If you put a search in Google 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,
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!
You can witness this when you attend a certain Zumba class:
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
Sometimes, the instructor may not be as motivational or energetic as he could be!
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
Are you ready to burn 800 calories?
It takes a significant amount of effort to burn a total of 800 calories!
Sure, we burn a lot of calories dancing but not anywhere near 800 in a one hour Zumba 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.
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!
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!
7. You Might Have Water Retention
There is 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, 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!