This was me in 2014.
And this was in me 2016.
And this is me now.
I know a thing or 2 about how to lose face fat from personal experience. If you’re like me and are feeling a little “puffy” I’ve got some good and bad news.
Good news: It is 10000% possible to lose fat in your face.
Bad News: You can’t spot target fat, including in your face. I don’t care what fitness guru out there is telling you to do some facial slimming exercises…they won’t work. In order to lose face fat you need to lose fat overall. Lose fat overall…you’ll lose face fat too!
So let’s dive in.
In order to lose fat overall you need to be in a calorie deficit.
Ok but what the heck is a calorie deficit?! A calorie deficit basically means you are eating less calories than your body burns throughout the day. Before you panic, I’m not just talking about calories burned through exercise(that’s actually a very small amount of your total calories burned). I’m talking about the total calories you burn everyday just by existing as a human. So ditch what your apple watch is telling you, that’s not the full picture.
It’s pretty dang hard to know the exact number of calories you’re burning as a human(and to try to increase it for that matter), so the best way to be in a calorie deficit is by doing so through your nutrition. The simplest way to be certain you’re eating in a deficit is to find your calorie deficit calories and calorie count to ensure you’re not going over those calories.
How do you go about finding your calorie deficit calories? I’m going to hit you with a super simple equation:
You goal body weight in pounds x 12 = daily calorie target
Do not overthink this. Your goal body weight is just where you think you’d feel most comfortable. You aren’t locked into this for life. It can change and you may in fact be happy at a weight higher than this down the line. The point is just to get an initial calorie target to get you started.
Real life example: You think you’d feel like your best bad self at 155lbs.
155lbs x 12 = 1,860 calories/day
What if you have a lot of weight to lose? Should you still use goal bodyweight? Yes, but take it in chunks. If you have 100lbs to lose try taking it in 30lbs increments so your deficit feels more manageable and less restrictive.
Got your calories? Amazing! Now let’s talk about how to really lose face fat and be successful with this calorie deficit.
It’s not enough to just have a calorie target and the perfect plan. In order to lose face fat you actually need to follow through and take action. You want to strive for 80% or more consistency in hitting your calorie target.
That means in a 30 day month you only go over your calories 6 days. Get out a calendar and physically track this too. Everyday you hit your calories, put an X on the calendar. Everyday you don’t, leave it blank. You should have 6 or less blank days at the end of the month.
What if you have more than 6 blank days? That’s a good indicator that you need to increase your consistency. 80% consistency is what you need to really see substantial progress. Anything less than that is going to make losing face fat feel really hard without giving you much progress.
How can you be more consistent?
I get it…this sh*t can be tough. But there are a few ways to make losing face fat feel easier so you’re able to be more consistent.
Eating mostly nutrient dense foods. You can absolutely lose face fat while eating chips, brownies and pizza but those may not keep you the most full and it may feel harder to stay within your deficit calories as a result. Instead, prioritize things like protein, vegetables and complex carbs at most meals. This will keep you more full and make your deficit feel more manageable. By prioritizing these nutrient dense foods you’ll also be able to eat MORE food without necessarily eating more calories. A big dinner with chicken, potatoes & zucchini for 450 calories will keep you a lot more full than a single brownie for the same amount of calories. Absolutely incorporate these “fun” foods too but building your plate with mostly nutrient dense food will keep you more full and satisfied.
Another way to stay more consistent in your calorie deficit while trying to lose face fat?
Calorie Cycling: If you’re someone who likes to be more social on the weekends or gets hungrier on certain days(like training days!)…calorie cycling may be a good option for you. This just means some days you eat a little bit under your calorie target and other days you eat a little bit over it so that on average, you’re hitting your calorie target for the week.
Let’s go back to that 1,860 calories/day target. Calorie Cycling may look like the following:
Monday: 1750 calories
Tuesday: 1750 calories
Wednesday: 1750 calories
Thursday: 1750 calories
Friday: 2000 calories
Saturday: 2000 calories
Sunday: 2000 calories
Daily average calorie target: 1,857.
(1750x4 days) + (2000x3 days)/ 7 days = 1,857
This doesn’t mean treat your higher calorie days as a complete free for all. But it does give you some more flexibility to go out to eat, enjoy some drinks, and just feel a little bit more full some days so that you’re able to maintain your deficit for longer and more consistently. The longer you’re able to stick to your deficit, the more fat you’ll be able to lose overall.
Ok now you have a few strategies for being more consistent. Let’s talk about what else you need besides a calorie deficit to lose face fat.
NEAT calories: AKA calories not burned through purposeful exercise.
I mentioned earlier that a calorie deficit means that you’re eating less than your body is burning throughout the day and that MOST of those calories come from just living and breathing as a human. Another chunk of your daily calories burned comes from non-exercise activity thermogenesis. This is a very fancy way of saying your overall daily movement not from workouts. Things like walking up the stairs, grocery shopping, vacuuming, getting up to get some water, dancing in the kitchen, fidgeting, etc.
The more you move throughout the day, the more your body will be burning which can be a big key to losing fat and remaining in a deficit. Yes most of being in a deficit comes from controlling your calorie intake but being less sedentary throughout the day sure does help!
How can you increase your NEAT calories: park further away, clean your house, do a few laps every time you get up to use the bathroom, set a timer to move a little every hour, and a lot more!
These little bits throughout the day will really add up.
Ok so I get movement NOT from workouts matter but what about actual workouts? Do I need those to lose face fat?
Technically no you don’t need workouts in order to lose face fat and especially not any weird face exercises. BUT cardio & strength training are both very beneficial for your overall health.
Strength training can improve your bone density, posture and metabolism. It can also make everyday activities like picking things up off the floor, carrying around your kids, and moving around in general feel a lot easier! Not to mention lifting weights can be extreeeeeemly empowering and make you feel like a total bada*s.
And if this still hasn’t sold you, strength training is how you build muscle and achieve that toned look so many of you are searching for!
In order to strength train effectively you want to be following a well rounded program that utilizes progressive overload. AKA gets harder over time by increasing weight, reps, sets, changing tempo, more advanced variations, etc. (I create custom programs for my clients here). 2-4 strength training sessions a week is absolutely fantastic.
Cardio on the other hand is crucial for your heart and overall health. Regular cardio reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, can decrease your blood pressure and lower your resting heart rate. The American Heart Association recommends 150mins/week of moderate intensity aerobic exercise which for many of us is a brisk walking pace.
If all of this exercise together sounds like too much, no worries! Take it chunk by chunk. Start with daily walks, then add strength training. Start with 2 days/week and work your way up to 4. You can always add more over time as you get more consistent.
While neither strength training or cardio are specifically needed to lose face fat(or fat overall!), both are beneficial to long term health and well being.
So there you have it…your official guide on how to lose face fat…kind of :) I promise you though, if you follow the above not only will you lose fat overall you will also lose face fat as you’ve been hoping.
If you feel like you’ve tried all of this and it’s still not really working for you, have no fear! I want to help :) Sign up for 1:1 coaching here so I can create a personalized plan for you that addresses your unique goals and hurdles.