“Ditch the workout, join the party.”
Zumba’s motto totally jives with my free spirit nature. Exercise must be fun. Fitness should be enjoyable.
But weight loss? Is it really possible to party yourself into shape?
I say “yes.”
Instead of punishing your body with grueling gym workouts, channel your inner salsa dancer. Shake your groove thing to torch those calories instead of running on the treadmill.
Why Zumba is an effective weight loss tool.
Zumba (and dance in general) is fun. You’re moving your body and burning calories, but it feels like you’re going to the club. You won’t have that “I hate to exercise” mental hurdle because (most) everyone likes to dance. You’re listening to upbeat Latin music, instead of your workout buddy grunting to get one more rep.
Your Zumba time might possibly be the most enjoyable part of your day.
But, if you want to lose weight doing Zumba – or if you want to lose weight in general – you need a plan. Here’s a simple system to get you results.
How to Lose Weight with Zumba in 7 Easy Steps
STEP 1: Sign up for Zumba classes or purchase a DVD kit.
Live classes are amazing, so if you crave the companionship and energy of a live class, you can click to find one in your local area: Find a Class
I prefer working out at home, so I use Zumba DVD’s. Home workouts save me time driving to and from a class, I exercise on my schedule, and no one will see me sweat. Score!
I use the Zumba Incredible Results kit.
Not convinced that Zumba is amazing? Check out this 1 minute video….
Step 2: Set goals (and a reward).
Goals help you focus.
What do you want to accomplish with your Zumba workouts? What’s your big reason WHY you’re ready to commit to a (fun) workout program?
Maybe it’s as simple as you want to become more fit. Maybe you have a few pounds (or more than a few pounds) to lose. Whatever you reason – and your goal – be sure to write it down.
I created a colorful printable worksheet you can download to track your Zumba goals: Zumba Goals & Workout Calendar
Rewards make achieving your goals fun!
I always reward myself for the actions that lead to the goal I want to achieve. I can’t control the scale – nor can you, darn it – but you and I can control how many times we show up at Zumba class or push “play” on the DVD player. We can control the healthy food we eat daily. We can control how much water we drink.
Make your reward something non-food-related. It could be as simple as a massage or scented candle after you complete 20 Zumba workouts. I am personally motivated by clothes. Once you see the super cute outfits the ladies are rockin’ in the Zumba DVD’s (or at your live classes) you will be inspired to wear bright, colorful tanks, tights and headbands.
Step 3: Take your pre-Zumba stats.
This is an exciting moment, because soon you’ll be able to see how your body has changed with Zumba. But first you need to take a baseline, so you can measure your progress.
Here’s how….Record your weight, measurements and take a photo or two. Either take selfies or have a friend snap your pic. Bikini photos not necessary, but wear form-fitting clothes, such as workout shorts and a tank top.
Enter your stats on the Zumba Goals & Workout Calendar.
Step 4: Get your workouts on the calendar.
As excited as you are to shake your groove thing, your Zumba workouts will not magically happen unless they are scheduled. Something as boring and rigid as scheduling an appointment seems at odds with the free spirit nature of dance; contrary to the fun, expressive Zumba lifestyle. But ladies, trust me on this one. We’re busy. Workouts must be scheduled.
- Pull out the workout calendar from your Zumba DVD’s or get a copy of the live class schedule.
- Grab your work/event calendar for next week or open your online calendar.
- Decide what day (or days) are your REST DAYS. I choose the busiest days of the week for my rest days.
- Using the DVD or class schedule as a guide, plug your workouts into your calendar. Set the exact time you will workout. We’ve heard this a zillion times before, but it bears repeating: treat your workout just like you would an appointment. This is easy if you are doing live classes, but more of a struggle when you exercise at home.
- You can also write your workouts on the printable calendar.
Zumba will take care of burning calories and toning those sexy muscles, but that’s just one part of the equation. What you eat is a big factor in determining your weight loss success.
Ladies (and gents), the goal is not to starve or deprive yourself. The goal is to nourish your body and fuel it for all your activity, including your Zumba dance. Focus on choosing delicious, healthy, real food (fruits, veggies, lean meats, nuts, seeds). When you eat clean, both your cravings and excess weight will disappear. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen if you are consistent and fuel your body well.
Try one of the Zumba meal plans.
The Zumba Incredible Results DVD kits contain a Fresh & Simple Nutrition Book that outlines two meal plans. If you don’t have a Zumba kit, just substitute a clean eating plan of your choice. (The PiYo plan is a good start.)
Step 6: Work your plan.
Here’s where the magic happens. You have a workout schedule, you have a meal plan, now you need to WORK that plan. Here’s how…
Remember the Zumba Goals & Workout Calendar? Print it off and put it where you will see it everyday. Stick it on the fridge, put it on your desk or tape it to the bathroom mirror.
Each morning, review your goals and your motivation. Remembering your own personal reason “why” will help you stay focused.
Every evening, give yourself a star, sticker or checkmark for completing your Zumba (or other) workout.
This visual helps you stay motivated because you can see, at a glance, if you are doing the actions needed to get results. Lots of stars and checkmarks? Odds are you are losing weight and progressing. Is your calendar blank? Um, you need to step up your Zumba game.
Step 7: Evaluate your progress.
Schedule monthly evaluation time. You can use my Zumba Goals Calendar to review your results at the end of each month.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Has your fitness improved?
- Do you want to increase or decrease the number of Zumba workouts per week?
- Do you need to be more consistent?
- Do you need to recommit to your eating plan?
- Are you losing weight? Inches?
- What needs to be tweaked for next month? For example, if you’re too tired to do a Zumba class at night, would a DVD you can do at home before work be a better solution?
Make any changes to your plan.
Review your goals, take new stats and set a new reward at the beginning of each month.
Rinse and repeat for life long fitness, good health and fun!
So there you have it…how to lose weight with Zumba in 7 easy steps. Now that you know what to do, the next step is to take action. Let’s get dancing!