How to Slim Down Your Face

Girl looking in the mirror
Woman looking in mirror. (Image: KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images)

The shape of your face is genetically determined, although exercises that tone your facial muscles might have a modest impact on your face's appearance. However, no amount of weight loss can turn a round face into an oval or rectangle, and you can't target the face, or any specific body area, for weight loss. If you are overweight and lose weight all over, though, your face is often one of the first places that the loss becomes noticeable to other people.

Natural Changes in Your Face

Moving from youth into adulthood naturally slims your face. You carry a little more facial fat in childhood and adolescence, only to find that a fuller face slims slightly once you reach maturity in your 20s. Your skin still has plenty of elasticity, and fat remains evenly distributed over your forehead, cheeks and chin. The evenly distributed fat of your youth loses volume and shifts downward as you age, however. You may notice jowls form in the neck, and the skin bags around the chin. Older women and men, who try to maintain an unnaturally slim frame may appear especially wrinkled. Weight loss shows in their cheeks and the hollows of their eyes because as the skin's elasticity diminishes, it becomes more saggy.

Slimmer Body, Slimmer Face

To slim down your face, you'll need to slim down your whole body. Reduce your calorie intake and move more so that you create a 250- to 1,000-calorie deficit between what you eat daily and what you burn. This deficit results in an average of a 1/2- to 2-pound per week loss, because 1 pound of fat equals 3,500 calories. Exercise at least 250 minutes per week to burn enough calories to yield significant weight loss, advises the American College of Sports Medicine.

A diet low in refined grains, sugar and saturated fats helps your weight loss. Make most of your meals consist of modest portions of lean meat, poultry, fish or tofu alongside fresh vegetables and whole grains. Replace processed snack mixes, chips and energy bars with fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt and nut butter.

Visible Slimming of the Face

When your comprehensive weight-loss plan creates enough loss to be noticeable in the face really depends on your body's fat-loss tendencies and your powers of observation. You may notice weight loss in the face of a colleague, or yourself, before you notice it in other parts of the body. You look at the face most often and are familiar with its details and nuances. It's not that weight loss was isolated to the face; it's just more obvious. Fluid often makes up much of the weight you lose quickly in the first few weeks of dietary and exercise changes. This water weight loss may be evident in the face.

When Weight Loss Isn't Necessary

If you're already at a healthy weight, don't try to lose weight to slim your face.Your face size and shape may be a matter of your genetics or certain medications, both of which you can't always control.

Corticosteroids such as prednisone, which help with autoimmune disorders and inflammatory conditions, can cause a "moon face" condition when taken long term. They encourage fluid retention and redistribute fat to the face, back and mid-section. If your doctor has prescribed these steroids to protect your health, a puffier face may be a side effect to which you must adjust.

Genetics may have blessed you with a round-, square- or heart-shaped face. The essential structure of your face can't be altered with diet or exercise. Certain hair cuts and methods of makeup application can create the illusion of a slimmer face, but these cosmetic tricks won't actually alter your physicality.

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