‘I’m a PT – here’s the best exercise to help you get rid of your double chin’

A double chin is often caused by weight gain as it’s essentially fat deposits and inflammation around the face.

According to weight loss specialist and Certified Personal Trainer, Mark Bohannon, from Ultimate Performance, there are no specific chin exercises you can do to get rid of one – it just comes down to fat loss.

He explained: “For the most part, spot reducing fat is a myth and where you hold fat on your body is largely down to your genetics.

“Often when you begin to lose body fat and get leaner, there are likely to be areas that you think are more ‘stubborn’ than others where you lose fat from immediately and this is different for every person.

“So, just as you cannot spot reduce fat on your abs by doing sit-ups, you can’t spot reduce fat on your double chin.

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“Fat loss occurs as an overall process and comes down to burning more calories than you consume in a day.

“So as long as you are regularly exercising (in particular strength training) and following a calorie controlled diet (and do so consistently) you will see results.”

Mark recommended one type of exercise in particular to help with fat loss and that’s resistance training.

He said: “Following a progressive, well-structured and challenging weight training program consistently is one of the most effective ways to affect fast and far-reaching body composition change, and that includes a slimmer face.

“Performing big ‘compound’ exercises like the squat, deadlifts and pull-ups are a great bang-for-your-buck way to recruit more muscle mass in training and burn more calories. Now, that might sound counterproductive to work your legs and upper body when you’re trying to lose fat from around your face, but remember you cannot spot burn! The exercises I’ve mentioned are the best way to get your heart racing, your metabolism into fifth gear, and turn your body into a calorie-burning furnace which will reduce your overall fat levels, including those around your chin.

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“If you are trying to lose fat and shed some unwanted pounds around your chin, lifting hard and heavy is incredibly effective. Doing 1,000 reps with a 2kg dumbbell isn’t enough to stimulate muscle growth needed to improve body composition.”

If you’re new to weightlifting, Mark said it’s best to start out performing a full-body workout programme three times a week.

He continued: “One of the best methods we use at Ultimate Performance with our body transformation clients is using upper and lower body supersets, like the German Body Composition protocol, which allows you to get your heart rate up and do more work in less time (great if you’ve only got 45 minutes on your lunch break at work).”

Mark also recommended the following to help you achieve fat loss:

Calorie-controlled diet

Ultimately, to lose weight you need to burn more energy than you consume, whether that comes from more exercise or fewer calories or a mixture of both, said Mark.

He added: “Controlling your calories is key. So long as you create that calorie deficit, any diet will work – you just need to find one that is most sustainable for you.

“Diets that are higher in protein, higher in fruits and vegetables, higher in fibre, lower in processed ingredients, and have a lower glycemic load are ultimately better for a fat loss diet.”

Increase daily activity levels

If you want to lose weight around your jawline, you need to increase your activity levels, said Mark – and not just the 60 minutes you spend working out at the gym either.

He explained: “By this, I mean moving more and increasing the amount of activity you do during the whole day. So many people fall into the trap of thinking all they need to do is a quick hour session in the gym to lose weight. But if they’re sedentary for the other 23 hours in the day, their overall energy expenditure will still be pretty low. Your activity levels play a big part in whether you successfully lose weight or not.

“One of the biggest weight loss tools that everyone overlooks is something called ‘non-exercise activity thermogenesis’ (NEAT). Put simply, this is the energy you use doing day-to-day activities that aren’t exercise – things like shopping, cleaning, walking and even fidgeting at your desk. It can be a game-changer where weight loss is concerned.”

Improve sleep quality

The link between poor sleep and weight gain is one that has long been documented by science. So optimising sleep quality and duration needs to be a cornerstone of any weight loss programme, particularly if you want your face to look slimmer, said Mark.

Drink more water

Making sure you’re drinking enough water is a crucial part of any weight loss plan for many reasons.

Mark said: “Firstly, water ensures your brain and body are functioning optimally – remember, dehydration down regulates every cellular process in the body. Not consuming enough water during the day dents muscle protein synthesis and even 3 percent dehydration can impair your strength, power and performance output in the gym. More specific to weight loss, not getting enough water means your liver will metabolise less fat as it has to step in and assume some of the functions of your kidneys when dehydration sets in.

“Water plays a more prosaic role too when it comes to weight loss – it will help fill you up more, stave off hunger and keep you from overeating. A useful tip anyone can use is drinking a glass or two of water 10 minutes before you eat a meal – it really helps with dietary adherence and curtails overeating. A good daily water intake target to aim for is around 1 litre per 25kg of bodyweight.”

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