I have a chubby face. Do I hate it? No. Am I fond of it? Also no. As with traffic and in-laws — I just deal with it. After trying the teas, taking the supplements, and visiting weight loss centers and medi spas, I’ve adopted the mantra “what will be, will be.” In other words, if I’m predestined to have a fat face, then fine: You win this one, universe.
Then again, I’m not a quitter. It’s why I decided to dig deep into the world of face fat. My goal? To uncover the real way to get a slimmer face. The result? My findings and their application actually made a difference in my face. Here’s what I learned.
What causes face fat?
Simply put, facial fat is caused by weight gain, which is often due to factors like a poor diet and lack of exercise. Still, aging, hormones, and genetics can also play a role. While some folks are more likely to store fat around their waistline, others store it in and around the face. As a result, these faces appear rounder and fuller. That said, the distribution of fat on an individual’s face can vary from person to person. Typically, it’s most visible in the jowls, cheeks, and neck, as well as under the chin.
Is it possible to lose fat from just your face?
Here’s the truth: It’s not possible to spot reduce fat from any one part of your body — those facial exercises just aren’t going to get rid of chubby cheeks. To repeat: Spot reducing fat from a specific part of your body isn’t possible, and that includes excess facial fat.
The reason is simple: spot reduction as a form of fat burning doesn’t work. It’s an outdated concept that once theorized doing specific workouts could reduce fat in specific areas of the body, such as your jawline or cheeks. For instance, doing lunges to burn fat around the thighs or ab exercises to melt belly fat.
But here’s the reality — fat doesn’t melt. And it technically doesn’t “burn,” either. However, I suppose “burning fat” is an accurate depiction of the process, as fat does get released from cells for energy when you’re in a calorie deficit. Unfortunately, if you’re aiming to make your face look slimmer, the systems responsible for this complex process don’t take into consideration the parts of the body we’d most like the fat to be drawn from … such as the face. In other words, if you’re on a mission to lose face fat and reach your weight loss goals, a comprehensive approach to reducing your overall body fat is your best bet, as spot reduction doesn’t actually work.
How can you tell the difference between face fat and bloating?
Sometimes — especially after an indulgent night of takeout or chocolate — your face can take on a bit of puffiness. Don’t panic. Your cheat meal didn’t cause you to pack on the pounds overnight. You’re probably just bloated.
Weight gain and excess body fat take place when extra fat deposits build up, causing your face to become more round, puffy, and full. While the reason behind weight gain varies from person to person, a poor diet, lack of exercise, and genetic makeup are typically to blame. On the flip side, facial bloating is notoriously known to fluctuate as it depends on the underlying cause.
For example, if you’re pre-menstrual or just ate an especially salty meal, you may notice that your face is puffier than usual. Why? Because both sodium in excess and hormone changes can cause bloating. However, unlike face fat via weight gain, a bloated face will typically slim back down within 24 hours. A chubby face due to weight gain, on the other hand, takes more time and effort. This is because losing face fat requires losing total body fat.
OK, then what’s the best way to get a slimmer face?
Whether you’re dealing with a stubborn double chin or especially puffy cheeks, the one tried and tested method to achieve a slimmer face is to reduce overall body fat. With this in mind, here are a few tips to get you started.
Bump up the fiber.
Almost everyone is familiar with the wonderful benefits of eating a healthy diet that’s low in processed foods and refined flour. But did you know that a diet rich in fiber and complex carbs can also support sustainable fat loss? According to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, eating as little as 30 grams of fiber a day from veggies, whole grains, and fruits can support healthy weight loss, reduce blood pressure, and improve the body’s response to insulin.
Drink plenty of water.
Drinking water not only supports a healthy metabolism but also keeps you full and reduces cravings. Plus, not drinking enough H2O can trigger the body to store more water — like in the cheeks. In short, drinking water is important, especially if you’re trying to lose face fat.
Cut back on the booze.
I love the occasional cocktail or glass of wine — and thankfully, that’s totally fine. However, excessive alcohol intake can be one of the biggest culprits behind weight gain and bloating. Not only does alcohol contain mostly empty calories that can contribute to weight gain, but it can also act as a diuretic, which can lead to dehydration and water retention. Of course, cutting back on the booze won’t magically erase your double chin, but it can definitely help to reduce stubborn body fat.
Get enough sleep.
Did you know that a lack of quality shut-eye can increase your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can manifest into inconsistent eating patterns and an uptick in body and facial fat? Yup, it’s true — to reduce overall body fat, sleep is of the utmost importance. The National Sleep Foundation guideline advises that healthy adults get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep per night.
Hit the gym.
To reduce the fat in your face, you’ll need to reduce your overall fat percentage. One effective way to do this is by doing cardiovascular exercise. Cardio exercise is fantastic for the heart as it helps the muscle get stronger and become more efficient at pumping blood. In addition to supporting a healthy blood pressure and strong bones, aerobic exercise provides a number of wonderful benefits for your overall health and wellness; it can even promote restful sleep, which is great news for people who experience sleep issues. In terms of weight loss, cardiovascular exercise can also burn some major calories, so if you’re looking to achieve a slender face, incorporating cardio into your fitness routine is a good start. If you’re a bigger fan of strength training, combining cardio with your current workouts can boost your overall weight loss.
A Final Word on Face Fat Reduction
Despite what you may have been told, the real way to get a slimmer face is to reduce your overall body fat. In other words, spot reduction doesn’t work for weight management; you’ll have to focus on shedding fat from your entire body as opposed to just your face. If you think this sounds tough, I won’t lie to you — it can be.
Losing weight is no easy feat as it takes time, consistency, and dedication. But with the five tips listed above, you may find that your face fat disappears sooner rather than later. Just be sure to consult your healthcare provider before you start a new fitness routine or begin a new diet. While you’ll likely get the green light, it’s always a good idea to keep your doctor in the loop around health and lifestyle changes.