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. 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


  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!

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