People often gain fat around the face when fat develops around the rest of the body. However, some strategies may help reduce facial fat. Tips include facial exercises, getting enough sleep, drinking more water, and making dietary changes.

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Making certain lifestyle changes can help a person lose weight and achieve a slimmer-looking face.

This article outlines seven effective tips that may help prevent and reduce excess facial fat.

Weight loss in general tends to have a slimming effect on the face.

Cardio exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, may be particularly beneficial for weight loss.

According to one 2019 study in 24 women with overweight, following a 12-week aerobic exercise program resulted in significant reductions in fat mass and waist circumference, along with an increase in lean body mass.

People can perform cardio exercises at a low, moderate, or high intensity. According to some research, performing higher intensity cardio workouts several times per week helps burn more fat.

For example, a 2015 study investigated the effects of different amounts of exercise on body fat in postmenopausal women. All participants took part in moderate-to-high intensity workouts for 12 months. Those who worked out for 300 minutes each week burned more fat than those who performed workouts for 150 minutes per week.

Although these studies did not measure facial fat loss directly, they suggest that cardio exercise is particularly effective at burning fat.

Overall, weight loss, in general, is likely to have a slimming effect on the face.

There is some evidence to suggest that exercising the facial muscles can help reduce facial fat.

For example, an older 2014 article suggests that performing facial exercises may help strengthen and tone the facial muscles. However, it is not clear whether these exercises also help reduce facial fat.

In fact, there are no studies that look at the relationship between facial exercises and loss of facial fat. Nonetheless, facial exercises may help the face appear firmer as a person loses weight.

Excessive alcohol intake can cause dehydration, which can prompt the body to retain water. In some cases, this may lead to water retention in the face, which can make the face appear bloated and puffy.

Alcohol may also contribute to weight gain. It contains empty calories, which offer no nutritional benefit. Consuming empty calories increases a person’s total daily calorie intake, promoting weight gain.

Also, some research suggests that alcohol can suppress hormones that help people feel full. This can stimulate a person to take in more calories from their diet.

A 2015 review of alcohol consumption and obesity suggests a link between weight gain and excessive alcohol consumption. Heavy drinking and binge drinking appears to pose the greatest risks for weight gain.

Some people experience the same effects in response to moderate alcohol intake. However, for most people, moderate alcohol consumption does not promote weight gain.

People who find it challenging to lose facial fat or weight, in general, may wish to consider reducing their alcohol consumption.

Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help a person feel fuller.

This can help reduce the total number of calories a person consumes. For this reason, drinking water before a meal can lead to gradual weight loss.

According to a 2016 review of hydration and weight loss, water consumption also promotes lipolysis. Lipolysis occurs when the body breaks down fat stores into fatty acids that it can use as energy. Making use of these fat stores is key to losing weight.

Getting the right amount of sleep has a range of health benefits. Conversely, not getting enough sleep may lead to weight gain.

For example, lack of sleep affects the levels of certain hormones that promote feelings of hunger and fullness. Specifically, lack of sleep seems to increase levels of the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, and lower levels of the hormone leptin, which tells the body that it is full.

As a result, a person who has sleep loss may eat more, and they may turn to foods higher in calories.

Getting adequate sleep can help prevent weight gain. This, in turn, may help decrease the amount of fat stored in the face.

Diets high in processed foods, including refined carbohydrates, may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity.

Processed foods tend to contain more calories, salt, and sugar than whole foods. Refined carbohydrates are a group of highly processed, grain-based foods. During processing, these foods lose fiber and nutrients. As a result, they are high in empty calories.

Refined carbohydrates can also cause rapid spikes in blood sugar, which may encourage a person to overeat.

Examples of refined carbohydrate foods include:

  • pasta
  • white rice
  • white bread
  • sucrose
  • syrups and frostings
  • most breakfast cereals
  • reduced-fat products

In most cases, people can find reasonable replacements for overly processed foods and refined carbohydrates. A person can decrease their caloric intake and increase the amount of nutrients they consume by eating fresh whole foods.

When combined with exercise, a healthy, balanced diet may help people lose excess fat in the face and body.

Diets high in salt cause the body to retain water. Water retention causes swelling and puffiness in various parts of the body, including the face. This may give the illusion of excess facial fat.

People who suspect they are sensitive to fluid retention should try to limit foods with high salt content. This includes most processed meals and snacks. Preparing meals and snacks at home gives people greater control over the amount of salt in their diet.

As the body stops holding onto fluid, the face should start to appear slimmer.

Losing extra body fat and maintaining a moderate weight may help the face appear slimmer and prevent excess facial fat.

However, there is little evidence to support spot reduction or targeted fat loss from a specific part of the body.

In fact, fat cells stored throughout the body can be broken down and used as energy while working out, regardless of the specific part of the body that a person is exercising.

For this reason, it is better to focus on reducing overall body fat through healthy diet and lifestyle changes rather than losing fat from a certain area, such as the face.

The best way for people to prevent facial fat is to maintain a healthy weight by making lifestyle changes. A person with overweight or obesity is more likely to have fat around their face than a person who maintains a moderate weight.

Some tips to reach or maintain a moderate weight include:

  • exercising regularly and incorporating plenty of cardio routines
  • eating a balanced diet rich in lean protein and whole fruits and vegetables
  • limiting the consumption of processed foods
  • drinking plenty of water and avoiding sugary drinks, including energy drinks, juices, and sodas

Here are some common questions about reducing facial fat.

How can I lose face fat in a week?

Reducing alcohol consumption, getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, and limiting salt intake are a few simple ways to reduce swelling and fluid retention, which may make the face appear slimmer.

What foods make the face fat?

There are no specific foods that can increase facial fat. However, consuming more calories than a person uses each day can contribute to weight gain, which could lead to increased facial fat over time.

Why is my face getting fat but not my body?

Increased facial fat is typically due to weight gain. It may also be as a result of water retention, which can make the face appear puffy or swollen. Making changes to a person’s diet and lifestyle can help support weight management and prevent excess facial fat.

Few studies have investigated ways to reduce facial fat directly.

The best way to prevent and reduce facial fat is to maintain a moderate weight generally. People can achieve this by altering their diet, exercising regularly, and getting the right amount of sleep.

Cardio exercises are particularly beneficial for burning excess body fat. Weight loss, in general, should make the face appear leaner.

If a person is struggling to lose weight, they may wish to consult a dietitian, a doctor, or a personal trainer. People should always talk with a doctor before making major changes to their diet or exercise routines.