Losing weight can be a challenge on its own, let alone from a specific area of your body.

Particularly, extra fat in the face is an incredibly frustrating problem to solve.

Fortunately, plenty of strategies can increase fat burning and help slim down your face.

Here are 7 effective methods to help you lose fat in your face.

Lose Fat in Face Cheeks

Facial exercises can be used to improve facial appearance, combat aging and improve muscle strength (1).

Anecdotal reports claim that adding facial exercises to your regular routine can also help slim your face by toning facial muscles.

Some of the most popular exercises involve puffing out your cheeks and pushing the air from side to side, puckering your lips on alternating sides and holding a smile while clenching your teeth for several seconds at a time.

Although evidence is limited, one review reported that facial exercises may build muscle tone in your face (2).

Another study showed that performing facial muscle exercises twice a day for eight weeks increased muscle thickness and improved facial rejuvenation (3).

Keep in mind that research is lacking on the effectiveness of facial exercises for fat loss specifically. More studies are needed to evaluate how these exercises may impact facial fat in humans.

Summary Facial exercises are a commonly used method to reduce the amount of fat in the face. Although research is limited, one study found that performing facial muscle exercises improved muscle thickness and facial rejuvenation.

Oftentimes, extra fat in your face is the result of excess body fat.

Losing weight can increase fat loss and help slim down both your body and face.

Cardio, or aerobic exercise, is any type of physical activity that increases your heart rate. It’s widely considered one of the most effective methods for weight loss.

Multiple studies have found that cardio can help promote fat burning and increase fat loss (4, 5).

What’s more, a review of 16 studies showed that people experienced greater fat loss with increased cardio exercise (6).

Try to get 150–300 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week, which translates to approximately 20–40 minutes of cardio per day (7).

Some common examples of cardio exercise include running, walking, biking and swimming.

Summary Cardio, or aerobic exercise, can help promote fat burning and fat loss to help slim down your face.

Drinking water is crucial for your overall health and can be especially important if you’re looking to lose facial fat.

Studies suggest that water can keep you feeling full and enhance weight loss.

In fact, one small study in older adults found that drinking water with breakfast decreased calorie intake by approximately 13% (8).

Another study showed that drinking water temporarily increased metabolism by 24%. Increasing the number of calories you burn over the course of the day can help boost weight loss (9).

What’s more, staying hydrated is thought to decrease fluid retention, which prevents bloating and puffiness in your face (10).

Summary Drinking water can decrease calorie intake and temporarily increase metabolism. It may also reduce fluid retention to prevent bloating and swelling in your face.

While enjoying the occasional glass of wine with dinner is fine, going overboard with your alcohol intake can be one of the biggest contributors to increased facial fat and bloating.

Alcohol is high in calories but low in nutrients and may be associated with an increased risk of weight gain (11).

It also acts as a diuretic and can cause fluid retention, leading to a higher risk of bloating and swelling in the face (12).

Keeping your alcohol consumption in check is the best way to control alcohol-induced bloating and weight gain.

According to US Dietary Guidelines, moderate drinking is defined as up to two drinks per day for men and up to one drink per day for women (13).

Summary Alcohol can contribute to weight gain and acts as a diuretic, increasing the risk of facial fluid retention.

Refined carbs like cookies, crackers and pasta are common culprits of weight gain and increased fat storage.

These carbs have been heavily processed, stripping them of their beneficial nutrients and fiber and leaving little behind besides sugar and calories.

Because they contain very little fiber, they are digested rapidly, leading to spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels and a higher risk of overeating (14).

One large study looking at the diets of 42,696 adults over a five-year period showed that a higher intake of refined carbs was associated with a higher amount of belly fat (15).

Although no studies have looked directly at refined carbs’ effects on facial fat, swapping them out for whole grains can help increase overall weight loss and may also aid facial fat loss.

Summary Refined carbs can increase blood sugar levels and lead to overeating and increased fat. Switching to whole grains may help increase facial fat loss.

Catching up on sleep is one of the simplest and effective ways to maximize facial fat loss.

Sleep deprivation can cause an increase in levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that comes with a long list of potential side effects, including weight gain (16).

Studies have shown that high cortisol levels can increase appetite and alter metabolism, resulting in increased fat storage (17, 18).

Furthermore, squeezing in more sleep may help you shed extra pounds.

One study found that better sleep quality was associated with an increased likelihood of weight loss success (19).

Conversely, studies show that sleep deprivation can increase food intake, cause weight gain and lower metabolism (20, 21, 22).

Ideally, aim for at least eight hours of sleep per night to aid weight control and facial fat loss.

Summary Sleep deprivation can alter metabolism and increase food intake, weight gain and cortisol levels. Therefore, getting enough sleep is a simple and effective way to maximize facial fat loss.

One hallmark of excess sodium intake is bloating, and it may also contribute to facial puffiness and swelling.

This is because sodium causes your body to hold extra water, resulting in fluid retention (23).

Several studies have shown that a higher intake of sodium can increase fluid retention, especially in people who are more sensitive to the effects of salt (24, 25).

Processed foods account for an estimated 77% of sodium intake in the average diet, so cutting out convenience foods, savory snacks and processed meats can be an easy and effective way to cut your sodium intake (26).

Summary Reducing your intake of sodium may help reduce fluid retention and decrease bloating and puffiness in your face.

There are plenty of methods available to help you lose extra fat in your face.

Switching up your diet, adding exercise to your routine and adjusting some of your daily habits are all effective ways to boost fat loss and slim down your face.

For best results, be sure to pair these tips with a balanced diet and regular exercise to optimize your fat burning and overall health.