Am I gaining weight on my face?
Ready to file a missing persons report for my cheekbones
So you’ve lost a few kilos, but your face hasn’t got the memo. Or maybe it starts to fill out like a crispy batatawada after a heavy night of partying or during the post-holiday season, leaving you with a bloated face.
Whenever we lose or gain weight, our adipocytes (fat cells) neither increase or decrease in number — they simply shrink or enlarge. That’s one of the reasons why people find it harder to lose weight in certain areas as they’re storing more fat cells there than others.
While genetics and natural bone structure also play a role, pay attention to these factors that are within your control.
How to tackle a bloated face
Alcohol and sugary beverages
Alcohol may be a party starter but it could also be the culprit behind your bloated face, because it causes dehydration.
This is in turn results in excess water retention in your body — it’s especially visible in your face — making it appear fuller than it is. Like a rassgulla soaking up extra syrup.
Beverages which contain caffeine and sugar such as coffee, colas and most aerated drinks have similar effects. The deadliest combination is adding sugary mixes to your alcohol, so switching to vodka-diet cokes isn’t going to cut it, sadly.
Avoid these traps and opt for plenty of water instead, which will help in reducing the bloat and losing weight.
Processed or junk food
Walk away from that box of 4 pm chakna your aunt shipped over from Jaipur. Processed and junk food tends to have excessive salt, sugar and preservatives, which can result in a tired-looking, bloated face because, just like your body, it’s not receiving the required nutrition.
A diet rich in excessive carbohydrates — read burgers, samosas, pizzas, cupcakes — also contributes to increasing face fat.
Start with reducing your intake of processed food and junk food, and focusing on a balanced diet with healthy, seasonal vegetables and fruits, healthy fats and lean protein.
This works to reduce bloating but also acts as an IRL beauty filter to give your skin a healthy glow.
If your face bloats before or during your periods, it’s usually because the hormone progesterone spikes up.
If you are experiencing irregular periods and hot flashes along with face bloat, you may be entering into perimenopause.
People with food allergies or intolerances towards gluten and lactose usually complain about face bloat.
When your digestive system doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to, the common symptom is bloating as the gut is irritated which further reduces nutritional absorption.
Consult your doctor to know whether you are allergic or have some intolerances.
Some medicines have side effects that increase facial swelling, like certain blood pressure medicines, corticosteroids, oestrogen tablets and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
It’s important to consult your doctor as soon as you notice these symptoms.
The last and most obvious reason is that you may need to lose weight. A physically fit person is less likely to have excessive facial fat in comparison to an overweight individual who is likely to have heavy deposits of fat around their cheeks.
That’s why the best way to lose facial fat is to adopt a healthy lifestyle which involves clean eating and working out regularly, because there is no magic wand that will help with spot reduction.
Neha Sahaya is a lifestyle, nutrition and wellness consultant.