Zumba how to lose weight

Contents

How zumba dance helps to lose weight

How Often Should You Do Zumba to Lose Weight?

Zumba brings the party to your workout—but it can also bring results. On average, you burn almost 370 calories per class, determined a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, which helps you create a caloric deficit to lose a few extra pounds. How often you shake and shimmy to accomplish your goals depends on how much weight you have to lose and whether or not you’re willing to take other measures to speed the process along.

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Calorie-Burning Fun

Weight loss is a complex metabolic process, but it usually boils down to the equation of calories in versus calories out. If you take in fewer calories than you burn, your body shifts to burning stored fat and you lose weight. On average, this deficit needs to equal about 3,500 calories to lose a pound.

The exact number of calories you burn in Zumba varies by your size and intensity, but if you guesstimate weight loss according to the 370-per-class number determined by ACE, it’d take nearly 10 classes per week for you to lose a pound in seven days—provided you’re eating just enough to maintain your weight right now. Regardless of how much you love the Samba and Rhumba, that’s a lot of dancing.

Cut your class attendance to just five days per week, and you can drop about 1/2-pound per week. This may not be the speed at which you’d like to see the pounds peel off, but it’s slow, steady and sustainable. After just six months, that could add up to 12 pounds down.

Pick Up the (Weight-Loss) Pace

To lose weight a little more rapidly, it helps to make some dietary changes along with your Zumba commitment. A study published in Obesity in 2012 that followed more than 400 post-menopausal women confirmed that diet and exercise combined led to the most impactful weight loss after 1 year.

Along with shaking it in the fitness studio five times per week, adjust your eating habits to cut out simple, refined carbohydrates, including white bread and pasta and added sugars. Instead, load up your plate with lean proteins—think chicken breast, tuna and flank steak—whole grains, fresh vegetables and healthy fats found in olive oil, avocados and nuts. Stick to moderate portion sizes, such as protein the size of your palm and a 1/2 cup of grains. Snack on fresh fruit, raw nuts and low-fat dairy.

Pass up dessert, fancy coffee drinks and your nightly glass of wine. This helps you save calories so you create a larger deficit and lose weight more quickly. Plus, this healthy diet gives you all the energy you need to really get the most out of your fitness dance sessions.

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Does Zumba Work for Weight Loss? Zumba Calories Burned, Benefits and Myths

Lots of people swear by Zumba for weight loss, but does it really work?

The answer is of course yes, Zumba can help you lose weight but the important thing to realize is that the dance sessions are no magic fix for dropping pounds, it just happens to come in a package that most people don’t detest; instead of slaving away on a treadmill, you get to spend an hour or so dancing with friends and strangers to loud music. Because people find the classes fun, they keep attending, and that is what makes it work. My theory is that whatever gets you moving is good, and if it keeps you coming back because you enjoy it, even better.

If you want to use Zumba for weight loss, or if you’ve already been trying and haven’t seen the numbers on the scale budge yet, there could be several reasons why.

The problems with Zumba for weight loss

Not all classes are equally intense; you may be getting much less of a workout than other Zumba-ers.
I’ve done it a handful of times, I’m not a huge fan of it but it can be a good way to break up the monotony of the gym. Different instructors (and different gyms) have different class formats, songs, and dances, which leads to varying intensity levels when it comes to energy expenditure. In short, I have been to classes where in an hour and a half I break a sweat, and really get my heart rate up. It feels like a workout and it’s fun. The majority of the times I’ve tried it, however, I find that in 90 minutes, the dance moves have me barely moving, I haven’t broke a sweat, and I’ve got enough spare oxygen that I’m literally yawning.

If you’re trying to lose weight with the dance classes, be aware of how challenging it is for your own fitness level. If the Zumba classes you’re taking don’t get your heart rate up and you don’t feel challenged, don’t expect to start dropping weight just because you’re present for the class for an hour or two. It is a great starting place for those new to working out but you may need something more intense as you get more fit, depending on the difficulty of class.

Zumba does NOT burn 1000 calories an hour
The Zumba 1000 calories an hour myth is untrue and a misleading hype that is unfair for those who are truly trying to drop weight. Read More

There’s no strength training component to Zumba.
Strength training is important for many reasons; a toned body that burns more calories at rest being among the more superficial motivators. It also prevents bone density loss, reduces chances of injury, improves posture, joint health, and the ability of the body’s muscles to support those joints, just to name a few benefits. If you want to use it for losing extra pounds, make sure and incorporate a strength training component as well and you will likely see that you lose weight faster.

Check out Fitness Blender Workout Videos to find home workouts that use bodyweight moves to build strength and tone the body.

What is Zumba?
It is a Latin inspired dance fitness class that usually lasts between 60-90 minutes. Typically instructors start with a very short warm up (after calling out all of the “newbies” to the class) and then go straight into the dance portion where you will be expected to burn calories shaking your thang to the tune of a blend of Salsa and hip hop music. Don’t be intimidated if you “can’t dance”; the majority of Zumba dance classes take place in the dark, often even with a disco ball spinning lights across the room. Plus, you can take comfort in the law of physics that everyone looks foolish when they dance.

If you don’t feel comfortable dancing around in front of strangers, you can always try the Wii Zumba Fitness game in the comfort of your own living room. Here’s a list of other games that let you draw the blinds and work up a sweat; Wii Games for Weight Loss.

Zumba Weight Loss*: Detailed Information

Zumba is one of the most popular fitness programs today. It involves Latin music with simple dance moves that incorporate resistance training and interval training which alternates fast and slow rhythms. The main reason why many people are into this fitness program is because it is an enjoyable way to workout.

History of Zumba

Zumba was developed by celebrity fitness trainer Beto Perez who accidentally stumbled upon the concept in the mid-1990s. He was teaching aerobics but one day forgot his aerobics music. He used the tapes available in his car which were traditional Latin salsa and merengue music. He completely improvised dance steps and movements to fit the music. The result is the revolutionary fitness program called Zumba which became a huge success. Beto later on brought the class to the United States wherein its popularity skyrocketed.

Does It Help With Weight Loss*?

According to studies, dance-type aerobic workouts like Zumba can be beneficial to a person’s cardiopulmonary endurance. It also increases* heart rate which is great for burning calories and improving* cardiovascular fitness. For best weight loss* results, it should be done at moderate or high intensity and duration. The best thing about Zumba is that it is fun which makes a person more likely to stick to the program. Zumba also incorporates interval training which has been found to increase* the metabolism up to several hours after the workout. This is obviously great for people who want to lose* weight.

How Many Calories Can You Burn with Zumba?

One hour Zumba classes burn somewhere around 300 to 600 calories depending on two key factors which are weight and intensity. The amount of calories you burn depends on how much you weigh and the intensity of your workout. There are workouts for beginners which burn less calories and there are workouts for advanced students which burn more calories. There are now many variations of Zumba available with different intensities. You can burn more calories by using the best weight loss* supplements together with Zumba.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Zumba

The main benefit of Zumba is that it is enjoyable. Another benefit is that it is a form of aerobic exercise which helps you burn a lot of calories. It also incorporates interval training which can boost* your metabolism several hours after your workout. The main drawback of Zumba is that most exercise classes are pricey . Another drawback is that some people don’t like it.

Conclusion

Zumba is an excellent workout for weight loss*. It is easy and most people find it fun. When you are enjoying your workouts, there is a much higher chance that you will succeed in reaching your goals since it will be much easier to stick to your exercise routine. For faster results, you can try the best weight loss* supplements. Just make sure that the product you purchase is safe and effective.

How To Copy The Full-Body Workout Loved By Ashley Greene & Victoria Justice With NO Equipment

If you want to get strong and stave off those holiday pounds, try this celeb-fave workout that tones your ENTIRE BODY in less than an hour a day.

STRONG by Zumba is in iteration of the classic Zumba class that in just two years has expanded to 150 countries! Over 350,000 people take STRONG by Zumba classes each week! It’s NOT a dance class — it’s a high intensity interval training workout (HIIT is loved by Kim and Khloe Kardashian) that seriously tones your muscles and gets your heart rate going! I got to take a class in New York City with Victoria Justice, Ashley Greene and Ashley Tisdale, and it was so fun! Time seriously flies because the workouts are timed with the music, and don’t worry — you DON’T need to be coordinated.

The class was led by Master Trainer and Co-Creator Ai Lee Syarief, and I spoke to her EXCLUSIVELY about how STRONG differs from traditional Zumba. “It’s very different from a Zumba Class,” she told HollywoodLife.com. “STRONG by Zumba is a high intensity training program. It is a HIIT Workout combining body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training movements. There is no dancing. Music is reversed engineered; the workout is designed first, and then music is created to sync every beat to a move. It is very unique — more than any other program out there. Music drives the workout and pushes you through the moves. Zumba is based on dance fitness.”

And if a HIIT class sounds intimidating, don’t worry! “It is for all levels. In this class, we provide what we call ‘switch-outs.’ We introduce base moves, and also give modifications which will meet the needs for different fitness levels, from beginners to those looking for a challenge. Anyone should take this class who wants an exciting, challenging full body workout! It tones everything, from a strong core to defined arms. It conditions your legs and your glutes without losing muscle mass.”

Ashley Tisdale, Alberto Perlman, CEO of Zumba Fitness, Victoria Justice and Ai Lee Syarief, Zumba Lead Master Trainer

For people looking to lose weight, Ai says, “Consistency is key, but it depends on the individual, their goals and physical condition / fitness level. To lose weight, a general guideline is to do the class three to five times week. It also depends on intensity and type of workout. STRONG by Zumba would be recommended about three times a week.”

Along with a fun workout, try to keep your diet in check. “The most important thing is to fuel your body and hydrate as well. Eat a balanced diet including complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats,” Ai says.

Zumba: How I Lost 50 Pounds Through Zumba!

October 11, 2012 by Ericka

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ZUMBA. I always want to write it in all caps. Want to lose weight with Zumba? Read on!

I love this class but had no idea how it could change lives. Well, let me back up a second. Read on…

My friend Lindsay and I have had an inside joke since we were freshman in college. Simply put, we will randomly say or text each other “www.Ihateskinnygirls.com.”

I know, it’s not exactly uplifting. It started out in college when we’d go to the bars and roll our eyes at all the perfectly tiny sorority chicks — when we were both a bit more on the curvy side shall we say. And, yeah, we were a little jealous.

As the years went by, we both battled our bodies for different reasons, in different ways. I’ve made a lot of peace with mine. But, Lindsay had an especially hard time in recent years. It’s a story many of you may relate to — and the battle was won with something a lot of us think is a pretty darn good time: Zumba!

Check out Lindsay’s interview on how she lost 50 POUNDS with this awesome workout called ZUMBA:

1. What made you decide it was time to lose weight?

As a typical yo-yo dieter, I’ve always struggled to lose weight and the weight crept up after being in a serious relationship — though I lost SOME weight before my wedding in Spring 2010.

After my wedding — literally the next day — I started eating whatever and whenever I wanted. I gave up caring about my weight. I had planned on getting pregnant and thought it was silly to “diet” while trying. I ended up getting pregnant and the weight just piled on. I had the typical mindset “I’m eating for two now” so I did just that. Eating unhealthy foods, and in quantities that matched my 200lb husband, who has the metabolism of a horse.

After three months of pregnancy, I was at my highest weight of my entire life even size 14’s were tight. I weighed in at 180lbs. I went in to the doctor for my 12 week check-up, and my world spun upside down. I had lost the baby. A few weeks later, the reality of what I’d done to my body set in.

2. Describe other diets/workouts you tried that didn’t work.

I started trying to lose weight with Slim Fast and 3-4 days of workouts. A few months of that, I saw no weight loss. I switched to a low-carb diet, with lots of protein, fruits and veggies. Again, no weight loss. After 5 months of trying with no results, I was angry and confused.

I also tried Nutrisystem and was able to lose about 10 lbs, but it was slow and VERY expensive, and the food was not very tasty. I also tried a protein shake diet from the Metabolic Medical Center. This was a diet of NO carbs or sugars, and very little dairy. It was a horrible diet and I was constantly hungry. I lost weight fast, but couldn’t do the diet for more than 6 weeks and it was SOOO hard not to cheat. As soon as I came off the diet, the weight started to come back on.

3. How did you get into working out as a solution?

It started with a boot camp class I signed up for. This is my chance to do something totally different and actually start losing some weight. After 8 weeks of twice-weekly bootcamp, and an additional 3 days a week doing my own workouts (mainly cardio), I had lost ZERO lbs. I tried again for a second session and again, saw NO weight loss.

I thought there was something wrong with me. I was eating healthy and exercising so it didn’t make sense. I can’t even describe the disgust I had with my body. I couldn’t bare to look at myself in the mirror. SOMETHING had to work. I was sitting at home one night watching one of my favorite, very inspirational shows, The Biggest Loser. How did all those people lose so much weight and I couldn’t even lose ONE pound? I had to be doing something wrong.

I joined their online website, Biggestloserclub.com. (joined end of July 2011, Day One of starting the program was August 1 st 2011) It provided meal plans, logging your food and tracking your calories for the day, as well as your workouts. I soon realized I wasn’t eating the right kinds of foods OR the right combination of foods. I could write a whole other post on this!

4. How did you discover Zumba?

Two weeks into BLC, a co-worker announced she wanted to hold an employee zumba class twice a week. I had never done zumba, but I had heard so many great things about it, so I wanted to try it.

5. What do you love about it?


I love Zumba because it isn’t boring! I love that you can get an awesome workout from dance moves and listening to music that pumps you up! I have always struggled with gym workouts because they are SO boring to me. Sure, walking on a treadmill or exercising on an elliptical can make you sweat, but all I can think about is “how much longer do I have to be on this thing-ugh!”

In Zumba, you are constantly moving around. I find myself focused so much on nailing all the moves, that I forget about the clock on the wall. There’s no sitting on a mat doing situps. The moves of Zumba incorporate every muscle group.

6. How long did it take until you started seeing the weight loss?

I started losing weight the first week. It was one of the best feelings in the world to see that number drop on the scale- finally!!

7. What kept you motivated to continue exercising?

I started losing 2lbs a week. I was so excited something was working. I added in 2 additional days a week of my own workouts to help the weight come off. The motivation came from truly enjoying the Zumba workout, and then seeing that it actually WAS working. It was intoxicating.

8. How much did your diet change as a part of your weight loss?

As soon as I saw those first two pounds come off, it was that much easier to keep up with my diet. I knew that if I kept following my meal plans that I would continue to lose weight, and I was right!

9. How much weight did you lose?

I honestly was hoping that I could lose 30 lbs. That number sounded impossible to me, but I also told myself not to expect a certain number, and to just give it my best effort. 30lbs would put me at my “normal” weight that I kept steadily throughout my mid-twenties. By Thanksgiving time (approx. 14 weeks after starting Zumba) I had lost 30lbs! I was elated!

I loved Zumba so much that I kept going. I added 2lb arm weights into the workout. I saw my body changing. Arms becoming toned, thighs shrinking… I honestly can say I was shocked at how the weight kept falling off. I had never experienced anything like that in my life.

I had to shop for smaller size clothes, several different times. By Christmas I had lost another 5lbs (which is a challenging time to lose weight with the holidays and family visiting). I kept up the workouts and by the end of March I had lost a total of 50lbs. It was unreal. I went from a size 14 to a size 4. People who hadn’t seen me at work in awhile were blown away. A few people didn’t even recognize me. Everyone asked me “how did you do it?” my answer was “Zumba!!”

10. Are you keeping the weight off now?

I have kept most of the weight off. This summer has been one of the most difficult times in my entire life. Things fell apart with my marriage very rapidly, as well as my relationships with my family members, I felt alone, became depressed and started drinking a lot. I am going through a divorce and my Father passed away unexpectedly. All those things contributed to me not working out and that led to bad food choices.

I did gain 8lbs back but over the last few weeks, I have gained some emotional strength back and am back on my feet again. I love and miss Zumba so much (they discontinued the class at my workplace) so I emailed her and she has sent me the playlist that we danced to. I am working on my moves and plan to start teaching the Zumba class twice a week!! I need it for myself as much as I want to share my love for Zumba with others. It truly changed my body in a way I NEVER thought possible.

11. What would you say to someone looking to lose weight? Do you recommend Zumba?

I would definitely recommend Zumba!! But even more important, I think its about finding something you love to do. it is amazing once you find a workout that you love, it isn’t such a chore, and you start looking forward to it. I’ve always read that in magazines, but I honestly never thought I would be able to find a workout like that for me. Zumba has given me just that.

12. Anthing else you can tell us about Zumba or your weight loss journey to inspire others?

What is amazing to me is that my whole life I have been a size 10. I did not believe it was possible for my body to shrink any smaller than that-EVER… but it happened . And I have Zumba to thank for that. I am also thinking about becoming a certified personal trainer and want to start helping others on their weight loss journey. It is extremely satisfying to overcome the weight-loss hurdle, and being able to help someone else do that, even just one person, would be worth the effort.

Zumba how to lose weight

I have been participating in Zumba lately and I feel more stiff after I do something else rather than Zumba. Is Zumba a good choice to working out or is it more a fun choice if it was Zumba or nothing? What does Zumba do?

A big part of choosing a weight loss regiment is choosing something you are going to continue doing. Zumba appeals to a lot of people because it has a dance aspect, which makes it fun for them. (There is a stigma associated with working out in a “boring old gym.”) If you are going to continue to do Zumba over other workout routines, then definitely stick with it.

As to how effective it is, that really depends on the length and intensity of your workout. There is a lot of movement to it, and if you are actually working hard (and sweating), then you are burning off calories. That means, assuming you watch your diet as well, you will lose weight and achieve muscle tone.

I would suggest that you do a combination of activities (helps mix it up, too).

  • Zumba – A few times a week. This is your cardio/weight loss exercise.
  • Weight/Strength Training – Do this once or twice a week. Doing this actually helps you burn MORE calories when you’re doing your cardio portion because your muscles require more energy. It’s been shown time and time again that individuals who supplement cardio with weight training maintain a healthier physique and reduced weight.
  • Eat Correctly – Do NOT starve yourself or go on any fad diet. Eat properly. Healthy proteins (chicken, fish, etc). Vegetables. Fruits. Don’t come home from a class and gorge on ice cream or you will see no weight loss (and probably the opposite). However, it is good to reward yourself at times (at least a couple times a week) with a small treat.

Keep those three things in mind, and make sure you’re working out at the proper intensity level, and you will see the changes you are looking for.

Zumba, like any physical activity will have benefit in weight-loss and toning. It just depends on how long and how hard you go at it.

The idea is to keep up your heart rate and keep moving. As long as you do this you will be burning calories.

The best way to tone is to utilize aerobic exercise to reduce body fat and perform weight resistance exercise to build muscle. Performing a combination of such exercises can be referred to as toning.

With the dance exercises involved in Zumba this definitely fits in the aerobic exercise category. For best results you should combine this with some resistance training.

I do a lot of salsa and other latin dances which Zumba is based on. Mind you I’ll do about 3-4 hours of it a week. And it does burn off a lot of calories.

If you get really good at Zumba with proper weight transfers and balance and can follow the music, then you’ll really enjoy it and the weight will almost fall off on its own. Zumba like any other dancing is all about enjoying yourself. Pushing yourself to do more complicated dance patterns and moves.

The trick is not to set a weight loss goal, it’s to set a dancing achievement goal, that way you’ll get addicted and never stop enjoying. Then maybe go take real Zumba classes to challenge yourself, trade tips, etc. Next thing you know you could become a Zumba instructor. It’s all about the right motivation. You may not want to become an instructor, but still aim for it so you never stop.

Remember, step on toes first, strengthen the core to help with the weight transfers.

7 Reasons You Aren’t Losing Weight With Zumba

Right off the bat I would like to declare that I am a fan of Zumba. In fact, I’ve recently begun taking a zumba class here in New York City two times a week after discovering the studio/class during New York Dance Week.

In case you’re not familiar with New York Dance week, it’s a little over a week, and hundreds of dance studios allow folks to check out their classes for free. I actually checked out two zumba classes held at different studios that week and decided on the one I’ve been attending for reasons I’ll cover in just a second.

I had done zumba before through the workout videos where the guy with the accent and the interpreter get on a very nightly colored stage and dance to different genres of music for approximately five minutes each. The videos were pretty cool but it wasn’t something I was crazy about, the way many Zumba devotees praise their method of training.

I just like to switch up my routine, and an hour of the zumba videos did leave me sweating – mission accomplished.

The zumba class that I attend now was completely packed my first day, and every day I’ve attended since then. I’ve also gotten a chance to chat with a few of the women and was surprised that many of them had been doing Zumba faithfully for months!

The problem is, they didn’t have much to show for their hard work. Before you take offense, I obviously understand that just because someone is not a size 2, doesn’t mean they haven’t made any progress. Who knows where they could have been coming from right?

No one understands this more than me. I am specifically talking about women who have been dancing Zumba multiple times a week over a long period of time who complain about not losing any weight – but coming back anyway because class is in their own words, addictive.

Perhaps you can relate?

Zumba is really fun and doing the live classes with a bunch of other folks really creates a sense of community, but what’s the point in paying for a workout program if you aren’t getting the results you want?

ZUMBA AND WEIGHT / FAT LOSS

If you put in a search on the internet for zumba and weight loss, you’ll find countless stories from women who have lost weight using Zumba as their only method of exercise. Clearly, it is possible to lose weight with this program. After all, it’s cardio – and cardio burns fat and will assist you in losing weight by allowing you to burn more calories than you ingest.

So the immediate answer to the question of whether you can lose weight with zumba is, yes!

However, that being said there are reasons why someone might find themselves plateauing or even gaining weight from just doing Zumba alone.

1. You’re not working hard enough

I see it all the time in the classes I’ve attended – people with low energy, doing modified steps, taking long bathroom or water breaks, etc. If you’re doing a half-assed job of working out, just know that you’re not burning nearly half as many calories that you think you are.

2. The Zumba Teacher Sucks / Lacks Energy

As I mentioned, I tried out two different studios offering zumba. The second class I tried was at the infamous Alvin Ailey dance studio. The class was huge compared to the studio I currently attend, but the instructor was not nearly as motivational or energetic as he could have been. Perhaps it was a long day or something, but the energy of the teacher as well as his/her choreography is going to make a world of difference in the results you can expect.

If the choreography is way too complicated, you’re going to be spending most of your time flubbing steps than actually burning calories. If your teacher is modifying the steps, it’s unlikely that you and your fellow dancers will choose to do the advanced version to push yourself. It all starts at the top!

3. The Group / Class Dynamic

Additionally, the overall energy of the class is important to your success. If your class is full of beginners or people who are not very fit, it’s likely your instructor will try and cater to the majority of the participants and do simpler moves. You’re better off finding a more advanced class with folks at a fitness level more in line with yours or higher that will challenge you.

4. Over-estimating the Calories Burned

The very first day of class my teacher proclaimed, are you ready to burn 800 calories? My face immediately distorted as I know the amount of effort it takes to burn 800 calories is quite significant. Sure, we burn a lot of calories dancing but not anywhere near 800 in my one hour class that includes a 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down.

If you are being told you are burning 800 calories and go home and eat as though you actually are, be prepared to not lose a single pound – and probably even gain a few. Remember, you need a calorie deficit and in order to figure that out you have to be accurate about not only the calories you are eating, but the energy you are burning.

5. Your Body Adjusts

Zumba is great and all, but the thing with any workout that we do all the time, your body adjusts. It gets more efficient at doing things you require it to do often (we’re awesome like that). If you are not incorporating other workouts and challenging your body in other ways, or your instructor is not modifying their routines often enough, rest assured that you burn fewer and fewer calories every time.

Is this your pre workout meal that you’ve earned?

6. You Haven’t Addressed Your Diet

Remember, that diet is key to weight/fat loss (80%), while exercise is only approximately 20%. For some people, intense cardio makes them feel entitled to eat a feast because they’ve earned it. We’re not talking about feasting on protein and vegetables either. If you end each class with a celebratory cheesecake, don’t be shocked if the weight isn’t falling off you. One fast food meal (even from the kiddie menu) alone could wipe out your exercise efforts / calories burned.

You must, must, must address your diet to lose weight. There’s simply no way around it.

Zumba how to lose weight

7. You Might Have Water Retention

You know I love the subject of water retention. In fact, my new book “How to Lose Water Weight – ” is almost complete and is slated to come out next month. I’m excited for you all to read it, but I digress.

In the book I talk about something called the whoosh affect, also known as dieter’s edema. This is when after a while of cutting calories and working out to create a deficit, the body retains a large amount of water that hides your fat loss. Then, seemingly overnight one day you wake up a few pounds lighter, where you remain until your next whoosh occurs.

The point is that you may actually have lost weight because you’ve been doing everything right, but that weight loss is not visible on the scales because of water retention. There are many ways to get rid of water retention (I give 1 day, one week and two week plans in the book for when you need to shed water weight fast for an upcoming event), but if you’re not in a rush lowering sodium, drinking more water, cutting carbs and eating foods that act as natural diuretics is a good place to start.

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Does Zumba Work for Weight Loss? Zumba Calories Burned, Benefits and Myths

Lots of people swear by Zumba for weight loss, but does it really work?

The answer is of course yes, Zumba can help you lose weight but the important thing to realize is that the dance sessions are no magic fix for dropping pounds, it just happens to come in a package that most people don’t detest; instead of slaving away on a treadmill, you get to spend an hour or so dancing with friends and strangers to loud music. Because people find the classes fun, they keep attending, and that is what makes it work. My theory is that whatever gets you moving is good, and if it keeps you coming back because you enjoy it, even better.

If you want to use Zumba for weight loss, or if you’ve already been trying and haven’t seen the numbers on the scale budge yet, there could be several reasons why.

The problems with Zumba for weight loss

Not all classes are equally intense; you may be getting much less of a workout than other Zumba-ers.
I’ve done it a handful of times, I’m not a huge fan of it but it can be a good way to break up the monotony of the gym. Different instructors (and different gyms) have different class formats, songs, and dances, which leads to varying intensity levels when it comes to energy expenditure. In short, I have been to classes where in an hour and a half I break a sweat, and really get my heart rate up. It feels like a workout and it’s fun. The majority of the times I’ve tried it, however, I find that in 90 minutes, the dance moves have me barely moving, I haven’t broke a sweat, and I’ve got enough spare oxygen that I’m literally yawning.

If you’re trying to lose weight with the dance classes, be aware of how challenging it is for your own fitness level. If the Zumba classes you’re taking don’t get your heart rate up and you don’t feel challenged, don’t expect to start dropping weight just because you’re present for the class for an hour or two. It is a great starting place for those new to working out but you may need something more intense as you get more fit, depending on the difficulty of class.

Zumba does NOT burn 1000 calories an hour
The Zumba 1000 calories an hour myth is untrue and a misleading hype that is unfair for those who are truly trying to drop weight. Read More

There’s no strength training component to Zumba.
Strength training is important for many reasons; a toned body that burns more calories at rest being among the more superficial motivators. It also prevents bone density loss, reduces chances of injury, improves posture, joint health, and the ability of the body’s muscles to support those joints, just to name a few benefits. If you want to use it for losing extra pounds, make sure and incorporate a strength training component as well and you will likely see that you lose weight faster.

Check out Fitness Blender Workout Videos to find home workouts that use bodyweight moves to build strength and tone the body.

What is Zumba?
It is a Latin inspired dance fitness class that usually lasts between 60-90 minutes. Typically instructors start with a very short warm up (after calling out all of the “newbies” to the class) and then go straight into the dance portion where you will be expected to burn calories shaking your thang to the tune of a blend of Salsa and hip hop music. Don’t be intimidated if you “can’t dance”; the majority of Zumba dance classes take place in the dark, often even with a disco ball spinning lights across the room. Plus, you can take comfort in the law of physics that everyone looks foolish when they dance.

If you don’t feel comfortable dancing around in front of strangers, you can always try the Wii Zumba Fitness game in the comfort of your own living room. Here’s a list of other games that let you draw the blinds and work up a sweat; Wii Games for Weight Loss.

How To Copy The Full-Body Workout Loved By Ashley Greene & Victoria Justice With NO Equipment

If you want to get strong and stave off those holiday pounds, try this celeb-fave workout that tones your ENTIRE BODY in less than an hour a day.

STRONG by Zumba is in iteration of the classic Zumba class that in just two years has expanded to 150 countries! Over 350,000 people take STRONG by Zumba classes each week! It’s NOT a dance class — it’s a high intensity interval training workout (HIIT is loved by Kim and Khloe Kardashian) that seriously tones your muscles and gets your heart rate going! I got to take a class in New York City with Victoria Justice, Ashley Greene and Ashley Tisdale, and it was so fun! Time seriously flies because the workouts are timed with the music, and don’t worry — you DON’T need to be coordinated.

The class was led by Master Trainer and Co-Creator Ai Lee Syarief, and I spoke to her EXCLUSIVELY about how STRONG differs from traditional Zumba. “It’s very different from a Zumba Class,” she told HollywoodLife.com. “STRONG by Zumba is a high intensity training program. It is a HIIT Workout combining body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometric training movements. There is no dancing. Music is reversed engineered; the workout is designed first, and then music is created to sync every beat to a move. It is very unique — more than any other program out there. Music drives the workout and pushes you through the moves. Zumba is based on dance fitness.”

And if a HIIT class sounds intimidating, don’t worry! “It is for all levels. In this class, we provide what we call ‘switch-outs.’ We introduce base moves, and also give modifications which will meet the needs for different fitness levels, from beginners to those looking for a challenge. Anyone should take this class who wants an exciting, challenging full body workout! It tones everything, from a strong core to defined arms. It conditions your legs and your glutes without losing muscle mass.”

Ashley Tisdale, Alberto Perlman, CEO of Zumba Fitness, Victoria Justice and Ai Lee Syarief, Zumba Lead Master Trainer

For people looking to lose weight, Ai says, “Consistency is key, but it depends on the individual, their goals and physical condition / fitness level. To lose weight, a general guideline is to do the class three to five times week. It also depends on intensity and type of workout. STRONG by Zumba would be recommended about three times a week.”

Along with a fun workout, try to keep your diet in check. “The most important thing is to fuel your body and hydrate as well. Eat a balanced diet including complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats,” Ai says.

How It Works

Grooving to the beats of salsa, flamenco, and merengue music feels more like a dance party than a workout, which is exactly what makes Zumba so popular. The Latin-inspired dance workout is one of the most popular group exercise classes in the world.

The high-energy classes are set to upbeat music and feature choreographed dance numbers that you might see in a nightclub. You don’t need to be a great dancer to feel welcome in a Zumba class. With the tag line, “Ditch the Workout, Join the Party,” the classes emphasize moving to the music and having a good time, no rhythm required.

There are several different kinds of Zumba classes, from Aqua Zumba workouts to classes like Zumba Toning that incorporate weights for additional calorie burning and strength training. There are even Zumba classes for kids.

Working up a sweat in the 60-minute classes burns an average of 369 calories — more than cardio kickboxing or step aerobics. You’ll get a great cardio workout that melts fat, strengthens your core, and improves flexibility.

Intensity Level: Medium

Zumba is an interval workout. The classes move between high- and low-intensity dance moves designed to get your heart rate up and boost cardio endurance.

Areas It Targets

Core: Yes. Many of the dance steps used in the routines emphasize the hips and midsection to help strengthen the core.

Arms: No. Traditional Zumba classes do not target the arms. Specialized classes like Zumba Toning use weights to help strengthen and tone the arms.

Legs: Yes. The jumps and lunges that are parts of the choreographed movements help work the quads and hamstrings.

Glutes: Yes. You’ll feel the burn in your buns while you move to the beat.

Back: No. Though the workout involves your whole body, it’s not focused on your back muscles.

Flexibility: Yes. The dance moves were designed to enhance flexibility.

Aerobic: Yes. The high-and low-intensity intervals make Zumba an excellent cardio workout.

Strength: Yes. Traditional Zumba workouts emphasize strengthening the core, while Zumba Toning and Zumba Step workouts incorporate weights to build muscles in the arms, legs, and glutes.

Sport: No. The classes are not considered sports.

Low-Impact: No. The classes are high-energy and involve jumping, bouncing, and other high-impact moves.

What Else Should I Know

Cost: Yes. You’ll need to sign up for classes through a fitness center or buy Zumba DVDs to follow the choreographed steps.

Good for beginners: Yes. Zumba emphasizes moving to the music and having fun regardless of your fitness level.

Outdoors: No. The classes are offered in fitness studios.

At home: Yes. You can buy Zumba DVDs and follow the dance workout at home.

Equipment required: None, except for your sneakers.

What Dr. Melinda Ratini Says:

Zumba is one of the most fun and versatile fitness crazes to come along in a long time. Classes can be geared for just about any fitness level. Though most Zumba involves high-impact moves like bouncing and jumping, it can be modified to meet your needs.

If you want an overall strength training program, look for a Zumba class that incorporates some light weights for your upper body.

You can start slowly if needed, or you can dance your heart out if you are in great shape. If you just love to move your body to the music, then Zumba is for you.

Talk to your doctor before joining a class if you have been inactive, have any medical issues, or take any medicines, just to make sure Zumba is right for you. And talk to instructors before class about your fitness level and any health conditions you have so they can suggest modifications.

Is It Good for Me if I Have a Health Condition?

If you have been hooked on the Zumba beat since before you became pregnant, you have no problems with your pregnancy, and it’s OK with your OB-GYN, then you can keep stepping. But there are some changes that you need to make to stay safe.

Zumba has a lot of high-impact moves that can wreak havoc as your hormones loosen up your joints. Talk to your instructor about switching out some of those jumps and bounces — or any routines that might throw you off balance. And remember to stay cool and hydrated during your workout.

Steer clear of high-impact moves if you have knee or back pain or arthritis. Other ways to get a good workout are gentler on the joints.

If you have a handicap or other physical limitation, consider wheelchair Zumba classes, which are a good, fun, nonweight-bearing workout.

If you have diabetes, Zumba is a great way to lose weight and build muscle. Your blood sugars will go down as your energy level soars. Check with your doctor first to see if you’ll need to change your diabetes treatment plan.

Besides losing weight, Zumba can help lower your risk of heart disease, reduce your blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and boost your good cholesterol. If you have heart disease, your doctor may suggest starting back on the road to fitness in a cardiac rehab program instead of jumping right into a Zumba class.

American Council on Exercise: “Zumba: Sure It’s Fun But is it Effective?”

Zumba how to lose weight
Zumba how to lose weight

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