The Whoosh Effect Explained

Let’s get straight to the point… This is an opinion piece and NOT fact. This is my opinion and not represented as fact in any way shape or form.

Losing weight relies on a calorie deficit. The simple facts are if your body is burning more energy (calories) than you’re consuming, you will lose weight.

The Whoosh Effect Explained

However, your weekly weight loss is never going to be consistent and you’re most likely experiencing ups and downs along the weigh (see what I did there)!

One week you may lose 2lbs, and the next you may stay the same even though you’ve been spot on with your food and exercise.

You resisted that chocolate bar when you so easily could have demolished it, and for what?! Nothing! Well…not quite.

The Whoosh Effect Explained-1-2

Well done for saying no to the chocolate because believe it or not, it did actually help your weight loss journey.

But why is this? Why is it never consistent? Well, let me explain all.

I come from a Personal Training background with a vast client base too, from very well-known Celebrities to flying round the world with some of the fittest Athletes on the planet.

The Whoosh Effect Explained
This is Tony our Fitness Expert!

Believe me when I say, these people are no different when it comes to weight loss.

The whoosh?!

The inconsistency is due to what’s known as “whoosh”. When you diet you may tend to notice your body fat becomes a squishy and soft-like consistency during certain periods.

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Then, when the whoosh occurs, your soft and squidgy fat suddenly tightens up making you look leaner and creating a weight drop on the scales as you high 5 everyone in the room!

So why does the Whoosh happen?

The main factor for the frustrating pattern of fat loss comes down to water retention.

When maintaining a calorie deficit, your body’s fat cells are emptied of triglyceride as your body breaks it down for energy.

The Whoosh Effect Explained

However, when this occurs your cells increase temporarily with water absorption.

What this means is your fat cells do not immediately shrink and due to the uptake of water there is no immediate drop in bodyweight either.

The Whoosh Effect Explained

However, you’ve done the hard work! It’s just a waiting game now…

After a period of time the fat cells suddenly flush the retained water out resulting in body fat shrinkage and the scales heading south…the whoosh is in action!

The Whoosh Effect Explained

So you have actually been consistently burning fat like you thought you were but this will only be evident once the whooshes have happened.

The Whoosh Effect Explained

Even though your weight loss plateaued, the fat loss didn’t, so that lack of chocolate bar that was contemplated over about 5 times, means you did actually burn even more fat! Bravo!

The Whoosh Effect Explained

How do we avoid the whoosh?

You can’t. Annoying, aye?!

The Whoosh Effect Explained

It would be ideal if week by week you were able to see a steady declining line of weight loss but unfortunately it just doesn’t happen like that.

Your body is extremely clever, so just let it do what it’s gotta do.

The Whoosh Effect Explained

There are ways of increasing whooshes and decreasing whooshes, but I wouldn’t recommend either of them and would simply recommend to keep doing what you’re doing.

I know it sounds boring, but don’t forget, although the scales didn’t move how you wanted them to, the body fat did.

You’re now just waiting for the scales to catch up with your fat loss.

Real Talk – My body isn’t even changing; I’m going to give up!

I cannot put a number on the amount of times I’ve heard people want to give up because they’re not seeing the results as fast as they want to.

The end of January springs to mind!

Do NOT give up. Remember why you started this journey, and remember this too…

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People seem to think that if they’re 20,30,40,50 years old and their body is moulded into that state for that many years, that 2 weeks in the gym will transform that.

2 weeks of the gym will not transform 20-50 years of bad eating habits and reduced exercise.

Why do people quit? Because they don’t see results fast enough. Imagine (try hard!) your body is clay, and for 20, 30, 40, 50 years it’s been sat on a shelf, cold and not moving.

You put it on the wheel to start moving it, nothing, but if you keep on moving – it starts heating up, week after week, going back to the gym, eating healthy then all of a sudden it starts moulding into what you want your body to be.

And once you’re there you’ve done it, your journey is complete. The transformation process is so much harder than the maintenance.

It just takes determination and willpower.

Who is Tony?

I’m the newest addition to Pinch Of Nom! I’m a PT, and I also own and run Protein Food Shop.

The Whoosh Effect Explained

So I do actually sell sausages and chicken thighs! Check out the Protein Food Shop website for more info.

89 Comments
  1. That really helped me today – I lost 7.5lbs last week and have had very little movement this week. The comment about being “squishy” resonated with me – I feel like I have turned into the human version of Flubber at the momemt 🙂

    Thanks for this – the required motivational kick to keep going 🙂

  2. I’m sat in my car, waiting to pick my nephew up from school. I’ve brought him a little cake as a treat. This has stopped me from eating it. Thank you 😊

    1. Feeling your comment now. No Easter Eggs, no treats, turned the roast potatoes down and maintained AGAIN. I see your post is July last year – hope that you’ve got where you want to be now x

  3. Thank you for this. Couldn’t have read it at a more perfect time. Finally an article that makes sense of it all for me!

  4. This is very well explained,last week my legs and feet swelled up and when I walked the top of my foot was all wobbly as if I had fluid, and I put half a pound on,this week they’ve gone down and I’ve lost 4pound

    1. Hi Sue,
      The article explains the Whoosh effect really well. I enjoyed reading it too. Look out for more great articles From Tony Carr. We’re really glad that he’s joined us here at Pinch of Nom!

  5. Despite working out hard doing insanity max 30 and following slimming world for 4 weeks the scales aren’t moving much ☹️☹️ So I’ve been feeling demotivated. Then I read this, I know my body is changing as clothes fit better and I’m keeping going now in anticipation of the whoosh! It will happen, thinking positive. Thank you for posting this! X

  6. Reading this has been very helpful, I’ve only recently joined Slimming World and have been doing well, but this week only lost half a pound which was depressing me as I’d continued to do everything right. Now I know I just need to be patient, thanks 🙂

    1. It’s a really interesting read, isn’t it. Persevere with the plan – it does work! (The admin team have lost approx. 30 stones between 5 of us!)

  7. Just read this article and now understand why at the end of the day I look like Spongebob Square pants! Been on the plan for 7 weeks now and only lost 6lb, was disappointed to say the least when other members are losing so much more each week. But after reading this article I know my day will come. Slow and steady…………………….. 🙂

  8. A really helpful piece of info. I’m at the maintenance stage now, but still do feel frustrated when I see a weight gain by a couple of pounds or so , when I know I’ve been extra careful. This will help me to stay positive and focused. Thank you.

  9. Thanks for explaining the Woosh effect, I was down in the dumps this week as I put weight on, but after reading this, its No Worries now, as I know the drop will happen,
    Thank you for a really good explaination

    Denise

  10. I’m so pleased for I read this. I have just finished my first week and lost a very demoralising 0.25lb. I will stay on the wagon and not let my fat cells win!

  11. Great read! Totally makes sense to me now as I was 100% on plan last week but maintained x just gotta stick with it x thanks guys

  12. I just want to say thank you for this explanation, as Iv’e started slimming world (so many weeks ago!) and have only lost 10lb in weight over so many weeks (quite a few to be fair) My weight is coming off very slow – 1/2lb per week if I’m lucky and following slimming world to the letter! Iv’e recently had a Fit Bit bought me and so have started walking approx. 4-5 miles a day.
    Although it’s not a lot, its better than nothing. Yeah …..I’m off the couch at last! Ive also started drinking more ….again yeah, but the scales are now going up instead of down? Frustrating to say the least as I only needed 2lb off for my first stone award, but its seems to be getting further and further away from me.
    I did feel so down, I contemplated giving up. A friend told me that a) I’ve still had a loss albeit a slow one, but its a loss & B) too much water and at the wrong times can also hinder weight loss (and spending a lot of time on the loo)

    Is there any advice you could please give about when is the best time for water intake during a 24hr period and how much? Daily recommendations say about 8 glasses, but was is the glass measurement?

  13. Very helpful indeed, I joined slimming world in February after losing 6lb on my own but have found the pounds are coming off slowly, in 24 weeks I have lost 1 stone, I do 3 hours exercise a week which include cardio and free weights and thought the exercise would speed up the weight loss but it doesn’t seem to have. All I need to do after reading this is keep going and not let a poor result on the scales stop me achieving my target. Thank you again.

  14. Thank you for the article. I’ve been following a low carb, high protein/fat diet for 3 weeks and lost 10lb in the first eight days and now the scales haven’t budged for nearly 2 weeks. I hope this is me now or I’m thinking of giving up!

  15. This so makes sense, only lost 1lb this week but i swear i can feel my love handles wobbling, thank you for this you keep me inspired xx

  16. This is me! I seem to be able to loose weight on the scales 2 weeks out of my monthly cycle & then I either gain or maintain. I find that by sticking to it despite a maintain or gain I’ll have a larger loss. Good to know it’s normal! I’ve also taken my measurements so when this happens I can keep motivated by that!

  17. Hey. This has just had me in tears, I’m at weight watchers, and (despite being good last week), I’ve had a 2lb gain! However I do feel “fat” this week – the “squidgy” especially resonates with me, as my tummy is exactly that this week. I’m also on a lot of pain mess, and I struggle to exercise much. I’ve definitely read this at the right time. Thank you so much xx

    1. Hi Sheryl
      Thanks for getting in touch and glad the article helped. Good luck, I’m sure you’ll get your ‘whoosh’ soon if you stay on track. Lots of people (me included! 😉 ) have had good losses whilst taking meds and being unable to do much exercise. You’ll get there! 🙂

  18. Thank you for your post, I have lost over 2 stone so far but I still look the same, wearing the same clothes,although a little looser. I am 71 years old and very overweight. You have inspired me not to give up,

  19. Oh how I wish my whoosh came more often 😂. But that is what happens. I suspect it will be in January for the next one now. But I’ve had one recently where I lost 3lb over two weeks. It’s not often I get that. It’s happened 3 times in the year I’ve been following slimming world. I’m 3 stone down now and feeling happy about it. So just keep at it. It works!

  20. This explains everything perfectly. It’s like you are in my head which is weird but somehow I found it comforting that someone understands how I feel. I’m 9.5lbs down on my journey and I can see some change my torso and belly are squishy! I’m not a quitter and very determined to get to my goal weight and change my eating habits and body shape. Thank you for your help on my journey. I will keep coming back to re read this to remain focused.

  21. Hi there, have been with slimming world for 7 months, I have lost over 2 stones , but the last three weeks I have maintained one week, the next week gained 21/2 lb and yesterday gained another 1lb, feeling very upset as I have not gone “crazy”. I am almost 75 years old and have to take lots of medication several times a day, I am diabetic and suffer with high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, which I have to take anticoagulant and beta blockers every day, I have just been informed by the hospital that I have to take more tablets for bradycardia, is it worth me carrying on dieting ?

    1. Hi Kath
      You’re doing brilliantly! You’ve lost over 2 stones in 7 months – amazing!
      It sounds as though you have a lot going on, but in spite of all that, you’ve still achieved a great loss. Please keep going, the healthier choices you’ve obviously been making will definitely help! Keep in touch and let us know how you’re getting on. 🙂

  22. I needed this, thank you! I’ve definitely plateaued, not that I ever really got started (4kg down since November 1st). I feel demotivated a lot of the time as my weight fluctuates daily, and never seems to drop greatly, but this certainly made me feel better!

  23. Thank you for this interesting read!
    Im desperately trying to loose weight for my wedding. This morning I gave up all hope!!! Im now about to go for a long walk before the school run!
    Thank you!x

  24. Great article, thank you. I am in my first week of SW so don’t know what my first week’s weight change will be. I don’t feel any different, but I will think of this effect when the temptations start to kick in again. The recipes are great, so this plan feels ‘doable’. Best wishes, Lisa x

  25. Thanks !! Couldn’t have read this at a better time ! Have felt very deflated as scales are not changing at all last few weeks but clothes are getting loose in all sorts of places 🤗 looking forward to the whoosh now x

  26. OMy God, I am so happy that i stumbled upon this article!! I have the suddenly flabby belly as well..and was really wondering! I love whisshs! I have experienced it where you wake up one morning suddenly feeling so slim!!?? like what?? This helps to understand ! 🙂

  27. Really interesting reading as it’s so true . Thank you for making me understand that in the end the hard work will move those scales .

  28. Hi I ve been on the SW plan for four weeks now losing up to 2lb a week but on week four I ve gained 5 and a half pound. I have been doing daily workouts ad lots of working and I’m mindful that I am building muscle but is it normal to put on that much this week when I have done no different to last week but lost 2lb. I am very disheartened. Should I cut out the exercise I’m sceptical as do not want loose sagging skin as I lose weight.

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    1. Hi Ruth
      It may sound like a cliché, but have faith in the plan, food optimise 100% and the losses will follow. When you start any exercise program your body will naturally retain fluid, to protect the joints and to repair muscles etc. There are other factors too, including your monthly cycle. Try to look at your cumulative loss, rather than an isolated week. It’s also worth taking measurements, as they can change before the numbers on the scales do! Stick with it and good luck!

  29. Very good i am 76 next month started after xmas lots of downs but so happy I started as being ceoliac I am so much healthier and can now travel with peace of mind wish I had done it ages ago lost just over a stone very good article

  30. Thank you, great info. It’s going to keep me going. Had some great losses, then last week just 1lb. Which sounds ungrateful, but I was better behaved than an A list celeb the week before the Oscars! I NEARLY gave in, but have just had my WHOOSH and I’m actually looking forward to tonight’s weigh in.

  31. I’ve been doing SW now for 1 year and lost over 4 stone, nearly to target. Joined a boot camp exercise 4 times a week now and get measured every 4 weeks, it’s great when she tells me inches that I’ve lost that month. Gives me a real boost to carry on, glad I read your explanation of how it works as sometimes I’ve been on plan 100% and I’ve maintained that week.

  32. This makes absolutely perfect sense. I had been working so hard this week but felt bloated. After not weighing myself for several days, I was excited to be getting on the scales to see how all my hard work had payed off. The scales hadn’t moved 😮. I was absolutely mortified and was ready to give up. The next day when I got up I noticed I didn’t feel as bloated so before I demolished the kitchen cupboards, I thought I would just see what the scales say today. 5lb loss!!!!! Literally overnight! Whoosh! 😁. Now I know, I will not be as quick to give up in future. Thanks for this article. 👍

    1. Thanks, Sarah.
      Congrats on your loss, 5lbs is brilliant! (I find it better to look at cumulative weight loss over a month or longer rather than an individual week’s result, it’s more motivating for me!)

  33. I feel a little more optimistic after reading this. My first week on SW I gained 1/2 pound my second I gained a further 1lb. I am following everything to the book and actually really enjoying doing this and experimenting with the great recipes on Pom. My consultant can not give me any advice apart from go for a blood check as I’m doing everything I should be. I somehow feel better although the scales are not showing anything yet. Weigh in day tomorrow so fingers crossed. I’m trying to keep positive and await the whoosh.

    1. Hi Briony
      Have faith and stick to the plan 100%, the results will follow! Hopefully your consultant has had a look over your weekly food diaries to make sure you’re making the right choices, too.
      It’s also worth taking measurements, as your shape may be changing even if the scales are yet to show a change in the right direction! Good luck with your continuing SW journey. 🙂

  34. Thank you, have just read this before away for a wee break for four nights. I needed to understand how it all works and now feel more confident when the scales don’t budge. I am 70 and still like to look after myself with pride. Thanks again.

  35. Thanks for this article, explains why I’ve lost nothing on the plan I’m on yet, only been on it a fortnight

    1. Hi Samantha,
      It’s really worth taking measurements when you start, as it’s not always about the numbers on the scales. Keep going – stick with the plan and food optimise 100% and the results will follow! 🙂

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