Originally Posted by shuumai
Have a light snack to calm the hunger and you should be fine.
I totally agree with Shuumai--a post-swim snack is essential. A few other things I've found:
1.) If I swim first thing in the morning and then eat a good breakfast afterwards, I'm in good shape hunger-wise for the day. If I swim on an empty stomach any other time of the day, my appetite is positively insatiable for the rest of the day.
2.) Anytime I push myself harder than I'm used to, I get extra hungry. For example, a normal swim for me is about 2200 yards at a relaxed pace. I can swim further or
faster without hitting that wall, but not both
. Yesterday, I swam 2800 yards in masters practice, at a faster pace than I'm used to. I'm sure the number of extra calories I consumed to calm my hunger was greater than the number of extra calories I burned in my more intense workout.
3.) I don't experience a difference on the cold vs. hot water. During the summer in Arizona, our overnight temperatures can stay above 100 (38c), so the pools get really
warm. If anything, I get more hungry swimming in a hot pool; I seem to hit that wall on less intense workouts.
I find it very easy to maintain my weight while swimming. If I'm trying to drop a few pounds after the holidays or a vacation, though, I have to manage my calorie intake carefully to keep from feeling hungry. I usually eat a lot of snacks and small meals. During that time, I either avoid pushing myself too hard or just accept that I'm going to go over my calorie target on those days.
I personally have never been able to lose weight thru exercise alone--I always have to count calories, regardless of the type of exercise. All exercise makes me feel hungry right afterwards, but swimming is the only one that can give me that insatiable feeling if I'm not careful.