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Why Is My Face Getting So Fat?

It might be time to make a few healthy changes before you lose your chin.

You’ll likely first notice weight gain from your fat face. Weight gain in the face is a symptom of gaining weight everywhere else. While genetics and hormonal factors can contribute to the jowls and face fat, there are plenty of lifestyle adjustments that can help men lose weight, lose face fat, and keep the moon face from coming out. The secret of how to lose face fat, it turns out, is very straightforward.

“Facial bloating will tend to fluctuate day to day depending on the underlying issue causing it,” plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph Cruise explains. “Excess facial fat typically occurs from weight gain resulting from a poor diet, lack of exercise, aging or genetic conditions. Fat is usually more visible in the cheeks, jowls, under the chin and neck.”

Weight gain in the face happens when extra fat deposits build up around the sides, causing it to become gradually more round, full, puffy, and round. A person’s facial muscles and overall bone structure play a small part. For instance, faces can appear fuller when the masseter muscles between the jaw and cheeks are overdeveloped, Cruise notes. The term moon face may (hurtfully) be used by doctor’s looking at a fat face, but it specifically refers to a side effect of steroid treatment or a symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, which occurs when the body is exposed to excess cortisol for long periods of time. Cushing’s is typically caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland, or other adrenal gland diseases that affect hormone production, and can be treated with medication, radiation, and surgery. Other symptoms of Cushing’s include a fatty hump between your shoulders, erectile dysfunction, decreased fertility, pink and purple stretch marks, and depression.

Still, absent other symptoms, weight gain in the face usually comes from weight gain overall, Cruise says. That’s not to say that tackling face weight is simple, but it does come down to having broader weight loss and wellness goals. Facial exercises can help, but will mostly just make you feel weird in front of the mirror if you’re still housing burgers regularly without working out. Instead, try limiting sugar and salt intake, drinking plenty of water, getting more sleep, and managing your stress.

“Weight loss can change the shape of your face,” Cruise says. “Integrate lifestyle changes to get your body healthier as a whole and incorporate exercise and a healthy well-balanced diet.”

How to Lose Face Fat: A Cheat Sheet

  • Weight gain in the face is usually a symptom of weight gain overall.
  • The best approach to getting rid of moon face, then, is dietary: This means limiting sugar and salt intake, drinking plenty of water, eating more vegetables and less carbs.
  • Yes, this means that exercise is another effective way of getting rid of face fat.
  • Facial bloating will tend to fluctuate day to day, so give it a few hours if you’re looking more bloated than usual. 
  • It’s not always about weight: Moon face can be a side effect of steroid treatment or a symptom of Cushing’s syndrome, which occurs when the body is exposed to excess cortisol for long periods of time.
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