Zumba for weight loss – Does it actually work?

Although I’m a fitness fanatic as of late, I’ve been a lazy cat for the better part of my adult life.  Believe it or not, despite my husband being heavily involved with exercising, my official introduction to fitness was a dance workout. This makes me uniquely qualified to answer your question – Zumba for weight loss – does it work?

Zumba For Weight Loss

OK, summer is just around the corner and you realize that winter has treated you well. Maybe even too well for the scanty summer clothes to appreciate. It’s time for action! Weight must be lost! 

It`s gonna be beach time soon… oh, the dreaded bathing suit comes to mind! OK, dieting is easy (fairly). You cut down on food and choose healthy… you can manage that. But what about exercise?! Your abs and bum need some serious shaping and lifting… no more oversized sweaters (damn the trend!) to hide comfortably behind.

But as a seasonal exerciser, you don’t have a single clue what to do. You don’t like the gym, weightlifting is not your thing, and running bores you do death. You want something fun, something enjoyable but yet challenging, something to make you sweat off those extra pounds and make you tight (or at least tighter) in all the right places.

Well, I have an idea for you. Zumba! How good is Zumba for weight loss? Better than you think. Read on.

Zumba for weight loss

Weight Loss

Zumba is a form of fast dancing. It’s a cardio exercise that burns calories in a dance party atmosphere. Although it is mostly based on Latin moves, many trainers combine the Zumba dance with the rhythm of hip-hop, samba, cha-cha, tango, contemporary (to name but a few) and bodyweight training to help tone the body and burn more calories.

The best about Zumba is that the moves are relatively easy and simple to do, and they engage all the muscles in the body. Also, it has that extra advantage of working in a group, which can be motivating and fun.

But, how good is Zumba for weight loss? Let’s do the math. Depending on your age, height and weight, a one-hour session of Zumba can leave you with a deficit of 400 – 600 calories.

And this is with low-impact Zumba. High-impact Zumba on the other hand can easily burn up to 800 calories. The difference can be traced in your level of fitness and how far you are able to push, but also in the type of Zumba.

Here is a simple math…

So if you avoid junk food and cut down around 500 calories from your daily intake, and you do Zumba 4-5 days a week, you will end up losing close to 2 pounds a week in the worst case scenario. That’s the rough estimate on the Zumba dance for weight loss.

Not bad, right? So, if you are wondering How long does it take to lose weight with Zumba – let me say that in a combination with a healthy diet, you will start seeing Zumba results as early as within 10 days.

And have in mind that the benefits expand far beyond weight loss alone. If you are looking for a sustainable routine, it’s never about picking the most efficient one. There are other factors to weigh in as well.

Does Zumba burn belly fat?

Can I Lose Weight With Zumba

So far, I believe I have clarified your main dilemma – Can I lose weight with Zumba? Yes! Of course, it all depends on the intensity of the classes, the effort you put and the calories you consume, but losing weight with Zumba is not a myth, nor as far-fetched as many people might think.

But, with the beach season coming close, and those bikinis popping to your mind once again, you’ll probably want a flat abdomen too.

So does Zumba burn belly fat?

Again – Yes! Zumba is an excellent form of cardio exercising that involves fast and slow dancing (much like interval training) that works your whole body. It will help you tone different muscle groups, especially the abs and the back.

But in order to see the benefits of Zumba for belly fat, you have to be patient (for tammy fat is as stubborn as it can get) and very importantly, you have to eat clean!

Zumba vs. Gym workouts

OK, so the idea of Zumba for weight loss sounds good. You have warmed up to the concept, and started considering it seriously.

But you tell your gym-going friends and boom! – all sort of opinions, verdicts and myths pop up, so you end up even more confused. Can you achieve significant weight loss with Zumba? Well, to be frank, the gym is much better if you are willing to endure demanding workouts.

Zumba Vs Gym

But the point is that you are not a fan of the gym. Although weight lifting can be superior to other types of exercise, sometimes it’s about the fun as well. And you cannot have a lot of fun lifting those plates. At least not when compared to Zumba.

So let’s cut the chase. It’s time for a confrontation: Zumba vs. Gym. Here is the quick rundown:

Quick vs. long-term results

Zumba is a vigorous aerobic exercise that is best if you want quick results, i.e. weight loss. However, if your goal is to tone and build those muscles, increase your resting metabolic rate and drop weight, opt for the gym.

Fun vs. demanding workout

Zumba is much more fun when compared to the gym. It`s actually so much fun that you won’t notice the full body workout you are getting.

However, gyms offer benefits that can’t be found in a Zumba class, like personal space with training equipment and the possibility to train with a personal trainer. Gyms offer more structured and targeted workouts, while Zumba allows you to be more spontaneous.

Group classes vs. working out alone

Cize Dance Workout

If you like socializing, go for Zumba. Gyms are not exactly solitary environments, but you can choose to work alone or visit a gym at a less busy time to have some personal space. With Zumba you are part of a group and have to follow the classes schedule.

However, although one of the most appealing advantages of Zumba classes is that they involve social interaction and building a level of camaraderie within the group, if you feel uncomfortable dancing among strangers, you can always do it in the comfort of your own home.

As Zumba requires basically no equipment, just clear some space and choose one of the many Zumba dance for weight loss at home videos available online. You may not get the same hype and motivation, but hey, it’s better than nothing. It may give you what you actually need to pluck up the courage and gain enough confidence to join a class at a later stage.

If you need a more serious workout, that doesn’t require of you to step out of your comfort zone too early and too quickly, make sure to check our own fitness program. My husband designed Fitness Updated with my lazy habits in mind, so it’s definitely suitable for beginners. But as you progress, you’ll have a world of fitness at your disposal.

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Zumba dance for weight loss at home

To round it up in simpler terms: Zumba for weight loss? – does it work? Yes, if you do the following steps:

Set a weight loss goal

Decide how much weight you want to lose and do the math. Figure out how many classes you need to attend weekly and how much calories you need to cut down in order to achieve your goal. Measure you progress every two weeks. Once you start seeing result, stick to it. Pounds will keep dropping and that pack of six packs will start to show.

Do Zumba regularly and work on your progress

Choose a Zumba class at a time that best suits your lifestyle. You want to be regular to classes in order to achieve results, so missing out will only stall your progress. If you work out at home, make sure to stick to a schedule.

As your body starts getting used to the strain and you start mastering the moves, opt for higher intensity Zumba workouts or just add-in additional days of light stretching and physical activity throughout the week. As you advance, aim for 5-6 hours of Zumba weekly.

Modify your Zumba workouts

Aerobic Exercise

If you do everything right, achieving some weight loss with Zumba is definitely possible. But you don’t want to lose some weight – you want to transform your body for good!

Well, if drastic weight loss is on your mind, and you are still determined to get there with Zumba, you’ll have to modify the routine.

For starters, begin to contract your core as you are doing some of the easy moves. This way, you’ll put extra pressure on the abdominal section, burning more belly fat in the process.

You can also add ankle weights, but make sure to start on the low end. Use half a pound for each arm and leg, build up slowly.

If you are well coordinated, you can insert a set of dumbbells as well, and increase the weight as you progress through your program

Watch your diet

Healthy Diet

No workout regime will work if you don’t pay attention to what you are eating. Make sure to consume at least 3 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fruit every day, as well as healthy fats like seeds, nuts and olive oil.

Protein is a must, so don’t skip a portion of lean meat, fish, legumes, beans or tofu. Include some of these at least in one daily meal. Needless to say, junk food and alcohol are going out of the window.

Try an elimination diet along with Zumba

Hard Boiled Egg Diet

If you are not the type of person who is willing to modify her dance routine in order to shed extra weight, then perhaps an elimination diet can help you reduce your caloric intake.

I’ve been writing about the hard boiled egg diet before, but you can also consider the carnivore diet, or the Keto diet as a possible alternative. All of these are suitable with low intensity exercises.

Stay hydrated

Water is a huge contributor to losing weight. It keeps your metabolism in shipshape and helps your body flush out all the toxins. Drink anywhere between 3 to 4 liters of water per day. The more you exercise, the more water you should drink to stay hydrated.

Zumba for weight loss – definitely go for it!

To conclude, Zumba gives you a good start to achieve your goals. What you get out of it largely depends on what you put into it.

Even if your current fitness level restricts you to low-impact (low-intensity) classes or movements, you’ll soon progress to high-impact (high-intensity) Zumba with matching results. Choose Zumba for weight loss, and you’ll make new friends, improve your overall fitness and start having some great time.

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