Is Zumba Good For Weight Loss?

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Many people run and go to the gym to lose weight. Find out if you can also see weight loss results by doing more unusual activities like Zumba.

To achieve weight loss you need to make it so your body needs more energy than is coming in from food. When this happens you start using up energy stores like body fat.

Because the intense movements of Zumba help you use up more energy, this activity can also help you lose weight.

That being said, you still want to keep in mind that your habits in other lifestyle areas like nutrition still influence the process. It is possible to do a lot of Zumba without seeing any weight loss results.

Additionally, it is still true that running workouts can burn more calories per minute than Zumba.

At the same time, Zumba can still be a good weight loss exercise choice if you really enjoy doing it. This can help with staying consistent which is helpful for results.

Can you lose weight by just doing Zumba?

To lose weight, you need to get in a situation where your body needs more energy to function than is coming in from food. When this is the case, your body gets its remaining needs from energy stores like body fat.

Since moving more intensely than usual tends to require more energy, any exercise, including Zumba, can help you lose weight.

At the same time, to make this happen, your habits in other lifestyle areas like your diet need to be good enough too.

If you would do more Zumba but at the same time also start eating more foods or less optimal food sources, you may not see any weight loss results and potentially even gain weight.

So if your current routine would keep you at the same weight and you change nothing besides adding more Zumba classes, just doing this activity would typically help you lose weight.

On the other hand, keep in mind that your other lifestyle habits still influence your (lack of) weight loss results.

Calories burned Zumba vs walking and other options

From the info above, it should be clear that not just Zumba but all workouts could help you lose weight. At the same time, not all activities will offer the same results.

And since you only have a limited amount of time to exercise, you likely want to know how Zumba compares to these other options in terms of effectiveness.

You can express the amount of energy an activity helps you use in calories burned. In turn, there are ways to estimate these numbers for different activities.

Before going into these, you need to know that the amounts of calories burned with Zumba and other exercises below are very rough predictions.

Details like your exact intensity, hormone levels, body composition, etc. will influence the actual number.

That being said, the amounts below still give you somewhat of an idea of how Zumba compares to other options.

A 155-pound (70 kg) person can burn more or less the following amounts of calories when doing the activities for 30 minutes (1):

  • Zumba (General Aerobic Dance): 267 calories
  • Water Aerobics: 149 calories
  • Walking 4 mph: 175 calories
  • Stretching (Hatha Yoga): 186 calories
  • Stair Step Machine (general): 223 calories
  • Rowing, Stationary (moderate): 260 calories
  • Bicycling, Stationary (moderate): 260 calories
  • Elliptical Trainer (general): 335 calories
  • Running 5.2 mph: 335 calories

Again, exactly how intensely you follow your Zumba class can influence the number a lot.

That being said, it is fair to say that Zumba can burn nice amounts of calories.

At the same time, there are activities that use up more energy per minute too.

Is Zumba good for losing belly fat?

Many people get the impression that you have to do specific workouts or eat specific foods to lose fat around your stomach.

Unfortunately, it is generally not possible to target fat loss in significant amounts. Not with Zumba and not with other workouts.

To get a flat tummy, you generally have to lose enough weight overall.

That means that Zumba can help you lose belly fat at some point in your weight loss journey.

However, you still need to have habits in other lifestyle areas that are good enough. Additionally, even then, your body could “decide” to mainly lose fat from other areas first.

How much weight can you lose in a month with Zumba?

After learning that Zumba can help with weight loss, many people want to know where the limits lie for time frames like a month.

By now it should be clear that your weight loss results do not only depend on your weight and how many minutes you follow Zumba classes.

That being said, you can still get some interesting numbers with a thought experiment. Assume a 155-pound (70 kg) person has a routine that keeps them at the same weight and they only do more Zumba.

By doing 30 minutes of Zumba every other day for 10 days (so 5 workout sessions), this person could burn the number of calories in about 0.38 pounds (0.17 kg) of body fat.

If this person implements the same Zumba routine for 30 days, the result would be burning the number of calories in about 1.14 pounds (0.5 kg) of body fat.

Something important to keep in mind is that as you lose weight, the same Zumba workouts will start burning fewer calories. How much you weigh influences the number of calories you burn.

Is Zumba a good exercise choice for losing weight?

Zumba can help you burn a nice amount of calories which makes it helpful for losing weight.

On the other hand, if you only look at the number of calories burned, you can also say that there are more effective workouts.

And while this is true, you want to keep in mind that personal preference should influence your exercise choice too.

A big struggle point for many people is actually following the workout plan they created.

One of the benefits of Zumba is that many people really like the Zumba music and group dancing classes.

If this applies to you, it could be easier to stay consistent with your workout routine if it includes Zumba instead of other exercises.

Which is better for weight loss Zumba or the gym?

Going to the gym and lifting weights is another popular way to work toward weight loss. You may wonder how this compares to Zumba.

Unfortunately, it is hard to predict how these two will compare when losing weight.

Two big reasons for this are that different people can build different amounts of muscle mass per gym session and that there are many different gym exercises.

Zumba will likely be better for weight loss results than the same duration of bicep curl sets.

On the flip side, 15 minutes of deadlifting with the right resistance, repetitions, and sets will likely have more long-term weight loss effects than Zumba.

Ideally, you would implement both.

The extra muscle mass you would build with the gym sessions would also increase the number of calories you burn with Zumba.

What is the best time to do Zumba for weight loss?

You may be ready to implement more Zumba into your lifestyle routine but be unsure about when to do it for optimal results.

To my knowledge, the research about fasted vs non-fasted cardio for weight loss is not that precise yet.

Besides that, the main thing to keep in mind is that working out too close to bedtime can reduce sleep quality and duration.

Following a Zumba class in a gym with bright lights right before bed will not be helpful for sleep either.

Since sleep is important for losing weight, you want to avoid these things.

In short, the best time to do Zumba for weight loss is when it fits in your schedule and ideally not within two hours before you go to sleep.


Does Zumba help you lose weight on your stomach?

Zumba can help you lose weight on your stomach at some point but it will not necessarily target this specific area. Additionally, you likely need to have good habits in other lifestyle areas to achieve this.

How fast can you see results from Zumba?

The calorie-burning effects of Zumba happen during the workout so theoretically, you can “see” weight loss results during the exercise. The more long-term results from Zumba are hard to predict. Partly because other lifestyle habits influence them too.

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Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.