Here’s a question that commonly pops up with belly dancing. Does it help us lose weight? This is a question that I want to address but first this disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, nutritionist, or dietician. I am only sharing what I know from my own personal experience. I know that there are challenges, medical conditions, and other things that are out of our control and can affect weight loss. This reflects only my experience and you should always consult your medical professional or doctor before starting an exercise or nutrition program.
I truly believe that belly dancing is like any other discipline. It can help you lose weight but you’ll need consistency, the discipline to do it, and it has to be done enough with the right technique. Also, it’s important to protect your body while you are doing it.
My Weight Loss Story
Here’s a personal story for you. I had my first child back in 2010 and she’s almost 10 years old now. Before I had given birth to her I weighed over 200 pounds. After I had her I was 191 pounds. Then I lost over 60 pounds after that. How did I do it? I did it using belly dancing, of course. But in addition to that, I used nutrition, eating well for my body and running. I did those things really consistently, and I did them often. To say that only belly dancing alone will help you lose weight is hard to say. I want to be very honest with you because although my journey included belly dancing but it wasn’t all that I did.
Cardio and Other Options
If you are trying to use only belly dancing and want to lose weight, achieving that would depend on what kind of belly dancing you’re doing. The dancing and the intensity of how you’re dancing matters. If I’m dancing slowly I am probably not putting enough intensity behind my movement in order to get my heart rate up or to even work up a sweat right. But if you can turn it up, maybe coordinate with a faster drum solo, and you’re really making your body move you’re going to feel your heart rate come up. That’s going to make a huge difference.
You can still enjoy a more laid back type of belly dancing that just feels good in the body too, but it won’t burn the same amount of calories that a cardio heavy style would.
So if you want to use just belly dancing to lose weight, focus on a style that increases your heart rate so you sweat and breathe more heavily.
Focus on Pairing Dance with Good Nutrition
I just had my second child, six months ago and I gained 50 pounds in that pregnancy. I’m down 44lbs now and I have six pounds left to go to get back to my pre-baby weight. Between the two times that I’ve used belly dancing to lose weight, I found that the main factor is it has to be coupled with good nutrition. From my personal experience nutrition made a huge difference. The minute that I altered my nutrition in the way that fed my body versus getting in the way of my body, I saw that the weight was falling off naturally.
I found that coupling nutrition with the belly dancing and doing that consistently and frequently enough with good technique did a lot for me. The last part was making sure that I was holding myself accountable.
Get an Accountability Partner
I highly recommend that you find an accountability partner to help you keep on track with the nutrition and the dancing.
I also know that life gets in the way sometimes of us hitting our goals. If you have an accountability partner then you are putting your goal out into the world, saying, “Hey, I want to lose weight using belly dancing” and then it becomes more real. So it’s really important to establish that with someone, or you can establish it online to the world publicly through social media. You might find that other people will probably be there with you on your journey because there’s a lot of us who are wanting to get our health more in line with what we’ve always wanted it to be. It’s important to do that for yourself and that way you will probably be more successful.
So to answer the question can belly dancing help me lose weight, the answer is that it can. It can help if you are doing enough of the right things accurately and precisely in the body. Look at it as a way to not only express yourself but to also get your heart rate up and work up a sweat to make it more fun and a workout. Pairing that with the right nutrition and also getting yourself an accountability partner can help with the journey and put yourself in line with what you want to happen.
I hope this was helpful hearing it from someone who’s lost weight twice now with belly dancing as well as coupling it with other things. Feel free to share your personal story with me. I would love to hear what you’ve gone through how you’ve used belly dancing to increase your health too. Your stories are important. Let’s dialogue about it because I think this is one of the areas that we don’t talk about enough. The more that we share our stories, the more power we can have for ourselves!