Having unwanted, excess body fat is not a typically pleasant experience, especially as we tend to look in a mirror every day and notice our face and neck first.

However, when it comes to losing weight in our face, this isn’t as easy as you may think. Spot reduction, or targeted fat loss, is an impossible concept and one of the biggest fat loss myths to circulate the internet.

When we embark on a fat loss journey, the goal is fat loss all-over, not just one specific area of our body.

So, next time you want to do an ab workout in the hopes it will shed belly fat, or do hundreds of squats to burn thigh fat, it simply doesn’t work like this.

The same applies to the face!

However, weight and fat are two different things. Fat loss is simply losing fat, while weight loss is commonly referred to as water weight, or some other kind of inflammation, when talking about the face specifically.

Facial bloating, or a puffy face, is a real and common ailment – which is different to simply storing excess fat in the face.

Before we get into how fat loss works and how this may help, let’s first look at facial bloating and some remedies to consider!

Facial Bloating: What it is and how to Reduce it

There are many factors that can cause facial bloating – some we can control and some we can’t.

Typically, this may occur after drinking alcohol, or eating high-sodium or high-sugar foods which cause us to hold more water, and this water can sometimes be held in the face.

While there is no way to prevent this per se, it would be a good idea to limit your intake of certain foods which are a trigger for you personally, or avoid eating too late at night where the effects may be more pronounced.

When this does occur, there may be a few hacks you can attempt to get the bloating to reduce, such as:

  • Jade rolling

A technique thought to boost circulation, which may assist in drainage and help illuminate your skin

  • Face yoga

Incorporating some simple facial exercises into your morning routine to help strengthen facial muscles, which may give a leaner shape

  • Rinse face with cold water

This may help reduce any possible swelling

  • Exercise

Morning exercise particularly may help reduce any swelling and bloating. Staying active in general may help this on a more long-term basis!

  • Nutrition

Addressing any nutritional downfalls and potential triggers would be key to improving your symptoms or avoiding them altogether. Possibly consider taking a multivitamin and ensuring your diet is balanced, varied, and nutritious!

So, facial bloating aside. What if we are simply storing excess fat in our face? This would be completely normal. But how would we get rid of face fat?

Well, to get rid of face fat, we would need to address fat loss from a whole-body perspective.

As we have established, spot reduction, or targeted fat loss, is simply not possible. Granted, some areas of the body are a little more stubborn when we lose fat, however the face is not typically one of those areas.

When we lose fat, we lose fat all over, and sometimes our face is the first thing people notice!

Let’s delve into how to lose fat and some of our top tips on making dietary changes to support your fat loss goals, and potentially reduce facial bloating.

How to Lose Fat

When talking about fat loss, calories are often mentioned first and foremost.

Our bodies use chemical energy to move, survive, and function, and this energy is measured in calories, which we obtain from food.

The number of calories we consume over a period of time determines our body weight – whether we lose, gain, or maintain our weight.

The number of calories we burn each day (our total daily energy expenditure) is based on our age, sex, weight, genetics, and activity levels.

To lose fat, we must simply burn less energy (calories) than we consume. Typically, this is done by reducing our food intake and increasing our activity levels (burning more calories and consuming fewer calories).

While this is simplified advice on what is actually a very tough and complex process, this is fundamentally how fat loss works.

Let’s try and look at this from a more practical perspective!

Losing Weight in Your Face: Practical Tips

  • Reduce portion sizes

The most obvious dietary change you would implement when embarking on a fat loss plan would be to reduce your portion sizes slightly. This would in turn cut down on calories.

Visually split your plate into 4 quarters – 1 quarter protein, 1 quarter carbohydrates, and 1 half vegetables!

  • Reduce highly processed foods

Over-consumption of highly processed foods can be a big boundary to losing fat. These foods are typically high in fat, sugar, salt, and calories, are highly palatable making them very easy to overeat.

Try to reduce your intake of these foods and moderate your intake of anything too high calorie – doing so would also help reduce bloating in the gut and face.

  • Food swaps

Food swaps tend to be an underrated method of cutting calories. For example, swapping full fat coke for diet coke, or Ben & Jerrys ice cream for Halo Top, or using spray oils for cooking. This would cut the calories but allow you to still enjoy your favorite foods.

  • Increase protein and vegetable intake

Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and an absolute stable to consider when losing fat. Try to centre each meal around a good quality source of protein, such as chicken, fish, beans, pulses, and eggs.

Additionally, increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables, and whole foods will also ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need for optimal health and everyday bodily function. This wouldn’t only help your fat loss progress, but your skin and gut will also thank you!

  • Increase daily movement and activity levels

Your daily movement is an easy factor to manipulate when it comes to burning more calories.

Increasing your daily step count goal, taking up an active hobby or sport, doing exercise you enjoy, or simply walking or standing at every opportunity would not only help you burn more calories, but also massively boost your health markers!

  • Drink water

Staying hydrated is vital for health. Not only does drinking plenty of water each day ensure you’re in good health, but it also helps curb cravings, and reduce water retention (face bloating).

  • Sleep well

Don’t underestimate the position of sleep on this list - it is probably the most important point here!

Lack of sleep can cause havoc in the body if it goes unaddressed. It can also make fat loss 10 times harder than it should be.

We recommend getting at least 7-8 hours of good quality sleep per night to ensure your mind is sharp, focused, and you reduce your risk of health issues.

Take-Home Message

There are many factors involved in why we may suffer from facial bloating or puffiness. While this may sometimes be excess stored body fat, it’s still important to address it if it’s making you unhappy.

If you find your face is puffy or bloated, try some simple home remedies for possible instant reduction.

However, the most important factors to consider long-term is nutrition and physical activity.

Reducing your calorie intake and highly processed foods while increasing nutrient-dense food sources and water could make all the difference!