Whether it was during a Dherbs cleanse or at a certain stage in life, some of you have most likely encountered a weight loss plateau. Like a runner hitting a wall, you just couldn’t get the scale to budge, no matter how hard you adhered to your diet and exercise regimen. It’s also possible that those who experienced a weight loss plateau stepped on the scale one day, only to realize that five pounds magically disappeared. Was that just water weight? Was the scale broken? Did you just perform magic? You need answers and answers you shall get!
This sudden weight loss after a plateau has been deemed a “whoosh” or “the whoosh effect.” It’s a buzzword that has gained popularity, but there is not a lot of scientific evidence backing this theory. The over-simplification of the whoosh effect has lead people astray from its actual meaning. The simplified explanation details that fat cells lose fat, fill with water, and eventually collapse. Many people experience the whoosh effect, but its exact mechanism remains unknown.
Adipocytes, known as fat cells, contain triglycerides, and the body uses these cells as fuel reserves during times of starvation, for example. An excess amount of these cells also leads to belly fat. Weight loss has not been linked to the amount of adipocytes or adipose tissue in the body. The inconsistent weight loss, the whoosh, results in squishy and soft fat becoming tight, making you appear leaner and resulting in a lower number on the scale.
What Makes This Whoosh Occur?
Several hypotheses, which are based on strong research, attribute the whoosh effect to water retention. The rapid changes in exercise, water intake, and dietary habits, for example, people who began eating raw foods cold turkey, can increase a fat mass storage directly before a rapid decrease in weight. A water balance or retention issue may explain the rapid release of fat.
In the case of people who take part in the Full Body Cleanse, the diet demands people to eat a lot less calories than they are used to. This causes triglyceride levels in fat cells to decrease because the body starts to break them down for energy. As this occurs, however, the fat cells absorb water, i.e. they do not shrink immediately, meaning that your dietary and exercise efforts do not translate to a lower number on the scale…not immediately, anyway.
The body constantly strives to maintain proper balance, from pH levels to hormones, and drastic changes can make this difficult. The imbalance that dietary changes cause, for example, can cause the body to hold onto weight before releasing it all at once. It’s as though the body’s compensatory mechanisms hold onto the weight to stay alive. Once the body realizes that you are not starving it and actually providing it with nutrition, the whoosh effect happens. Although the whoosh effect still needs more scientific research to back the theory, a lot of anecdotal evidence among thousands is difficult to ignore. Next time you hit a plateau, don’t give up because you may have already lost the fat; the whoosh just hasn’t occurred yet.