How to Lose Face Fat? (9 Simple Tips You Need to Do)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: May 21, 2024
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As a personal trainer, I have many clients with very specific weight loss goals.

And while most of the time it’s all about belly fat, I’ve had a few people who have struggled to reduce facial fat.

The problem with targeted fat loss is that your body tends to get rid of easily accessible abdominal fat first. So, even with a healthy weight, you might still struggle with losing facial fat.

So, I teamed up with my dietitian and a few colleagues to research how to lose face fat in an effective way.

Quick Summary

  • To lose face fat, incorporate facial exercises, hydration, cardio, reduced refined carbs, less alcohol, increased fiber, adequate sleep, sugar avoidance, and sodium intake monitoring.
  • Poor diet commonly leads to general weight gain, which is a major contributor to facial fat.
  • Early research published in PubMed indicates a correlation between facial fat and insulin resistance.
  • In my opinion, addressing overall lifestyle and dietary habits is crucial for effectively reducing facial fat.

How Can You Lose Fat in Your Face?

A woman holding a weighing scale near her face

You can lose fat in your face with a combination of careful diet control, plenty of cardio and strength training, and targeted facial exercises for a more defined look. In my experience as a personal trainer, combining diet control, cardio, strength training, and facial exercises effectively reduces facial fat.

Let’s start with the diet part.

Dietitians and personal trainers would probably argue for all eternity about what percent of losing weight comes down to diet vs exercise.

But a reasonable assumption is to say that 70% of your success will depend on dieting [1].

And the same will be the case if you need to lose facial fat.

As for exercising for weight loss, you’ll want to have a combination of regular cardio and resistance training to achieve a higher calorie deficit, according to the University of New South Wales [2].

But there are also some simple face exercises that won’t involve a dodgy facial muscle exercise device you saw on a late-night shopping channel.

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What Causes Facial Fat?

Facial fat is most commonly caused by general weight gain, and the most common reason for that is a poor diet [3].

And one thing our team observed with many clients is that it seems like the early stages of obesity tend to affect the abdomen, legs, and chest.

It’s at much higher Body Mass Index (BMI) levels that the weight gain seems to affect facial fat in most cases.

The other thing we have experienced is that even as clients gradually progress toward a healthy weight, the fat loss in the face seems to be a lot slower.

We couldn’t find any scientific studies on this phenomenon, but when we asked a load of colleagues in online forums, most of them had seen similar results.

Genetics play a crucial role in facial fat composition, meaning that some individuals might naturally have fuller cheeks due to hereditary factors.

I’ll cover some tips on how to target fat loss to eliminate and prevent facial fat altogether.

Face Fat and Metabolic Disorders

A woman holding a measuring tape to her face

Insulin resistance is one of the most common metabolic disorders, and it’s directly tied to higher obesity levels.

Some early studies published in PubMed have found that facial fat is also a good predictor of insulin resistance [4]. In my observations, clients with more facial fat often show signs of insulin resistance, aligning with some early studies.

It's unclear whether insulin resistance leads to increased facial fat or vice versa.

However, poor diets, high in sugary treats and processed foods, are known contributors to metabolic disorders and facial fat.

Therefore, general weight loss is often the most effective approach for facial fat reduction.

Is It the Same Alcohol Bloating?

No, facial fat is not the same as alcohol bloating, even though many people often have that misconception. Based on my experience, I clarify to clients that facial fat is different from alcohol bloating.

As mentioned above, facial fat is excess energy stored in fat cells. But generally, alcohol-related bloating is a very different thing. 

Because alcohol is a diuretic, it means that excessive intake will start to dehydrate you.

And as the body loses water, it will try to hold onto as much as possible, and that can cause that puffiness in the face [5].

At the same time, regular and non-excessive alcohol consumption can still create a barrier to effective weight loss because of all the empty calories, according to the National Library of Medicine [6].

You’ll see shortly that cutting out alcohol is one of our important tips to reduce facial fat for that reason.

9 Tips to Lose Weight Around the Face

A person wiping face sweat in the gym

As a personal trainer, I strongly suggest you take these nine weight loss tips and make them part of your daily routine to lose chin fat and fats around your face. These tips helped many of my clients lose facial fat.

Adopting natural methods such as specific facial exercises, dietary adjustments, and increased hydration can gradually help diminish facial fat, offering a safer alternative to surgical procedures.

1. Facial Exercises

Studies published in JAMA Dermatology have shown that doing regular facial exercises can help reduce signs of aging and make your face appear slimmer [7].

It all comes down to how well your facial muscles work, and these experiments have shown that you can tone the face like the rest of your body.

Some simple facial exercises you can do multiple times are day are:

  • Puff up your cheeks with air and push it from side to side
  • Repeatedly smiling and relaxing with teeth clenched
  • Puckering your lips and moving them from side to side
  • Yawning, followed by blowing up your cheeks

2. Focus on Hydration

Dehydration can have a huge effect on how easily you’ll end up losing weight, according to the Frontiers in Nutrition [8].

First of all, drinking enough water can help with water weight management, so you don’t get that bloated, puffy face.

But it can also help you avoid snacking. Any time you feel like reaching for some chocolate or a can of soda, simply have a large glass of water instead [9].

Drinking sufficient amounts of water to lose weight can help you cut down on calories a lot, and beyond getting rid of excess facial fat, it should also help you feel a lot healthier.

3. Do More Cardio

A person jogging outside while looking at her smart watch

Reliable scientific studies published in Health and Quality of Life Outcomes have proven that cardio for weight loss is still one of the best ways to deal with excess body fat [10].

More effective weight loss, including in the facial area, can be achieved by varying your cardio intensity.

If your regular cardio routine isn't yielding results, consider switching up the type or intensity of your workouts, like incorporating high-intensity interval training, to enhance fat burning.

4. Cut Out Refined Carbs

If your diet is full of refined and simple carbs from highly processed food, then losing fat anywhere in your body will be more difficult [11].

Starting with your breakfast, make sure you switch those sugary cereals for whole grains. Those whole grains are slower to digest and will avoid blood sugar spikes [12].

And for lunch, try to get more calories from lean protein and healthy fat sources, like fish with an avocado salad.

Your healthy diet should also include the main evening meal that contains complex carbs from fresh green vegetables.

“Because of the fiber in whole grains, our body processes them more slowly, which means those units of glucose enter the bloodstream more gradually.”

- Eliza Sullivan, Food Writer at Mindbodygreen.com

5. Drink Less Alcohol

A woman holding red wine

It doesn’t take excessive alcohol intake to mess up your weight loss journey.

According to the Current Obesity Reports, even small regular amounts of alcoholic drinks add up to a lot more empty calories that will pile on extra body fat [13].

If you want to deal with excess fat and avoid puffy water retention in your face, then stop drinking any alcohol for a while and see for yourself how much of a difference this change can make to support weight management.

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6. Boost Your Fiber Intake

Fiber is one of the undervalued heroes of weight management, and studies published in PubMed have revealed two very interesting ways that it can help you lose weight [14].

Increasing fiber intake is beneficial for weight loss in two ways: firstly, fiber forms a gel in the stomach, which doesn't raise blood glucose or add to fat storage.

Secondly, soluble fiber helps in adhering to diets by making you feel full longer, leading to reduced calorie intake and more effective fat loss.

7. Make Sure You Sleep Well

A woman sleeping soundly

One research study published in International Journal of Obesity, in particular, looked at people’s weight gain and fat reduction processes depending on their sleep quality [15].

Research shows that better sleep not only aids in weight loss but also prevents weight gain.

Establish a consistent bedtime routine, avoiding screens before sleep, and aim for eight hours of quality sleep.

This approach is integral to my weight loss strategies for clients, also supporting muscle toning.

8. Avoid Sugar

Sugar consumption is one of the main contributors to metabolic disease and obesity [16].

High absorption of refined sugars leads to calorie increase and blood sugar spikes, impacting overall body fat, including the face.

Reducing refined sugar and moderating fructose intake from fresh fruits can significantly aid in reducing facial fat and promoting a healthier diet.

9. Check Your Sodium Intake

A woman drinking a fruit drink while looking at her smart watch in the kitchen

And finally, one of the ways to prevent excess facial fat is by making sure you don’t consume too much sodium.

According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, one of the most visible effects of excess sodium is that it not only increases your blood pressure but also causes water weight gain [17].

You’ll find that processed foods are typically full of sodium, and paying more attention to the nutritional labels of what you buy will help you avoid it altogether.

FAQs

Can Chewing Gum Reduce Face Fat?

No, chewing gum won’t reduce face fat. It might seem like a form of facial exercise, but simply chewing won’t target fat in one place [18].

It will take more than moving your facial muscles to get a slimmer face, and it all has to start with your diet.

Why Is Your Face Fat but You’re Skinny?

If you’re skinny but your face looks fat and bloated, then it’s probably down to water retention. It’s one of the most common causes of puffiness, and typical weight loss efforts won’t solve this problem [19].

Can You Lose Face Fat in a Week?

No, you probably won’t be able to lose face fat in a week.

While your weight loss and exercise efforts might start to show signs of improvement, it would generally take a few weeks or months to see more of an improvement.

What Foods Make Your Face Fat?

Foods rich in simple and refined carbs are most likely to make your face fat.

These are much faster for your body to digest than complex carbs, fat, and protein, and the resulting blood sugar spikes often result in increased fat storage processes.

References:

  1. https://thedailyguardian.com/7030-step-diet-the-new-fitness-mantra/
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210922121905.htm
  3. https://www.fatherly.com/health/doctor-explains-why-your-face-is-fat
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15488647/
  5. https://zwivel.com/how-alcohol-affects-skin/
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000886.htm
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885810/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/
  9. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/diets/1322597/weight-loss-tips-how-to-stop-snacking-drink-water
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5571495/
  11. https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2018/01/03/Study-links-processed-carb-consumption-to-weight-gain
  12. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/study-reveals-how-whole-grains-impact-blood-sugar-balance
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4338356/
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31174214/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7914147/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4822166/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5098396/
  18. https://bebodywise.com/blog/does-chewing-gum-reduce-face-fat/
  19. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/puffy-face-in-the-morning
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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