Neck fat can be embarrassing and typically happens as we age. As we age, our bodies don’t have the high metabolisms that they did when we were younger and after the age of 25 we’re more prone to experience muscle loss and see an increase in fat production. Yikes! What can you do to get rid of that turkey neck?

Although getting rid of neck fat won’t happen in a day or two, you can incorporate these top six ways to get rid of neck fat into your lifestyle. Not only will they help get rid of turkey neck, but they’ll also help to increase your health and wellness for life!

1. Take a Hard Look at Your Weight

Many people who experience embarrassing neck fat actually have a problem with their weight. Being overweight—even if it’s by just a few pounds—increases your risk for having neck fat. Did you know that having increased neck fat also increases your risk for sleep apnea?

Consider if you’re overweight or even if you could just be in better shape. If either of these things are true, getting in shape and shedding a few pounds will help you to get rid of neck fat. Some of these tips will focus on what you can do to help lose that weight and keep it off, therefore leading to a slimmer, more youthful neck and body!

2. What’s Your Diet Like?

Eating mostly processed foods (and consequently, foods that are high in sugar and unhealthy fats) can contribute the formation and retention of neck fat. You want to be sure you’re eating mostly fresh, whole foods. For instance, instead of eating strawberry jam (which has added sugar), eat a cup of fresh strawberries or make a smoothie from frozen ones. Incorporating fresh healthy foods is easier than you think, especially once you make a habit out of it!

Vegetables and fruits provide you with the necessary fiber you’ll need for weight loss, essential vitamins, and they’re low in calories. So not only are you increasing your absorption of powerful antioxidants and lovely vitamins and minerals, but you’re also helping your body to naturally lose weight. Phase out those processed foods and phase in the fresh ones! Aim to get a minimum of five servings of fruits and veggies a day.

3. Stop Eating So Much Sugar

You’re probably consuming much more sugar than you think you are—consider that a cup of low-fat yogurt can have as much sugar as a can of soda! You need to be checking the label when it comes to sugar content. Over-consumption of sugar can lead to more stored fat in the body. Eating lots of sugar also increases your risk for type 2 diabetes, and being overweight is another risk factor. Sugar can also lead you to appear more aged and have wrinkly skin–a contributor to the appearance of neck fat.

When it comes to sugar, less is more. Look at your diet and consider where you can cut sugar. You want healthy carbohydrates like whole grains. If you’re gluten-free, don’t worry—quinoa, brown rice, and gluten-free oats are good sources of these healthy grains. Stay away from white flour products, such as many baked goods, which are often stripped of their fiber and nutrient contents, leaving you with—you guessed it, sugar.

4. Drink Lots of Water

girl-drinking-waterYour body is about 73% water. It needs water to survive—and no, this doesn’t include the other fluids you drink throughout the day, like juice (sugar), wine (sugar), or soda (sugar). You should be drinking a minimum of 2.7 liters of water a day, which translates to nearly 11 and a half cups!

Drinking water helps you to feel full, helps your body to flush out toxins, and keeps your skin looking great. Your skin is about 64% water. Drinking more water can help you to lose weight, improve skin appearance, and decrease neck fat! Hydrated skin appears youthful and less saggy—so sip that water throughout the day!

5. Exercise!

When was the last time you exercised? Exercise should be a regular part of your life whether it’s for a few minutes every day or for an hour three times a week. How much exercise you need will depend on your age and your health, but nearly everyone is able to get a few minutes of exercise in during their week.

For neck fat, don’t focus on neck-toning exercises. These exercises bulk up the muscles in your neck and could actually make your neck look bigger. They won’t do much to combat the actual fat in your neck—for this, you’ll need to drinks lots of water and make the necessary dietary changes.

So what types of exercise should you do?

Cardio exercises are great for weight loss and for toning your body and will eventually help reduce your neck fat. Cardio exercises include jogging, walking, swimming, biking, or dancing. These exercises also help prevent many chronic diseases. You may also choose to do strength training. These exercises include lifting weights and yoga. Talk with your doctor about which types of exercise would be best for you!

6. Show Your Neck Some Love

Your neck has a very important job—holding and supporting your 11-pound head! So show your neck some love. You can do this by:

  • Wearing sunblock. Sunblock helps to protect your neck from UVA/UVB rays. Wrinkled skin tends to sag more, therefore increasing the appearance of neck fat.
  • Wash and exfoliate your neck. Many people give a lot of love and attention to their face, but the neck is often overlooked. Just as you wash and exfoliate your face, you should do the same with your neck. This will help to remove dirt and dead skin cells and improve your neck’s appearance as you lose weight and eat healthier!

Your neck does a lot for you, so show it some love by treating your body right. With healthy, fresh, whole foods and a little exercise, you can improve the appearance of neck fat and reduce your chances for many chronic diseases. Follow these six tips to reduce neck fat, look great, and be healthy!

Jenn Ryan is a freelance writer and editor who’s passionate about health, fitness, gluten-free, and animals. She loves running, reading, and playing with her four rescued rabbits.