In this article:
What Are the Major Causes of Fat Accumulation in the Neck Area?
The major causes of fat accumulation in the neck area can vary, but usually, this problem has to do with obesity or excessive weight gain. The condition is often accompanied by shoulder fat, too. The neck area, when seen in the context of chakras, is also a vulnerable area for emotions. Sometimes, trapped grief (stagnant energy) is hiding behind the fat cells.
The chubbiness can stem from several issues, and it ultimately comes down to the individual to trace its roots. The underlying cause of weight gain or obesity can be genetics, disease, inactivity, and/or poor eating habits. However, you do not want to mistake “goiter” as neck fat, which is characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland and is an indication of an endocrine and immune disorder.
To bring activity, awareness, and proper posture to the neck area, I suggest yoga poses that open the chest and challenge the shoulder’s range of motion and to use the “lion’s” breath to dispel stale energy, life force, and/or breath.
If, however, you are concerned with an enlarged goiter, obesity, or other health ailments, you must request your doctor to include a thyroid hormone panel when getting your blood work done.
Is Chewing Gum an Effective Way to Reduce Neck Fat?
The effectiveness of chewing gum for reducing excessive neck fat depends upon what’s causing it. For some people, it can have a placebo effect, while others may derive some actual benefit from it.
For those struggling with weight loss, overeating, or poor diet, studies do show that chewing gum is a good way to curb your appetite. (1)(2)(3) The chewing movement is known as mastication. It alerts the brain that you are going to chew, taste, and swallow food. It then signals the stomach to prepare for digestion.
Simply put, the act of chewing gum triggers the mastication process in mind and tricks the stomach into thinking it needs to digest. I cannot say this will eliminate your neck fat, but it is proven to help those with oral fixations and even assist in cigarette cessation.
Is Surgery Necessary to Reduce Neck Fat?
Deciding if surgery is right for a patient is up to the patient. You must educate yourself on your condition, implement a healthy lifestyle, and then explore complementary options. The reason for doing these is even if you receive surgery, are you in good health for optimal recovery?
The neck is the most vascular area of the body, which means it is the bloodiest. I like to be extremely empathetic toward this area in particular as it is also the area that holds your voice box and a lot of emotions relating to grief.
The neck is responsible for connecting your brain (mind) to the rest of your body. I always encourage my students to sit with this area the longest to listen to what the blood flow there is telling them.
Can Walking Help in Reducing Neck Fat?
Walking is a great form of exercise overall, but it can be specifically done to reduce neck fat as well. However, it is imperative that you do it while holding the proper posture that does not exert great pressure on your neck.
We are now living in a time where phones and computer screens consume us, causing us to always look down.
I encourage everyone to go for a walk to reduce weight anywhere on the body but only go for a walk if you are going to look straight ahead, NOT down. Looking down will exert more strain on this area, causing it to become weak.
What Postural Changes Should Be Made to Reduce Neck Fat?
A postural change that can help reduce neck fat can be as simple as keeping a “dritsi,” or a focal point that is straight ahead or even above you.
This is done to counteract the effect of the technological lifestyle that most people lead. Looking down at a computer screen or phone inevitably forces the neck to lose its natural curvature in the spine and weakens the surrounding muscles supporting it.
I won’t suggest specific poses, because everyone’s chest, shoulders, and spine are different, but I will suggest making these small changes throughout the day:
- Make a concerted effort to look straight forward rather than down during the regular course of your day.
- Consider using special pillows to protect your neck curve.
- Start using reusable straws to consume your fluids, as it will allow you to focus your muscles strength in “sucking” and “swallowing,” which will eventually enable you to have proper form in the neck area.
Can One Develop a Fat Neck Without Being Fat Overall?
Yes, you can have a “fat neck” without being fat overall. I had a “fat neck” growing up, but the underlying cause was an autoimmune disease called Grave’s disease. The condition presented as a thyroid goiter.
If you have a similar case or you suspect that the plumpness around your neck may be something other than regular fat, it is best to get a medical consultation. Your doctor will evaluate the problem and conduct proper testing to rule out anything life-threatening. Aside from Graves’ disease, other common diseases can also cause “neck fat.”
For the record, I hate calling it “fat” for this very reason since the term could be misleading. In many instances, the actual problem can turn out to be something other than normal-weight issues.
What Tips or Changes Can Be Incorporated in the Daily Lifestyle to Reduce or Prevent Fat Accumulation Around the Neck?
Go back to the basics by adopting the following measures:
- Keep your gaze forward, head straight, and shoulders back. Imagine a long piece of thread is attached from the ceiling to the crown of your head, and it is pulling you each time you look down and push your chin forward.
- Use a reusable straw or reusable water bottle with a “nipple”-type topper to strengthen the neck muscles involved in sucking and swallowing.
- Place your hands on the top of your sternum and breathe into them for about 5 minutes. Notice any emotions that may come up in your mind, do not judge them, but give your mind the space to recognize them.Focus on your breathing. The neck is your area for voice, living your truth, and experiencing grief. That is why you get “choked up” when you are sad.Sit with these emotions and validate them. Allow your breath and heart rate to recalibrate for a bit. This area can bring up traumatic events, but it is important to face and process these negative emotions rather than bottle them up.
- Be patient with yourself. Food is an addiction, and changing your diet, lifestyle, and posture takes a lot of time. Be your biggest cheerleader, and stay realistic. It is best to find ways to incorporate small changes into your life rather than add more, like postures, into it.