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Will Losing Weight Reduce Jowls?

by
author image James Roland
James Roland started writing professionally in 1987. A former reporter and editor with the "Sarasota Herald-Tribune," he currently oversees such publications as the "Cleveland Clinic Heart Advisor" and UCLA's "Healthy Years." Roland earned his Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Oregon.
Will Losing Weight Reduce Jowls?
Jowls and double-chins are the result of aging and the decrease in elasticity of facial muscles and skin. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Jowls are the areas of the face under the jaw line that give the face a heavier or saggy appearance. They are often among the first areas people target when they have face lifts. While losing weight can certainly change the appearance of the face, it may not always minimize the look and appearance of jowls to the satisfaction of the person who lost the weight. As a result, when weight loss cannot lead to a satisfactory solution, a conversation about possible interventions, such as plastic surgery, is in order.

Natural Changes

When you're young, your face tends to have a valentine shape with firm, rosy checks and and a taut jaw line. But with age comes the loss of collage, elastin and the volume in the upper part of the face. Over time, the face tends to shift from a triangular shape with the point at the bottom to more of a square shape, with jowls occupying the sides and lower edges of the square.

Overall Weight Loss

As much as people would love to "spot reduce" and lose weight primarily in certain parts of the body, such an approach is impossible. However, if you lose weight through dietary and exercise changes, the face is among the first areas to show that weight loss. A significant amount of weight loss will result in a thinner appearance in the face, but depending on the degree to which jowls have formed, the overall effect may not be what you desired.

When Weight Loss Isn't Enough

If you lose weight and your face starts to show a difference, you may not see the results you're hoping for in your jowls, which are largely the product of gravity and genetics, rather than weight gain. Part of what can make jowls so pronounced is the hollowing of the cheeks that accompanies aging. Plastic surgery procedures that use fillers to plump up cheekbones and restore volume to the upper part of the face may minimize any sagging in the jowls that has started to occur.

Weight Training and Exercise

Weight training, which may put you in a gym with free weights and machines, can actually help you reduce the look and progression of jowls. The more lean muscle mass you build up anywhere in the body, the more you're supporting muscles everywhere. Muscle processes calories at a much more efficient rate than fat does, which means the more muscle mass you build up in your body, the better your body burns calories even when you're not working out. That extra calorie burning can help at least slow the age-related effects of jowls and other results of gravity on the body.

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