Have you danced your gut off?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 13, 2012 at 11:38 PM

I used to go out dancing three times per week, for at least three hours. I drank copious beers and ate copious pizzas. since beginning primal three years ago, I have swapped dancing for walking and light weights. I have been moderating beer. I've gained ten pounds. I look fat/flabby. I'm going back to "heavy cardio" dancing. Has anyone else gained once they stopped cardio?



on May 25, 2012
at 08:37 PM

why would you ever stop dancing?



on April 14, 2012
at 12:20 AM

Hi Lyndsay - can you provide more detail about your daily nutrition? Without knowing how clean your diet is its tough to determine if a change in your exercise routine is the cause of your weight gain.

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5 Answers



on April 14, 2012
at 12:09 AM

Three hours of hard dancing is fantastic exercise. I had heaps of mates who used to stay thin when we were young, I'm sure it was partly because of this. Oh.. and the drugs. Actually, probably the drugs.


on April 14, 2012
at 12:24 AM

I hear that lifting very heavy is the thing to do. Also, short-high intensity workouts are supposed to be optimal for fat loss. I'm not an expert by any means, so someone correct me if I'm wrong.

However, given the choice between that and dancing, I'd do dancing. Maybe throw in a few days of weights. I LOVE dancing. It feeds my body and soul:). I used to take hula, butoh, contemporary and hip-hop. I also loved dancing at parties, showing off my horrible sense of rhythm. If you loved dancing, go for it if it made you happy. People here will probably warn you against chronic cardio, but I run now and don't care too much about it because it feels too amazing. When I have a stable job and income, I'd love to pick up dance classes again. If you're worried about it though, you can cut it back a day or two and incorporate some lifting. But seriously, dancing is something that makes my life complete. I miss it.



on May 25, 2012
at 09:51 PM

I think dancing is very paleo. My troupe had one choreography where we clapped rocks together like ur-castanets. Rawr.



on May 25, 2012
at 08:46 PM

There are two sides of stress: physical and psychological (Whole 9 has a great post on that here: http://whole9life.com/2012/05/rest-vs-recovery/). So why did I link to that? The main reason that I am (and I think most of PHers are) generally against long cardio sessions is that it's a long low-intensity stressor that does more bad than good for you. But if you really do enjoy dancing, then you'll be getting psychological benefit from it that can be much better for you than the long cardio session would predict. When I talk to endurance runners and cyclists, they may think they enjoy their long cardio, but what they really enjoy is the feeling afterwards, or the lack of guilt because they did their long run/ride. I rarely find anyone that actually enjoys running for hours on end, which is why I advise against it. Dancing does seem like something you could actually enjoy (though I'm so bad at it, I'll never enjoy it).

Long story short - If you (truly) enjoy it, do it!


on May 25, 2012
at 08:33 PM

I just started paleo and I love dancing...I don't intend to give it up! I like to dance when I feel like having a dance, usually around the front room or when doing the housework with the mop. I see no harm in dancing when you feel you have excess energy to burn.

Walking is ok but it does not work up a nice sweat like having a boogie does...why do you have to stop dancing? I disagree that the only time we exercised (for example) is when chasing food or running from a predator. Some of use just don't like sitting around on our back side too much (its boring) and prefer to be physically active. We probably walked miles, ran when we felt like it, danced if we felt like, jumped around if we felt like it...

I doubt we were very inactive.

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