Weight Loss NHS
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Swimming to lose weight

Hi everyone.

I would like to say I am new to weightloss, but unfortunately, I'm not - I was supposed to lose weight for a holiday last year, never happened!

Now I have put on more weight, I am determined to lose it this year!

I'm currently at about 99kg  (15.5 st), overall I have about 30kg to lose (so about 4.5st) to get to, what is considered a healthy weight for my height and age etc (I'm 23 and 5ft 6). My partner and I are planning on going on holiday in Sept this year, I know I'm not going to be able to lose the full 30kg, but I'd really like to at least drop a clothes size, so I can actually feel more comfortable wearing summer clothes again and being practically half naked in a swimming gear most of the time.

I did manage to lose about 5kg (11lbs) early last year, following a broken ankle, but that has all come back on and then some since then. I took up running at the time and a little after, which I had to stop on instruction from doctors, as I have been diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my lower legs, which was too painful to continue - even though I loved running - and hyperflexible knees. Which I think is probably the main cause of my weight gain, as I kind of gave up, I didn't really enjoy any other form of exercise at the time.

So I'm thinking about taking up swimming instead. I do like swimming, plus I know it is a really good all-in-one exercise, with low impact on joints etc.

But I've been reading mixed reviews on swimming for weightloss... I was wondering whether any one has any success stories with swimming to lose weight.

Obviously I am tackling the food side of things head on, cutting out rubbish and being a bit more mindful of what I'm actually eating too, along with a bit of calorie counting.

I think I will still go ahead with it anyway, after all, something is better than nothing and I used to feel great after running and really bad when I didn't go, I want to get back in to that mind set again, making it a healthy routine.

I just wanted to see whether people have actually managed to lose their target weight with swimming... TIA!

5 Replies

I used to swim a lot , if you went twice or thrice a week and did 30-40 mins of good swimming it will make a difference with healthy eating , it tones aswell but you must put in a bit of effort. I used to do a mile  2 times a week in my 30's and felt great for it, so give it a try weight loss will be slow but its still weight loss.Hope that helps.

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Hello brocollibunnies 

Sorry to hear about your ankle injury, and other problems 😕  I have a similar story except I am a bit older (just a wee bit!! Lol 😂) I had got very unfit and put on weight also. In fact I was in a very black place. I blamed the lack of mobility. However, it was suggested to me that weight loss is 75% diet and 25% exercise.

 For me, any weight loss plan had to be generous, manageable and permanent. So do some research and find one that fits in with you and your lifestyle. The same advice for excersise, I love swimming but don't in reality burn that many calories even going twice a week. BUT I feel fabulous under water and it really helps my arthritis. Because weight bearing is difficult I also use an exercise bike, which is great for my muscles and leg strength, and this does burn a few more calories but not as many as you would think!!  

So to answer your question, its a combination of both! 😊 And also getting your head around the fact that it takes 20 minutes sheer hard sweaty slog to cycle off 200 calories, a small kit kat and a milky coffee for example. 😕 Sigh . . . 

Anyway, good luck, lots of help,and advice on here 😊

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Hi Brocollibunnies,

I think you have hit the nail on the head with any exercise is better than no exercise. I too and in the same weight zone as you, a little older and a fraction taller. I have had to stop running because of a knee injury and I have that hyper extended joint thing - so I do fitness DVDs at home and swim twice a week.  I have only been doing this for 2 weeks and already I am up from swimming 4 lengths (25meter pool) of front crawl without stopping to 20 lengths.

My stamina, and fitness levels are definitely improving no doubt a combination of food, aerobic exercise and swimming - but its the swimming I enjoy the most and get the most satisfaction from - so is good for weight loss - who knows? is it good for making me feel like I have achieved something and feel good about myself for a change - damn right!

Good luck with your plan, and more importantly I hope you have a crackingly great holiday.



Swimming is great for weight loss and general health and fitness.  If you can manage it, try to do an aquarobics class as well as doing lengths, it gives you a bit of variety and is a bit more challenging (and hopefully a laugh too)!

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Swimming is a great exercise for low impact on the joints. I disagree a bit in that you can't lose much weight with his exercise, for 30 minutes of breast stroke, general pace, burns around 400 calories according to myfitnesspal. My brisk 40 minute walk burns 370 cals, and I know that swimming gives me a greater feeling of satisfaction. 

As has been said, any exercise is better than no exercise and when you are limited by injury or illness, all credit for doing something. good luck :-)  

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