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How to lose weight around your face: 6 safe and effective tips

Several strategies can help your face appear slimmer.

6 Tips For Losing Facial Fat | Juniper

If you’ve embarked on a weight loss journey, it’s only natural to expect your body to change. From the mental changes like greater clarity, more energy, and improved sleep, to the physical changes in your appearance, these are all to be expected and unique to the individual. 

But if you're wondering why such changes aren’t reflected in your face or why you might still be dealing with excess facial fat, you’re not alone. 

Face fat is the accumulation of excess fatty tissues on the face, giving it a rounder and fuller appearance. Though you might want to target specific areas of your body, it’s important to remember that when it comes to weight loss, you can’t target specific areas for fat reduction.

According to research, the regions you’re most likely to lose fat from first depend on your sex and genetics. For example, a 2017 study of male participants found they lost a higher percentage of weight in their torso than female participants [1].

So, you're probably asking yourself how to lose face fat. While a balanced diet and lifestyle changes are essential when losing weight, several strategies can help your face appear slimmer. 

From facial exercises to limiting alcohol consumption and cardio exercise, these tips will not only aid your weight loss journey and overall health but also serve to reduce facial puffiness. Let’s dive in!

What causes face fat?

When it comes to facial features, each of us is unique. The fullness of your face will depend on several factors, including genetics and your overall body fat percentage. For those with a higher body fat percentage, your cheeks will likely be larger. 

That being said, lifestyle and environmental factors can greatly contribute to face fat. Poor dietary habits like eating too many processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can lead to overall weight gain, which includes the face. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of sleep are potential contributors to weight gain, while stress can lead to increased fat accumulation — even in the face. 

Ageing is also an important consideration when looking at the causes of face fat. It turns out it’s not just fine lines we have to think about as we age; it’s also the loss of collagen and elastin stored in the skin. As these levels slowly decrease, sagging of the skin can make the appearance of facial fat more prominent. 

Facial puffiness can also give the appearance of excess facial fat, but there are several reasons this could be the case. Certain medications like ACE inhibitors and ARBs for high blood pressure can also contribute to puffiness, as well as high sodium intake, which causes fluid retention. Similarly, excessive alcohol intake can make your face look puffy due to the risk of dehydration. 

What foods lead to excess face fat?

For anyone who’s begun a weight loss journey, the importance of diet can’t be stressed enough. Just like losing excess body fat, to lose excess facial fat you need to begin with a balanced diet. However, when it comes to treating puffiness in the face, certain foods can lead to facial bloating and give the appearance of excess facial fat. 

Take the phenomenon of “sushi face” for instance. The term is often used by those who have gone out to enjoy sushi, only to wake up the next day and notice bloating in their cheeks and face. Make no mistake, though, it’s not an allergic reaction. It’s simply a result of fluid retention that comes from eating high-sodium foods, which then causes bloating.

It’s just one example, but if you want to reduce facial fat (or at least the appearance of it), you need to reduce your intake of high-sodium foods. This includes processed foods, canned soups, salty snacks, ramen, and pizza. 

Refined carbohydrates can also cause your face to store water and appear puffy. Pasta, white bread, white rice, crackers, and breakfast cereals are all examples of refined carbs. Often, eating these foods can cause your daily caloric intake to skyrocket, leading to weight gain and increased body fat. According to a 2019 study of female participants, a direct link was established between an increased intake of refined carbs and the risk of obesity [2].

To see the best results of overall fat loss, you want to eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Staying hydrated with water is also critical to seeing sustainable results. 

How does fat loss work?

The decision to embark on a weight loss journey is often a deeply personal one. Just as everyone’s progress and experience will be unique, you must also recognise that bodies are, too. This goes for fat storage, which is often predicated on factors outside of our control — like genetics and gender.  

Fat loss refers to the physiological process in which fat is broken down and used for energy. The primary focus to achieve fat loss is to be in a caloric deficit, whereby you’re burning more calories than you consume. Whether this is done by reducing your daily caloric intake or increasing physical activity with aerobic exercise to promote fat burning, the body begins to use energy in the form of fat as its main fuel source. 

Exercise can’t be overlooked either when it comes to fat loss. Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue, which makes strength training to build or maintain muscle a great aid to support fat loss. As well as this, the body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate after exercise to then use for recovery and repair of muscles. 

As the points above suggest, you can’t target specific fat loss or spot reduction areas. Weight loss occurs to the whole body, and often the body parts you lose fat from first are based on genetics. So, while your goal might be to lose face fat, it's important to look holistically at lowering excess fat across your entire body to lose facial fat.

But how do you combat fat stores in the face? These 6 tips will help reduce facial fat and its appearance in the cheeks. 

6 tips for losing facial fat

Here's what we recommend for those wanting to lose facial fat:

1. Eat more fibre

According to a 2019 study of 345 participants, increasing the dietary intake of fibre can promote weight loss amongst overweight and obese adults when supported with a calorie-restricted diet [3]. This was further supported by a 2020 review that found that consumption of soluble fibre can reduce body weight without restricting calories. 

Fibre is important for overall weight loss, as it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which can help to combat snacking and overeating. By increasing the amount of fibre in your diet, you can cut down on how much food you eat, leading to greater overall weight loss. Consider high-fibre foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.

Keep in mind that you should increase your daily intake of fibre gradually to avoid any uncomfortable digestive issues.

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking more water is important for any weight loss journey, regardless of where you want to lose fat. Not only is water important for optimum health and bodily functions, but it also helps you to flush out toxins from the body and hydrate cells and tissues. 

Because the brain can’t tell the difference between hunger and thirst, drinking more water can help you feel full and aid weight loss. Drinking water instead of beverages containing sugar is most effective for weight loss, with studies showing people who eat food with more calories adjust and eat less during the day. In contrast, those who drink more calories don’t make those same adjustments to remain within their daily intake goals.

If all that wasn’t enough to get you reaching for a glass of water, know that lack of water can lead to dehydration. This can cause your body to hold onto more water, leading to swelling, which makes your face appear bloated. 

3. Increase your aerobic exercise

To prevent weight gain and increased fat storage, exercising regularly is key. To enter a calorie deficit, you need to burn more calories than you consume and exercise can aid in this process. While any exercise benefits weight management, cardio or aerobic exercise is particularly great for losing fat. 

According to a 2019 study of 24 overweight women, after 12 weeks of aerobic exercise, they experienced significant reductions in fat mass and waist circumference, as well as an increase in lean body mass [4]. Cardio exercises can help you achieve your weight loss goals and have a slimming effect on the face, whether at a low or high intensity. 

4. Try facial exercises

Just as squats can help us tone and shape our leg muscles, facial exercises help to tone facial muscles and improve facial aesthetics. These muscle retraining exercises tone the muscles around the mouth, cheek, and jawline, giving you the appearance of facial fat loss.

Wondering where to start? Try these exercises:

  • Chin lift: Lean your head backward so that you face the ceiling. Then, create a kissing shape with your lips to create a strain at the jawline. From here, hold the position for 15 seconds and repeat it ten times. 
  • Lip pull: Try to lift your bottom lip upwards as far as you can by stretching out the jawbones. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and repeat this 15 times. 
  • Fish lip: Keep your head still, and suck in your cheeks and lips to create the look of a fish. Hold the position for 15-20 seconds and repeat the action 20 times. 
  • Jaw release: In a neutral sitting position, close your mouth and try to imagine you are chewing your food. Continue this for 20 seconds before relaxing. Then, repeat 10-15 times. 

5. Limit how much alcohol you consume

High alcohol consumption can put you at risk of dehydration. As mentioned with water intake, dehydration can cause your pace to puff up as your body is forced to hold onto water. It’s recommended that women have no more than 1 drink a day and men have no more than 2 drinks a day. 

Not only does alcohol make your face appear puffy the next day, but it also contributes extra calories to your diet. This can lead to overall weight gain and stall your weight loss efforts. 

6. Focus on sleep

Too often, sleep is overlooked when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. But anyone who wants a healthy lifestyle knows to make sleep a priority. Staying up late doesn’t just wreak havoc on your sleep schedule; a 2017 study found a direct correlation between late-night snacking and weight gain [5].

Sleep deprivation can disrupt your hormones, including ghrelin, which regulates your hunger cues and stress hormones. Those who get enough sleep are less likely to reach for sugary snacks or overeat. Aim to get 7 hours or more of sleep a night, according to the adult recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [6]. 

Though these strategies can certainly help in getting the appearance of a slimmer face, ultimately, it’s overall weight loss that will prove most beneficial. More important than facial exercises and a strict diet is looking at the behavioural changes required to achieve sustainable results. 

Thankfully, Juniper’s Weight Reset Programme provides expert guidance and access to groundbreaking medication. With an expertly designed programme led by seasoned medical professionals and health coaches, you can approach weight loss from a holistic view guaranteed to get you results.

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