Pilates Reformer will not support my body-type.
Pilates can be done on the mat or on the Reformer and Tower. Supine positions and kneeling make Pilates a great choice for someone with a larger physique. Modifications will allow clients to get full-range of motion without stress to the joints. Pilates is a progressive workout, designed to continually challenge the core. The Reformer is an excellent way to progress your fitness level incrementally. Clients who are significantly overweight can benefit from private training to address individual needs and concerns, become knowledgeable about appropriate modifications, and feel comfortable with Pilates.
Selecting a Studio that’s a Good Fit for your Needs
Probably the single most important thing you can do for yourself is select a studio in which you are comfortable! Every environment is different and all studio have their own atmosphere. You need to have a place to explore your fitness and address your goals in a warm environment in which you do not feel judged. A good way to address these concerns is to try-out an introductory private session. Some questions to ask yourself: Does your instructor respond to your needs? Do you feel comfortable? What is the overall vibe at the studio? At WellBarre Pilates, we actively promote positive self-esteem and positive body-image. We want all of our clients to feel safe and supported whatever their view of their own body.
I want to lose weight. Is Pilates a good method for weight loss?
At WellBarre we believe in Pilates for all bodies regardless of fitness level, age, or physical size. We understand that an ultra-slim body-type and thinness is not the goal for everyone. If you are interested in weight loss, contact the studio for packages to include health coaching with Pilates fitness. We can tailor any program to suit your needs.
Adding low-impact cardio interval training, such as Jumpboard is a wonderful way to burn extra-calories.
Dear Studio Members,
As the studio reaches it’s one-year anniversary, I want to take the time tor reach out to our members. We couldn’t be more thrilled to have landed, quite “accidentally” in the Stoneham Community. Many of you know that we opened only briefly in Melrose. Moving-out of our newly built studio space abruptly, following significant obstacles when the building was sold within our first 4-months…quite trying to say the least! But now that we have made it to the one-year mark, I feel that it was a lucky accident that brought us to the community.
I love our small corner of the universe, filled with radiant, determined and strong women who come through our doors each day. I can’t begin to express to you what a privilege it is to get to know all of you and be part of not just your journey into Pilates fitness, but sometimes into intangible emotional and psychological shifts that happen when you commit to your health through a regular mind-body practice. I am awed by your passion and commitment to make important changes, even when they aren’t easy. It’s inspiring to see clients find new joy through movement and through reconnecting with the body. I often have the privilege of seeing our membership and class community learning to let go of the judgments they carry about their bodies, shifting toward a kinder and more sparkling view of themselves to embrace exactly where they are in that moment. As a teacher, I often think that’s where the magic happens and transformation begins.
And just so you know, I have journeyed with you in my personal challenges…and physical ones too…but what fuels my own determination to keep going is the energy that you bring each and every day. It’s through that very energy th
at we continue to reinvent ourselves, writing and re-writing our own personal stories.
With gratitude we enter our second-year in the Stoneham Community. Our commitment, as always, will be to support, celebrate and continue challenge you. Your potential is truly limitless. “The Body Achieves What the Mind Believes” ~ Annonymous
As a thank you to our members and to celebrate our One-Year Anniversary we will offer Free Teaser Tuesday Classes on the following Tuesdays:
Tuesday, June 12th
9 am Reformer; 5 pm Reformer for Absolute Beginners
Tuesday, June 19th – refreshments will be available after all classes and evening cocktail after pm classes
6:30 am Reformer
7 pm Jumpboard – light snacks will be offered and glass of bubbly following Tuesday evening classes