Lillian Wilson

Five Ways Muay Thai Can Help You Lose Weight

Muay Thai is a fun and efficient form of fitness that will shed all the extra pounds and make you ready for a beach season all year round.

muay thai for weight loss

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is not about a ‘diet’ that starves and deprives you of all food satisfaction, it is about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating habits, physical activity and mental health management.

When you are endeavouring to shed some excessive pounds it is natural to be willing to see the result as quickly as possible. People who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1-2 pounds or 0.4-1 kg per week) are more likely to keep it off in the long run.

Commitment and hard work are required to lose weight. And while there are multiple types of physical activities you might want to try out on your weight-loss journey, practising Muay Thai can be an excellent and fun way to achieve the healthy body you want to see in the mirror.

What are the benefits of weight loss?

Achieving a healthy BMI (body mass index) is extremely beneficial for overall health and promotes lower susceptibility to diseases.

If your BMI is above ‘normal’, losing as little as 5% to 10% of your overall body weight can result in various health advantages, including enhancements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.

Maintaining a healthy weight has also been proven to prolong lifespan. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity reported that having a healthy BMI throughout adulthood can increase life expectancy and the number of disease-free years, with women and men who achieve this typically enjoying an additional 7 and 9 years of both, respectively.

Role of physical exercises in weight loss

While diet plays a prevailing role in weight loss, exercising and physical activity are also crucial.

The equation for weight maintenance involves balancing energy intake (eating and drinking) and energy output (non-exercise thermogenesis + exercise). The American Diabetes Association, American Academy of Clinical Endocrinologists and National Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend exercise as a crucial part of weight loss programs.

A study was conducted on 36 overweight individuals to determine if exercise enhances weight loss efforts. The study lasted 6 months, and participants were randomly assigned to either exercise plus calorie restriction or calorie restriction alone. Both interventions achieved a 10% weight loss without a significant difference in the percentage of body fat loss. However, the exercise group had the added benefit of improved aerobic fitness.

Taking part in physical activity of all kinds, including aerobics, resistance exercises, flexibility exercises, and reducing sedentary time has multiple health benefits for people who are dedicated to becoming healthier and losing weight.

Five ways Muay Thai promotes healthy weight loss


Hopefully, nowadays we have access to various physical activities, ranging from free ones like running to lavish and a bit pricey ones like pilates, that might come in handy when seeking a way to achieve the body of your dreams.

With this wide variety of options, we may get lost and confused about what to choose. And if you are looking for a kind of fitness that is fun but at the same time extremely effective, look no further than Muay Thai. This once martial art will exercise your whole body and help you lose weight.

1Muay Thai exercises you aerobically

One of the biggest benefits of Muay Thai is that it makes you exercise both aerobically and anaerobically.

Aerobic exercises are those that imply oxygen delivery to your muscles to help them burn energy and muscle function is regulated by your breathing. There are various activities involved in Muay Thai training, including running, jumping rope, and shadowboxing, which provide a great aerobic workout.

To lose weight, aerobic exercises are often recommended as they can reduce body fat and enhance muscular endurance. They can also increase the oxygen flow in the body, which is beneficial for weight loss. Basically, Muay Thai can be considered a fun form of cardio that helps you burn up to 1000 calories. To burn the same number of calories you will need to run at least 16 kilometres (10 miles). That’s a lot. 🙂

2Muay Thai exercises you anaerobically

As opposed to aerobic exercises, anaerobic exercises are short, high-intensity activities that do not use oxygen. Examples of anaerobic exercises used in Muay Thai include high-intensity interval training (HIIT), explosive kicking and punching drills.

Anaerobic exercises are extremely effective when it comes to weight and fat loss.

If you look at professional Muay Thai fighters, you will notice that they are lean and do not have any extra fat. You can achieve these results too because Muay Thai can be considered HIIT that:

1. Tones muscles.

2. Increasing metabolism.

3. Promotes the afterburn effect by making the body continue burning calories after the workout is over.

3Muay Thai combines callisthenics and plyometrics elements

Callisthenics and plyometrics, which are currently popular fitness concepts, are incorporated into Muay Thai training drills.

During a calisthenic workout, you only use your own body weight. With this approach, you’ll get stronger, more flexible, and more coordinated.

As for plyometrics, it uses equipment like skipping ropes, mats, and exercise balls to improve balance, agility, range of motion, and flexibility. Callisthenics and plyometrics are both used in Muay Thai to build explosive power. This exceptional combination burns fat and promotes weight loss, but also increases the body’s efficiency and overall fitness level.

4Muay Thai makes you more energetic


It is true that Muay Thai training is not easy and requires a decent amount of strength and endurance, but the thing is that Muay Thai can not only consume but also give you a lot of energy.

Having just 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week for six weeks increased energy levels and helped people feel less tired, according to researchers at the University of Georgia.

If your energy levels are increased, you have both strength and mental power to do more things and be more productive.

Thus, you are more likely to perform more Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT refers to the energy we expend on everyday activities that are not related to sleeping, eating, or structured exercise.

NEAT is extremely important when it comes to staying in a healthy weight range and can really help to make the number on the scale sustainable. In fact, NEAT consists of all unconscious movements we produce throughout the day, such as walking, cleaning an apartment, and working in a garden; and these unconscious actions make up 15% of daily calorie burning.

15% of the calories we burn every day come from NEAT Source: PubMed

5You get support from a professional coach

If you’re new to the gym and trying to lose weight, you may struggle to use the equipment correctly. It’s common to stick to the treadmill or stationary bike because they seem straightforward, but to get the best results, it’s essential to use gym equipment properly and perform exercises with proper techniques. However, it can be challenging for beginners to learn on their own, and hiring a personal trainer can be costly.

Muay Thai stands out in this regard, as Thai box gyms always have experienced coaches available to guide you. These coaches have extensive knowledge of fitness and health, gained through personal experience and working with many different body types and personalities. They know precisely how to help you to achieve your body goals gradually. This unique expertise is invaluable and not easily found elsewhere.

Sum it up

Along with a healthy diet, exercise is crucial for weight loss. Muay Thai can be an excellent option due to its combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises, callisthenics and plyometrics elements, and the fact that it can increase energy levels. In a Muay Thai gym, there is always a professional coach available to guide and support you, making it easier for beginners to learn proper techniques and achieve their fitness goals.

Thus, if you’re looking for a fun and highly effective full-body workout to lose weight and feel proud of the effort you put into your body, Muay Thai is definitely worth a try.

Not enough? Here is more

On the Coach Viva channel, Richa and Lucy (Nutritionist and Psychologist) teach people how to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.

This video dwells on a healthy weight and fat loss journey and explains how we can boost metabolism in order to stay in a healthy weight range. You will also learn more about NEAT and its role in weight control.

Healthypedia FAQ

Yes, Muay Thai is an excellent cardio workout that can be highly effective for weight loss. This full-body workout involves striking, kicking, and kneeing, and it requires a significant amount of energy and stamina, making it a highly effective way to burn calories and shed excess weight.

Yes, Muay Thai is suitable for beginners. Most Muay Thai gyms offer classes for beginners, where you can learn the basics of Muay Thai and build up your fitness levels gradually. With time and practice, you can improve your technique and increase the intensity of your workouts.

The number of calories burned during a Muay Thai workout can vary depending on factors such as your weight, fitness level, and intensity of the workout. However, some estimates suggest that practising Muay Thai for just one hour can burn up to 1,000 calories, making it one of the most effective workouts for weight loss.

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