Why You Should Get Dancing For Weight Loss – Hypnotherapy Ely and Newmarket
You should be dancing, yeah! Dancing, yeah! So sang the Bee Gees, whose songs, alongside those from Showaddywaddy, are guaranteed to get me up on the dance floor at any party. I’ve still got all the moves! You’ll just have to trust me on that one!
And who doesn’t love a good dance to a good song at a party. My moves are nothing like those rehearsed, synchronised things you see on TikTok or the copy and paste my kids sometimes do to a just dance video on You Tube. I know a lot of people love the dancing on Strictly but I’m more of a freestyle type guy!! Or ‘no style’ if you ask my kids!
There’s no doubt that exercise and movement are good for you. Being active supports both your physical and mental health, and there are a whole load of health risks associated with being too sedentary. I’ve written before about the mental health benefits of exercise and how it can help with things such as anxiety, depression and stress. And, as you’ll already know, burning some calories through moving also helps with weight loss. Sure, you need to be eating the right amount and in control over your eating habits (which my hypnotherapy sessions can very much help you with) and exercise certainly helps with weight loss too.
Regardless of the science, I’ve always subscribed to the view that the best form of exercise for weight loss (and your mental health), is to do something you enjoy. If it is fun and enjoyable then you’ll stick with it and get more from it instead of trying to make yourself do something when you heart isn’t in it (and any excuse to not do it starts to seem like a good one). As long as you are moving and your heart rate increases a bit then all is good.
And whilst we already have evidence for the benefits of strength work and cardio, there is now the evidence around whether you can get dancing for weight loss. Now, before we get onto the evidence, of course I think we can all guess the outcome of moving and being active if you want to get fitter and healthier. Yet if you’ve been thinking that to lose weight you have to force yourself to the gym or run a marathon even though you hate running, then this may be the inspiration you need to get dancing more.
And so, is dancing an effective intervention for weight loss?
Hypnotherapy For Weight Loss
When people come to me for help with weight loss, they’ve already tried all the diets on and off over the years. Things work for a bit and then they end up back where they started, only a bit more despondent and frustrated with themselves and with their progress. Weight loss hypnotherapy can help you to take control with over eating, binge eating, emotional eating, excessive snacking, exercise motivation and all the habits and patterns that you are struggling to change right now. You can take take control over your eating habits so that you feel healthier, happier and more in control each day.
And if you want to know more about weight loss through hypnotherapy then there’s also a load more information, strategies and advice in these previous articles:
Running and Exercise for Anxiety and Depression
Before we get onto the dancing, here’s jsut a reminder about running and exercise for anxiety and depression (and for being fitter and healthier too).
As well as being good for you physically, running and exercising can help with mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. There is plenty of evidence that being sedentary isn’t great for us, and that being active boosts mental health and well-being. Dancing, as a form of exercise, will help you not only with weight loss but also with feeling less anxiety and low feelings and more positive mood and mindset.
I’ve written before about the research into running and exercise for anxiety and depression in these previous articles:
But maybe running and exercise (as you conceive of it) aren’t your thing. Maybe you want to lose weight and you love to dance. Can throwing some moves on the dance floor help you with weight loss?
Why You Should Get Dancing For Weight Loss
There could be many reasons why you want to lose weight. Health is probably right up there, whether you’ve been told to lose weight by a medical professional or you just know that being overweight increases risks of heart issues, diabetes and a load of other things. You probably aren’t happy with how you look and feel and really want to make some positive changes. And you very well know what you should be eating, yet that knowledge doesn’t translate into what you actually end up putting in your mouth. It’s frustrating.
You don’t want to spend the rest of your life on some sort of restrictive diet and you don;t want to end up missing out on enjoying life and finding that what you feel able to do becomes more and more restricted due to your weight. You want to be healthy and happy, feel comfortable in your own body and to enjoy your life.
Being active is one pillar of being healthy and happy. You still need to be in control over your eating habits (and to enjoy what you eat and to enjoy eating the right amount) yet you also benefit massively from regular movement of some variety.
A recently published systematic review investigated the effects of dancing on body composition in people who were overweight and obese (Zhang, Guo, Liu, Zhou, and Jing, 2024. Is dancing an effective intervention for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis of dance interventions on body composition). The results of the meta-analysis were that, compared to normal lifestyles, dance led to meaningful improvements in body mass, BMI, waist circumference, fat percentage, and fat mass.
Yep, dancing can definitely help with weight loss!
“This systematic review was conducted to determine the effect of dance on fat loss. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review focusing on the effectiveness of dance intervention on body composition. In this review, 10 studies involving 646 participants were included in the meta-analysis. The results indicated that when compared to the normal lifestyle, dance exhibits a significant effect on the improvement of body composition among people with overweight and obesity.”
Now, of course, we could probably have guessed that being active through dancing could certainly help you with losing weight. However, rather than guessing it is always great to have the evidence to support what we think. Dance was shown to be effective on fat loss in people who are overweight and obese, and led to significant improvements in body composition.
And so, if you want to lose weight and you enjoy dancing then this can serve as your inspiration to either get started with dancing or your motivation to keep up with your dancing.
Of course, it needs to be something that you do consistently (rather than once a year at a wedding like me!). Yet in comparison to some other forms of exercise, dancing has certain advantages. As you’ll know I’m a runner and plodding along for mile after mile is fine with me yet it may be a bit monotonous for you. Dancing, on the other hand has so many varieties that it’s impossible to get bored. You can change the dance moves, the music, whether you dance alone or with others and you can really make it something you enjoy, persist with and get a lot out of.
The challenge with all exercise is not always the getting started (although I often help people with that), it can be the maintaining of your exercise habits. If you enjoy dancing then you are much more likely to keep with it and to achieve the benefits for your physical and mental health and your weight loss. Dancing boosts your self-esteem and offers fun, enjoyment and, if you want it, a social aspects. These factors can keep your exercise motivation going and going over the longer term.
“On the whole, Dance can be effectively advocated as a viable fat loss program for people with overweight and obesity, owing to the inherent enjoyability of dance which makes participants more likely to sustain.”
And so, to semi-pinch a catch phrase, if you want to lose weight, you should certainly get dancing (yeah and keep dancing too!).
If you have been struggling to take control and achieve your weight goals, and you don’t want to do the same old dieting thing again, then do get in touch and come for a chat about how I can help you. At your free initial consultation, we can chat about your challenges and goals and I’ll talk you through how we can help you to move forward successfully and build positive momentum towards your weight loss goals. And if you are really unlucky, maybe I’ll put on a Showaddywaddy track and show you some moves!!
To your health and happiness,
Weight Loss Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
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Reference: Zhang, Y., Guo, Z., Liu, Y., Zhou, Y. and Jing, L., 2024. Is dancing an effective intervention for fat loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis of dance interventions on body composition. PloS one, 19(1), p.e0296089.