Neck fat, also known as a “turkey neck”, is a common cosmetic concern that can affect people of any age. It can make you look older, heavier and less confident. Neck fat can be caused by various factors, such as obesity, genetics, aging, poor posture, lack of exercise and dehydration. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to get rid of neck fat and improve your appearance. In this article, we will discuss the causes of neck fat and the best ways to reduce it.
Causes of Neck Fat
Neck fat can have different causes depending on your individual situation. Some of the possible causes are:
- Obesity: This is the most common cause of neck fat. When you have excess body fat, it can accumulate in various areas of your body, including your neck. The more overweight you are, the more likely you are to have neck fat.
- Genetics: Some people are more prone to developing neck fat than others due to their genetic makeup. If your parents or relatives have neck fat, you may inherit the same tendency. Genetics can also affect the shape and structure of your neck and jawline, which can influence how much fat you store in that area.
- Aging: As you get older, your skin loses its elasticity and collagen, which are essential for keeping it firm and smooth. This can cause your skin to sag and droop, especially around your neck. Aging also affects your muscle tone and metabolism, which can make it harder to burn fat and maintain a lean physique.
- Poor posture: If you have a habit of slouching or hunching over your computer or phone, you may be putting unnecessary strain on your neck muscles and spine. This can weaken your neck muscles and make them less able to support your head and chin. As a result, your skin may sag and form folds around your neck.
- Lack of exercise: Exercise is vital for keeping your body healthy and fit. It helps you burn calories, build muscle, improve blood circulation and boost your metabolism. If you don’t exercise regularly, you may lose muscle mass and gain fat, which can contribute to neck fat. Exercise also helps tone and strengthen your neck muscles, which can lift and tighten your skin.
- Dehydration: Water is essential for keeping your body hydrated and functioning properly. It helps flush out toxins, regulate your body temperature, and maintain your skin’s moisture and elasticity. If you don’t drink enough water, you may become dehydrated, which can affect your skin’s health and appearance. Dehydration can cause your skin to lose its plumpness and firmness, which can make it more prone to sagging and wrinkling around your neck.
Ways to Get Rid of Neck Fat
If you want to get rid of neck fat, you need to address the underlying causes and adopt a holistic approach that involves diet, exercise and lifestyle changes. Here are some of the best ways to reduce neck fat:
- Reduce calorie intake: The first step to losing any kind of body fat is to create a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. To do this, you need to eat less and choose healthier foods that are low in calories but high in nutrients and fiber. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are high in calories, sugar, salt and saturated fats, such as fast food, processed food, sweets, soda and alcohol. These foods can increase your appetite, cause inflammation and water retention, and slow down your metabolism. Aim to reduce your daily calorie intake by about 500 calories to lose about 1 pound of weight per week.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water is crucial for keeping your body hydrated and healthy. Water helps flush out toxins, improve digestion, regulate appetite and enhance skin quality. It also helps prevent water retention, which can make you look bloated and puffy around your neck. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day or more if you exercise or sweat a lot. You can also drink other fluids such as herbal teas, fruit juices or smoothies, but avoid caffeinated or alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate you further.
- Do neck exercises: Neck exercises are specific movements that target the muscles in your neck and jawline. They help tone and tighten these muscles, which can lift and sculpt your skin around your neck. They also improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to the area, which can enhance skin health and elasticity. Some of the best neck exercises are:
- Neck tilt: Tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.
- Neck rotation: Turn your head to the right and look over your shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds, then return to the center. Repeat on the left side. Do 10 repetitions on each side.
- Neck stretch: Place your right hand on the left side of your head and gently pull it down towards your right shoulder. Feel the stretch in your left neck and shoulder. Hold for 10 seconds, then switch sides. Do 5 repetitions on each side.
- Chin lift: Lift your chin up and slightly forward. Hold for 5 seconds, then lower it back down. Repeat 10 times.
- Jaw release: Open your mouth as wide as you can and stick out your tongue. Hold for 5 seconds, then close your mouth and relax your jaw. Repeat 10 times.
- Do cardio exercises: Cardio exercises are activities that raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster. They help you burn calories, fat and improve your overall fitness and health. They also boost your metabolism, which can help you lose weight faster and easier. Some of the best cardio exercises for neck fat are:
- Running: Running is one of the most effective and simple ways to burn calories and fat. It also strengthens your legs, core and cardiovascular system. You can run outdoors or on a treadmill, depending on your preference and availability. Aim to run for at least 30 minutes, 3 to 5 times per week, at a moderate to high intensity.
- Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that works your whole body, especially your arms, shoulders and back. It also improves your lung capacity and endurance. Swimming can help you burn calories and fat while toning your muscles and skin. You can swim in a pool or in natural water, depending on your access and comfort level. Aim to swim for at least 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week, at a moderate to high intensity.
- Cycling: Cycling is another low-impact exercise that works your legs, glutes and core. It also improves your balance and coordination. Cycling can help you burn calories and fat while shaping your lower body and improving your posture. You can cycle outdoors or on a stationary bike, depending on your preference and availability. Aim to cycle for at least 30 minutes, 3 to 4 times per week, at a moderate to high intensity.
- Follow a healthy diet: A healthy diet is essential for losing weight and maintaining a lean and fit body. It also affects your skin’s health and appearance, as what you eat can either nourish or damage your skin cells. A healthy diet consists of foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients that support skin health and elasticity. These include:
- Fruits: Fruits are nature’s candy, but they are also packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that benefit your skin and body. They help hydrate your skin, fight free radicals, boost collagen production and prevent inflammation. Some of the best fruits for skin health are berries, citrus fruits, kiwis, apples, pears, grapes and melons.
- Vegetables: Vegetables are low in calories but high in nutrients and fiber that benefit your skin and body. They help detoxify your body, regulate blood sugar levels, prevent water retention and provide essential vitamins and minerals for skin health. Some of the best vegetables for skin health are leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are complex carbohydrates that provide energy and fiber for your body. They also contain B vitamins, zinc, selenium and other minerals that support skin health and function. They help regulate digestion, lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood sugar spikes and keep you full longer. Some of the best whole grains for skin health are oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley and buckwheat.
- Lean proteins: Lean proteins are essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, which can help you burn fat and tone up your body. They also contain amino acids that are vital for collagen synthesis, which is the main protein that gives structure and strength to your skin. They help boost metabolism, suppress appetite, balance hormones and prevent sagging skin. Some of the best lean proteins for skin health are chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, tofu, beans and lentils.
Other Tips to Reduce Neck Fat
In addition to diet and exercise, there are some other tips that can help you reduce neck fat and improve your appearance. These include:
- Increase lean protein intake: Lean protein refers to high-quality proteins that contain a minimal amount of fat. From chicken breasts to tofu, these protein sources are an essential part of a nutritious diet.
- Chew gum to exercise your jaw: Chew gum is a simple and fun way to exercise your jaw and neck muscles. It can help you burn some calories, improve your oral health and reduce stress. It can also help you tone and tighten your skin around your neck and chin. Chew sugar-free gum for about 15 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day, to get the best results.
- Wear sunscreen daily: Sun exposure is one of the main causes of skin damage and aging. It can cause your skin to lose its elasticity, collagen and moisture, which can make it more prone to sagging and wrinkling. It can also increase your risk of skin cancer and other skin problems. To protect your skin from the sun, wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day, even on cloudy or rainy days. Apply it generously on your face, neck and other exposed areas, and reapply it every 2 hours or after sweating or swimming.
- Practice yoga: Yoga is a holistic practice that benefits your body, mind and spirit. It can help you lose weight, improve your posture, increase your flexibility and reduce stress. It can also help you improve your skin health and appearance, as it stimulates blood circulation, oxygen delivery and lymphatic drainage. Yoga also involves breathing exercises and meditation, which can calm your mind and enhance your mood. Some of the best yoga poses for neck fat are:
- Camel pose: Kneel on the floor with your knees hip-width apart and your toes tucked under. Place your hands on your lower back and arch your spine. Lean back and reach for your heels with your hands. Lift your chest and look at the ceiling. Hold for 5 breaths, then release.
- Fish pose: Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Press your palms into the floor and lift your chest and head off the floor. Tilt your head back and rest the top of your head on the floor. Hold for 5 breaths, then release.
- Plow pose: Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Lift your legs over your head and bring them behind you as far as you can. Try to touch the floor with your toes, or use a pillow or a block to support them. Keep your back straight and press your arms into the floor. Hold for 5 breaths, then release.
Excess fat around the neck is a prevalent aesthetic issue impacting all individuals, irrespective of their age or gender. Such an issue may contribute to an aged, hefty appearance and can diminish self-assuredness. Still, a long-term resolution exists. Embracing a well-balanced diet, engaging in frequent physical activity, maintaining sufficient hydration, and ensuring skin health can successfully eliminate this surplus neck fat, yielding a leaner, more appealing neck contour.