Losing weight isn’t a simple process.
Ask anyone who’s ever lost weight; it doesn’t shed consistently.
Weight loss happens over a long period of time despite how well you control your diet and regardless of how hard you train.
In fact, some of them will probably even tell you about the weight loss plateaus, when the scale stays adamantly in place no matter how intense your training regimen is over time.
But then, they’re also taken by surprise by the whoosh effect – the sudden miracle when the weight begins to drop.
So what is the whoosh effect in weight loss?
Well, when your body starts to get used to its new fat-burning regimen, the fat cells fill up with water for a while, and after a while, the cells shrink down.
So for a while, your scale may continue showing you the same numbers, and your body may look the same – but you’re still on the right track.
The whoosh effect takes place when your body suddenly decides to rid itself of excess water – and sometimes, you wake up looking and feeling leaner than the night before!
Over the past several months, there’s been an increase in literature about the whoosh effect.
Health experts and scientists are still pondering what brings the onset of the whoosh effect and whether it’s accurate that cells actually swell up with water before shrinking down.
But, the important thing to pay attention to is that the whoosh effect is real – even for the 99% of non-scientific people!
We may not know the why and the how, but we know that the whoosh effect is real. Too many of us have experienced it, and there are enough studies to verify it, too.
So get to know what the whoosh effect looks like – although be wary that most of the information about it is debatable, even though the signs, symptoms and carb refeed information has been confirmed.
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What’s the Whoosh Effect?
Here’s something to think about: Weight loss is actually fat-loss, right?
Because all the diet and exercise we incorporate helps to transform fat stores into energy, not make it vanish – it doesn’t just get up and go.
Current research tells us that the fat we’re trying to burn actually converts to carbon dioxide.
Pretty strange, right?
Although here’s something to note:
When your fat cells shrink, they don’t vanish or disappear. But because they take less space, water ends up taking their place.
This can cause some problems when it comes to weight loss:
When the scale doesn’t move, it’s not necessarily because your workout regimen isn’t working; it’s because your water retention has increased.
You’ll feel worse before feeling great – water retention can make you feel quite squishy.
And at times, these water-filled pockets last for a pretty long time.
But as always, consistency is key. Keeping up with your controlled eating and workout routine will eventually induce the whoosh effect.
In fact, with the whoosh effect you’ll eventually notice a very drastic change overnight in your appearance and shape.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the whoosh effect.
Is the Whoosh Effect Real?
Yes, it is! We wouldn’t be talking about it if it wasn’t!
It turns out, in 1944 and 1945, the Minnesota Starvation Experiment at the University of Minnesota revealed some cool things.
The participants volunteered to follow a near starvation diet coupled with hard labor to see what it was like to be a prisoner of war.
Eating around only 1,500 calories every day for 6 months, the participants also took part in intense exercises.
In the beginning, the majority of the men began to systematically lose 2 pounds of their total body weight every week.
However, as time passed, the researchers found that this weight loss wasn’t predictable anymore. The men continued the tough exercise and meal plan and then out of the blue, they’d drop a significant amount of weight.
In other words, they experienced the whoosh effect.
Trigger a Whoosh for Weight Loss
My own weight loss journey has been an interesting one, and I‘ve noticed some interesting things through my own experience.
I maintain a calorie deficit diet, perform strength training exercises three times a week (here, check out my program and progress). I also walk and do light cardio. I also enjoy food (“cheat meals”) and drinks every now and then.
That’s why I like my cheat days and go easy on my slip-ups.
Some nights, I’ll eat a big dinner and fall asleep thinking, “I wasted my efforts during the week!”
But what’s strange is that despite that gigantic dinner, I’ll wake up some mornings after a cheat day and still feel leaner than ever!
And I’m not the only one – research claims that one of the ways to trigger a whoosh effect is to indulge in a cheat meal.
Even the Minnesota Starvation Experiment researchers noted that and halfway through their study, the men were upgraded to a 2,300 calories diet, like a re-feed.
And it turns out, the cheat meal resulted in considerable weight loss just the next morning!
And of course, you’ll pee a lot – the water retention has to exit your body somehow.
So, if you’re frustrated that your diet and exercise plan aren’t working and the areas of squishy fat are annoying, live a little; eat a cheat meal – but don’t overdo it!
And wait for the surprise the next morning.
Signs That a Whoosh Is Coming
The whoosh effect is pretty cool in the way that it happens on its own. It occurs naturally and effortlessly, provided you stick with your meal plans and exercise routine.
Although a cheat meal in between can help to trigger the effect much faster.
However, if you’re looking for signs about an oncoming whoosh effect, here’s what you need to be aware of:
- Your scale hasn’t moved in two weeks despite your health plan
- Your legs feel soft and wiggly despite an intense workout and diet
- You’ve gained 1–2 pounds out of the blue
- You’re urinating more than usual
- You’re getting more hunger pangs and cravings despite being on a controlled diet
- Areas with fat concentration feel warm
But be aware – a whoosh effect comes on its own and takes you by surprise. But of course, feel free to trigger it (or attempt to trigger it) with a cheat meal.
And as always, the best way to trigger it is to stick to your strict diet plan, smart eating habits, and intense exercise – the weight will shed!
But be patient with it.
If you’re looking for a cool workout that targets fat burning, check out this quiz – it’s going to help you find the perfect workout regimen for your body type and weight goals! Try it!
FAQs: The Whoosh Effect
When your body begins to burn fat, the cells begin to fill with water before shrinking. It’s common for parts of your body to feel squishy and soft for a period of time into your diet plan and workout regimen, but then the sudden whoosh gets rid of the water weight in just a night!
Thanks to a popular study that put participants on a low-calorie diet and intense exercise, we know it’s real. And research even figured out that the progress of a weight loss program comes to a standstill before showing massive results, despite consistency and intensity.
Some scientific research on nutrition suggests that a large cheat meal which includes a lot of carbohydrates is a good way to trigger a whoosh effect – it facilitates your body in losing the stored water.
There are several ways to know that a whoosh effect is coming. One sure way to know is that you’ve been strictly following your diet and workout plan, haven’t lost weight for a while and maybe even gained a pound or two, and feel squishy.
If you start to notice these signs, the whoosh effect is definitely coming. You’ll also begin to pee quite frequently – that’s your body losing the water.
Some other people report different symptoms. For example, some people experience diarrhea just before the whoosh – it’s weird, but it still loses water!
Others claim that they get crazy cravings and hunger pangs which they didn’t get before, right before they drop a big amount of weight in a short time.
And also, you’ll see an increase in night sweats just before a whoosh – the body tries to rid itself of water that way, too!
(And some people claim that as your metabolism speeds up to burn fat, the side effects of that is sweating – and night sweats are also a sign of strength training!)
So it turns out, the proof is right there, scientifically and otherwise. The whoosh effect is real, but we’re still not sure about its process, and the signs and symptoms are still being contested.
Unfortunately, no. Fat cells only shrink; they don’t go ever away. This is one of the reasons why it’s easier to maintain a lean physique in general, rather than maintain one after being overweight.
Fat cells can die like other cells, but then they’re also replaced, too. Another noteworthy thing is that fat cells will only increase – you can’t lose them, although you can shrink them.
Alcohol dehydrates you, so yes, it is possible that a few drinks can trigger a whoosh and help that excess water go away.
No, not at all! Anyone on a weight loss program can experience the whoosh effect. In fact, you can see the effects while on the OMAD diet, low carb diet, and intermittent fasting diets.
Although, being on the keto diet isn’t bad. In fact, a ketogenic diet can bring about better results. The Ketone Base supplement by Perfect Keto jumpstarts fat burning and ketosis, and gives you more energy and focus while you’re on the diet. Click here to read current reviews and check pricing of the Ketone Base on Amazon.
That’s a little tough to say, but areas with water weight are jigglier and warmer than areas of fat. In fact, try this: Pinch the skin of an area and release it. If it bounces, it’s probably extra water because fat is firmer when touched.
There are many different ways to lose weight, and yes, drinking more water is one of them. Healthline.com claims that drinking fluids discourages your body from storing water. Although if overdone, it can cause bloating.
Here’s the trick; drink enough water to maintain an almost-clear to light yellow color of your urine. Dark yellow means you’re definitely dehydrated.
You can also try to reduce your sodium intake to lessen bloating, intensify your exercise, and include more electrolytes in your meals. These tactics will help you lose water weight, too!