by ChanteI have quite a tummy left over from childbirth.
I’m planning on swimming 1 complete lap in our pool everyday (except weekends). I eat a basically healthy diet (rare junk food and home cooked meals from scratch).
Will 1 complete lap (it takes me about 15 seconds to go the length of the pool once, so a complete lap is about 1 minute) daily get my muscles chiselled?
I’m just starting it and haven’t done any workouts for quite a few months. How long will it take to get back in shape and chiselled?
Answer: For chiselled muscles you’ll need to engage in strength training and obtain fairly low body fat levels, this will give you visible muscle definition which is the look you want.
In all honesty, swimming probably won’t help you reach these goals but if you enjoy it and it helps you stay active then go for it. I’m sure a few laps in the pool can provide a welcome break from screaming children and any exercise is better than none.
The best way to arrive at your goals is via a strength training routine like those listed on my free workout routines page coupled with a personalised diet plan. I explained why resistance training is important in the question cardio vs strength training from another reader.
If you really don’t have the time/equipment right now then I think just sticking to the eating side of things will be fine.
It’s an age old saying but its true, you are what you eat and most of your results come from what goes into your mouth rather than what you do in the gym.
Setting Up Your Diet Plan
Negative calorie balance is the key to weight loss regardless of what anyone tells you, other approaches where you don’t count calories trick you into eating less by excluding a food group or other dietary tricks. Eventually they all achieve the same thing, eating fewer calories.
Your weight loss calorie intake should be set appropriately, 15 x bodyweight in pounds is the number of calories you can eat each day to maintain your weight. The guidelines in the article will help you decide how many calories you need to eat to lose weight.
Secondly, your need to set protein adequately,how much protein per day you need personally varies depending on activity but if you’re not strength training then 1g per pound will be fine.
As your daily activity will be fairly low you don’t need a lot of carbs, I would start at around 120g of carbs per day which
Here’s an example of how to set calories, protein and carbs:
Sample Diet Set Up
Example bodyweight – 150 pounds
Example Calorie Intake Using 13 x bodyweight in pounds: 1950 calories per day
Protein – 1g per pound of bodyweight (150 lbs) = 150g protein per day
Carbs – 120g per day
Healthy fats should make up the remainder of your calories, to do this we have to know how many calories come from the protein and carbs already in your diet plan:
Protein – 150g per day – 4 calories per gram = 600 calories from protein
Carbs – 120g per day – 4 calories per gram = 480 calories from protein
Total calories from protein and carbs: 600 + 480 = 1080 calories
In this example our dieter is allowed 1950 calories per day and we now know that 1080 calories have already been accounted for through protein and carbs.
This leaves us with 870 calories (1950 – 1080 = 870) which should come from fat. There are 9 calories per gram of fat so we need to divide 870 by 9 to figure out how many grams of fat to eat each day.
e.g. 870 / 9 = 97g of fat per day
This means you’re daily nutrition plan would look like this:
Calories – 1950
Protein – 150g
Carbs – 120g
Fat – 97g
Following this eating plan consistently will yield great results even without the strength training though as suggested earlier it would be a great addition as it would help you maintain your lean muscle mass.
The important thing is that you track your diet, try using a free online diet tracker like fitday or get a free app if you have a smartphone, they really make it easier for you.
You also mentioned you eat junk food every now and again, well that’s great as little treats like that help you adhere to a diet long term so as long as its not too frequent enjoy it and then go back to your diet foods.
In my fast food calories section there’s a guide which shows you how to include fast food in your daily calories and also the full nutritional information of all your favourite fast food joints!
I’m confident adjusting your eating plan will deliver great results and we’d love to hear how it works out for you so be sure to keep in contact and share your results with us!
Best of luck Chante.