You can find workouts to tone your arms, abs, legs and butt. But what if the body part you want to target is your face? It may be harder to find specific exercises to reduce face fat or a double chin, but there are ways to help with overall fat loss, which can trim down your entire body and possibly tone your face in the process.
Experiment With Face Workouts
There is limited evidence that face workouts are effective. However, an August 2014 study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research showed that muscle retraining exercises like smiling and lip exercises can fight double chins and improve facial appearance. And an April 2018 study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal showed that using a Pao device (an anti-aging facial fitness product) for eight weeks increased facial muscle thickness and led to facial rejuvenation.
Run in Intervals
For a full-body workout that can help you also lose weight in your face or chin, try hitting the road. Running is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to get cardio exercise because you basically need only a pair of sneakers. To take your run to the next level, add a challenge like inclines or intervals, which will increase your heart rate and energy expenditure. Interval training — mixing bouts of sprinting with rest periods — is a fast way to burn calories and fat quickly.
In a March 2014 study published in Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism, after six weeks of sprint interval training — which included four to six all-out sprints with four minutes of active recovery, three times a week — healthy women reduced their body mass, fat mass and body fat percentage without changes in diet.
Do High-Intensity Interval Training
Intervals can be applied to more than just running; you can alternate between hard work and active recovery in a variety of workouts such as cycling, strength training or bodyweight exercises. And the best part is that calorie-burning high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are easy to fit into the busiest schedules since they don't require a ton of time to produce results.
According to a November 2017 study in Sports Medicine, HIIT workouts are a time-efficient method to decrease fat mass in both normal and obese adults. In addition, a July 2017 study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that after HIIT, compared to moderate continuous training, exercisers had higher post-exercise energy expenditure and excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). EPOC is the amount of oxygen needed to return your body to its resting state, which means high EPOC causes your body to continue to burn calories even after your workout is done. By torching fat, HIIT workouts can help reduce double chins.
Lift Heavy Weights
Strength training, or weightlifting, is an effective way to increase muscle mass. In a February 2015 study in the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, researchers compared the EPOC in participants after steady-state aerobic, intermittent aerobic, and resistance training sessions. They found that both resistance training and intermittent aerobic activity increased EPOC and led to higher daily caloric expenditure.
According to the American Council on Exercise, one pound of muscle burns five to seven calories a day at rest. By increasing your muscle mass, you can burn more calories. The increase may not seem significant, but it can add up over time.
A November 2014 Jama Pediatrics study of obese adolescents found a decrease in body percentage fat after both aerobic and resistance training, with possibly greater decreases in combining the two.
Don't Forget Diet and Water
Of course, exercise isn't the only part of the equation for maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. An October 2014 study in Systematic Reviews showed that a combination of diet and exercise was more effective for long-term weight loss than either diet or exercise alone.
Short-term solutions include drinking lots of water and curbing foods with salt and sugar, which can help you look and feel less bloated, resulting in less puffiness all around, including in your face.
- Aesthetic Surgery Journal: "Effect of a Facial Muscle Exercise Device on Facial Rejuvenation"
- Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: "Enhancing Facial Aesthetics With Muscle Retraining Exercises-A Review"
- Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism: "Running Sprint Interval Training Induces Fat Loss in Women"
- International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: "Effect of Acute Resistance Exercise on Postexercise Oxygen Consumption and Resting Metabolic Rate in Young Women"
- JAMA Pediatrics: "Effects of Aerobic Training, Resistance Training, or Both on Percentage Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in Obese Adolescents: The Healthy Eating Aerobic and Resistance Training in Youth Randomized Clinical Trial"
- Sports Medicine: "Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Total, Abdominal and Visceral Fat Mass"
- European Journal of Applied Physiology: "Acute Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training and Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training Sessions on Cardiorespiratory Parameters in Healthy Young Men"
- Systematic Reviews: "Impact of Long-Term Lifestyle Programmes on Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Overweight/Obese Participants"
- Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport: "EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic and Resistance Training"
- American Council on Exercise: "Why You Should Be Lifting Heavy"