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Can Swimming Help You Lose Weight?

This May Be the Single Most Effective (and Fun!) Way to Lose Weight This Summer

It really is as simple as you've heard. If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you take in, but what's not discussed enough is the importance of finding a workout you actually enjoy — so you'll stick with it long after you've hit your goal weight. If running or cycling isn't your thing, you might try spending more time in the pool.

"The rate of weight loss varies from person to person, but in general, if a woman swam for 45 minutes at least four times per week, with some fast intervals mixed into her workouts, she could potentially lose one to two pounds per week," Cindy Dallow, PhD, RD, a sports dietitian and triathlon coach, told POPSUGAR. (Here's an example of an interval workout.) "That's only if she kept her caloric intake the same or less," she added.

In other words, you'll need to clean up your diet to lose weight, regardless of your workout. Just be sure you know how many calories your body needs, because as Dr. Dallow explained, eating too little while exercising more could cause you to lose muscle instead of fat.

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If you decide to add some laps to your workout routine, keep in mind that the more intense your workout, the more weight you'll lose. "Intensity makes a huge difference in whether someone will lose body fat or not," Dr. Dallow said. "Higher intensity swimming (going faster or harder) will burn more calories than easy swimming, which translates into more weight loss."

And continuing to swim will help you keep the weight off. "Any aerobic exercise will help with weight loss, but it's even more important after weight loss occurs because regular exercise is the number one predictor of weight maintenance," she said.

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