No More, Please: 5 Ways to Lose That Turkey Neck This Thanksgiving

Turkey: The cornerstone of any Thanksgiving dinner.

While the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 45 million turkeys are eaten during Thanksgiving each year, not everybody is so fond of the bird. Or, rather, the bird’s characteristics.
More specifically, turkey neck.

Aging is an inevitable side effect of living, and as the years pass the muscles and skin in our necks break down, losing definition and eventually sagging. When this happens, the neck adopts a “turkey gobbler” effect, causing it to thicken and widen as fat deposits under the chin.

If you find yourself looking for various ways to cover your neck out of self-consciousness, there are a few tactics you can use to try and tighten those muscles and make it so the only turkey at the table this Thanksgiving is the one somebody (possibly even you) spent hours cooking:


There are various exercises that can be used to strengthen your neck muscles, allowing less slack in the skin.
For starters lie on your back, elevating your head and neck so they’re a few inches off the floor. In this position, turn your head to the right, then to the left, then place your head back on the floor. Repeat this as much as your neck will allow, taking care not to jerk your head or neck during the exercise as this can cause injuries. While you should feel the muscles in your neck tightening during the workout, at no point should you feel any pain.
Using this exercise, you will build the muscles in your neck, which will in turn tighten the skin around your neck and reduce the visibility of turkey neck, if not make it go away completely.
Stretch and Tone

Another tactic to rid yourself of the dreaded turkey neck is stretching the muscles in that area, keeping them toned.
Start in a sitting position, with your hand placed across your collar bone at the base of your neck. With your palm down, use your hand to gently tilt head back and stretch out your neck. You’ll feel some pressure as you do but, again, don’t throw your head around in any sort of jerky motion. Make sure you’re looking at a point on the ceiling that is in front of you, not directly above your head. Once you’ve got your head back, stick your bottom lip out past your top lip to extend your jaw, holding this position for a few seconds before relaxing your jaw and slowly moving your neck back to its starting position. Repeat this about ten times, switching the placement of your hands to the other side of your collarbone halfway through.


Keeping with our theme, the third tactic for losing that turkey neck is something you’ll probably be doing anyways this Thanksgiving: chewing.
For your purposes though, we’re going to approach this a little differently.
First of all, sit up straight, make sure your back is against whatever seat you’re in. From there, keep your mouth closed and tilt your head back so your chin is pointed towards the ceiling. Without opening your mouth, begin to chew, bringing your teeth together and apart slowly as if you’re chewing gum. Twenty chews should be enough here, though if you actually have food in your mouth you might need a few more.


A lot of the effects of turkey neck have to do with the appearance of the skin in the neck area. To counteract this deterioration, make sure to keep your skin moisturized with a high-end lotion or targeted moisturizer, making sure to use it on your face and neck.

Neck Lift

If you’ve tried all these tactics and the turkey neck is still prominent, no worries. Plastic surgeons like Dr. Man are extremely skilled in cosmetic procedures such as neck lifts.
The goal of a neck lift is to remove the excess skin and fat under the neck by tightening muscles and redraping the skin. The results are an improved look to the neck, jaw line, cord-like structures in the front of the neck, and the removal of double chins. Neck lift procedures typically take 2-3 hours to complete in an outpatient procedure, with a 1-2 week recovery period.
If your unseemly turkey’s neck is adding to your stress these holidays, consider the various ways you can counteract the development.
And above all, have a Happy Thanksgiving.