Swimming, can I loose weight without changing my diet?

(37 Posts)
Movingforward123 Sun 17-Mar-13 20:31:46

I need to loose at least a stone. I have a very badly sprained ankle with torn ligaments and I want to exercise to loose weight. I don't feel able to go on a diet right now while I can't walk and im stuck at home.

But I do want to start swimming once I can walk. Just wondering if I could loose weight by swimming around 3 times per week without changing my diet. I do the breast stroke btw. grin

Yep, good advice from shoes - and it doesn't necessarily burn loads less, jogging 3 miles would burn a similar amount of calories as a good crawl for 30 minutes. There is quite a difference between steady breaststroke and strong crawl however and you need to be a pretty decent swimmer to maintain a good paced crawl for 30mins+

Also on the plus side though, swimming has been proven to improve aerobic capacity better than almost any other form of exercise, including running, it also tones your core better than most things, carries low risk of injury and provides a good all over workout - all good grin!

Pleaseputyourshoeson Mon 18-Mar-13 20:30:55

Even if it doesn't burn as many calories as other exercise the v act of doing something rather than nothing will help you lose weight as your metabolism will naturally speed up which will help burn calories faster through the day. Drink lots of water and eat plenty fibre. Do some strength training at home - sit ups, press ups, tricep dips etc that will help with the calorie burn too.

WowOoo Mon 18-Mar-13 19:58:15

SleepwhenIdie - that's surprised me about the calories.
I admit i am clueless about it, but I would have thought swimming burned more.

If strong crawl is 11 cals and I do it for half an hour, that's only 330 calories which is equivalent to a small snack. A couple of crackers with cheese? (here I have no idea)

Beamur - that's almost a stone since Jan.... Fantastic! Swimming certainly does wonders for a deeper sleep. It's not so busy in our local pool in the evenings, another bonus.

Movingforward - I don't know how tall you are or how you look, but 10.6 isn't too heavy is it? Why not aim for losing the 0.6 bit in the next 3-6 months.

It took me years and years but I'm glad I did it gradually, bit by bit. With lots of blips here and there!
There's no going back now. Can't afford new clothes!smile

Beamur Mon 18-Mar-13 14:42:48

The diet I've been following has been loosely based around 1600 calories, which is what my basal metabolic rate was calculated at. Had a weigh in today and since the New Year I've lost 13 pounds which I'm really pleased with. I was chatting with the trainer who runs the circuit class I've been going to and she also said that because of the pressure of the water, your blood pressure goes up a little bit and your heart rate raises quite easily during swimming. It's good exercise. I find it really relaxing too - I've been going quite late at night as it also then guarantees a good nights sleep!

Basing my estimate on a 10 stone-ish person btw. The bigger you are the more calories you will burn.

Swimming does make you feel hungry in a way that other exercise doesn't, I think it may have to do with your body dealing with the cold...it certainly doesn't burn "masses of calories" though so beware of thinking like that!

Calorie burn will vary hugely depending on your stroke/speed and whether you rest between lengths etc. I would estimate steady breaststroke maybe 8 cals per minute, strong crawl more like 11 cals per minute.

WowOoo Mon 18-Mar-13 10:23:45

After I swim I always feel mega hungry.
It must burn masses of calories.

Why not have your biggest/ most calorific meal after the swim and then lighter meals at other times?

To lose 1.5 lbs a week sounds sensible. You could even change it to 1lb a week and think of it in the very long term of getting fitter and eating more healthily over a year or so.

Good luck.

Movingforward123 Mon 18-Mar-13 10:18:48

Ok I've just changed mfp to 1400 cals and to loose 1.5 lbs per week.

Not sure if that will work or not but I guess it's worth a try.

The last time I lost weight and it worked was when I did the closer diet and I was just under 9 stone. And I think I had 1300 cals per day!

Movingforward123 Mon 18-Mar-13 10:11:27

Bigred - ill have a look at changing it. Can I ask what your starting weight was and goal weight?

I'm currently 10.6 stone and defintly need to loose a stone. Normally my goal weight is 9 stone as im normally between 9.13 and 10.2 hmm

1200 cals per day makes me feel like I'm starving, I can manage to keep my meals within that amount but that would mean no snacks ever, and my will power isn't that strong right now!

BigRedBox Mon 18-Mar-13 08:08:13

MFP gave me 1200 too. Totally unrealistic for me. I changed it to 1500 then after a couple of weeks down to 1400.

Hey - whatever the answer re losing weight, it certainly isn't going to hurt anything!

There are endless reasons why taking up swimming will be a good thing, it is a fantastic form of exercise, if you do 3 sessions of 40-45 minutes a week it will definitely make you feel fitter, firmer, happier and healthier (tho I second the vitamins recommendationwink). Do it, eat a healthy, mindful diet (not feeling deprived or restricted) and see what happens...it can only be good smile.

5madthings Sun 17-Mar-13 22:34:19

I lost the weight quite quickly, within two months and yes it helped me tone up. I did do some stretching and toning exercises as well, sit ups etc for ten mins every other day. They were some from a Davina DVD.

I did distance swimming as a teen so it was my thing.

I find swimming really good for toning etc and I really enjoy it. Am doing couch to 10k at the moment but once the weather is warmer will go swimming as well, I don't fancy biking to the pool and then swimming and then biking home in the evenings at the moment, too cold and wet!

gostraighttojail Sun 17-Mar-13 22:03:15

You can't really generalise with swimming. Are you a really good swimmer? If so, you can lose a lot if weight swimming. If not, you should consider having a few lessons as incorrect technique can cause neck, shoulder or knee problems and inhibit weight loss.

Movingforward123 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:57:47

Pollykitten - are there any combined vitamins you could recommend?

Movingforward123 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:56:45

I have got myfitness pal and before Xmas lost about 8lbs which I have put all of it back on and more hmm

Using mfp gives me only 1200 cals per day, which I find difficult to do long term!

happybubblebrain Sun 17-Mar-13 21:34:40

Very unlikely. I sometimes gain weight when I exercise more, now that I'm getting older. It's easier just to stop weighing yourself and stop worrying about it. I think exercise is great for other things though, so just do it anyway, it makes you feel better, stronger and healthier.

Beamur Sun 17-Mar-13 21:31:53

I've been on a weight management course for 10 weeks and it has opened my eyes to how many hidden calories I was eating in my 'normal' foods. It's been slightly depressing! But, I do feel more in control of my body now. But even what seems like a tiny amount 'extra' food will stop you losing weight.

ErikNorseman Sun 17-Mar-13 21:29:25

Swimming 3 times a week won't burn enough calories by itself to cause significant weightloss. And all you need to do is eat a thick slice of toast or a chocolate bar extra on the days you swim to cancel out any calorie burn. You really need to calorie count as well as exercise to lose weight.

BigRedBox Sun 17-Mar-13 21:28:21

Now could be a good time to eat differently. Stuck at home could mean eating more creatively? Since starting using 'my fitness pal' in early Jan I've lost 18lbs with almost no exercise at all. It has truly opened my eyes to the amount of pointless calories I used to eat. You can set whatever daily limit you like and adding foods is really easy.

I know you said you don't want to diet but it might be worth a look?

sparkle12mar08 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:22:34

I doubt it to be honest. You can't out train a bad diet.

Anifrangapani Sun 17-Mar-13 21:18:51

Try not to fall into the reward trap. Half an hours swimming is about 250 kCal. A 100g of bananna is 110 kCal.
Good luck.

Pollykitten Sun 17-Mar-13 21:17:46

Vitamin D, B complex and fish oils - that's what I would start with on the nutritional front

Beamur Sun 17-Mar-13 21:17:18

I'm curious about this too - I am on a diet (hate that word!) and have changed how I eat and am swimming as part of a plan to be more active and I wondered how many calories you burn. Looking at a couple of websites seem to suggest in the region of 260/280 calories for half an hour of light/moderate swimming - which I think would cover breaststroke without too much dallying and resting.
It takes 3,500 calories deficit, or to burn up extra, in order to lose a pound of fat. So on that basis, 7 hours of solid swimming would burn enough calories to lose one pound, so it would take 98 hours of swimming to burn off a stone.
So swimming 1 hour, 3 times a week, it would take you nearly 33 weeks to lose a stone.

BigRedBox Sun 17-Mar-13 21:15:16

Deal! Well done if you do 45 mins, my biggest problem is boredom. I wish I could run and not look like a clumsy elephant and then at least I could listen to music...

Movingforward123 Sun 17-Mar-13 21:07:20

5mad - that's exactly what I would like to do grin how long did it take to loose that weight? Did it help you belly a lot? As mine is in bad shape right now hmm well done I'm very envy

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