View Full Version : Weight Loss with swimming - help!

March 17th, 2002, 08:21 PM
Can anyone give me some advice as to the best way to lose weight while swimming?

I have just started back swimming - after not competing for 20 years (since High School). For the last two weeks I swam twice a week. I will be swimming, at a minimum, 3 times a week from now on.

I have two goals with Masters swimming - one is to compete in swim meets, and the other is to get back in shape.

My goal is to lose 35 lbs. Is there a good, quick and healthy way to acheive this goal? It seem's like I've put on 2 lbs during the past 2 weeks. Is this because muscle is heavier than fat?

HELP! I would appreciate any suggestions! Thanks!



Bert Petersen
March 18th, 2002, 01:19 AM
I feel like a one-man expedition to try and get people to change the way they look at themselves. Two years ago, I was very fat and out of shape. I weighed 187 pounds. Today I am less fat and in pretty good shape. I weigh 189 pounds. I can now get into pants that did not fit 2 years ago, but I do fill out my t-shirts more fully. What's the deal? I think that re-distribution of mass and conversion of fat areas to muscle areas is of real importance. So, my advise to you is to check on percentage of body fat and keep the measuring tape handy. By the way, I also feel better, sleep better and (so they tell me) look better ! It's your shape (pun intended) that matters................ :)

Bert Petersen
March 18th, 2002, 01:21 AM
P.S. Keep swimming - you won't regret it !!!!!

March 18th, 2002, 02:12 AM
Yeah, Ron Coleman's 300 lbs at 5'11" and he looks pretty fit! :eek:

Sandy Fenton
March 18th, 2002, 07:02 AM
In case you haven't noticed, some swimmers are a little obsessed with anything measurable. Not me. Weight watchers gave me tools to change my eating habits. The hardest part was writing down everything that I ate (including the pint of ice cream I had for dinner). As we all know, the only way to lose weight is to exercise more and eat less. You are certainly on the right fitness track with the swimming (as if anyone at USMS would dispute that). As for the weight part, there can, and probably will, be endless discussions. You will have to do that for you. My advice includes being patient and trying to develop eating habits that will serve you well for the rest of your life. The most powerful motivation for me was feeling good beginning the first week I started being more sensible about what I ate. Since I started swimming and losing weight two years ago, I'm 26 pounds lighter, my kids say I look terrific, and the best part is how good I feel every day.

March 18th, 2002, 07:05 PM
Just stay with it Loretta. Your goals are not much different than the rest of us. I wanted to get back in shape and I do like to compete, despite the fact that my most recent meet took a major toll on my nerves. When I started back in the water in January of 2001 I weighed about 155 and within about two months I gained 10 more pounds. I'm now down to about 140 (I'm not tall, by the way) and my old pants are too loose. I'm sure I won't lose any more weight ot I'll be back where I was in High School. I think I've leveled off now.
So, just stay with it and you'll see a difference in how you look, just like Bert said.

March 18th, 2002, 08:12 PM
I had to cut that last post off to go eat dinner; ironic, right?
Anyway, Loretta, the only other thing I've done in addition to beginning swimming again, and greatly increasing my level of exercise, is to watch the really bad habits I developed. Things like ice cream and way too many fried burgers and fries have been mostly eliminated and sustituted with lots more fruit, apples, raisins, bananas, etc.
These few changes, and swimming 3-4 days a week have resulted in a 20+ pound weight loss in a little over a year.
Good luck and again, stay with it.

Mark in MD
March 18th, 2002, 09:13 PM
Hi Loretta,

I've recently lost 50-55 pounds over a period of about 7 months by following the Weight Watcher diet. My goals are pretty much like yours ... fitness and competing, although I didn't compete until I joined USMS in September. The most rapid loss I experienced was when I got back into the pool after an absence of 13 years. And to repeat what everyone else says, I sleep better and have more energy than ever.

Just be patient amd you will be amazed what happens! And ... best of all, you will be glad you did.

Best of luck to you.

March 18th, 2002, 10:33 PM
Despite all the BS that is out there, there is no way to lose
weight than to burn more calories than you take in. Period.

However, as mentioned previously, weight loss in and of itself
should not be the goal. The tape and Body Mass Index (BMI)
should be the goal. Be advised that all the internet BMI measurements
do NOT account for trained athletic bodies!

You should have a measurement taken of % lean body
mass and take it from there.

Men should be less than 16% fat.
I think the % for women is less than about 22%, but I'm
not confident in that exact #.


March 26th, 2002, 03:56 PM
Well, I have never swam competitively. But, this morning I weighed in at a too herfty 226. I would like to get back to 180 and will be very happy at 199. Tonight I am going to swim along side a masters workout. I have not been in the pool in a few weeks so it should be challenging.

I think the main thing is to get addicted to swimming and not food. I love to eat. If only there was a patch for pizza, cheeseburgers, and fries. However I have been traveling for 2 weeks and not once did I do the breakfast buffet. You have no idea how tough it is for me to pass up bacon.

Two weeks ago they were great about me swimming along side.
Although when they were swqimming 10 100's, I swam 1 100 and 9 75's. So we'll see.

Any theories as to whether distance or interval work will help the most with, shall we just say reshaping? I wll eat less and swim more.

I'll be sore in the morning!


March 27th, 2002, 11:11 PM
I seem to remember reading that it takes just as many calories
to walk a mile as it does to run a mile. Therefore, you can burn
far more calories in an hour by running for an hour than
walking for an hour. I think if you want to burn fat, your time
is better spent working intervals at a higher rate than a lower
rate. This builds stamina faster than just swimming " junk"

If you want to swim fast, you have to swim fast.

Swimming fast burns more calories than swimming slow.
This is what you want to build on.