Why am I not losing Weight? – The Fat “Whoosh” Effect

The fundamental way in which the body burns fat is to create a calorie deficit: you eat less food than your body is used to, thus forcing your body to obtain the necessary energy by burning fat reserves. Yes, it’s that simple.

But, as many of our diet veterans know, the amount of weight you lose daily or weekly isn’t always consistent.


Some weeks you do not lose weight at all – even when you eat everything you need to eat, do not leave / replace meals and do not cheat, even a little bit. Other weeks you lose much more weight than you could ever dream. Why does that happen?

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This is something known in the weight loss community as the “Whoosh” Effect. As you burn fat you will notice that the areas that was previously “fatty”, now suddenly feels very soft. These soft areas are formed by water which takes the place of fat as soon as it is burned. It can occur in places where you can see it, such as your stomach, thighs, buttocks; and inside your body on places that you can’t see. Where it appears, they are fat cells that were once filled with fat that is now full of water.

You can feel the soft fat areas for a few days to as long as a few weeks. Then, one day out of the blue, these areas feel firm! In some cases, you can physically look thinner and at the same time you will notice that the reading on the scale suddenly decreases.

The water is a type of placeholder for the fat. The cells are waiting for excess fats to be ingested by your body so that they can be stored in these cells once again. But as you endure and persist on the diet, the fat cells realize that fat will not come by again. It then bursts open, sets the water free and voila! You are a few kilograms lighter.

If you lose courage and give up during this period, and return to your old eating habits, the fat will once again replace the water placeholders and you will put back all the burnt fat. This is known as the “Whoosh” Effect.

It is also remarkable to note that, according to recent studies, the body can never destroy fat cells. Each person’s body is programmed to have a certain number of fat cells. As the fat cells run their course and die naturally, they are immediately replaced by the body.

So, even though we burn the fat and our bodies release the water, the fat cells still remain dormant in our bodies.

In conclusion, it is important to remember not to become disheartened if the movement in the scale suddenly stops. That’s why we don’t weigh ourselves every day on the 28 day diet, but only once a week. And it’s important not to return to old eating habits – remember, the fat cells are waiting to be filled again!

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