Diet for Double Chin

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You can't outrun a double chin, but exercise may help with general weight loss. (Image: golero/E+/GettyImages)

The idea that more is better applies to lots of things, such as ice cream and free time, but not so much when it comes to chins. Romance writers speak of desirable chins as being delicately stubborn or chiseled and strong — but never as abundant or sumptuously folded. Reducing or removing a double chin is not as easy or as much fun as being swept off your feet, but with a bit of effort, you can be your own hero or at least get a little closer to looking like one.

Causes of a Double Chin

Common sense would suggest that a double chin is caused by excess fat, but this is not always the case, according to the experts at Medical News Today. A person of normal weight might develop a double chin because of sagging skin caused by either genetics or the effects of aging. Other causes of a double chin can include poor posture. If you tend to slouch rather than standing straight, the muscles in your neck can start to atrophy a bit, contributing to the saggy look of your chin area.

Retained water can also cause your entire face to look puffy, contributing to your double chin. Water retention can be caused by certain medications, as well as by eating too many starchy carbs or salty foods, according to a study published in the September 2015 issue of the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Procedures to Remove a Double Chin

When diet and exercise are not effective in visibly reducing the appearance of your double chin, you may want to consider a cosmetic intervention. As reported by University of Utah Health Sciences, two FDA-approved treatments can remove excess fat from this problem area.

CoolSculpting is a relatively new method of targeted fat removal. The procedure is based on freezing certain fat cells, which then "die" as a result of the freezing. With one treatment covering a specific area of the body, about 20 percent of that area's fat will leave the body. This means that it may take more than one CoolSculpting neck treatment to remove a stubborn extra chin.

The FDA has also approved Kybella, a chemical that is injected via a needle under the chin. This fat-dissolving chemical occurs naturally in your body and will work on any stubborn fat deposits — though Kybella was specifically approved for use on the face. It typically takes two to four injections for the chemical to melt the accumulated fat in this area, leaving you with a sharper, firmer jaw line.

All medical treatments involve risk, so make sure you do your research before deciding to pursue treatment with CoolSculpting or Kybella. Liposuction has not been approved for use on the face, so be wary of any cosmetic clinic that offers it as a solution for a double chin.

Dietary Solutions for a Double Chin

Diet and exercise can help you achieve a leaner and more fit body, but it is not possible to specifically remove chin fat through these methods alone. However, you can lessen the look of chin fat if you release any excess water you may be retaining.

The best way to ease water retention is to drink more water. According to the experts at the University of Chicago, to keep your kidneys healthy, you should be drinking 3 to 4 liters of water every day. This is a lot of water — almost a gallon. While drinking that much is probably not practical for everyone, aiming for between 32 and 64 ounces of water per day in addition to the water in tea, coffee, vegetables and fruits can help flush out any excess.

Reducing your sodium intake and avoiding starchy carbs, especially salty, processed ones like crackers and chips, can go a long way toward easing water retention. Increase your intake of citrus juices as well, because they're a natural diuretic.

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