How long before a "whoosh"?



Hey folks.

I was wondering what the longest period of time that you’ve gone through before experiencing a whoosh?

My weight hasn’t changed much in the last year or so +/- 2lbs. During that time I typically ate at a weekly calorie deficit, did strength training 3-4 times a week, and went on long walks when there was some decent sunshine. I practice IF, 16/8-18/6 since 2019 with the occasional EF of 2 days to 7 days sprinkled in. I was doing OMAD twice a week but back to TMAD, often with the first meal being just lean protein.

But in that time I did see positive changes with respect to re-composition… I definitely have more viewable muscle and less fat. Funny, I had sports jackets re-sized by a seamstress and a year later, I’m “swimming” in them.

So good results overall.

But I have more and more of those squishy areas by the legs, butt, stomach, etc. Over the year there is more squishiness, so I keep hoping for a whoosh at some point, but it hasn’t happened yet.

I’ve had some carb cheat days limiting water, fasts, and keto calorie surplus days but I can’t get the whoosh to trigger.

Is there anything that I should try, or just KCKO like I keep telling myself for the last few months? How long did you have to wait for your whoosh?

I’m considering taking a week off of IF, and going back to 3 meals. Perhaps with a 250-400 calorie surplus to see if I can get anything to trigger. Perhaps I just need to mix it up. Thoughts?

(Old Baconian) #2

I don’t believe it’s under our control. I only had one woosh, and it took me completely by surprise. I never would even have noticed, except that I happened to be weighing myself daily at that point.

(Carnivore for the win) #3

This can definitely stop the weight loss in it’s tracks. It really helps to stay in ketosis all the time to reap the benefits. The founders of the forum promote keeping carbs limited to 20 grams or less per day. I followed that guideline and have been very successful with it.

(Doug) #4

“As your cells now have less fat in them, they will be temporarily refilled with water.” (From the ‘whoosh’ link.)

Has this actually been observed? Looking at how our fat cells are, I would doubt it - but I don’t know for sure either way. Our fat cells are really just globules of fat (triglycerides) with a relatively very thin layer of cytoplasm around them. The fat ‘droplet’ grows and shrinks in size, with additions and subtractions of fat, but why in the world would water be going in there?

Going from a “regular” diet for me to ketogenic or fasting means a good bit of water loss, due to less salt (mostly), and it continues somewhat over perhaps 3 days with glycogen depletion/the associated loss of water there too. Usually about 10 lbs in a day or two, and another 2 or 3 pounds by day three or four, so ~5 or 6 kg overall, but this is always at the beginning, not at some intermediate point.



You should probably test a week or so with just the protein shake without the dextrose.

Additionally, what do your other 30g of net carbs consist of?


Take some diuretics, that’s all a whoosh is, it’s always water, never fat. Once you’re up and running those days are gone. No matter what you do you can only burn fat off so fast.

Dumping the fasting would be the first thing I’d do, on the surplus is depends, what have the macros been that have been holding you where you are now?

(Marianne) #7

I’m no expert, but IMO, you may not be getting enough to eat, although at the same time, your favorable body recon is very telling. You are eating at a calorie deficit to begin with and the exercise can act like an additional calorie purge, then throw fasting on top of that. I would say your body has reached a natural stasis and unless you increase your fat intake especially, it is going to hold onto what weight you have left until you give it more fuel to do its thing without harming the host (you). My suggestion would be to meet or exceed your fat macro and start out eating three meals a day. Breakfast and lunch don’t have to be elaborate (three eggs in morning), but feed your metabolism regularly, on schedule, with what it needs (protein and fat), and then dial it back when your body tells you it doesn’t want or need to eat that often.

Good luck - keep us posted! :hugs:

(Old Baconian) #8

The phenomenon of a sudden jump downwards in the scale reading does happen, but I agree that the explanation about the fat cells accumulating water and then suddenly letting it go doesn’t appear to have any data behind it.

It would be difficult to strudy this phenomenon, because it happens so randomly. As I recall, the 20-lb./9 kg whoosh I experienced occurred about five or six months after I began eating this way, and with no indication that anything was going on that might have triggered it.

Random, inexplicable jumps in scale readings might simply be part of the keto experience, however, because I also experienced an “anti-whoosh,” in which my scale suddenly read 32 lbs./14.5 kg heavier than the day before. Both jumps in the scale number appeared to have been “real” in the sense that subsequent readings were consistent, but they had no effect on my clothing size or anything like that. You’d think that, if I’d really gained 32 pounds, my trousers would have felt a lot tighter, but they didn’t. And they didn’t feel noticeably looser after my 20-lb. whoosh, either. Perhaps the scientific explanation will turn out to be that these phenomena are the result of local fluctuations in the Earth’s gravitic field, I don’t know. :smile:

(Doug) #9

Paul, that’s awesome though. :smile:

I guess we can agree that it’s mostly water that’s involved - it’s relatively heavy and what else could be going on, that fast?

I’ve had the reverse effect from eating a lot of salt (and I mean a LOT). Tissue swelling up, 8 or 10 lbs gained in part of a day…


I’m out of ketosis for roughly 30 mins. The insulin spike is big and short lived. I’ve read that carbs (within reason) post workout don’t count towards your daily intake (unfortunately I can’t cite a study). The workout is suppose to stimulate your GLUT4 transporters to make carbs more easily absorbed by your cells and replenish lost glycogen even in a low insulin environment. Come to think of it, I think that was in a recent Thomas DeLauer video.

I have to say that my workouts are SOOOOO much better as a result. I did stop adding dextrose for a couple of weeks and noticed the difference in workouts immediately. I didn’t notice a change in mass though, so I reintroduced dextrose.


I think that the whoosh effect hasn’t been proven, but there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that claims that during a stall, one might get squishy in some areas, then pee like a race horse and be lighter the next day.

I’ve experienced this myself earlier on in my keto journey. There were at least two occasions where I had to stay close to a toilet for the day and I couldn’t explain why, then I read about the whoosh effect and it made a little sense.


Usually incidental carbs that come with some meats, seasonings, greens. Hard cheeses, macadamia nuts too. But then I’ll sometimes have some tomatoes, or red/yellow peppers, and onions.

I had a few more that came with keto sweets that I’ve cut out of my diet this month.


Seems reasonable, especially with your activity.

You might try higher protein and lower fat, or go with a protein sparing modified fast. This might facilitate fat loss in the areas you desire, or maybe it will only facilitate muscle growth.


I drink espresso and tea regularly. 3-4 a day at the lower end. Or do you mean take water pill and see if that triggers anything?

I try to eat at least 200g of protein a day as a target, even when doing OMAD. Limit myself to 30g of carbs which doesn’t include the post-workout dextrose that was mentioned above and fat to fill in the gaps. Fat ranges from 150-250g/day depending on the day.

I weight 245lbs, 6’4", and my last DEXA had me at 33%ish BF.

(Doug) #15

Hey, I wish it would operate - that would mean that more fat is being burned in the meantime. :slightly_smiling_face:

In concept, our adipocytes are really simply constructed; I’ve just never seen any proof that they “fill with water,” even partially. Releasing a lot of water - no question this happens, sometimes. For me it’s dependent on what I eat and drink, literally can be 5kg or 10lbs difference.

(Bob M) #16

That seems reasonable, assuming you (or your muscles) are insulin sensitive and the carbs go to your muscles and not into your fat. I think of muscles as being insulin and carb sinks, but to what extent is what’s tricky. I’m sure what I could eat when I was 20 and just lifted for 90 minutes is probably different from what I can eat now (still much heavier with less muscle mass than then, working out less).


That explanation makes sense. Thank you.

Here’s what I’m going to try out next week for at least 14 days:

  • put a pause on IF and eat 3 meals a deal. Even if that’s just a protein shake in the morning with some MCT
  • add in about 250 - 400kcal into my diet (should be accomplished by just eating breakfast again)
  • monitor energy levels and weight changes

If anything cool happens, I’ll be sure to update this thread.

Thank you to all that showed an interest and responded!

(Bob M) #18

The more I read about fat, the more I think they’re very complex. Very, very complex. Like this for instance:

This is one reason I think the mouse studies might not apply to humans.

(Doug) #19

They can act in complex ways, and the cytoplasm itself is certainly “complex,” very much so. But it’s still just an oddly thin cytoplasm (compared to other cells) wrapped around a globule of almost pure fat, and the globule expands and contracts with additions and subtractions. Water filling an ‘empty’ space in there - this is totally foreign to anything I’ve ever seen proven, demonstrated, observed under a microscope, etc.

I don’t claim to know for sure, either way, but the ‘partially filling with water’ - in lieu of any proof, to me it sounds like something that somebody just made up.


I can’t say if they’re really filling with water or not. But it seems plausible since some areas on the body are getting very squishy and getting more squishy as the weeks go by.

Let’s see if I can another one of those “can’t be more than 5 feet away from the bathroom” days and see if the squishiness disappears. :slight_smile: