To the OP, I feel like I could have written your post! I began the South Beach diet (to jumpstart a healthy lifestyle) back in early June and right away combined it with exercise. I used to lap swim as a lifeguard and swim instructor back 10 years ago or so, but haven't done it since. One day I got in the pool and started, could barely swim a lap or two without stopping, and now I can swim 30-40 mins without stopping at all! I have been paying close attention to the weight loss, because I am only a month and a half in and wanting to lose 80+ pounds to reach my first goal. I've lost around 17 so far, so I have been really watching how many calories I'm burning. I love swimming so much, but I don't know exactly how much I am burning so my DH bought me a swim watch that counts calories for my birthday and I am waiting for that to come in. I am really interested in seeing how it compares to doing other forms of cardio.
I don't find that I eat more afterwards... no different than an hour on the elliptical. And I enjoy swimming so much more.
281 at my highest when starting SB June 2010. Restarted March 2011.