Losing weight is a goal that many of us have, and swimming is a popular form of exercise that can help achieve this goal. Swimming is a full-body workout that can burn calories and help build muscle. But the question is, will swimming 3 times a week help you lose weight? Let’s dive into the details.

Calories Burned while Swimming

The number of calories burned while swimming depends on various factors such as your weight, swimming intensity, swimming stroke, and the duration of the swim. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person who weighs around 154 pounds can burn approximately 510 calories during an hour of moderate-intensity swimming. However, this number varies from person to person.

Swimming and Weight Loss

Swimming can be a great way to lose weight as it burns calories, and it is a low-impact exercise that puts less stress on the joints. However, it is important to note that weight loss depends on the total energy balance, which is the difference between the amount of calories you eat and the amount of calories you burn. Therefore, it is not just enough to swim 3 times a week, but you also need to maintain a healthy diet and eat fewer calories than you burn.

How Often Should You Swim?

Swimming 3 times a week can be a good starting point for weight loss, but it might not be enough for everyone. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), for significant weight loss, you need to exercise at least 250 minutes per week. Therefore, if you want to lose weight specifically, it is best to combine swimming with other exercises such as strength training and cardio.

Swimming Strokes and Weight Loss

Different swimming strokes target different muscles in the body, and the number of calories burned varies depending on the swimming stroke you choose. For instance, butterfly stroke burns more calories than breaststroke. Therefore, choosing the right swimming stroke can help maximize your weight loss goals. The following table shows the approximate number of calories burned during 30 minutes of swimming, based on different swimming strokes.

Swimming Strokes Calories Burned (approx.)
Freestyle 255
Butterfly 330
Backstroke 240
Breaststroke 300

Benefits of Swimming

Apart from weight loss, swimming can offer various benefits to your overall health. It can help improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance, and reduce stress levels. Swimming can also help improve flexibility, coordination, and balance.


Swimming 3 times a week can be a great way to start your weight loss journey. However, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and combine swimming with other exercises for significant weight loss. The swimming stroke you choose can also affect the number of calories burned, so choose accordingly. Swimming can offer various benefits to your overall health, so make sure to enjoy your swim and have fun while achieving your weight loss goals.