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.

  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 😊

  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. 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!)

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