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June 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 28, No. 6   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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“Now I Can Pig Out on Trips with Less Guilt”

from the June, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Readers seem to enjoy the story we ran last month on how many calories one actually burns during diving. That's because research shows the burn can go up to 500 calories during an hour-long dive.

Subscriber Randall Rothenberg (New York, NY) wrote to say that his research also indicates that a modestly experienced diver on a typical Caribbean dive typically burns around 400 kcal an hour. "I've seen that in my own weight-loss stats after a dive trip. I obsessively log everything I consume, versus calories burned through exercise, and they consistently net out at that figure. A professor of physiology at the medical school on Saba, with whom I dined on my last trip there, confirmed that the burn is roughly equivalent to a good brisk walk. Now, that may not feel like a lot of exercise. But imagine doing three to four hours of brisk walking during a day, then imagine doing it every day for a week. That is decent exercise, especially for the otherwise desk-bound recreational diver, and it's pretty much what you're getting on a dive vacation."

While he stays in shape and exercises regularly at home, David Marchese (Hummelstown, PA) says that he can eat "like royalty" during vacations and weekend getaways, and easily put on five pounds during that time. "I have been on nearly 30 liveaboards over the years, and I've always been astounded that while I easily double my caloric intake during these voyages, I never gain any weight. My only conclusion was that diving burns an enormous number of calories, yet I never read anything to confirm my anecdotal evidence. Thanks for the article. Now I can continue to pig out on trips with even less guilt."Good for you, Randall and David, but I still remain skeptical that reef diving can burn that many calories.

-- Ben Davison

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