We all carry and store fat in different ways. For some, a moment on the lips really is a lifetime on the hips; for others, a decadent weekend away indulging in everything that is good in the world reveals itself around the waistline. Then for some, the first sign of gaining a few pounds is a puffier, rounder face. And, unlike any other area of the body, your face is not the easiest area to cover up until you've managed to get it back to where you want it to be.
There are other factors that can also contribute to a fuller-looking face. Changes in your hormones—such as your period or pregnancy—can make your body retain water and therefore your face can look a little bloated. Thyroid issues can also cause your face to look rounder. However, if it's down to weight gain, then how do you shift it? Well, as with any type of weight gain, there is no quick fix, but if you find the face is the first place you put on weight, the good news is that it's likely the first place you lose it from, too.
Read on to find out more about how to banish face fat.
Whilst it would be lovely to be able to sit around, eat more and lose weight, that's just not going to happen, so we're here to give you a little reality check. If you've put weight on your face, it's because you're not burning enough of the energy you're putting into your body; therefore your body is storing it as fat. The only way to get rid of it is to burn it off, and that means getting off the sofa, switching off Love Island (harsh, we know) and doing some exercise.
"There is no exercise that is going to specifically target the fat on your face," says personal trainer Gemma Yates. "It's a case of any exercise will do as long as you do it. And I'm talking cardio here: You need to get your heart rate up and into that fat-burning zone by working at a high intensity. It also results in EPOC—excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption—where your body works hard to repay the oxygen deficit from exercise for up to 24 hours later. In other words, you burn more calories afterwards than you would working out at a lower intensity."
So whether that's swimming (a great option if you have joint problems), a HIIT workout that you can do at home to fit around your schedule or simply putting on your trainers and going for a brisk walk—invest in a Fitbit (£80) to monitor how many steps you take, and each day, try to walk more—the key is doing it.
Diet Is Key
You are what you eat, so to carve out a more chiselled face, you need to be fuelling your body with a healthy, balanced diet whilst also making sure you avoid certain foods that naturally make your body (and your face) retain more water and therefore look bloated.
Sugar Isn't Your Friend
The problem with the white stuff is that it's addictive. When we eat too much of it, as is inevitable, our body produces too much insulin and that can cause water retention and lead to (you guessed it!) a puffy face. Limit your intake of refined sugars (that's sweets and cakes), and reduce the sweet substitutes like agave and Stevia, too. Instead, if you fancy a sweet treat, try some berries with Greek yoghurt and cinnamon or cacao powder. It should be enough to satiate your craving.
Farewell, Fast Food
You don't need to be a rocket scientist to realise that cutting out fast food will help you lose weight, but more specifically than that, it's about reducing the amount of sodium you're consuming which your takeaway is filled with. If you have too much salt in your system, your body clings onto all the water it can so it doesn't dehydrate which is why your face can look puffy. Of course, salt (sodium chloride) is necessary to regulate hydration levels and to assist in nerve and muscle activity but the UK guidelines for sodium intake are 6g salt (2.4g sodium).
If you're not able to eat a home-cooked meal three times a day, be sure to check the salt contents of any packets.
While we wish we could tell you that there was a magic cream that would evaporate fat from your face, we're afraid the reality is that, like anywhere else on your body, if you want to lose fat on your face, it requires willpower, time and effort, but it is totally doable.