In an hour of jabs, crosses, hooks and uppercuts, you'll sweat buckets, build muscle and burn calories. Go to three or four classes a week and you're on your way to serious weight loss, especially if you keep your diet in control.
How long it will take you to lose weight while taking boxing classes is a little more complicated -- it depends on a range of factors, including the intensity of the classes, your weight and your diet. Assuming you stay in a calorie deficit, you can expect to safely lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week.
Weight Loss Low Down
When we talk about "weight loss" we actually mean fat loss. You don't want to lose muscle weight, just the flab. So don't measure success on a scale; judge it by how you look and feel.
Losing fat requires being in a calorie deficit. This means you eat fewer calories than you expend on a regular basis. It's a delicate balance -- you don't want to eat too few calories and not have the energy to go to boxing classes; but you need to eat few enough that your body is burning excess fat. Generally a deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories per week is a good aim. At that rate, you'll lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week.
Read more: The 5 Best Exercises for Fat Loss
Calories Burned Boxing
It's impossible to give anything but an estimate when it comes to boxing classes. No two are alike. Many will follow a similar hour-long format, with a warm up followed by intervals of intense activity and rest designed to mimic boxing rounds. During this time you'll learn boxing techniques and get a great cardio and muscle-conditioning workout.
Estimates claim that you'll burn around 500 to 1,000 calories in an hour-long cardio boxing class. According to Harvard Health Publications, the average calorie burn for 30 minutes of sparring is 335. A study by the American Council on Exercise determined that an hour of kickboxing -- similar to boxing -- burns 350 to 450 calories.
Other factors will determine how many calories you burn. The more you weigh, the more you'll burn. Men typically burn more than women because they have more muscle mass and they're heavier. You'll burn more calories if you're just starting out than you will once you're more conditioned. Lastly, your genetics also play a role in how quickly your body burns calories.
On Your Way to Weight Loss
All things being equal, burning 400 calories per class, four times a week would result in 1,600 calories burned each week. A rough estimate is that one pound of fat is 3,500 calories. At this rate, you could lose a pound in about 2 weeks. This is assuming that your diet stays exactly the same.
Want to lose fat faster? Make over your diet. By trimming another 100 calories from your daily diet, you can boost your weight loss rate to 1 pound in a week. Trim 600 calories off your daily diet and you could lose 2 pounds in a week.
A good place to start is to cut out snack foods like chips and pretzels, sweets and sugary beverages. Just bypassing dessert each evening can save you 300 calories per day. Grab a piece of fruit instead.
Focus your diet on fresh vegetables, high-fiber complex carbohydrates like quinoa, lean protein sources like chicken breast or tofu and healthy fats from avocado and olive oil. Kick sodas to the curb in favor of sparkling water with a slice of lemon.
Make these dietary changes and keep up the boxing, and you'll be 10 pounds trimmer in about five to 10 weeks.