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Aside from being beautiful, a fuller face is a nice asset when it comes to aging gracefully. Slim faces tend to make people look older, while apple cheeks are associated with youthfulness.
But when that fuller face is the result of genetics or extra weight all over, it can be annoying — there’s no shapewear for chubby cheeks.
Certain tricks, like a great camera angle and contouring (#MakeupMagic), can be quick fixes. But if you want a more permanently sculpted mug, some lifestyle adjustments can help.
Try these eight scientifically supported ways to lose fat from your face (and the rest of your bod). #Bonus
Get those eight glasses per day! A 2008 study found a strong correlation between drinking more water and shedding pounds. Reach for a glass of water before reaching for a snack, since we often confuse thirst for hunger.
Participants in another 2008 study responded “inappropriately” to their thirst or hunger cues 62 percent of the time. Some of those responses involved eating when they actually needed hydration, which led to unnecessary calorie consumption.
Some small studies have found that people who drink water before meals consume fewer calories, but more research with larger sample sizes is needed.
A small 2007 study found that drinking a half-liter of water (especially cold water) sped up participants’ metabolism by 24 percent for up to an hour afterward.
That’s because when we drink cold water, our bodies have to put some effort into warming it to body temperature. More research with larger samples is needed in this area too.
Drinking water can also help reduce puffiness and bloating in your face, since proper hydration decreases fluid retention.
Cardiovascular exercise is a great way to lose weight in your face and everywhere else. Cardio gets your heart rate up, gets you breathing heavier than normal, and usually triggers some sweat.
The intensity of cardio exercise can be low, moderate, or high. The higher the intensity and the longer you exercise, the more calories you burn.
If you’re short on time, try high-intensity interval training. Research shows it can burn more calories than a steady cardio session of the same length.
For example, try running or biking as fast as you can for up to 1 minute, and then slow to an easy speed for 3 or 4 minutes. Continue alternating intensity for at least 15 or 20 minutes for mega calorie burning.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, you should get 2.5 to 5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise or 1.25 to 2.5 hours of high-intensity aerobic exercise per week to see substantial changes in your weight.
Don’t be discouraged if gym memberships and elliptical machines aren’t your thing. There are many ways to get your cardio in, such as dancing, swimming, roller-skating, rock climbing, biking, kayaking, and karate classes.
Finding a cardio activity you really enjoy will increase your likelihood of doing it often and sticking with it long-term.
Alcohol is an inflammatory substance, and when mixed with sugary ingredients and carbonation, it can cause bloating, gas, fluid retention, and inflammation. All this can lead to a swollen face. Plus, the calories from alcohol can add up quickly.
Alcohol also causes dehydration, which means your body will try to hold on to fluid. This leads to puffiness — especially in your face.
Reducing your alcohol consumption can greatly help your quest for a chiseled face and other weight loss goals. It’s also an easy way to save a few bucks, amirite?
Staying up into the wee hours of the morning makes you more likely to engage in nighttime eating. A 2017 study found a correlation between after-dinner snacking and weight gain.
Nighttime snacking not only increases your intake but also confuses your body’s circadian rhythms. This is linked to weight gain even when extra calories aren’t being consumed.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is linked to a slower metabolism and increased appetite.
Sadly, subpar sleep is pretty common for most of us. Habits like drinking caffeine in the late afternoon and evening, not getting enough bright light during the day, and keeping lights and electronics on at night can significantly affect the quality of your sleep.
Sleeplessness can be visible on your face in the form of dark circles and puffy eyes, so getting 8 hours of rest can make your face even more fabulous. Check out our tips on getting a good night’s sleep.
Consuming too much sodium leads to fluid retention, which causes swelling and puffiness in your face and other areas. Reducing your sodium intake can slim down the appearance of your face.
The easiest way to reduce your sodium intake is to eat fewer processed foods. According to a 2017 study, Americans get about 70 percent of their sodium intake from foods eaten outside the home, like packaged foods and restaurant foods.
So skip the chips and frozen dinners and try to cook fresh and delicious meals yourself.
There’s limited info on the effectiveness of facial exercises for facial contouring. But since there aren’t any negative side effects, why not give it a try?
Anecdotal studies show that facial exercises may help tone and tighten facial muscles, possibly reducing face fat and leading to a slimmer appearance overall.
One small study suggested that performing facial muscle exercises twice a day for 8 weeks increased muscle tone and improved facial rejuvenation.
Some common facial exercises include clenching your teeth while holding a smile for several seconds at a time, puckering your lips and moving them back and forth on either side of your face, and moving air from cheek to cheek.
No weight loss plan is complete without cutting back on calories, especially those from refined carbs (like sugar). Refined carbs are found in foods like pasta, white rice, bread, cookies, crackers, chips, sugary drinks, and most baked goods and packaged snacks.
These foods offer little nutritional value and cause blood sugar spikes, which cause cravings and trigger your body to store fat.
Instead, choose nutrient-dense, satisfying eats like whole grains and high fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and legumes. Lean meats and dairy are also healthier alternatives to refined carbs.
Scaling back your sugar intake will help control cravings, improve your overall appetite, and reduce the urge to binge.
On your grocery runs, start by shopping the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grain breads, lean meats, and dairy products.
Once you’ve filled up your cart or basket with those foods, you won’t have much space left for the processed stuff from the center aisles.
The easiest way to get rid of fat in your face is to never gain it in the first place. Facial fat is generally linked to extra body fat. Following the above steps for a healthier lifestyle can help you prevent facial puffiness and maintain a svelte profile.
Chances are your face chub is cute and a key element of the secret sauce that makes you you! But if it bothers you, you can try some of these adjustments. Diet and exercise are the foundation of a lean face and body and (more importantly) a healthier you.
Get enough sleep, drink lots of water, limit your alcohol consumption, and reduce your salt intake, and you’ll be on your way to a face so defined it will even make handsome Squidward a little jelly.