When you are embarking on a diet or weight loss journey you start to second guess yourself. If you aren’t seeing obvious progress you may start to look for signs that the diet is working. Is something happening? You may wonder, is my fat more jiggly? Does fat get softer before you lose it?
As you start to lose weight, your fat may feel softer before the scales move. The fat cells become smaller which makes the layer of fat under your skin feel less taught and solid. Your skin may feel slightly looser which can give the impression of the area of fat being softer and more jiggly.
It can be hard to tell what is happening and if you are really losing weight. Read on to identify different reasons for feeling jiggly and the truth behind some weight loss myths.
Does fat get jiggly before you lose it?
When you start a new diet, fat, especially in the belly area can start to feel jiggly and softer. It can seem that the fat is changing from being a solid mass to something softer and more fluid.
It can be hard to tell what’s happening, especially if you aren’t seeing much movement on the scale yet.
If you feel suddenly flabby it can be disheartening. However, it can mean that things are heading in the right direction but we need to work out what’s happening. Calories, food choices, water retention and hormonal shifts can all play a part.
Could it be to do with water retention?
Shifts in the balance of water in your body can play a part. Often at the start of a diet plan, you can lose a lot of water weight.
This can result in bloating going down and water leaving your cells leaving the layer of fat feeling softer and more jiggly.
If you have been peeing a lot this could be what is happening.
Make sure that you stay hydrated. Drinking more water won’t replace the water weight loss but it will flush through your body and cells healthily hydrating them and flushing out toxins and impurities.
This will help you to feel good whilst dieting and avoid common problems such as headaches and lack of energy.
How much water should you drink?
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine set the amount of water people need to drink.
- 2.7 litres a day for women
- 3.7 litres a day for men
This covers all fluid including that from drinks like tea and coffee as well as food.
If you aim for around 8 glasses a day you should be good.
Could it be loose skin?
If you find your skin is feeling soft and jiggly it could be to do with loose skin.
This can be especially noticeable around the belly in overweight people with a lot of fat to lose.
Your skin will have stretched slowly and gradually to accommodate the extra weight that you have put on. If you start to lose fat or water weight it may be that you shrink faster than your skin can.
This will result in loose extra skin which can feel soft and jiggly.
Slack skin usually shrinks back to its normal size after you lose weight. However, if you have a lot of weight to lose your skin may have been stretched beyond the point where it can rebound.
Some people just have skin that isn’t very elastic as well so if that’s the case you may have more excess skin to deal with.
Could you be losing muscle?
Extreme diets can result in a loss of muscle mass which could result in things feeling softer and more jiggly.
However, as long as you are sticking to a decent diet plan and not doing any kind of crazy starvation over a long period this shouldn’t be a problem. Healthy weight loss won’t result in losing muscle.
Could it be “The Whoosh Effect”?
“The Whoosh Effect” is very much a popular topic on the internet at the moment.
This theory states that when you burn fat, your cells fill with water instead. Then at some point, this water will all be released and disappear resulting in a large weight drop. The legendary “Whoosh Effect”.
People are looking for how to trigger this effect and whoosh out the water and weight.
Sorry but “The Whoosh Effect” ain’t real.
I’m sorry to have to say but this effect isn’t real. I wish there was some magic trick that would whoosh away all our weight troubles but unfortunately, it’s not how bodies work.
Fat cells just don’t convert to storing water and releasing it like that.
It can be counterproductive to try some of the tricks which are supposed to trigger the whoosh, such as eating a high-calorie meal. Just stick with slow and steady and don’t try and trick your body as it won’t work in this case.
Is your visceral fat reducing?
There are two types of fat in your body, subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
- Subcutaneous fat – The soft layer that sits just underneath your skin.
- Visceral fat – The fat behind the abdominal wall, inside your body cavity surrounding your internal organs. This is the most dangerous type of fat and is associated with cardiovascular disease as well as other health risks.
If you have quite a bit of weight to lose you will likely have a lot of visceral fat inside your body cavity.
The common western “apple” body shape is mostly comprised of visceral fat. So if this is you, when you start to lose weight it will be the visceral fat inside your belly that will go first.
This will lead to a kind of “deflating” effect where the soft subcutaneous fat becomes more obvious.
This may mean that your stomach starts to look and feel softer and more jiggly.
This is a good thing as it means your visceral fat is reducing. Reducing visceral fat is crucial to good health as this kind of fat is dangerous to your health.
Losing your belly fat is a great thing for your health.
The Dangers of Visceral Fat
Having too much weight gain and visceral fat around your belly is linked to Heart disease, High Blood Pressure, Certain Cancers, Stroke, Dementia, Diabetes, Depression, Metabolic Syndrome and Arthritis.
How do you get rid of soft Belly Fat?
Soft Belly Fat is one of the trickiest types of fat to lose. You need to cut down on carbohydrates and sugary foods and increase lean protein. Decreasing stress hormones and getting good sleep as well as staying dehydrated will all help to lose pounds and decrease soft belly fat.
This is especially true when you are over 40 or entering the menopause years. Abdominal exercise won’t shift it either despite what some trainers claim.
Belly fat is the type of fat most likely to cause you health problems so you do need to take action.
I’ve created a custom weight loss program that targets belly fat and will help you on the way to a flat belly. The best bit is that you don’t need to do tons of crazy exercise either.
Do you need to do tons of crazy exercise to get a flat belly?
The truth is that exercise alone will not get you the flat belly of your dreams.
If you have lost weight, exercise can help to tone the abdominal muscle. However, you can’t “work” the belly away despite what some trainers would tell you.
What you eat will have the most effect on your weight loss. You CAN lose weight without doing any exercise at all as long as you are eating the right things and avoiding the things that will pile the pounds on.
However, an exercise routine can be great for both mental and physical health. Physical activity where you get out into the fresh air can work wonders on boosting your metabolism which can all help.
Walking is an amazing moderate-intensity activity that can give you a boost.
A fitness routine that includes strength training is also great for women over 40 as it builds and tones muscle and strengthens bones.
So whilst exercise is not necessary to lose belly fat it can help to tone it once the weight has gone and can help your mental and physical health too.
How To Measure Your Progress accurately.
So if you aren’t seeing much progress on the scales which is the best way to measure your progress?
One alternative option to the scales is measuring the circumference of parts of the body.
Measuring will give you a much better idea if something is happening. You may not be seeing any progress scales wise but your body shape and composition may be changing and improving.
Visceral fat may be melting away, improving your health.
Remember that there is a direct link between waist circumference and the risk of heart disease. As long as your waistband is getting looser you are improving your health.
Take measurements with flexible tape. Measure around…
- Your waist near the belly button
- Your thigh
- Your upper arm.
Keep a record of these measurements weekly. You will be able to see things changing for the better even if the scales aren’t moving much.
Conclusion : Does fat get softer before you lose it?
Yes, your fat may start to feel softer and more jiggly as you start to lose bodyweight. However, it’s not due to some magic whoosh effect but can be several different things.
The bottom line though is that if you measure yourself, especially around the waist, and things are shrinking, you are moving your health in the right direction. Stick to a healthy diet with natural foods, low carbs and lean protein and you will start to see results.
Keep going and you will start to see more results on the scales and a gradual improvement in your health.
Love and Light
PS If you would like a little more guidance to start your menopause weight loss journey I created a FREE guide which is a simple version of my Menopause Belly Fat Solution diet plan
You can download your free copy below. I hope it will help you on your menopause weight loss journey.