If you’re partial to olives in brine, smoked fish and charcuterie, be aware that these tasty foods are also high in salt. And high sodium levels increase the amount of fluid in tissues, insidiously maintaining edema – a process more commonly referred to as water retention (1). Though this usually shows first in our legs, it can also affect our cheeks!
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), salt intake should not exceed 5g a day (that’s around 1 teaspoon). To avoid compromising on flavor, simply use aromatic herbs and spices instead.
A tip that goes hand in hand with the previous one! If a high-salt diet is conducive to water retention, a lack of hydration creates an equally unwelcome environment. The reason is simple: if you don’t drink enough fluid, your body will try and hold on to the little it has, potentially causing your cheeks to appear puffy and swollen.
So if you want to slim down your face, make sure you drink enough fluid (around 1.5 liters a day) (2). Tea, coffee, herbal tea, vegetable broth – it all counts!
Though the amount of fat cells in the face is limited, they are concentrated in well-defined areas: the neck (resulting in the dreaded ‘double chin’), and also the cheeks. By reducing your overall body fat mass, you’ll end up with a thinner, more sculpted face – especially if you lose a few pounds in the process!
Alongside a balanced diet and regular exercise, it makes sense to take advantage of effective natural aids. A tropical perennial from Northern India, coleus (Coleus forskohlii) supports weight control and lipid metabolism (3-4). For even greater efficacy, it can be combined with synergistic plant extracts such as inulin, green coffee, Sphaerantus indicus and Garcinia mangostana (all of which you’ll find in the supplement Advanced Fat Burner).
Another good option is a type of brown algae called Ascophyllum nodosum, which supports weight control and gut health (it’s an ingredient in the latest-generation formulation Fat & Carb Blocker, sustainably developed in France) (5).
If you long for slimmer cheeks (or any other part of your body), diet will play a pivotal role in achieving your goal. While high-salt, high-sugar and high-fat foods are no friend of the figure-conscious, the reverse is true for other food groups which have a major part to play in a slimming program.
Prominence should be given to fresh fruits and vegetables which are high in water and low in calories (such as watermelon, lemon, cucumber, celery, chicory and artichoke). Also important are whole grains for their high fibre content in particular, which will help you resist the temptation to snack during the day (6).
At the same time, remember to include sources of satisfying protein in your diet as well as dairy products (sugar-free) to ensure a good calcium intake. An extra little tip: sprinkle a few chopped almonds on your salads, or some oat bran for its ‘fat-trapping’ properties! (7)
Working the face muscles by focusing on your breathing: that’s the principle of cheek yoga! Practised regularly, this kind of ‘facial gymnastics’ (which admittedly looks a bit strange viewed from the outside) redefines the contours and oval shape of the face and helps prevent facial tissues from sagging.
Want to give it a go? Try this simple exercise: puff out your cheeks then pull them in, forming your lips into a kiss. Repeat slowly 10 times, following the natural rhythm of your breathing. Concentrate on relaxing all your other muscle groups for maximum effect.
That doesn’t mean giving up vinaigrette on your salad. Even when you’re on a diet, you shouldn’t apply a blanket ban to all dietary fats as they actually play an essential role in cell membrane formation and hormone balance.
In by-passing classic lipid pathways, certain fats actually have some surprising properties. These include oils that contain medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) only which are rapidly converted into ketones without being stored in adipose tissue (8-9). There’s considerable interest in these oils among fans of the keto (low-carb) diet, in particular.
So to dress your salads, or season your soups, opt for these ‘magic’ oils, making sure you choose organically-produced forms with high purity (such as Organic MCT Oil Pure C8, an organic MCT oil obtained from coconut containing 98% C8 caprylic acid).
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