Zumba Diet? Zumba 101

If you are looking for an official Zumba diet, as far as I know, there isn’t one.  However, there are some things you can do while doing Zumba, diet wise, to help you get healthier and lose weight.

These are not “secrets.”  These are just good nutrition and weight loss tips.  
I am not a doctor.  You should talk to your doctor before making changes to your lifestyle or diet.
So what can you do with your diet to enhance what Zumba is doing?
More Fruits and Veggies. I know, I know. It sounds like a no brainer.  But I challenge you for three days to eat 2-3 servings of each. I promise it will be a stretch for you.  I started replacing a side dish at dinner with straight veggies (We love green beans, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini, squash, and more). I also eat fruit for my dessert after lunch and dinner, and sometimes a serving at breakfast as well.  The extra fiber will fill you up, and the carbs found in fruit will give you energy to workout!
A big hearty taco salad- one of my favorite ways to eat veggies!

Count your calories, but in a healthy range. I keep a check on my calories.  Your calorie needs will be different than mine (it is based on height, weight, age, and activity level), but you should be eating the full amount for weight maintenance, or about 500 calories less each day for weight loss.  I would NEVER eat below 1200 calories.  But check out your daily calorie needs here.  I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories.  It’s a website and an iphone app.  (My username is brittneydeanne if you want to add me!)
Don’t cut carbs. Carbs are not the enemy.  There are lots of low carb diets out there, and I have done many of them (Atkins, South Beach, Metabolic Research Center, etc.), but carbs give you energy you need to Zumba. Diets without carbs make you feel tired (or at least they do for me!).  I really think the “secret” when it comes to carbs is to eat good carbs.  Sweet potatoes, whole grains, fruits, brown rice…all good carbs. I eat carbs at pretty much every meal, I just try to limit the simple carbs like white flour and white potatoes to a one or two times a week.
Drink plenty of water. You will sweat a lot during Zumba.  It is important to stay hydrated. I have read to drink half of your body weight in ounces water, up to 120 ounces. That means a 200 pound person should drink 100 ounces of water daily!  That seems like a lot, but I just keep a big water jug on my desk and drink all day long. Chug chug chug!
Be sensible. Honestly, the best compliment to any workout regiment, Zumba or not, is a diet that is made of good, healthy, whole foods, but that is something you can continue reasonably for life. I still eat chocolate chip cookies.  I just count them in my calorie count! I took a week off my diet for my birthday. I eat 3 meals and a couple snacks each day, staying within in my calorie count, and I lose weight. 
So while there may not be a “Zumba diet” there are smart things to do with your nutrition while partaking in any exercise. Eat right and you will feel good and have plenty of energy to Zumba!
Do you have any nutrition tips for those of us who do Zumba?  Share them!


Comments

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  2. I agree on the carbs. I’m a total carb lover and can’t live without them. No carbs means a very very cranky girl for me.

  3. Great post! I use My Fitness Pal too! I’ll add you!!

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