How to Lose Face Fat: Complete, No BS Guide

by | Fitness

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.

What’s the Best Way to Slim Down Your Face?

Here’s the truth. Losing face fat is similar to losing fat from any other place of your body. Adipose tissue (stored fat) on your face is identical to that on your belly, arms, legs, etc.

Most weight loss protocols will result in a slimmer face. The key is to have your body in a state where it's forced to tap into its fat stores.

This can happen when your energy intake (food) goes down. Or when energy expenditure (exercise) goes up. When external sources of energy can’t cover the body’s needs, it starts using its fat reserves. This is how you get leaner.

The Quickest Solution to Chubby Cheeks and a Double Chin

Total body fat loss will always result in a slimmer face. In fact, the face is one of the first places where you lose fat. No need to do anything special. Pick any good diet routine and you’ll likely get the results you want.

The problem is you can’t control where and when you’re getting leaner. Spot reduction simply doesn’t happen. During the first couple of weeks, your belly may be getting smaller. But no change on your face. Suddenly your double chin disappears. Then it takes another few weeks to see your chubby cheeks shrink down.

There is some research that suggests fat targetting is not a complete myth. But even in that case subjects underwent a general weight loss protocol. Also, the focus was on the legs and arms.

It’s not clear if the same approach will work for targetted face fat reduction. Even if it did, it will be hard to implement a complete face exercise circuit. Proven weight loss strategies are likely your most cost-efficient approach.

How to Make Your Face Appear Less Round?

Despite losing weight some people don’t see a notable change in their face shape. If that’s the case for you, consider these 2 points:

  • It’s likely you need to lose more weight. Some people store more face fat than others. Or maybe you’re dealing with stubborn fat. You just need to be persistent. Eventually, you’ll lose fat from every body part.
  • You naturally have a round face. Muscle and fat mass you can manipulate to an extent. But the bone structure of your face won’t change. Getting leaner or selecting the right haircut for your face certainly helps. However, keep your expectations realistic.

Note: having a naturally round shape is not a bad thing. It’s what makes you unique. A lot of people find this facial structure very attractive.

What’s the Difference Between Face Fat and Water Retention?

Both fat accumulation and water retention can change your (natural) appearance. But holding water has an acute effect that usually goes away in 1-2 days.

If you wake up to find your face puffy and rounded, it’s usually water retention. Fat gain happens slowly, especially on your face. An overnight change is likely due to holding up extra water.

There are a few factors that can cause this:

  • increased sodium intake
  • increased carb intake
  • poor or no sleep
  • stress (including the stress of dieting)
  • hormonal changes (e.g. menstrual cycle)

Going back to your usual routine and diet can reverse water retention. Increasing liquid intake also helps the body flush the extra water.

How Long Does It Take to Burn Off Face Fat?

Unlike other parts of the body, the face can’t store a lot of fat. It’s one of the places where you put on fat last but lose it first. However, there are individual differences. Some people have an easier time achieving a round face than others.

Another factor is the total amount of adipose tissue. If you have a couple of extra pounds it won’t take long to get back your lean face. But if you already have a sagging double chin, it may take a some time.

Most people lose their chubby cheeks when they go below 20% body fat. At 15% (or less) even stubborn face fat is gone. Your starting point will determine how long it will take.

Note: you can expect to lose about 0.5-1% of body fat a week.

Here are a few rough estimates based on different starting points:

  • no gut but lacking any muscle definition (~20% body fat): about 1-2 months
  • clearly visible gut, round face, double chin (~25% body fat): about 2-4 months
  • sagging belly and arm fat (30% or more): possibly more than 6 months

The quality of your diet makes a huge difference. The main goal is to limit caloric consumption. Otherwise you won’t be burning any fat.

What Exercises You Can Do for a Defined Jawline?

Facial muscles are very hard to train directly. And unlike your biceps or chest face muscles won’t get much bigger. So this component of your head you can’t change much.

Your jawline is mostly determined by the bone structure and amount (or lack of) excess fat. Note that exercises target muscles. They have no direct effect on bone and fat. At least not in adults.

Facial development is linked to what you ate when growing up. If your diet consisted of solid foods requiring a lot of chewing you probably ended up with a strong jaw. Soft processed foods prevent normal skull growth However, jaw development ends when you stop growing up.

The only aspect you have control over is facial adipose tissue. You gain face fat when total body weight increases. When you lose weight your face slims down. This naturally changes its shape.

Regardless of bone structure, a lean face always has a better-looking jawline compared to a puffy and round face. Weight loss helps achieve a more elongated shape and better definition.

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