Losing weight can be a challenge on its own, let alone losing weight from a specific area of your body. Particularly, extra fat in the face can be a frustrating issue to solve if it bothers you.
But are there any ways to lose face fat, or are we just stuck with what we’ve got? The answer is a bit of both.
Aside from being beautiful, a fuller face is a nice asset when it comes to aging gracefully. Slim faces tend to make people look older, while apple cheeks are associated with youthfulness.
Working out how to lose weight from your face can be tricky – but it can be done. Whether it’s inflammation or you’re simply carrying too much fat around your neck and cheeks, it’s certainly possible to make the best of your situation and reveal some of your bone structure.
We’ve all had that moment where we look in the mirror and don’t recognise the puffy-cheeked person looking back at us. With age, we all inevitably fall victim to the insidious weight gain, and the face definitely can bear the brunt of the effects of Father Time.
But when that fuller face is the result of genetics or extra weight all over, it can be annoying — there’s no shapewear for chubby cheeks.
While there’s no real way to target weight loss to just one part of your body, including the face, the best way to lose weight in your face is to lose weight overall. And the best way to achieve this is (you guessed it!) through exercise and a balanced, healthy diet.
Face fat can be frustrating and potentially impact your confidence because our faces are always on show. But if you can understand why it happens, then you’re part of the way to helping get rid of it, and potentially preventing it from developing in the first place.
But there’s some good news too. While our experts point out that you can’t specifically target your face when losing weight, PT Carly Yue has some reassuring words on the exercise front:
Facial fat is the second most stubborn fat in the body. In most cases, even if you lose overall weight, facial fat is pretty evident. An overweight or obese person is more likely to have fat on their face than a person who maintains a healthy weight.
There are other factors that can contribute to a fuller-looking face, particularly for women. Changes in your hormones—such as your period or pregnancy—can make your body retain water and, therefore, make your face look a little bloated. Thyroid issues can also cause your face to look rounder.1 But there are some things we can do, from changing our diet to exercising, that can have major impacts on the puffiness and complexion of our faces.
In this article we cover everything you need to know to get rid of face fat. Learn how to adjust your approach to avoid spinning your wheels for months. Your unique facial structure and fat distribution need to be addressed accordingly.
Effective Tips to Lose Face Fat
If you’re looking how to lose weight from your face, you’ll have to realise some factors are out of your control. To some extent, our genes determine our facial shape: whether we’ll have wobbly jowls; chubby cheeks; a flabby jawline or a double chin. They’ll also have a say in whether or not we’ll store inflammation in the face or elsewhere in the body. If you’re looking how to lose weight from your face, you’ll have to realise
There are, however, ways to mitigate those scenarios and other potential factors that could be causing your ‘moon face’. Sun exposure, food allergies, fluid retention, thyroid issues can all lead to bloating and facial swelling or it could be as simple as eating the wrong type of food late at night. Facial fat is notoriously difficult to shift once you have it, so prevention is definitely the way to go.
But before you start Googling ‘facial liposuction’ it’s worth investigating the possible causes and the easy-to-do remedies listed below to help shift, or keep, the weight off your face.
Facial exercises can be used to improve facial appearance, combat aging, and improve muscle strength.
Anecdotal reports claim that adding facial exercises to your routine can also tone facial muscles, making your face appear slimmer.
Some of the most popular exercises involve puffing out your cheeks and pushing the air from side to side, puckering your lips on alternating sides, and holding a smile while clenching your teeth for several seconds at a time.
Although evidence is limited, one review reported that facial exercises may build muscle tone in your face.
Another study showed that performing facial muscle exercises twice per day for 8 weeks increased muscle thickness and improved facial rejuvenation.
Keep in mind that research is lacking on the effectiveness of facial exercises for fat loss specifically. More studies are needed to evaluate how these exercises may impact facial fat in humans.
Practice Cardio Exercise
Weight loss in general tends to have a slimming effect on the face.
There are many different types of exercise, and some are more effective at promoting weight loss than others.
One 2012 study investigated the effects of different types of exercise on fat mass in people with overweight and obesity. In total, 119 adults took part in one of the following three 8-month exercise programs:
- aerobics training (AT), a type of cardiovascular exercise
- resistance training (RT), which primarily builds lean muscle
- a combination of AT and RT
Both the AT group and the combination group showed greater reductions in fat mass compared with the RT group. However, there was no significant difference in outcomes between these groups.
The study authors therefore conclude that people mainly looking to burn fat should opt for AT exercises over RT exercises.
People can perform cardio exercises at a low, moderate, or high intensity. According to some research, performing higher intensity cardio workouts several times per week helps burn more fat.
For example, a 2015 study investigated the effects of different amounts of exercise on body fat in postmenopausal women. All participants took part in moderate-to-high intensity workouts for 12 months. Those who worked out for 300 minutes each week burned more fat than those who performed workouts for 150 minutes per week.
Although these studies did not measure facial fat loss directly, they suggest that cardio exercise is particularly effective at burning fat.
Overall, weight loss in general is likely to have a slimming effect on the face.
Water Is The Way
Get those eight glasses per day! A 2008 study found a strong correlation between drinking more water and shedding pounds. Reach for a glass of water before reaching for a snack, since we often confuse thirst for hunger.
Participants in another 2008 study responded “inappropriately” to their thirst or hunger cues 62 percent of the time. Some of those responses involved eating when they actually needed hydration, which led to unnecessary calorie consumption.
Some small studies have found that people who drink water before meals consume fewer calories, but more research with larger sample sizes is needed.
A small 2007 study found that drinking a half-liter of water (especially cold water) sped up participants’ metabolism by 24 percent for up to an hour afterward.
That’s because when we drink cold water, our bodies have to put some effort into warming it to body temperature. More research with larger samples is needed in this area too.
Drinking water can also help reduce puffiness and bloating in your face, since proper hydration decreases fluid retention.
Cut Back on Sodium
The adage that you are what you eat actually rings pretty true. If certain foods make you bloat (salty potato chips, sodium-rich sushi), they’ll naturally contribute to puffiness and should, therefore, be avoided—at least, most of the time. You don’t need to be a nutritionist to realize that cutting out fast food will help you lose weight, but it’s also about reducing the amount of sodium you’re consuming.
If you have too much salt in your system, your body clings onto all the water it can so it doesn’t dehydrate, which is why your face can look puffy. Of course, salt (sodium chloride) is necessary to regulate hydration levels and to assist in nerve and muscle activity, but the CDC recommends Americans consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day as part of a healthy eating pattern.2 If you’re not able to eat a home-cooked meal three times a day, be sure to check the salt contents of any packets.
Eat The Right Foods For A Healthier Diet
A diet that is low in processed foods and refined flour (like white bread and pasta) will be healthier for you. Instead, try to eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, foods with fiber, fish, and other protein rich foods.
Try not to eat food with a lot of salt (avoid junk food as it’s loaded with salt). Salt encourages your body to retain more water, so it will bloat your face. Sugar is also linked to a fatter face. Processed carbs with a lot of sugar in them are going to cause face bloat.
Although people who are underage should not drink alcohol, another negative side effect of alcohol is that it causes the face to bloat by dehydrating the body. Some good food choices include almonds, broccoli, spinach, and salmon.
Get More Sleep To Help Your Endocrine System Work Properly
A lack of sleep may predispose you to issues with your endocrine system, such as diabetes. Get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night to wake rested and refreshed, and to promote a healthy endocrine system. This may help prevent problems that might lead to facial weight gain.
Try to make your bedroom a relaxing place to promote better sleep, such as by keeping it cool, dark, clean, and quiet.
You can also get better sleep by limiting or avoiding caffeine, shutting off screens at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and avoiding doing anything other than sleeping in your bed.
Effective Facial Exercises
Facial exercises are extremely effective in toning up the face muscles and give a slimmer, younger-looking rejuvenated face. Try incorporating some these amazing exercises into a daily workout regimen.
Lip Pull Exercise
Keeping your head still, try to lift the bottom lip upwards as far as you can by stretching out the jawbones. Hold the position for 15 -20 seconds and repeat it 15 times.
The exercise will give a total facelift, pointed chin and sharp jawbones.
Chin Lift Exercise
Standing still, lean your head backward so that you face the ceiling. Now, pull your lips into a kissing shape to create strain at the jawline. Hold the position for 15 secs and repeat it 10 times.
The exercise is effective in giving a defined jawline and chin.
Fish Lip Exercise
Keeping your head still, suck your cheeks and lips inside your mouth and make your lips like a fish. Stay in this position for 15-20 seconds and repeat it 20 times.
The fish lip exercise helps to tone and stretch the cheek muscles giving it a slimmer look.
Jaw Release Exercise
Sitting in a neutral position, close your mouth and try to create the effect of chewing your food. Continue this for 20 seconds, relax and repeat it 10-15 times.
The exercise will help reduce double chin and give a flattering jawline.
Fill your mouth with air and try creating the effect of passing the air from one side of the cheek to the other side as if you are using a mouth wash. Continue the exercise for 15 seconds, relax and repeat it 10 times.
This technique will also help to tone the cheek muscles and give a carved jawline.
Try The Blowing Air Exercise
This exercise helps solve your chubby cheeks issue by working nearly every neck and facial muscles. It is, in fact, one of the best facial exercises to reduce the chubby cheeks and double chin. It will give your face a natural lift and a leaner appearance. Simply grab a chair and sit with your back straight, and then tilt your head back so that you are facing the ceiling. The next step is to pull in your lips and attempt to blow out air. Do this for several seconds, and then relax.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
While enjoying the occasional glass of wine with dinner is fine, going overboard with your alcohol intake can be one of the biggest contributors to facial fat accumulation and bloating.
Alcohol is high in calories but low in nutrients and may be associated with an increased risk of weight gain.
Keeping your alcohol consumption in check is the best way to control alcohol-induced bloating and weight gain.
According to the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate drinking is defined as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women.
Get That Heart Rate Up
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to lose weight in your face and everywhere else. Cardio gets your heart rate up, gets you breathing heavier than normal, and usually triggers some sweat.
The intensity of cardio exercise can be low, moderate, or high. The higher the intensity and the longer you exercise, the more calories you burn.
If you’re short on time, try high-intensity interval training. Research shows it can burn more calories than a steady cardio session of the same length.
For example, try running or biking as fast as you can for up to 1 minute, and then slow to an easy speed for 3 or 4 minutes. Continue alternating intensity for at least 15 or 20 minutes for mega calorie burning.
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
We’ve written at length about the many impacts sugar can have on the human body, so it’s no surprise that it can have an effect on both your skin and your weight. “Sugar certainly doesn’t help in terms of added weight or your complexion,” says Sikorski.
Not only will lessening your sugar intake provide you with more energy (and without the dreaded sugar crash later), it will help maintain a more youthful appearance. In fact, a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that those who consume a diet low in sugar may be less prone to wrinkles and sagging (which can contribute to a puffier appearance)
Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Vegetable and seed oils, which feature heavily in processed foods, are known to cause inflammation in the body and some people claim that vegetables that are part of the nightshade family (soanaceae) – tomatoes, aubergine, peppers – can exacerbate swelling. Supermodel Gisele Bündchen and her American football star husband Tom Brady, for example, steer clear.
Pack your diet with anti-inflammatory foods such as blueberries, turmeric, oily fish and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale.
To ensure good gut health, you could also add probiotic foods to your regime, such as sourdough bread, natural yoghurt, miso and sauerkraut.
Although yoga postures may not be as quick as other facial slimming exercises, they are natural, effective, long-lasting and quite a pain-less technique. The below-mentioned yoga poses are sure to show positive results if performed properly.
Simha Mudra (Lion Pose)
Come on all fours, kneel down and put your hands on your thighs. Open your mouth wide while sticking out your tongue forcefully downwards, towards the chin. While breathing through the mouth, create a sound from down the throat that replicates the roar of a lion. Repeat the exercise 5 times.
The lion pose not only tones and stretches the facial muscles but also works up the area near the thyroid glands.
Jivha Bandha (Locked Tongue Pose)
Sit in the padmasana posture. Put your hands comfortably on your thighs. Try moving the tip of your tongue towards the upper back of your mouth as if you are trying to swallow it. While the tongue is at the back of your mouth, try opening your mouth wide till you feel a stretch in your throat and neck muscles. Relax for a minute and repeat 5 times.
The locked tongue pose is extremely effective in toning all the facial muscles while bestowing you with a chiseled your face and a defined jawline.
Smiling gives you the chance to exercise those facial muscles and trim down the cheek fat. It is the best workout that you can do for your cheeks. You are also brightening up your and everyone’s day.
Eat More Fiber
One of the most popular recommendations for slimming your face and losing cheek fat is to increase your intake of fiber.
Fiber is a compound in plant foods that moves slowly through your digestive tract, keeping you feeling fuller for longer to curb cravings and decrease appetite.
According to one study in 345 people with overweight and obesity, higher fiber intake was associated with increased weight loss and improved adherence to a low calorie diet.
Another review of 62 studies showed that eating more soluble fiber, which is a type of fiber that forms a gel when mixed with water, may reduce both body weight and waist circumference, even without restricting calories.
Fiber is naturally found in a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.
Ideally, you should aim to consume at least 25–38 grams of fiber per day from these food sources.