Swimming SUCKS for Fat Loss and Here’s Why
Did you know that swimming actually sucks for fat loss, even though it's a great cardiovascular exercise?
Seems conflicting, right?
Weight training may be your best best, IF you're trying to shed body fat and gain muscle.
And who doesn't want less fat and more muscle? Amiright?
Kevin DiDonato of ProGrade Nutrition explains why in the article below:
Can Swimming Get Your RIPPED ? Or Is It Just A Waste Of Time?
Are you a few pounds overweight?
Has your doctor told you to start an exercise program to lose weight?
Have you been hooked by the late night infomercials, only to be let down by a lack of results?
You and I both know exercise is important. You can improve general health, shred unwanted belly fat, and build strength and endurance.
But you buy a membership to a gym, only to see your money go up in flames because you just don’t use the membership.
You are confused by what you read about exercise. Which is the best? Which can make me lose the most weight and keep it off?
You implore the help of a trainer and they try to tell you what the best workout for fat loss is. They don’t even scratch the surface of the different types of exercises out there.
You walk out of there more confused than when you went in.
I am here to tell you that not all exercises are the same.
In the above article, Kevin goes on to cite two different studies that show not only how swimming doesn't help reduce body fat, but the reason it doesn't.
Here's the main study, by G. Gwinup:
Weight loss without dietary restriction: efficacy of different forms of aerobic exercise
After 6 months or slightly longer, the women assigned to walking lost 10% of initial weight, the women who cycled lost 12%, but the women who swam lost no weight.
So swimming didn't cause any weight loss. Interesting, right? But why?
According to this study, it's because swimming in cold water affects appetite:
The Acute Effects of Swimming on Appetite, Food Intake, and Plasma Acylated Ghrelin
These findings suggest that swimming stimulates appetite but indicate that acylated ghrelin and food intake are resistant to change in the hours afterwards.
Read more about that here.
Simply put, swimming in cold water (most people swim in unheated pools) increases appetite. And while you do burn a whole lot of calories while swimming, you also have a natural inclination to eat more afterwards, due to the cold temp. This may be hard-wired in our DNA – cold water signals to the body that it's in a crisis state and needs more fat to survive.
I mean, maybe you fell in an icehole and a polar bear is coming to eat you!
Bottom line: If you like swimming, swim. It's great exercise. But watch what you eat afterwards. If you have a difficult time losing body fat and keeping your eating in check, swimming may not be the best exercise for you.
Need help with your metabolism? You may want to give this a try.