Weight loss isn’t always linear.
Anyone who’s ever lost weight can tell you, it doesn’t come off consistently and in predictable increments, even if your diet and training are super on point.
In fact, it’s pretty common to hit “weight loss plateaus,” meaning you’re still training and eating in a calorie deficit, but the scale won’t budge.
Then comes the whoosh effect: When all that weight you should have lost suddenly disappears, as if by magic.
The whoosh effect is simply a name given to the phenomenon that when your body burns fat, its fat cells often temporarily fill with water before fully shrinking down. This can cause your scale weight to stall and your body shape stay relatively the same (if not squishier) even though you’re on track for weight loss.
The ‘whoosh’ comes when
your body, sometimes suddenly, flushes all the extra water out and you appear
leaner almost overnight.
What is the Whoosh Effect?
As your body burns fat, your fat cells temporary fill with water before they shrink down. When your fat cells shrink (they never go away for good) it’s actually extremely common for water to swoop in and take their place.
That leads to a couple of key issues for anyone on a weight loss program:
When water retention is high, the scale may not move, making you think progress has stalled
Water retention makes us feel super squishy, so you may actually feel WORSE after burning a few kilograms of fat
These water-filled pockets can last for days or weeks at a time.
But eventually, if you stick with your diet and exercise goals, they’ll suddenly release (WHOOSH), almost overnight, and you’ll notice significant weight loss and physical changes to your appearance.
And that’s the Whoosh Effect, or at least, the most common explanation of it.
Regardless of the mechanics of the whoosh, people usually use the term to refer to sudden bursts of weight loss that occur basically overnight.
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