Whether you blame genetics, aging, gravity, unhealthy eating habits, or lack of exercise, excess fat in your neck can impact your appearance. The good news: you can slim down your neck by making lifestyle changes that are maintainable long-term. This should include a sensible diet and regular exercise that trigger weight loss from your entire body. Spot reduction isn't possible; your neck will only slim down when your body slims down.
Calorie-Blasting Aerobic Exercise
Aerobic exercise, or cardio, burns calories and helps slim down your body including your neck. Doing up to 300 minutes of moderately intense cardio can do the trick, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The more muscles you use during your cardio sessions the more calories you burn. Therefore, aim to engage both your upper and lower body. Swing your arms while jogging or walking fast, use a rowing machine, take a cardio-kickboxing class, play tennis or racquetball, or use an elliptical with handles that move.
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Muscle-Building Resistance Training
Resistance training, or strength training, prevents the loss of muscle tissue, and increases muscle tissue. This promotes weight loss, because muscle sustains itself by using up a lot of calories; your increased resting metabolism burns calories all day long. Additionally, you'll look slimmer, because muscle takes up less space than fat. Work your large muscles twice a week for optimal results. Perform compound exercises, such as pushups, bench presses and deadlifts. Also include combination exercises, such as lunges with side laterals, step-ups with front raises, and squats with overhead presses.
Neck-Firming Targeted Exercises
In addition to promoting neck flexibility, targeted exercises can firm the muscles responsible for bending, extending and rotating your head. These muscles include the sternocleidomastoid, and the splenius, semispinalis, spinalis, and longissimus capitis. Perform resistance exercises during which you push with your hand again the front, back or side or your head while moving your head against the resistance. For instance, push against your forehead with your hand and push your head forward. Rotating your head side to side, and tilting your head back and forth, and side to side, are also effective exercises. Complete five to 10 reps and three sets of each exercise.
Slimming Dietary Changes
To lose one to two pounds a week, a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories is needed. Although some of this can come from exercise, it can also partly come from your diet. Reducing portion sizes, and minimizing your intake of foods that are high in cholesterol, salt, sugar, and trans and saturated fats, can contribute, as can swapping out high-calorie foods for lower-calorie alternatives. Lean meats, nut, fish, poultry, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and reduced-fat dairy should be your go-to foods.
- Yale Scientific: Targeted Fat Loss: Myth or Reality?
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Ask the Trainer: Exercises for Losing Weight
- The 16 Minute Body Sculpting Kit; Richard Walters
- Illinois State University: Muscles of the Neck, Back, and Abdomen
- University of Maryland: Environmental Safety: Neck Exercises
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Aim for a Healthy Weight