When you’ve got a few extra pounds around your face, it’s not always easy to get rid of them. Most diets focus on calorie counting and portion control. These diets may work temporarily, but they won’t help you get rid of stubborn face fat.
In this guide, we’ll address the important factors you need to consider to get rid of your face fat for good.
The Causes of Face Fat
Face fat is the layer of fat that lies beneath the skin on the forehead, cheeks, under the chin, and jawline. It’s often referred to as “double chin,” “jowls,” or “Bahamian fat.” It’s more noticeable when you don’t have a beard.
These areas are susceptible to changes in hormones. Face fat can affect your self-esteem, causing you to feel unsatisfied with your appearance.
How to identify the signs of facial fat buildup
Most of us have a good idea that fat is on our bodies, but what do you do when it builds up around your face? Face fat is submental or supraclavicular fat and can build up around the neck and face over time.
It’s also responsible for many signs of aging – dark circles, deep lines, and sagging skin. The good news is that face fat is completely fixable through diet and exercise.
The bad news is that face fat is stubborn, hiding in hard-to-reach places like the nose, upper cheeks, and forehead. That’s why getting rid of it will take a multistep process.
Step 1: Identify the Problem Area
Start by measuring your face area, including all the areas that contribute to the overall circumference. Include the cheeks and jawline, but don’t forget about the nose and upper lip.
With a tape measure, measure the circumference of your face and record the results. You should get numbers such as 19 inches around the face, 4.5 inches at the brow bone, and 4 inches around the nose.
Don’t forget to measure yourself once under each eye and at the top of your head (also known as a crown or occipital ridge). These are important because they’re often overlooked in traditional body fat calipers tests.
Step 2: Measure Your Results
Now you can compare your face measurements to the chart below. See where you fall on the continuum between thin and fat.
Thin normal weight
10% to 19% body fat 12″ to 14″ around the face, 16.5″ at the brow bone, 19″ at the nose
20% to 29% body fat 13″ to 17″ around the face, 16.5″ at the brow bone, 19″ at the nose
30% and above body fat 14″ to 18″ around the face, 17″ at the brow bone, 19″ at the nose
Body Fat Percentage Over 30%
Bulky or muscular builds have higher percentages of body fat.
Note: Body fat percentage is the actual amount of body fat versus what is measured by a DEXA scan (aka the “underwater weighing” method).
Step 3: Identify Your Face Shape
You’ll need to know your face shape to determine which diet and exercise plan is best for you. There are five basic face shapes: Round, Oval, Heart, Triangular, and Square.
- For a round face, avoid junk food, refined carbs, saturated fats, and anything high in sugar.
- Stick to fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Focus on building muscle through weight training and HIIT workouts.
- For an oval face, focus on eating foods that are high in antioxidants and low in fats.
- Choose lean proteins, healthy fats, and plenty of greens.
- Avoid salty and sugary snacks.
- See exercise videos or online courses with advice from trainers specializing in treating people with cancer and inflammatory bowel disease.
- For a heart-shaped face, stick to a plant-based diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Stick to lean proteins like fish and chicken, and limit red meat.
- Choose exercise videos or online courses with trainer advice on heart health.
- For a triangular face, focus on gaining muscle.
- Choose HIIT workouts focusing on building muscle, increasing strength, and boosting fat burning.
- Don’t forget to drink plenty of water while you work out.
- For a square face, aim to gain weight in your midsection by eating plenty of foods high in protein, such as eggs, yogurt, nuts, and beans.
- Choose foods low in carbs, such as vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.
- Avoid fatty meats and high-fat dairy products.
- Stick to exercise videos or online courses with trainer advice on building muscle.
Step 4: Create a New Food Plan
Now that you have your body measurements and an idea of your face shape, it’s time to put all this information together into a new food plan.
Start by creating a shopping list of the foods you need to reach your daily calorie goal. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim for 1,500 calories or less per day.
If you want to gain weight, aim for 1,800 calories per day. Choose healthy foods that will fill you up, but don’t overload on calories, so you’re not overeating and sabotaging your goals.
Below is a sample week’s worth of meals (with calorie counts) for someone who wants to lose weight. You’ll eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks daily.
Focus on eating “clean” foods low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats, and sodium. (Saturated fat is commonly found in animal foods like red meat, butter, and whole-fat dairy products.
Some saturated fats are tolerable in small amounts; too much can raise your risk of heart disease.
Some studies suggest that too much-saturated fat can harm your body’s ability to absorb calcium. Whole-fat dairy products are also good sources of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D.
For example, a cup of low-fat plain yogurt contains about 180 calories, 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of fat.
Other examples of “clean” foods in your diet include Plant-based foods: veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and Non-starchy veggies: broccoli, Brussel’s sprouts, asparagus, green beans, etc.
The role of exercise in losing face fat
Facial exercise can help to reduce face fat by increasing your overall fitness level and burning calories. Additionally, specific facial exercises that target the facial muscles can help to tone and slim down your appearance.
“But I Hate Exercise!”
Don’t worry. You can do plenty of simple home workouts that don’t require special equipment. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Take a walk or hike: walking is an easy, low-impact exercise you can do almost anywhere. Get your kids to join you!
Parkour: this high-intensity workout is about jumping and moving quickly from place to place. You don’t need any special skills, just a desire to get fit. Try jumping between parked cars or scaling a fence.
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Touch your palms above your head and walk your hands up the wall until your arms are straight.
- Walk your hands back down the wall and then move to the right side, walk your hands up the wall, and continue.
Once you’ve completed one side, repeat on the other side.
“I don’t have time to exercise!”
Believe it or not, there are ways to squeeze in workouts even when you’re pressed for time. You can:
Pay attention to how you’re feeling throughout the day. If you feel restless, bored, or anxious, that’s a good sign that you need to be more active.
Schedule workouts into your calendar. Set reminders for yourself, so you don’t forget!
Try these three daily tips and see if they help you keep up your exercise routine when you don’t have much time.
The role of stress plays in excess weight or face fat
Stress is our body’s way of telling us that we must take action. When stress is chronic or prolonged, it can wreak havoc on your health.
Understanding the effects of stress on your weight can help you live a more productive life, feel better, and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other illnesses.
The stress hormone cortisol can contribute to face fat, as it encourages the body to store fat in the abdominal area. When stressed, our bodies go into “fight or flight” mode, which means that we’re more likely to crave high-fat, high-sugar foods that will give us an energy boost.
An increased cortisol level also causes water retention in the body, giving you a puffy face.
However, your brain also releases chemicals called endorphins when you’re stressed. These chemicals can make you feel good and want to engage in activities that help you relax.
If you regularly practice stress-reduction techniques, like meditation or yoga, the endorphins will help reduce your risk of excess face fat.
Avoid high-stress situations and learn how to handle them calmly. When possible, ask yourself: “How can I change this situation to one that’s more relaxed?”
The importance of a healthy diet
A balanced diet is essential to reducing chubby cheeks. Eating a diet high in healthy fats such as proteins and fiber will help to reduce face fat.
Unhealthy foods or a poor diet such as processed foods, sugary drinks, and refined carbs can contribute to face fat. Reducing your intake of these foods and replacing them with healthier options will help to reduce face fat.
How to adjust your lifestyle to avoid gaining weight or face fat
People have different lifestyle habits that may impact their face fat. However, some potential lifestyle changes that could help reduce face fat include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and better sleep quality. Reducing stress levels may also help, as stress can lead to weight gain and fluid retention, contributing to facial puffiness.
How supplements and drugs can help to reduce face fat.
Supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, can help to reduce face fat by reducing inflammation. Surgery to remove excess fat can also be effective. However, it is usually only recommended for those who are very overweight.
Drugs that target the hormones that control appetite can also help to reduce face fat. These drugs can help to reduce the amount of food that you eat and can also help to increase the amount of energy that you burn. However, many of these drugs can have side effects, including dry mouth, trouble sleeping, and weight gain.
Lifestyle changes are a necessary part of any weight loss or muscle-building plan. A healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress reduction are all essential to maintaining a healthy weight and improving your appearance. However, if you need additional help, various options are available.