Since Zumba is considered as a workout program, you also need to have the right kind of diet that will effectively keep your metabolism up. Weight and fat loss becomes more effective by combining intense workout with sensible nutrition. You do not have to starve yourself while on the Zumba program. Here are some diet tips to keep you in shape for life.
When dieting, it is never a good idea to starve yourself. The body tends to hoard fat if you deprive yourself of food, since it automatically goes into survival mode. When going for Zumba classes, it is always recommended to keep your metabolism up through exercise and proper food consumption. Eating smaller and frequent meals on a daily basis keeps your digestive system working, so you actually continue burning calories even while at rest.
What to Eat
Eating meals 3 to 4 hours apart is good to keep your metabolism churning. You should eat more vegetables. Mix fresh vegetables for variety. These are rich in fiber and help you burn extra calories. Yogurt is also very useful in keeping you lean while protecting hard-earned muscle. It is a very convenient snack complete with high quality protein too. Try to invest more in natural sources, instead of very commercialized ones that is so rich in added sugar and artificial additives.
You need to consume more protein, since the body burns more calories digesting it compared to carbohydrates and fats. Muscle loss can be prevented through adequate protein intake while on your Zumba diet. There are several sources for it like shakes, smoothies, beans, dairy products and lean meats. Eat complex carbohydrates like oatmeal and brown rice since these can keep you energized and full through workouts. The right type of carbohydrates also prevents you from overeating or falling into hunger pangs.
More Diet Tips
Eating 4 to 6 meals a day boosts your metabolism. Ideally, you should take some form of carbohydrate just before going to a Zumba workout like a sweet potato or yam. During the workout, you can gulp a smoothie or protein shake. After the workout, consume more carbohydrates and protein to quickly replenish lost ones. Be careful about your sources since some are also very high in fat. You may end up getting more calories than you burned from the workout.
Natural food sources are most excellent like lean meat cuts, fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables. As much as possible, stay away from refined and processed goods, sugary foods, white flour, oily dishes and too much caffeine. Also minimize or avoid alcohol and smoking. You can replace unhealthy trans fat with other types of healthy fat like flax oil, nut butter, olive oil and canola oil.
A Typical Day
There is no universal recipe or diet plan for Zumba exercisers. However, it helps a lot if you map out the items you need to consume for the day to measure the right calories and keep you energized throughout. A typical breakfast would consist of 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, a protein shake and 4 egg whites. Lunch would comprise of a 6-ounce lean steak, vegetables and whole grain bread. Dinner would consist of 6-ounc fish and a salad.
As for snacks, you can eat low fat yogurt, low fat peanut butter or almonds. Change things up once in a while to keep you interested in your Zumba diet.