Somatics for Weight Loss?

 Oh boy. I'm getting a lot of questions from folks asking if Somatics can help with weight loss. 

Why are so many are asking this question all of a sudden? 

Social media, that's why. 😣

I'm seeing the ads too. Posts touting somatic weight loss plans, somatic workouts, somatic yoga, even somatics that'll make you cry so you can get rid of your trauma, and then lose weight. Yeesh.

In this post I'd like to clarify if and how Somatics can help you lose weight.

The ads on social media are for apps and video programs that offer things like somatic exercise and somatic yoga routines. Many of the ads say you can finally lose stubborn belly fat and get rid of trauma, that holds you back from losing weight. 

This is the junk my clients are running into online. 

I dug a bit deeper into review and scam alert sites too. Many folks say they were billed more than they signed up for, had a hard time cancelling their account, and didn't actually find any "somatic" exercise routines within the apps, just pilates and yoga. So buyer beware.

Ok, back to. . .

Will Somatics help me lose weight?
How does Somatics help me lose weight?

Nothing like claims of fast weight loss to grab folks attention.

But here's the secret to weight loss.

There is no secret to weight loss. 

There is no fast and safe way to lose weight. 

In addition to being a Somatic Educator, I'm also a Personal Trainer and Behavioral Change Coach. You cannot lose 42 lbs in month safely. Nor would you want to. Rapid weight loss results in a slower metabolism, so you are likely to gain the weight back, and then some, once you stop the diet or exercise routine du jour.

Let's talk about a bit about weight loss first.

Caloric Deficit = Weight Loss

I'm not here to debate what to eat or not to. But once you drill down on trendy diets, weight loss results are due to burning more calories than you consume. Yes, there are better foods to eat that are more metabolically available to burn off, and ones that love to take up residence on your hips, belly or butt. But ultimately it's about calories in, calories out. 

There are many factors that go into weight loss, but this is a good place to start: A realistic weight loss method is to burn 250-300 extra calories a day than you normally do, and cut your caloric intake by about the same amount. This will create a 500 calorie deficit per day x 7 days of the week = 3500 calorie deficit, which is equal to about 1 pound loss per week. This is a practical and safe way to lose weight without wreaking havoc on your metabolism.

You can search on Google for "how many calories do I need to lose weight?" or check out an app like LoseIt for help figuring your needs, based on your goals, age, gender, activity level. 

If you want to dive deeper in the psychological aspects of weight gain, loss and your relationship with food, check out Noom.  It's a good weight loss app, though when I explored it and I felt it was way too tech reliant for my liking. I felt like I was constantly having to log stuff on my phone, which raised my stress levels and took me away actually moving my body. 

Side note: When folks report rapid weight loss on a new diet —generally in the first week or two of a new diet —it's largely due to diet changes that reduce water retention. If your regular diet is rich in salty, fatty foods and simple carbs, you are likely retaining excess water in your cells. Rid your diet of those foods, and you start shedding water weight quickly in the first week or so. This is not the same as losing body fat.

Now, onto the aspects of exercise for weight loss.

Diet changes are actually more effective than exercise for weight loss. But exercising can make it happen a bit faster. Exercise also helps you maintain muscle mass, which can keep your metabolism running a bit higher and burning more calories day in and day out, which can help you maintain your weight. This article explains metabolism well.

Just be careful not to consume more food as a reward for your workouts. Most folks think they are eating fewer calories and burn more than they actually are.  

Regardless of whether exercise helps you lose weight or not, it is definitely good for your overall health!

So will "somatic exercise" help you lose weight? 

Unlikely, in and of itself.

But wait. . .

Let's talk about the overall health benefits of having a somatic practice and how those benefits can help you lose weight.

Firstly, if somatic is a new term for you, a somatic practice is a form of movement in which you pay great attention to the internal sensations of how you move. It's not fast. It's slow, so you have time to sense, and learn. Be sure to check out this recent post, what Somatics is, and what is not.

Hanna, A.K.A. Clinical Somatics is the somatic method I offer. This method is primo for helping you reduce physical, emotional and mental pain and suffering.

How Somatics could help you with weight loss

Somatics can help you reduce your stress levels which can help you manage things like stress eating. Reducing your chronic stress levels can help regulate certain hormones, including cortisol. Chronically elevated cortisol levels, can result in stored body fat, especially around your internal organs and across your belly. But do know, cortisol is not all bad. We need our bodies to produce it in certain amounts and at certain times of the day. 

Somatics can help you sleep more soundly. If you toss and turn every night, only to wake up tired every day, you are more likely to get hungry, hangry and crave sweets, non-nutritious treats and caffeine to make it through the day. Only to repeat the pattern, over and over again. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. It also makes losing weight extra challenging.

 I personally do a bit of Somatics every night before bed. I fall asleep easily and stay asleep through the night. And this is coming from a perimenopausal gal! 🙌 

Being well rested means you should have the energy to actually exercise. If you are exhausted you're more likely to hit the couch at the end of the day, vs get to the gym, or better yet, go outside for some fresh air and healthy movement

Somatics helps with pain relief. I've worked with so many personal training clients who've said they have a hard time exercising because they have chronic pain issues, OR they hurt themselves when they do workout, setting them back.

Somatics is an excellent way to gently release tension and get rid of pain. Then you can move well so you can live well. 

Somatics can help you reclaim greater voluntary control of your muscles so you have more power and can gain more strength, which in turn means you can increase the number of mitochondria in your muscles. These are the little powerhouses of your cells that gobble up energy stores, helping you lose weight. 

Side note: I've introduced Somatics at fitness studios around the country. Lots of folks report heading to the weight room after my introductory Somatics class and being able to lift more weight and do more reps. Just after one class!  

If you are injured, Somatics can help speed up your recovery so you can get back in the game, so to speak. Even if you are bed ridden, you can likely do very gentle Somatics so your brain continues to maintain motor control of your muscles. 

Side note: recently my 125 English Mastiff ran head long right into my knee, hyper extending it. Luckily I didn't blow out my knee, though I did partially rupture my hamstring something fierce. The doctor said 3-12 months for full recovery. I'm happy to say at 6 weeks out, I'm about 95% recovered. All due to my daily Somatics practice and regularly walking. 

Me and Kelso. Not to scale. 😆

Somatics can raise your awareness of everything. As you regularly practice Somatics, you should become more aware of what you do through out your day. From how you sit at your desk, to how much time you play with your devices, even mindless eating. It's not a judgement call. We all have our autopilot patterns. To create changes we need to become aware of what we do so we can create new -- and healthier -- patterns.

Ok, now this is where I get really frustrated with the blanket claims folks are saying online. Advertising, TikTok and Instagram are littered with videos talking about getting rid of trauma with somatic movement. 
Wow, this is such an over simplification.😕

Yes, certain somatic methods can help you resolve trauma stuck in your body. While everyone is different, I would not recommend most folks attempt to process trauma completely on their own, just with an app or video. 
Someone trained to help you is going to make the process more effective and safer. 

Plus, I worry about those who attempt to work through their trauma alone. They follow a particular video that is supposed to make them cry, but doesn't elicit tears, and then may think they have "failed". This can set folks back further from healing. It also leaves them with a bad experience of what they assume is somatic, but actually is not. 

While I am not a mental health provider, I have worked with clients who find Hanna/Clinical Somatics helpful for physical trauma such as accidents and injuries. Others find Clinical Somatics a great addition to their mental health counseling.  One helpful somatic method used by mental health practitioners is EMDR.

So let's sum up.

Somatics could help you lose weight, but not in the ways you might think. Somatic movement is not exercising/working out. It is a slow and mindful movement practice. With a regular somatic practice you can have better sleep patterns, get rid of pain, regain better motor control of your muscles, become more mindful of your autopilot patterns, lower stress for better hormone regulation, all of which can help you lose weight and keep it off.

I personally think every body can benefit from having a Somatics practice. I can't in good faith recommend these apps that are not truly doing Somatics. Nor can I recommend overly simplified programs that make some wild claims about trauma and weight loss. 

As a Personal Trainer and Somatic Educator I meet lots of folks with faulty motor patterns, poor alignment, posture, pain issues. That's why I generally start off with my clients developing a Somatics practice first. Get rid of pain, tension, faulty motor patterns, gain better voluntary control of their bodies, THEN add on the fitness aspects of movement. Function first. 

I hope that helps clarify some claims about Somatics for weight loss. Let me know in the comments below. I'd really appreciate that. 😀

If you'd like to learn more about Somatics, and how I can be of assistance in your journey, please visit 
my website You can even learn the basics of Somatics on my Youtube channel

No matter where you are, I work with folks around the world via Zoom. 
I'm a Clinical Somatic Educator,  Personal Trainer and Behavioral Change Coach specializing in holistic movement training. Reach out and let's talk

Thank you for being here. I appreciate you!

take good care,


Kristin Jackson, CCSE, CPT


  1. Thank you for your wisdom and perspective on "Somatic Exercise to Lose Weight - Fast!" It was clear and will be helpful when questions come up in my own practice!

    1. Thank you, Susan! There was a time when us Somatic Educators were working in a vacuum, and not many people knew of this powerful work. Now that the word "somatic" is trending, a lot of people are using the word to sell programs and such, but not actually offering true Somatics. I''m sure we will have lots of questions from the public as time goes on. Keep up the good work!


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