Can You Lose Fat in Your Face?

Many people gain weight. It’s common to want to lose weight in one particular area of your body – like your face. While you can’t reduce fat in one area alone, you can take steps to slim your face and lose weight overall.

Losing Fat in One Body Part

Some people believe that they can lose fat in a single area of their body. This concept is also called spot reduction. There are many exercises that target specific body parts, like your stomach or thighs. While exercises do help build specific muscles, they primarily improve your definition after weight loss. Exercises, including strength training, help you burn fat from your entire body.‌

If you want to lose fat in your face, focus on healthy weight loss goals to better your overall health. You may be tempted to follow an exercise regimen or diet that boasts desired results, but don’t be fooled. Spot reduction is a myth. When you lose weight in general, you will also slim your face.‌

Each person loses weight differently. Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t see a difference in your face right away. Be patient and persistent in pursuing your weight loss goals. If you do strength training, the scale may not move as much as you want. This happens because your body is adding weight in lean muscle. You will still see a difference in your face and overall appearance with time.

Face Exercises

While you can’t fat burn for your face alone, you can tone your facial muscles. Benefits of facial exercises include:

  • Improving your appearance
  • Slowing down aging‌
  • Improving your muscle strength‌

Examples of facial exercises include:

  • Holding air in your mouth and pushing your cheeks out. Move the air from side to side to stretch your muscles.
  • Puckering your lips in the middle and then alternating your pucker from side to side. 
  • Holding a big smile while clenching your teeth together.‌
  • Stretching your neck out while pressing your tongue to the roof of your mouth. This stretches the muscles under your chin.‌

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One study showed that completing facial exercises twice a day for 8 weeks added muscle definition. It also improved the appearance of aging in participants. The key to making a difference in the appearance of your face is consistency.‌‌

It's important to understand that there is no data showing that facial exercises reduce facial fat. You can only reduce fat through diet and full-body exercises like cardio and strength training. Facial exercises are a good way to enhance your results.

Healthy Lifestyle

When you want to lose weight to improve your appearance overall, you may research popular diets. You can use any strategy you want, but it all comes down to eating less. To lose fat in your face, you want to have a calorie deficit each day. You can focus on eating more healthy foods and cutting back on sugar and fat. Losing weight burns fat from all over your body. While there isn’t a diet that targets facial fat specifically, you will notice results after some time.‌

Cut carbs instead of fat. You may think it makes sense to cut fat from your diet in order to lose fat from your body. This is a myth that may actually hinder your weight loss. Instead, follow a low-carb diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy, and healthy fats.

Get Active

You burn more calories each day when you exercise and do strength training. To maintain your weight, you should get 150 minutes of moderate cardio each week. If you want to lose weight and reduce your fat, plan to spend even more time active. Examples of moderate cardio may include:

  • Walking at around 4 miles per hour
  • Doing light yard work like raking and bagging leaves
  • Shoveling snow
  • Playing outside with your children ‌
  • Riding a bicycle‌

If you’d rather spend less time active, aim for 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. These activities make you breathe heavily and challenge your body more. Examples of vigorous activities may include:

  • Jogging or running
  • Jumping rope
  • Playing a competitive sport
  • Swimming
  • Skating or rollerblading‌
  • Skiing

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Stay Hydrated

If you drink soda and other sugary drinks, cut them out of your diet. Calories from juice and soda add up quickly. Instead, drink more water. Studies show that drinking a glass of water before a meal makes you feel fuller faster. Drinking more water also increases your metabolism, so you burn more calories throughout the day.

WebMD Feature Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 10, 2021

Sources

SOURCES:

Ace Fitness: “Myths and Misconceptions: Spot Reduction and Feeling the Burn.”

Aesthetic Surgery Journal: “Effect of a Facial Muscle Exercise Device on Facial Rejuvenation.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight.”

Harvard Medical School: “Diet & Weight Loss.”

Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: “Enhancing Facial Aesthetics with Muscle Retraining Exercises-A Review.”

Journal of Clinical Nutrition Research: “Effect of Pre-meal Water Consumption on Energy Intake and Satiety in Non-obese Young Adults.”

© 2021 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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