How to Get Rid of Neck Fat [The Hyoid Bone]

How To Get Rid of Neck Fat

An unattractive neck area such as the one of the top right is a dating death sentence. It makes you look obese or unhealthy even if you’re not.

The main things you can do to get rid of neck fat are mewing, conscious hyoid muscle elevation, facial exercises, and losing body fat. Plastic surgery options include a neck lift, liposuction, and hyoid surgery. 

The most important lies in understanding the anatomy of the hyoid bone. The hyoid bone is a free-floating bone between your jaw and neck. Normally, it should rest between the C3 and C4 vertebrae. It doesn’t attach to other bones, but to a thin sheet of muscles called the mylohyoids. This means the hyoid can sink with age. But it also means you can improve its positioning in real-time just by contracting the right muscles.

Hyoid bone - animation.gifThe Hyoid Bone

The hyoid bone determines the appearance of your submental region. This is the area under your jaw. This area is extremely important for your facial aesthetics. Note that we’re not talking about the Adam’s Apple here. The Adam’s Apple is a visible lump of the thyroid cartilage and resides much lower.

If the hyoid bone is high and situated more towards the back, you’ll have a prominent jaw and a slim face with no neck fat. But your body fat percentage must also be low.

Attractive Submental Region
Attractive Submental Region

If the hyoid bone is low and forward, you’ll have the appearance of a fat neck and a weak jawline no matter how much overall body fat you lose.

how to get rid of neck fat
Obtuse Submental-Cervical Angle

The previous picture shows a patient who had fat removed from their neck area. But the positioning of the hyoid bone ensures that he’ll never have a good submental/neck angle no matter how much fat reduction he does.

The ideal attractive/youthful submental-cervical angle is 110° while in a natural head position. The average male angle is 126°, and the average female value is 121°. However, note that measuring this angle is hard. It increases when you look down or increases when you look up. You have to be standing in a perfect natural head position to get an accurate measurement.

Nick Bateman’s angle appears to be 115° based just off this photo.

submental angle

Having a visible and prominent jawline is key for this. If your jawline is recessed or covered by fat, then you won’t even be able to notice the submental-cervical angle at all. And then your amazing hyoid positioning will amount to nothing.

Conscious Persistent Muscle Elevation

Proper mewing naturally tucks your hyoid bone into the optimal location. However, some people are better off consciously flexing the muscles that elevate the hyoid. I like to do this in conjunction with mewing.

The following animation shows the stylohyoids, muscles that raise the hyoid:

Try to consciously keep your hyoid in the elevated (superior) position for as long as you can. I like to flex these muscles while I’m mewing so that I get the most bang for my buck.

However, it’s difficult to acquire the mental control over these muscles that you need. It comes with practice. There are two helpful tips to make sure you’re doing it right:

  1. Think of it as the opposite of a yawn. Where the yawn bulges your hyoid out, you’ll want to instead send your hyoid bone the other way (inwards) as far as you can.
  2. The muscle movement is similar to a suction effect, so try to see how it feels to create a suction effect going upwards and backwards.

If you’re constantly mewing and tucking your hyoid up, this will naturally prevent it from sagging and your body will become more acclimated to having it in this position. This takes time and dedication. Start now so that your submental region gets better with age instead of worse.

Facial Exercises

The technique demonstrated in this video will tighten the muscles of your submental region and also help prevent lowering of the hyoid:

Basically, you look up and flex your mandible, trying to contract your submental muscles. Again, this takes months, if not years, of dedication to see worthwhile results. However, I’ve added this to my daily routine, because a weak submental region leads to double chins which is almost a dating death sentence.

Standing up straight is also key. Practice the McKenzie chin tuck daily so that you stand up straight and your submental contents don’t get pushed out:

Fat Reduction

The number of fat cells in your body are fixed. When you gain or lose weight, the fat cells merely changed in size; you don’t get more fat cells. Noninvasive procedures such as Kybella and Coolsculpting both help eliminate fat in targeted areas. The fat cells die your lymphatic system removes them over several months. These procedures will get rid of neck fat permanently. But this means if you decide to gain an obscene amount of weight in the future, your neck area will look unnatural and will be missing fat. Keeping an optimum body composition, on the other hand, will ensure that you get the most out of these procedures and that they’re well worth the money.

To fully get rid of submental fat with coolsculpting, you would need several sessions that could cost you from 2 to 4 thousand dollars. You wear an applicator on your neck that is set to a cold temperature that will kill the fat cells but leave your skin intact. You can’t do this with ice at home because you have no way of regulating the temperature and keeping it consistent.

With Kybella, you get a series of injections that dissolve the membrane around the fat cells. You’ll have swelling for about a weak. The injections themselves don’t hurt, but there is a burning sensation that lasts for about a day which can be fixed with OTC meds.

Neck Lift

Costing at least 5000 dollars, a neck lift surgery consists of making an incision near your ears and tightening the muscles near your neck. The surgeon will cut parts of your skin and pull some of it back. This decreases wrinkles and fixes skin laxity. You can expect to resume normal activity within two weeks. This type of surgery is mainly for older patients. If you feel like your skin isn’t sagging yet, look into other causes for your neck fat.

Hyoid Surgery

A submental suprahyoid myotomy can, on average, move the hyoid bone 5 mm. up and 4 mm. back. Talk to an experienced plastic surgeon if you’re considering going this route. Any kind of liposuction will also improve the appearance of the submental region. However, the position of the hyoid bone is the biggest factor. You can lose fat anytime. You just want to make sure that when you do, it will actually make a difference to your face.

Submental Cervical Angle

Other Causes of Neck Fat

Before you dive right into surgery, first consider the other causes of your neck fat if you don’t think it’s your hyoid:

  1. Just straight up lose weight. If you’re at a high body fat percentage, you’re probably going to have a fat neck as well. Start fasting regularly and find a diet you can stick with. Hit the gym and lift high volume weights if you’re not already.
  2. You might have an abnormal amount of fat in your submental region, even after weight loss. This is purely due to genetics and not really in your control. Pinch your neck, and if it feels like a disproportionate amount compared to the rest of your body, go ahead and look at liposuction, Coolsculpting, or Kybella.
  3. Excess skin. Did you lose a lot of weight? Make sure you practice fasting so that your body eats up the skin cells it doesn’t need. If you must, get a neck lift.
  4. You might have a recessed chin. If your chin doesn’t protrude far enough, you’ll have the appearance of neck fat even with a normal hyoid bone position and body fat percentage. Unfortunately, only plastic surgery can fix this.
  5. Posterior mandibular rotation. This mostly comes from years of mouth-breathing, where your lower jaw just begins tilting downwards. If you’re not mewing already, get on it. Otherwise, consider surgery or at least seeing a doctor who might give you a correction device.
  6. Drink lots of water. Strangely, drinking water leads to a leaner look instead of bloating like many people seem to think. It’s similar to losing body weight, only it’s easy and you can do it now.
  7. You might have some combination of all of the above.

Best Way To Get Rid of Neck Fat

So far, the best options to get rid of the appearance of a fat neck are two-fold. You can lose fat in your whole body or neck area, or practice proper posture. Proper posture consists of mewing and pushing your hyoid upwards & inwards, daily facial exercises to maintain the submental muscles, and standing up straight. Practice the Mckenzie chin tuck religiously so that you have room in your mouth for mewing and so that you don’t slouch. Get Coolsculpting or Kybella if you feel like you lost out in the genetics of neck fat, but otherwise consider surgery as a last resort.

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