Same Process, Different Results
Weight loss is an extremely fascinating process. Although its mechanism of action is the same for all people, the results are oftentimes very different. Technically everyone loses weight in the same way – you create a caloric deficit with the help of dieting and exercising (1). Your body then starts running out of energy that comes from food and begins to burn the deposited energy – body fat (10). However, you may have noticed how for some people visible changes appear in different parts of the body.
One person may get slimmer legs, while their upper body remains chubby, while others may lose weight in their belly or any other area. You may have noticed how some overweight people have a relatively skinny face, and vice versa, slim people may look chubbier because they have a full face. Of course, if people continue dieting, eventually they slim down all over their body, but that first result may disappoint them or even put them off their stride.
That may apply to those who unintentionally lose weight in their face, and often ask such questions as “Why am I losing weight in the face?”, “What are the causes of facial fat loss?”, “How to avoid losing weight in your face?”, as well as to those who want to have a slimmer face, but just seem to not be able to reach that result, and wonder “What causes a fat face?”, and “How to reduce face fats?”. In this article you will find out the answer to the question “Why am I losing weight in the face?”, and discover what can be done about it.
Why Am I Losing Weight In The Face?
Losing weight is usually considered a positive life change, but not always. When a person already has a normal weight, or if weight loss undermines their health or body, that’s when this process turns into a problem. Some people regret working too much and skipping meals. Such an unhealthy combination often results in a weakened and thin body. Others wonder why a woman would look older after weight loss, and search for methods on how to gain weight in face. So, if you are asking yourself “Why am I losing weight in the face?”, then the following information may answer that question for you.
What Are The Causes Of Facial Fat Loss?
Aging is one of the most common reasons why you may lose weight in the face. During the process of aging, your body goes through numerous changes, and the fat in your face loses its volume and clumps up (12). Another thing that adds to that old look is reduced collagen production. Collagen is an essential protein produced by your body. It occurs throughout your whole body, but especially in your skin, bones, and connective tissues (9). Some of its functions include providing your skin with structure and strengthening your bones. The lack of collagen makes your skin lose elasticity and volume, which leads to wrinkles and sagginess, and makes it look as if you have lost even more face fat.
The reduction of face fat and the production of collagen are not the only two processes that make your face look older and thinner. Although such changes are easier to spot in people who have reached the age of 65 years and up, with age people may experience a decrease in bone tissue and facial muscle deterioration (3), which makes the middle of the face appear as though it has collapsed.
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Weight Loss And Wrong Diet
Dieting is a great tool for maintaining a healthy weight and improving one’s overall health, and it is only natural that weight loss adds to a thinner-looking face. Those who rapidly lose a significant amount of weight may notice the reduction in fat on their faces. This can lead to sagging of facial skin, which creates an exhausted older look.
A wrong diet can also add to the problem of collagen reduction, which in turn makes your face look older and thinner. An unhealthy nutritional plan results in the increase of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which appear when sugar floating in the bloodstream mixes with protein and fat (5). AGEs remain in tissues, negatively affecting collagen and elastin. This later causes a reduction in volume.
It is general knowledge that sun exposure can have a negative effect on your skin. Although usually people fear the UV rays because they can promote wrinkles, dark spots, and even increase the chance of skin cancer, these are not the only problems caused by the sun. The sun’s UV rays consist of UVA, UVB, and UVC components. UV radiation produces both direct and indirect DNA damage, and each can result in mutagenesis in skin cells (7). The excessive exposure to UV radiation leads to the production of abnormal elastin, reforms collagen, and damages healthy collagen cells (13). When the UV rays penetrate the epidermis, they speed up the breakdown of collagen and elastin. With the decrease in these two components, grows the chance of facial fat loss.
Cardio exercises are a great tool to burn fat all over your body, and sometimes over-exercising can be the reason why you have a bony, skinny face. Regular performance of vigorous cardio exercises in the gym can reduce the volume in your face, as well as in other parts of your body.
If a person spends a lot of time running outdoors in the sun, the weight loss effect on their face doubles, as that person not only burns face fat by exercising, but is also exposed to excess sunlight, which as you already know, adds to that problem.
A predominantly female hormone estrogen helps regulate the distribution and amount of fat on your body and face. When the levels of this hormone are low, or start to decline with age, fat can begin to thin, which leads to a skinny face.
Smoking is one of the lifestyle factors that increase the rate of environmental aging and can have a marked impact on the function and appearance of the skin (6). Levels of vitamin C in smokers are significantly lower than those of people who don’t smoke. Reduced amount of vitamin C can lead to thinning of the skin layers, reduction of collagen and elastin, and a decrease in muscle tone. When a person smokes, the protective factors that vitamin C brings to keep the skin soft, strong, and elastic are affected negatively, which makes the skin sag and look thinner and aged.
Stress is extremely harmful to your overall health. Chronic stress can lead to various serious problems in cardiovascular, respiratory, sleep, immune, and reproductive systems (11). High levels of stress hormone cortisol add to heart problems, which, along with other health issues are projected on your face.
Remember, that it is more likely that the reason why you are losing weight in the face is one of the above-listed. Instead of jumping into conclusions and self-diagnosing, please consult a healthcare professional!
Unexplained loss of facial fat may be caused by a medical condition, such as lupus, thyroid and immune system disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, or viral infections that destroy facial fat.
Keep in mind, that if you have any suspicions about your health, it is required that you immediately consult a doctor!
How To Avoid Losing Weight In Your Face?
Now that the question “Why am I losing weight in the face?” is answered, it is time to figure out how to prevent that from happening. Here are some recommendations that will help you avoid losing weight in your face, and some of which may even promote better skin or overall health:
If you are a heavy, regular, or occasional smoker, it is recommended that you stop doing that for your own wellness. Smoking has been linked to numerous health problems (4). It affects every organ in your body, and as you already know, speeds up the aging process, adding to a thinner and older-looking face. It makes your skin sag and adds to eyebags and wrinkles. To prevent that, along with its numerous other negative effects, it is recommended that you quit smoking.
Avoid Excessive Sunlight Exposure
Another recommendation that is quite obvious if you know the answer to the question “Why am I losing weight in the face?”, is to avoid excessive sunlight exposure, and protect your skin. Practicing sun protection via the application of sunscreen and wearing accessories that shield you from the sun are two of the best ways to protect your skin from sun damage (12).
Reduce Stress Levels
Every person has experienced stress at some point in their life. A lot of us, however, are victims of chronic stress, which leads to a great variety of health problems. Although you can’t always control or avoid stress, especially if most of it comes from essential aspects of your life, don’t despair! There are a lot of stress-management tips that can better the quality of your life. Here are some of the most effective ones (11):
This relaxation practice has long been in use, and can significantly reduce your stress levels. You can meditate anywhere and at any time, so even if you are an extremely busy person you can still carve out some ‘me time’ and squeeze in a quick meditation session into your hectic day. Even 5-15 minutes a day will make a huge difference. You can meditate in a park during your lunch break, in your car when you are stuck in traffic, on a bus or subway on your way to work, when you’re taking a stroll, when you’re waiting in line etc. Literally anywhere and anytime!
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Exercising can help you improve both your physical and mental health. It promotes better stress management, distracts you from the source of your stress, and improves your mood in general.
Give Yourself A Break Every Now And Then
Life is not about always trying to impress someone, whether it is your boss, significant other, family, or friends. Don’t push yourself too hard. Your health and wellness should always be your number one priority, so don’t be afraid to take a day off and spend some time on yourself every now and then. Do what you love to remind yourself what you live for.
Follow A Healthy Diet
Proper nutrition is one of the main keys to a strong health. A healthy and balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables and fruits can fill you with vital nutrients and improve your wellness. Whereas the poor diet can result in additional stress.
Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, And Drugs
Although sometimes it may seem like these substances help you relax, in reality, they don’t prevent stress, but on the contrary, exacerbate it.
Healthy Diet And Habits
Your diet choice has a great significance when it comes not only to stress management but your overall health. By following a balanced healthy diet you kill two birds with one stone – reduce your stress levels and maintain a healthy weight, which prevents you from rapid loss of facial fat. Another aspect that you should consider if you want to avoid losing weight in your face is exercise. You must choose the right amount, intensity, and type of exercise. To make the right choice of nutritional and workout plans, please consult a health specialist.
Maintain Proper Collagen Production
As you already know, collagen plays a crucial role in the health of your skin. Its lack may make your face look tired, droopy, and dry. A 2014 study shows that taking collagen supplements may improve your skin’s elasticity thus reducing the wrinkles and sagginess, and promoting a more healthy, youthful look (2). That is why it is important to help your body maintain healthy levels of collagen. Here are some components and products that can promote collagen production (8):
- Hyaluronic acid
- Vitamin C
- Aloe vera gel
Treatments To Enhance Fat Accumulation In The Face
Losing weight in the face can be an unpleasant side effect of weight loss, but there are treatments available.
One option is to have facial fillers injected into the skin. This will add volume and make the face look fuller. Another option is to have fat grafting, which involves taking fat from another area of the body and injecting it into the face. This can help to plump up the skin and make the face look fuller.
If you are not happy with the way your face looks after weight loss, talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. They can help you determine which treatment is right for you and help you achieve the look you desire.
Note that these treatments are not permanent, and you will need to continue to have them every few months to maintain the results. However, they can help you achieve a fuller, more youthful appearance.
Weight loss is usually great, but only if it is wanted. While some people spend hours trying to find a method to reduce face fats, perform facial yoga and other facial exercises, others ask “Why am I losing weight in the face?”, and try to prevent that from happening. Some of the most widespread causes of facial volume loss include aging, rapid weight loss, poor diet, increased levels of stress, hormonal changes, excessive sunlight exposure, over-exercising, and others. In order to avoid loss of volume in the face, you should stop smoking, reduce stress, follow a healthy diet, protect your skin from the sun and try to improve collagen production. However, before trying to help the situation yourself, please consult a doctor first.
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!
- Counting calories: Get back to weight-loss basics (2020, mayoclinic.org)
- Daily consumption of the collagen supplement Pure Gold Collagen® reduces visible signs of aging (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Muscle and Bone Mass Loss in the Elderly Population: Advances in diagnosis and treatment (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The reasons why smoking is bad for you (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- The role of advanced glycation end products in aging and metabolic diseases: bridging association and causality (2019, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Ultraviolet Radiation, Aging and the Skin: Prevention of Damage by Topical cAMP Manipulation (2014, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Ways to get healthier looking skin by boosting collagen levels (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What is collagen, and why do people use it? (2017, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Where Does Body Fat Go When You Lose Weight? (2019, health.clevelandclinic.org)
- Why stress happens and how to manage it (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why your face ages and what you can do (n.d., health.harvard.edu)
- Wrinkles (2019, my.clevelandclinic.org)