Today I am going to talk about the whoosh effect, the theories behind it, when it typically happens i.e symptoms to look out for, to whom it affects and my experience with it.
What is the whoosh effect?
In a nutshell, the whoosh effect is when your body drops a ton of weight (anything from 3-5lbs) overnight; this weight is from the result of dieting. In theory, your body should have dropped weight at a steady pace for e.g. 1-2 lbs a week. However, as we know, weight loss is never linear.
The theory behind the whoosh effect is during fat loss, as your fat cells shrink they sometimes get filled up with water glycerol. It is believed this is the mechanism behind the bodily function in your fat cell that attracts water. Supposedly, the fat cells hold the water in, before dropping them like a bad habit.
What does this mean?
Well, you could have been dieting for weeks, steadily losing weight each week and then for a brief period your body composition, weight and size would not have changed. This could psychologically be so draining because you’ve been in a solid deficit, you’ve been diligent in your tracking and you have been working out plenty but lo and behold for weeks on end you have looked exactly the same.
When does it happen/symptoms?
So, you’re at the point of mental break and you say to yourself “screw it”, you consume 5000 calories with a ton of carbs and hardly any water. You know you’ve messed up, you’re already dreading stepping on the scale the following morning, feeling bloated and having a puffy face.
However, you look in the mirror and actually you look so much more leaner. You step on the scale and you’ve dropped 3-5lbs (different for everyone). Then you check yourself out in the mirror for a brief period, mirin the changes but at the same time you have no frickin idea what has happened.
You google it, ask around as well and soon discover that squishy fat and whoosh has happened to other people. However, no sufficient research has been done on this phenomenon but what the heck who cares man, you’ve dropped weight, you look great. But, still it looms at the back of your mind.
Whom does it effect?
Water retention doesn’t affect us all, in fact, some people can drop weight at a steady pace each week with no issues whatsoever. If that is you, go screw yourself. If this isn’t you, hold tight, I’ve gotchu homie.
If you are somebody that retains water, male or female, then chances are you will experience a whoosh at least a couple of times during periods of dieting. For you, I have listed below tried and tested solutions that you, yourself can implement to get you out of this bloody mess.
This is an account of my experience with water retention and the whoosh. If you scroll further down, I have listed each step you should take in order to elicit a whoosh.
I was midway through dieting and I was losing about half a pound a week which was strange as I was losing 1-1.5 lbs just weeks before. Eventually, it came to a complete halt. I felt my motivation slip, noone is perfect with their diet. One night I said “Let’s do this, Game on!” I went ham in the kitchen, everything was at my mercy, no regrets. The next day I woke up 3lbs lighter and significantly leaner.
I was astonished, as this was my first time. My whoosh virginity had been taken and I felt great.
This happened again a few weeks later but this time it was after a moderate refeed of around 3-400 grams of carbs.
During my second cut, I experienced it one more time; however this time, I tried everything. I first did the dry refeed, a normal refeed with loads of water, a refeed for a couple of days in a deficit and then up to maintenance for the same amount of time.
I tried a cheat day and this time I gained no weight and looked exactly the same.
I knew something else was going, being in a deficit was putting a huge stress on my body, cortisol levels were raised to the point where 5000 calories did nothing to my weight on the scale, appearance and size.
So in the end I decided to take a diet break. I ate at a slight surplus, roughly around 3000 calories and I did this for a week and like magic, I noticed my libido increase, my energy levels increase and most importantly for me, my weight went up for the first time in weeks.
I then went back to dieting and hey presto, bob’s your uncle, my weight began to drop.
I hope this article helps to explain what this whoosh effect is and how to elicit that kind of response. If this happened to you, welcome to the club, solidarity.
So I have explained that when weight loss has stalled, you see no changes and you have squishy fat all over your body are common symptoms. Now, I am going to tell you how to elicit a whoosh response.
Do a huge refeed in carbs, up to maintenance or slightly above. Same as any other refeed day but just add some more carbs. That is the trigger and limit your water intake, in other words, if you are dehydrated at the end of the night then you’ve achieved this.
Do a huge refeed same as above but drink 8 litres of water.
Have a massive refeed day or cheat day, full of carbs.
Refeed up to maintenance till it happens.
If after refeeding for a week nothing has happened, don’t sweat it. Go back to your diet and it should just fall off.