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Weight Loss Benefits of Tai Chi

author image Martin Booe
Martin Booe writes about health, wellness and the blues. His byline has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and Bon Appetit. He lives in Los Angeles.
Weight Loss Benefits of Tai Chi
An exercise class performs tai chi. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/Getty Images

Tai chi gets your body moving, helping you burn more calories to aid in weight loss. Beyond calorie expenditure, tai chi may help reduce stress levels if you perform it often -- and high stress is related to increased weight. Therefore, the combined caloric burn and stress reduction effects of tai chi could help you slim your waistline.

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Tai Chi and Calories

To lose 1 pound of fat, you must burn 3,500 calories. A 30-minute tai chi session will burn roughly 150 calories for a 155-pound person -- about the same as walking at a moderate pace. Although you don't burn as many calories with tai chi as with more vigorous activities such as jogging, the numbers add up over time, potentially leading to weight loss over the weeks. For faster results, pair your tai chi routine with a sensible diet.

Tai Chi and Stress

In a study published in the journal "Obesity" in 2007, researchers followed healthy female volunteers and monitored stress levels, eating patterns and weight. High stress levels were directly related to overeating and weight gain, indicating that reducing stress may positively impact weight management. As a known stress reliever, tai chi may provide this fat-fighting benefit for some.

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