The neck is one of the first places where fat begins to accumulate on our bodies as we age. And for some, that extra flab can be especially concerning.
According to Dr. Jeffrey Dover, a dermatologist based in Newport Beach, “neck skin gets thinner as you age, so it’s likely to lead to sagging skin.” Loose skin is more likely to droop, and the extra flab around your neck might start to look a little saggy.
For those of you asking how to get rid of neck fat without surgery, we understand.
You don’t want invasive surgery, but did you know there are other ways to get rid of neck fat without going under the knife. We spoke with top dermatologists and plastic surgeons to find out how to reduce neck fat without going under the knife.
Here are 11 methods you can try today!
Use Gua Sha To Lose That Double Chin
For people who have a double chin, Dover suggests trying gua sha.
This traditional Chinese medical treatment is performed by scraping the skin with jade or other smooth, rounded stones. It’s said to help drain lymph nodes and get rid of “stagnant chi,” which are thought to contribute to inflammation in the body.
“Gua sha is safe enough to be performed on a daily basis, but don’t go overboard with it,” says Dover, who has treated patients with this therapy for 20 years. “If you do it regularly, you’ll notice reduced puffiness in the face and neck, less inflammation, and a more defined jawline.”
Use A Jade Roller
To get rid of a double chin, you can also use an ancient Chinese jade roller to stimulate your neck and drain lymph nodes. This is done by rolling the stones up (not down) your neck, on both sides of your neck, behind your neck, over your throat area–wherever you can reach. You will notice that they are very cold at first but then become warm as you use them.
Jade rollers are a great way to increase the lymph node drainage in your neck. They are also great for lymph nodes around your collarbone, jawline, cheeks, forehead, and behind your ears. There are many people who use jade rollers on their face to reduce puffiness or dark circles under their eyes.
Jade rolling is extremely relaxing when done regularly before bedtime. Add your favorite serum or night cream beforehand for better absorption!
Use An Ultrasonic Cavitation Machine
A cavitation machine is a great way to get circulation to the areas in your neck that are most difficult to reach. You can use this anywhere, even directly on the skin over your neck area. This will help reduce fluid retention (no more puffy face!), break up any swelling, and improve lymphatic drainage.
The cost for this type of machine is usually around $150 – $300, but we sell one in our store for under $100.
The way these machines work is by emitting an ultrasonic frequency that is powerful enough to break down fat cells under the skin. Ultrasonic cavitation machines are designed with a small probe, which emits acoustic waves and high-frequency sound directly into the areas where excess fat is stored.
These resonance wave cause cavitations (bubbles) within adipocytes (fat cells) which rupture and release their contents into the interstitial fluid. The fatty acids and glycerol released during cavitation can be metabolized by the body, while the water produced is taken up and reabsorbed by the cells and tissues. This process is called adipolysis and completely naturally processes fat out of your body.
Be sure to use a good quality, organic essential oil when massaging the neck area. Lavender and chamomile are two of my favorites to use before bedtime or anytime you want to relax.
This is a good mid-range option, so if you are already paying for expensive facial treatments then this might just be a perfect choice for you.
Exercise Your Jaw Muscles
“One of the theories for why we get a double chin is that people are sleeping more on their backs,” says Dover. “They’re opening their mouths, and that causes gravity to pull all this extra skin into the neck area.” And when people lie on their back with their mouth open, “they tend to snore and snort, which can be a predisposing factor for neck fat,” he says. Dover recommends the “yawn and floss”—which may not sound easy but gets results:
“You yawn and take your index fingers and index knuckles and slide down each side of your neck to open up the area behind your sternocleidomastoid muscles,” he says. Then, floss by pushing your tongue up against the roof of your mouth and putting pressure on each side of your neck to get rid of that excess fat.
This is also called “mewing” and is reported to be effective, but it takes several hours per day to see results. Might be a good option if you can’t afford any of the other ones, but frankly we have better things to do than push our tongue to the roof of our mouth for 4 hours a day!
Do Chin Exercises For Your Neck Muscles
“Some people do a lot of heavy lifting with their shoulders and not enough exercise with their necks,” says Dover. If your neck muscles are weak, “you’re allowing the fat cells to sit there and accumulate over time.” This can lead to lots of neck fat and a double chin.
To fix this, he suggests doing an exercise called “chin tucks” where you not only lift your chin up but also tuck it back so it’s parallel with the ground. “That helps strengthen those muscles,” says Dover. And you don’t have to do a heavy workout for this one. “This is one of many neck toning exercises you can do. A little bit each day helps.”
Try A Laser Lipolysis Treatment
If you want to try a non-invasive option, Dover recommends laser lipolysis. In other words, “lasers made for fat,” he says.
“Do not get laser liposuction,” says Dover—which involves going into the body and removing the fat with a cannula—”unless it’s being done by someone specifically trained in that procedure.”
Laser lipolysis, on the other hand, is where a laser light is focused on areas of the body—say the neck or thighs—and it’s combined with massage. “It essentially causes your body to have what I call ‘fat trauma,’ which makes your body want to go away from having fat cells in that area,” says Dover.
“I had a patient who came in and she had what I call ‘turkey neck.’ She told me, ‘People are always making fun of the way my neck looks.’ And I did some laser lipolysis on her. Afterward, she told me it didn’t look so bad anymore—that she got compliments from her friends, and she felt really good about the way she looked.”
Breathe Through Your Nose
“Another theory as to why neck fat accumulates has to do with the mouth breathing that happens from sleeping on your back,” says Dover. “Some people call it ‘mouthbreathing fat.’ When you breathe through your mouth, it actually limits how much exercise you can do.
“For example, I’ve seen people who come in for liposuction of their necks and they tell me that their neck is not covered by the insurance company because they only cover neck procedures after someone has had sleep apnea. But what they don’t realize is that sleep apnea contributes to fat accumulating in the neck area.”
To eliminate neck fat, make it a point to breathe through your nose at all times. This will improve your overall health and the increased oxygen capacity will improve other bodily functions as a nice little side benefit.
Freeze the fat with CoolSculpting
For people with a lot of neck fat, Dover says there’s another option: CoolSculpting . “You get a really good result from it,” he says.
“What this does is freeze the fat cells.” The fat cells die and they’re naturally cleared away by your body over time. But during that process, they release growth factors that lead to new collagen and elastic tissue formation, says Dover. “So you get a tightening of the skin.”
However, there are 2 problems with CoolSculpting.
One is that it’s expensive, with treatments running in the multiple thousands of dollars.
Two is that there is a rare side effect where your fat cells actually GROW and multiply instead of dying, making the area you wanted to appear less fat actually get fatter.
This is a rare side effect, but it’s still there.
Do Neck Toning Exercises Regularly
Whatever you do, Dover recommends doing neck exercises regularly, even if they’re just little stretches. And as with any exercise regimen, don’t overdo it. “You don’t want to push the neck too much,” he says, adding: “When there’s a lot of fat around the neck, sometimes it can be very uncomfortable for certain people.”
“If you’re getting ready for an event and you want to get rid of that extra neck fat, it will come back if you don’t maintain your healthy lifestyle habits,” says Dover. “You can lose the fat, but you have to do it properly.”
Do Chin Stretches
Another great way to prevent neck fat from re-accumulating is doing chin stretches. This can easily be done by placing your palms on your hips and pushing your elbows back against them behind you.
Stretching your neck downward can also be effective. You want to pull your chin as far down as you can go, stretching your neck muscles. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds and release slowly.
The main function of these neck exercises is to improve lymphatic drainage and stimulate circulation in all areas of your neck and throat. You can perform this stretch by using your fingers to gently push your chin away from your chest.
Practice Good Posture
One of the best things you can do for a double chin is maintain good posture and keep a high level of body awareness. The more muscle memory you develop with poor posture, which means that if you always carry yourself in a certain way, the more your muscles will be conditioned to keep this posture.
One of my best tips I can give is for you to always carry a notebook in your purse or pocket. When you start slouching over during the day, correct yourself by pushing your chin up and elongating your neck. I know this sounds silly, but when you feel that you can’t do it anymore, simply take out your notebook and write in it.
This will re-enforce good neck posture while you keep track of how many times you do so throughout the day.
Another great option is to wear a posture brace. These will help keep your back and shoulders in perfect alignment, pulling them back and reducing the appearance of neck fat and a double chin!
Lose Weight With Exercise (duh)
(EDITOR’S NOTE: We won’t harp on this because quite frankly, it should be obvious.)
A great way you can get rid of neck fat is through exercise, says Dover. “If someone has a bulge around the belly button up to the lower part of their chest, that would be from a large volume of fat.”
In this case, people often lose weight around their middle and gain it around their neck. “They tend to look in the mirror and think they’re gaining weight when they see all this extra flab around their neck,” says Dover.
In that case, losing that belly fat might do the trick. Could it be time to dust off your gym shoes?
Eat Lots Of Fruits And Veggies To Avoid Weight Gain
This might sound a bit cliché, but eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies is one of the best things you can do for getting rid of neck fat. These foods are filled with antioxidants that have been proven to reduce inflammation in the body and to even lose weight.
The main thing you want to avoid when trying to get rid of a double chin is inflammatory foods. This includes foods such as wheat, processed carbohydrates, sugars, dairy products and most importantly artificial sweeteners. A healthy diet is KEY to losing neck fat.
If you’re overwhelmed by choices, look for weight loss regimens that include a lot of healthy fats and lean protein.
A great tip to remember is that if it has a nutrient label with a long list of ingredients on the package then its most likely not going to be good for you.
Carrots don’t have nutrition facts! It’s a carrot.
At the end of the day, there are many ways for you to get rid of neck fat without invasive surgery.
Lifestyle changes like healthy diet and exercise are a great place to start, but they don’t need to end there.
You can start doing facial contouring with products like a gua sha or face roller. You can wear a posture brace, do chin exercises, and stretch your neck in all directions. If you feel like investing in some cool tech, you can try an ultrasonic cavitation machine to safely and painlessly “bubble” away your neck fat.
But whatever you decide to do, just make sure you’re consistent.
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