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How To Lose Cheek Fat: 7 Sure Ways Backed By Science

Having a fuller face can make you look younger, emphasizing a youthful vibrancy that many people find appealing. But, if you’ve recently gained weight, you may feel self-conscious or just eager to reclaim the contours of your face. 

Even those with a low overall body fat percentage may find themselves troubled by chubby cheeks, a common concern that’s not always reflective of one’s health or fitness levels.

There’s a reason this fat can be stubborn; it’s influenced by factors like genetics, diet, and overall lifestyle. And as always, there are scientific solutions aimed at specifically addressing this issue.

Here’s what research and experts suggest about losing cheek fat effectively.

What Causes Fat Cheeks?

Fat cheeks are caused by genetics, diet, and overall lifestyle. Some people are simply genetically predisposed to carry more fat in their cheeks and face, while others may accumulate excess fat from poor dietary choices or a sedentary lifestyle.


Facial shape is largely determined by genetics. Just like some people have a natural predisposition to carry more weight in certain areas of their body, the same can be true for facial fat (6).

A genetic predisposition to carry more fat in the cheeks can be challenging to overcome, but it’s not impossible.

Genetics also influences the overall shape of your face. People with round faces tend to have fuller cheeks, while those with more angular faces may have less fat in this area.


Diet plays a significant role in weight gain and loss, including facial fat. Consuming excess calories can lead to weight gain, which can manifest in the form of chubby cheeks.

Foods high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and refined carbohydrates can contribute to facial fat accumulation. These types of food are often found in processed snacks and fast foods (3).

On the other hand, a diet rich in lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains will help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce cheek fat.

Eating salty, processed foods can also cause water retention, which can make the face appear bloated and contribute to chubby cheeks (3).


A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to the accumulation of facial fat. Lack of physical activity and exercise can lead to excess weight gain, including in the cheeks.

Regular exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy body weight but promotes overall health and well-being (11). It also helps improve muscle tone, which can make your face look slimmer.

Other lifestyle factors that can contribute to cheek fat include:

  • Alcohol consumption: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to weight gain and bloating, which can make the face look fuller (1).
  • Smoking: Aside from its many negative health effects, smoking can also contribute to facial fat accumulation. It reduces collagen production, which leads to sagging skin and a more rounded appearance (4).
  • Poor sleep habits: Lack of quality sleep can disrupt hormone production, leading to weight gain and water retention, which can contribute to chubby cheeks (9).

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Do Chubby Cheeks Go Away?

Chubby cheeks can go away – how much effort it takes and how long it takes depends on what’s causing the fat to accumulate in the first place.

If it’s due to genetics or underlying health issues, it may take more time and effort to see a change. However, with a healthy diet and exercise routine, you can effectively reduce cheek fat over time.

How To Lose Cheek Fat Without Exercise

Most people are able to lose cheek fat without exercise by cleaning up your diet and eliminating any unhealthy habits that contribute to weight gain and bloating.

Clean Up Your Diet

Cutting back on processed, high-fat, and sugary foods should make a significant difference in reducing cheek fat. Instead, focus on consuming whole, nutrient-dense foods that support weight loss and overall health (10).

By cleaning up your diet, you’re likely to create a calorie deficit, which will help you lose weight and reduce facial fat.

Whole foods are known to be more satiating (they have a high satiety index), which means they can keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods. This helps reduce the temptation to snack on unhealthy foods throughout the day (10).

Whole, minimally processed foods are also less likely to cause water retention compared to processed ones, which can make your face look bloated and puffy (10).


Master Portion Control

Creating a calorie deficit is the surest way to burn fat, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. One way to do this is by practicing portion control (2).

Portion control means eating smaller portions, so you consume fewer calories and feel satisfied with less food. This can help you lose weight over time and reduce facial fat.

A simple tip for mastering portion control is to use a smaller plate or bowl when serving yourself meals. This will automatically limit the amount of food you consume without feeling deprived.

Another useful tip is to slow down while eating and listen to your body’s signals. Often, we eat more than necessary because we’re not paying attention to our body’s cues of fullness.

Drink More Water

Drinking water throughout the day can help flush out excess water that may be contributing to bloating in your face. It’s recommended to drink about 8 glasses of water per day, but individual needs may vary.

Moreover, drinking water before meals can help you feel full and eat less, contributing to weight loss and facial fat reduction (8).

If you struggle to drink plain water, you can add some flavor by infusing it with fruits or herbs. Just be mindful of added sugars and artificial flavors in packaged flavored waters.

Cut Back on Alcohol and Smoking

Alcohol is high in calories and can contribute to weight gain, including in the face. Cutting back on alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether will help reduce facial fat (1).

In addition, alcohol is often accompanied by unhealthy food choices, such as greasy snacks and fast foods, which can further contribute to weight gain and bloating.

Read more: The Ice Hack to Lose Weight: Is There Science to Support the Claims?

Moderate Your Sodium Intake

Excess sodium can cause water retention, leading to bloating and a puffy face. Be mindful of your sodium intake and try to limit it by avoiding highly processed foods and choosing low-sodium options when possible.

According to the American Heart Association, adults should aim for no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, with an ideal limit of about 1,500 milligrams (7).

You may also consider adding more potassium-rich foods to your diet, such as bananas and leafy greens. Potassium helps regulate fluid balance in the body and can counteract the effects of sodium (12).

Get Enough Sleep

Quality sleep is crucial for overall health, including maintaining a healthy weight. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone production, leading to weight gain and water retention, which contributes to facial fat (9).

Make sure to prioritize getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime routine and create a comfortable sleeping environment to promote better sleep habits.

Your sleep quality may also improve if you reduce or avoid caffeine intake close to bedtime.


How To Lose Cheek Fat With Exercise

Facial exercises will not help you lose fat in the area, but will help strengthen the muscles; remember, targeting specific areas of the body for fat loss through exercise is not possible. Exercising to reduce your overall body fat percentage should help slim your face and reduce cheek fat over time (more on this in the next section).

Facial muscle exercises involve strength, movement, or manipulation of facial muscles. They are a noninvasive and nonsurgical approach to strengthen and define the area.

Although there is limited research on the effectiveness of facial exercises for losing cheek fat, some studies suggest that they may help improve muscle tone and reduce facial fullness over time.

Working with a certified facial exercise instructor or physical therapist can help ensure you’re using proper form and technique for optimal results without causing harm.

Here are 6 facial exercises to lose face fat:

Cheek Puff Exercise

  1. Start by filling your mouth with air, hold it for a few seconds, and then release the air.
  2. Repeat 10 times.

Fish Face Exercise

  1. Suck in your cheeks and lips to form a fish face.
  2. Hold this pose for 5 seconds and then relax.
  3. Repeat 10 times.

Jaw Release Exercise

  1. Move your jaw as if you’re chewing gum, keeping your lips closed.
  2. After a few seconds, open your mouth wide, and hold for a few seconds before closing it again.
  3. Repeat 10 times.

Mouthwash Pull Exercise

  1. Fill your mouth with air and transfer it from one cheek to the other, as if swishing mouthwash.
  2. Repeat 10 times in each direction.

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Chin Lift Exercise

  1. Tilt your head back and look towards the ceiling.
  2. Keeping your lips closed, move your lower jaw up and down as if you’re chewing something.
  3. Repeat for 20 seconds.

Smile Exercise

  1. Make a big smile, and hold the pose for 10 seconds.
  2. Relax your muscles and repeat 5 times.

Remember that while these exercises may help tone facial muscles, they won’t necessarily result in fat loss.

We discuss this in more detail in our previous blog titled: Facial Exercises for Cheeks

Now, if you’re looking to reduce your body fat percentage and slim your face overall, incorporating some cardiovascular exercises into your routine can be beneficial.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a popular exercise method that involves short bursts of intense, all-out effort followed by brief rest periods. This type of training has been shown to be effective in reducing body fat, which may include facial fat (5).

The main principle of HIIT is that it increases your metabolism even after you’ve finished exercising, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day.

Here’s a sample HIIT workout that you can incorporate into your routine:

  • Warm-up: 5 minutes of light jog or brisk walking.
  • High-intensity interval: Sprint for 30 seconds.
  • Low-intensity interval: Jog for 1 minute.
  • Repeat the high and low-intensity intervals for a total of 20 minutes.

Steady-State Cardio

Steady-state cardio involves maintaining a moderate-intensity level for an extended period, typically over 30 minutes. This type of exercise can also help reduce overall body fat percentage and promote weight loss (15).

Some examples of steady-state cardio include walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming.

Resistance Training

Incorporating strength or resistance training into your routine should also help increase muscle mass and boost your metabolism. This, in turn, aids in reducing body fat percentage (8).

Finding an exercise routine that works for you and incorporating a balanced mix of cardiovascular exercises and resistance training should help you lose cheek fat over time.

How Do You Lose Cheek Fat Fast?

Buccal fat reduction surgery is often considered a quick fix for reducing cheek fat. This procedure involves removing the buccal fat pads located in the lower cheeks to create a more chiseled appearance.

However, it’s essential to note that this surgery carries risks and potential side effects, including damage to facial nerves and muscles, facial asymmetry, and scarring.

Additionally, results from this surgery may not be permanent and can also affect the aging process of your face, leading to a sunken or gaunt appearance in later years.

Some other quick fixes for reducing cheek fat include liposuction and facial fillers. However, these methods also carry risks, and results may not be long-lasting.

Consulting with a trusted and experienced plastic surgeon is crucial if you’re considering any of these procedures.

Check out our previous blog: Hollow Cheeks for insights on aging and the effects it can have on facial fat.


How Can I Slim My Cheeks In a Week?

You can’t slim your cheeks in a week; not even through surgery. As mentioned earlier, targeting specific areas of the body for fat loss is not possible.

Based on what we know about weight loss and fat distribution, it’s not realistic to expect significant changes in cheek fat within a week.

According to the American Council on Exercise, a safe and sustainable rate of fat loss is about 1-2 pounds per week, which translates to about 0.5-1 kg (13).

As you continue to work on reducing your overall body fat percentage through a healthy diet and regular exercise, you may see gradual changes in your cheek fat over time.

Read more: Squat, Throw, Catch: The Wall Ball Workout Guide You Need to Gain Muscle and Lose Fat


  • At What Age Do Chubby Cheeks Go Away?

Muscle and fat distribution in the face change with age; you may notice that your cheeks appear different in your late 50s. That’s because your facial structure changes as you get older, and the loss of fat can cause a sunken appearance in the face.

So while chubby cheeks may diminish over time, it’s not necessarily a specific age that marks their disappearance.

  • Will Cheek Fat Go Away With Age?

Distribution in the face changes with age, and this can result in a reduction of cheek fat. However, it’s not guaranteed that cheek fat will completely go away as you get older.

Factors such as genetics, lifestyle habits, and overall body weight also play a role in the appearance of cheek fat over time.

  • Do Chubby Cheeks Go With Age?

Chubby cheeks may go away with age, to a certain degree.  Your facial structure changes with age, affecting the appearance of your cheeks.  Note that chubby cheeks may not completely disappear, due to other factors such as genetics and lifestyle habits.

  • How Long Does It Take To Lose Chubby Cheeks?

It may take a few months, up to a year, to see significant changes in cheek fat. It is essential for achieving long-term results to have a consistent exercise routine that includes both cardiovascular exercises and resistance training, as well as maintaining a healthy diet.

As your body fat percentage decreases, you will likely see gradual changes in your cheek fat.

The blog, Facial Exercise, has more details on the benefits of exercise for facial fat loss.

The Bottom Line

Losing cheek fat can be a slow and gradual process, as spot reducing is not possible. However, by maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and incorporating cardiovascular exercises and strength training into your routine, you can reduce overall body fat percentage and slim your face over time. Additionally, facial exercises may help tone muscles in the face but do not guarantee fat loss.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Alcohol and weight gain (2022,betterhealth.vic.gov.au)
  2. Calorie Deficit: What To Know (2022,clevelandclinic.org)
  3. Certain Foods Linked to Long-Term Weight Gain (2011,nih.gov)
  4. Cigarette Smoking Increases Abdominal and Visceral Obesity but Not Overall Fatness: An Observational Study (2017,nih.gov)
  5. Effectiveness of high-intensity interval training for weight loss in adults with obesity: a randomised controlled non-inferiority trial (2021,nih.gov)
  6. Genetic contributors to obesity (2007,nih.gov)
  7. How much sodium should I eat per day? (2024,heart.org)
  8. Increasing muscle mass to improve metabolism (2013,nih.gov)
  9. Molecular ties between lack of sleep and weight gain (2016,nih.gov)
  10. Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance (2021,nih.gov)
  11. Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight (2023,cdc.gov)
  12. Potassium Modulates Electrolyte Balance and Blood Pressure through Effects on Distal Cell Voltage and Chloride (2016,nih.gov)
  13. Safe and Effective Weight Loss (n,d,azureedge.net)
  14. Slow and Steady, or Hard and Fast? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Studies Comparing Body Composition Changes between Interval Training and Moderate Intensity Continuous Training (2021,nih.gov)
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