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centaur532
December 1st, 2004, 04:18 PM
I read somewhere (I can't recall it now) that swimming does not help much with weight loss, and that it doesn't burn as many calories as other sports (such as running). Is this actually true?

Fishgrrl
December 1st, 2004, 05:05 PM
Nuh uh!!!! I can tell you this: I've lost nearly 30 pounds and I've kept it off for almost two years with swimming being my primary form of exercise.

Basically, I was running and couldn't lose weight. I hurt my knee and couldn't run anymore, so I started swimming. My diet was pretty healthy but I was eating a lot of cheese, drinking a lot of wine and beer, and really not watching how much I was eating.

I cut out the cheese, wine and beer and more importantly, learned to push the plate away when I was full, and the weight came off! By that time I was swimming 4-6 times a week for 60-90 min.

From what I understand - a calorie is a calorie is a calorie - your body doesn't care if you burn it by swimming, running, biking, gardening, or whatever. And for me - it was all about my diet and not my favored form of exercise.

Hope this helps!

Scansy
December 1st, 2004, 10:20 PM
Depends if you push yourself or not. Any exercise will help weight loss if you push your body. I see people doing the breaststroke with their head never going underwater, about 7,000 strokes per length, about 3 minutes per length. They aren't getting much weight loss benefit. Heck, their heart rate probably goes up.

But if you are panting between intervals. Pushing off while your heart rate is still up. Your muscles are tired when you leave the pool....you will loose weight. (Unless your diet consists of ice cream, beer and bon bons!):D

hooked-on-swimming
December 2nd, 2004, 12:45 AM
I think those who claim that swimming won't help you lose weight are either full of s@@t or talking about meaningless and effortless floating and splashing around in water rather than swimming.Although I never had to lose weight(way too fast of a metabolism), nothing ever got me as tired as swimming which means I lost a bunch of calories and gave my body a major work-out.

dorothyrde
December 2nd, 2004, 07:45 AM
Swim Magazine had an article about this last year. Connie was in it. There are many on this board that can show that you can lose weight swimming and I also see many in the pool too. For me, weight loss is all about what I put in my mouth. Fitness is all about how I move my body. Swimming is one of the greatest all around fitness exercises, so the combination of watching what I eat and swimming and weight training has allowed me to lose 35 pounds and keep it off for almost 2 years. And even though it is about what you put in your mouth, taper time is not easy because I tend to gain at that time. :0

fatboy
December 2nd, 2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Fishgrrl
[From what I understand - a calorie is a calorie is a calorie - your body doesn't care if you burn it by swimming, running, biking, gardening, or whatever. And for me - it was all about my diet and not my favored form of exercise.

Hope this helps! [/B]

I have to agree with Fishgrrl. Burn more calories than you eat and you will lose weight. End of story. The best type of exercise is the one that you will actually do. For us it's swimming.

mjtyson
December 2nd, 2004, 02:52 PM
I have found the more I swim, the bigger my back, arms, and chest get and the smaller my waist gets. I haven't lost much weight, but I've gained muscle.

Maybe that's why swimming seemingly doesn't work for weight loss. Maybe you ARE losing weight (fat) while NOT losing weight (muscles!)

Just some thoughts.

Old Flyer
December 3rd, 2004, 02:05 PM
Weight loss always results from using more calories than consuming. With swimming the 2 variables to determine calories burned are size and speed. Most references to swimming for calorie use *underestimate* the amount of calories burned during workout swimming--you burn a lot more swimming 100yds in 1:30 than in swimming 100yds in 3:00. A number of references on calories burned reflect recreational swimming (like 500 yds in 15 - 20 minutes).

A good rule of thumb I use is 20 calories/minute for swimming at a good workout pace (around 1:30 per 100yds). The more you weigh, the more calories you burn at any pace. The faster you go, the more calories you burn at any weight.

Some data from the web:
http://www.fitresource.com/Fitness/...20Snow%20Sports

http://www.nutristrategy.com/activitylist4.htm

http://home.judson.edu/academic/spi...s/fitness7.html

Hope this helps.

areyousure
December 3rd, 2004, 02:30 PM
weight loss starts in the kitchen.

swimming only helps.

good luck.

Rob Copeland
December 3rd, 2004, 02:35 PM
I’ve always found those “Calories Burned During Exercise” charts to be interesting works of fiction.

The NutriStrategy site, reports 949 calories burned by a 190 pound person swimming one hour of butterfly! I wonder who they got to volunteer to swim an hour of butterfly to come up with that number??:)

fatboy
December 3rd, 2004, 03:27 PM
So if I burn more calories swimming 100yds at 1:30 than I do swimming 100yds at 3:00, if I improve my technique will I burn less calories for 100yds at 1:30 than I did 2 months ago....

newmastersswimmer
December 3rd, 2004, 05:24 PM
I know this sounds fictional .....and I've mentioned this in other threads...but what the heck, I like repeating this fact over and over anyway so here goes.....I weighed 275 pounds in the middle of last May (so a little over six months ago)....I now weigh 205 pounds (and still losing rapidly)....I haven't starved myself by any stretch of the imagination (that's for sure believe me...I eat in large quantities!)....I get around 2500 - 3000 calories a day of food I think....I cut out sodas, and "bad" fast food, (greasy food), and most processed bad carbs...I eat a lot of good carbs though (like whole wheat bread, friuts and veggies, some pastas etc...as well as fish, white meats, some red meat occassionally, milk, eggs, cheese, ....and lots of other stuff too).

The main secret to the weight loss has just been consistent swimming (and some dry land exercise thrown in from time to time).

I don't feel depleted (or weak in any way) at all....In fact I feel 100% better than I did back in May!!....It is very strange how much weight I have lost (especially when you consider that I have put on a fair amount of muscle as well)......Swimming has been the miracle cure for me so far!


newmastersswimmer

laineybug
December 3rd, 2004, 05:35 PM
and of course you can 'cheat' yourself when you are figuring calories burned only replace 1/2 of them. That's how WW does it... sure way of putting you in a deficit.

CCSR79
December 3rd, 2004, 10:56 PM
What I hear the most of why swimming is not as effective as running, for example, is this... Swimming works mainly your "smaller" muscles, like arms, back, abs, not as much as your "big" muscles like your leg. Running, works your "big" muscles. Bigger muscles, just by being there, burn more calories than the smaller ones, and requires more of your body enhancing then your metabolism... Not sure how much this is actually accurate, but last time I went to the doctor for a check up he kept going on and on about this! (But I hate running and love swimming, so needless to say I didn't pay much attention to it.)

I just got back to swimming after about a 7 year hiatus (lived in NYC and for the life of me couldn't find an affordable pool to go to, or one that was open when I was off work), so haven't been back at it long enough to have any weight loss (had to get my conditioning back first!), however it feels so good to be there in the pool, and when I'm done, my face is red, I'm tired, in a great mood and sleep like a baby, so I'm sure I'll be back in shape in no time!

And like someone here said, the only exercise that works is the one you'll actually do!

stacey
December 5th, 2004, 07:04 PM
I lost 15 pounds since I started swimming more seriously last August without even meaning to.

Alicat
December 5th, 2004, 07:19 PM
Challenge discussion:
Any thoughts on the difference aerobic swimming vs. anaerobic swimming will play on metabolism ergo weight loss?

If I remember correctly --and I may not, aerobic swimming (exercise with oxygen, or the huffing and pounding of the heart as you swim) will lead to weight loss…
Anaerobic swimming (-swimming with controlled breathing or exercise with out oxygen), won’t do a darn thing for my shapely bottom! But may improve my swimming performance tremendously.

Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Scansy
December 6th, 2004, 07:45 AM
Originally posted by CCSR79
What I hear the most of why swimming is not as effective as running, for example, is this... Swimming works mainly your "smaller" muscles, like arms, back, abs, not as much as your "big" muscles like your leg. Running, works your "big" muscles. Bigger muscles, just by being there, burn more calories than the smaller ones, and requires more of your body enhancing then your metabolism... Not sure how much this is actually accurate, but last time I went to the doctor for a check up he kept going on and on about this! (But I hate running and love swimming, so needless to say I didn't pay much attention to it.)

...

Does that mean the secret to swimming a lot of weight off is to do hour long kick sets????:D :( :confused: :eek:

CCSR79
December 6th, 2004, 07:56 AM
Does that mean the secret to swimming a lot of weight off is to do hour long kick sets????

What people say on swimming vs running is that when you run you're supporting the weight of your whole body, while swimming, you don't have to do that, you have water resistance, but not so much as if you were supporting your body weight, so even kick sets wouldn't be the answer.

But since I love swimming and can run if my life depended on it (well, maybe if it depended on it, I could probably run a bit), I rather ignore this! I feel so energized after swimming, and I can feel I worked my whole body, I'm sure it'll make a difference somehow! Better than sitting on my ass all day!

thisgirl13
December 6th, 2004, 12:36 PM
Studies have shown that swimmers tend to lose weight less than any other sport.

Mostly, it's because higher body temperature results in temporary appetite suppression. Translation: Swimmers eat more, because they're hungrier after a workout than non-swimmers (runners, cyclists, etc). We can replace the energy we've burned in a single meal if we want to.

Also, swimmers use more energy in training sessions than non-swimmers, which leaves little energy left for substantial physical activity outside the pool. Translation again: We train, we sleep, we eat, that's pretty much all we do.

Now, the above refers mostly to competitive swimmers who aren't on a controlled diet, except to ratio their carb/protein/fat intake. But that's the skinny of it (pardon the pun).

CCSR79
December 6th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Actually, after being in the pool I'm not hungry at all, and I started swimming after work last week, and I've been so energized that I've had problems sleeping at night (something I never had to worry about before)... Maybe I'm just the exception to the rule, who knows?

Fishgrrl
December 6th, 2004, 01:23 PM
I'd say 95% of the time I am not hungry after a workout - and once in a while I am even nauseous. However, I have to eat something within the hour. But I am not starving.

In the mainstream, swimming gets a bad rap - probably because when most people think of swimming, they think of easy laps; as someone mentioned.

Also, I know of people who have lost weight walking. And I don't mean going out for a stroll at the mall - this is arm pumping race-like walking.

Anyway....

exrunner
December 6th, 2004, 02:53 PM
I lost about 25 pounds since I started swimming over 2 years ago. Actually most of the loss occurred in the first 6 months.

According to Dr. Phil Whitten, the swimming guru, author and scientist, many of the studies comparing running to swimming used fast runners versus slow swimmers, thus leading to skewed results.

I don't agree with the large muscle versus small muscle theory that would favor runners. If your heart and lungs are telling you that you are working hard, then you're getting the job done no matter what exercise you're doing.

I also don't buy the "thermodynamic" argument that swimmers are at a disadvantage because the water is an infinite heat sink. The temperature rise experienced by runners is due to an accumulation of waste heat, not greater calorie consumption.

Swimming utilizes both aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways. The more intense the effort, the greater the anaerobic component. Roughly speaking, the total calorie consumption per unit time varies with the perceived intensity level, and that is the determining factor. Some argue incorrectly that lower intensity aerobic is better, but that is a misconception due the the fact that aerobic exercise derives a higher percentage of energy from fat. However, it is total calories that matter.

The fact that running is weight-bearing is irrelevant to the energy equation. Your body's chemical pathways don't know or care whether gravity or a viscous fluid is the source of mechanical resistance. (Your joints, on the other hand....)

The appetite-suppressing effect of elevated body temperature is utterly marginal, i.e., it shouldn't affect your decision whether to choose swimming or running. If you are doing either one regularly, you are waaaay ahead of the pack.

centaur532
December 6th, 2004, 03:14 PM
Originally posted by thisgirl13
Studies have shown that swimmers tend to lose weight less than any other sport.

Mostly, it's because higher body temperature results in temporary appetite suppression. Translation: Swimmers eat more, because they're hungrier after a workout than non-swimmers (runners, cyclists, etc). We can replace the energy we've burned in a single meal if we want to.

Also, swimmers use more energy in training sessions than non-swimmers, which leaves little energy left for substantial physical activity outside the pool. Translation again: We train, we sleep, we eat, that's pretty much all we do.

Now, the above refers mostly to competitive swimmers who aren't on a controlled diet, except to ratio their carb/protein/fat intake. But that's the skinny of it (pardon the pun).

I would be interested in seeing these studies.

craiglll@yahoo.com
December 6th, 2004, 03:23 PM
I'm ussually starving after a workout. I'm very skinny. I have been told by most dietitians I know, for some reao i know many, that theoretically, swimmers won't lose weight. Very likely, some peole will lose weight when they swim and some peole won't.

SwiminONandON
December 6th, 2004, 05:56 PM
Interval workouts ... what is what it sounds like most of us are doing are actually a highly effective way to loose weight.

I also think that whenever you start doing something active (especially when you go from doing nothing to doing something active) you are going to lose weight ...

thisgirl13
December 6th, 2004, 08:04 PM
Regarding my earlier post:

http://www.thefactsaboutfitness.com/research/swimming.htm

SWinkleblech
December 7th, 2004, 02:58 PM
I have been going in spurts with losing weight. Last spring I lost 10 pounds in a few months. Then I went about six months were I couldn't loose any weight (I was doing a lot of running in this time frame). Now in the past month I have lost 5 pounds. I finally can fit into my pre- pregancy clothes. This is all without any special diet. I kind of eat what I want but without eating too much. I think swimming does help. If I would watch my diet better I am sure I could loose a lot more. Drinking Mt. Dew really doesn't help. I can't imagine how much I would weigh if I didn't swim.