Fundamentally speaking, burning fat is all about creating a caloric deficit. (You eat less food than your body requires, thus forcing your body to make up the difference by getting energy from fat reserves). This isn’t a theory. It’s the first law of thermodynamics. It’s literally one of the laws of physics.
However, as many diligent dieters have personally learned, the amount of weight that you lose each day, or each week, is rarely consistent.
Some weeks, you’ll find that you don’t lose any weight at all — even when you’ve had a perfect workout schedule, and eaten at a perfect caloric deficit. Other weeks you’ll discover that you lost way more weight than the numbers say you should have lost.
If the laws of calorie-in / calorie-out are real, why would a person lose such dramatically different amounts of weight from week to week, despite following an identical routine?
Enter… “The Whoosh Effect”
As you burn fat, you’ll sometimes notice that the area where the fat used to be tends to take on a sort of “squishy” consistency. “Squishy” fat forms because, as fat cells are extracted and mobilized, the space where they once existed gets filled with water, making the area feel “softer” than normal. Sometimes “squishy fat” forms in places we can see it, and sometimes it forms more internally where we can’t. Sometimes it’s in huge pockets, and sometimes it forms at a microscopic level where you can’t see it or feel it. But the areas that were once filled with fat sit there, filled with water!
The squishy-fat areas can last for a few days to as much as a few weeks. Then, one day, inexplicably and out of nowhere, all that squishy fat suddenly tightens up! In some cases, you’ll even (suddenly) look leaner! And at the same time, the scale suddenly drops — and you cheer because you feel like whatever you did the day before caused you to lose a ton of weight!
It will probably surprise you to learn that almost ALL scale movements are the result of fat burn that happened days, or even weeks ago! (Sudden scale movement at the very beginning of a diet is usually the result of water-weight being dropped due to a decrease in carb intake, however).
Did you catch that? When the scale goes down while dieting, it’s usually because of fat that you lost several days (or even weeks) ago, and your body is finally expelling the water that took its place.
Put another way, even though you may be in a state where you are constantly burning fat, the results of that effort may not show up on the scale immediately. And more likely, they’ll show all at once, one day, where you’ll have a sudden “whoosh” of weight-loss!
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