Clothes you haven’t worn in years fitting like a dream. Compliments raining down like confetti. More sleep, more sex and more healthy years in which to enjoy them. Yes, weight loss gives you a lot to smile about.
But one effect is sometimes overlooked: dreaded Diet Face. Dramatic weight loss can lead to skin appearing saggy and prematurely aged.
Broadcaster Dame Jenni Murray, who has lost 5st since having a gastric band fitted in 2015, revealed her horror of Diet Face this week, saying she was happy to stay around the 14st mark because she ‘didn’t want to look like Nigel Lawson’.
The former Chancellor published a best-selling diet book in 1997. Yet he looked a decade older from the neck up.
With two-thirds of us considered overweight, dieting is to be commended, but how to do it without looking like you need a good iron?
Goodbye, big pants: Renee Zellweger piled on — and lost — pounds as diet-obsessed Bridget Jones. In recent years, the 50-year-old —wowing critics as Judy Garland — has adopted an even slimmer look
The Dibley diet: Actress and comedian Dawn French, 61, lost up to eight stone before surgery. She said there was ‘no magic wand, just tiny, joyless low-cal eating and lots of walking for weeks and weeks’
Slender songbird: Celine Dion, 51, caused comment recently with her markedly thinner appearance. Having taken up ballet, she reassured fans she is still healthy — just lighter
Voting for a healthier life: Talent show judge Simon Cowell, 59, showed off a new-six pack after losing 20lb on a vegan diet. It left the waspish music mogul with a more angular face
According to aesthetic expert Dr Mervyn Patterson at Woodford Medical clinic, the more weight you lose, the more you are likely to end up with a Diet Face.
‘I have many patients who’ve embraced a healthier lifestyle in middle age,’ he says. ‘To their horror, a by-product is often tired and drawn-looking face.’
As soon as you lose volume from your face — and this happens as a natural part of the ageing process anyway — it means you lose the scaffolding which holds it up.
Fat loss from the cheeks means the jowls and naso-labial lines (the lines that run from your nose to the corners of your mouth) will descend, and you lose definition around the jawline. ‘Volume loss around the eyes means they may look hollow and sunken,’ says Dr Patterson.
Clearly it’s important to lose weight gradually, and ensure you have plenty of Omega 3 fats, fruit and vegetables as well as key vitamins.
Perhaps the best course of action is to follow Murray’s example and try to find a balance between a youthfully plump face and a healthy figure. Here, we look at the celebrities we’ve been seeing a lot less of….
Shape-shifter: TV presenter Davina McCall, 51, is a fitness fanatic. Despite having three children, her body is now that of a muscular athlete. But did she push herself too far?
A leaner Sir Lenny Henry! The cuddly Dudley comic took up running and shed 3st on medical advice and for a TV role — but it left the 61-year-old looking more like his age
Sharper look: After her romance with Hollywood’s Jamie Foxx ended, actress Katie Holmes’s cheekbones look even more pronounced at 40
All cha-cha-change: Former Strictly and Emmerdale star Lisa Riley, 43, lost 12st in 18 months, acquiring a honed, chiselled face along the way
Time to tighten our belts: Ex-Chancellor Nigel Lawson led the way with drastic weight loss by dropping five stones in 1997 aged 55, but such a sterling effort clearly aged him