Ever been called "Chipmunk Cheeks?" How 'bout "Fathead?" Don't take it personally. Chances are that you are one of the unfortunates that puts your first ten pounds on in your face. To drag that double chin of yours up off the ground, keep in mind the following:
- You're in good company. Think John Travolta, Vince Vaughan, Kate Bosworth and Renee Zellwegger (though if the pounds went to our lips like they do on Renee, we might all catch up with Angelina Jolie).
- Abdominal obesity is known to correlate with various diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and so on. No such data on weight in the face! In fact, if you're carrying five pounds on your face, that's five that are not around your belly.
- You're highly motivated to stay slim. Since extra weight in the face is about as attractive as wearing a watermelon, you are most likely to see a photo of yourself and cut the calories immediately. If on the other hand, that extra weight is carried somewhere it doesn't look back at you, you may be able to convince yourself that your jeans are tight due to the dryer.
- You'll look younger longer. As we age, our faces naturally thin. Because your face has more cushion to begin with, it will take longer to thin.
Now to break the news: There's not much you can do to lose weight in your face. You inherited the beautiful smile, the contagious giggle, AND the cheeks. You probably don't have to look far to know where they came from: Thanks, Mom. Although crackpot theories about how to lose weight in your face do abound--from steaming your face to going under the knife--there are several real-life options:
- Reduce refined sugar and carbohydrates. Some nutritionists theorize that excessive consumption of refined sugar and carbohydrates can lead to water retention in the face. Go for whole grains, no processed foods--you know the drill.
You can fine-tune your carb intake to get that nice tummy you've always wanted and drop those extra pounds quickly and permanently. If you're not ready to make that change, I recommend the Yay Food program.
- Cut back on salt. The fancy word for water retention is edema. My word: bloat. Salt makes you retain water, and since your face likes to retain, the water goes there. So cut back on salt and see what happens. You'll get a double bennie if the salt you eat is via a regular diet of high fat chips.
- Reduce medications. Some medications can contribute to water retention. If you're on prescription drugs, you'll have to check this option with your physician. But if you pop over-the-counter meds, put up with the runny nose for a few days, and see what happens.
- Contour. Bronzing powder that matches your skin tone can help--powder under your chin and along the jaw line. And you'd be amazed at what a tweak to your hairstyle can do to slim your face. Ditch the bangs, and go for wisps if you need to deflect the eye from your forehead for some reason. Go for volume on the top of your head (to elongate it) and keep hair close to your head on the sides.
- Wear the right hairstyle. Talk to your stylist about haircuts that slim; you can even be blunt and say you need help finding hairstyles for fat faces. Your stylish should be able to help.
Finally, you may just have to resign yourself to wait. Since our faces do thin as we age, you will get a chance to meet your cheekbones after all--you'll just have to wait a few years longer than the general population. Meanwhile, may I suggest that you practice loving yourself just exactly as you are, chipmunk cheeks and all!