While all men have similar breast tissue as women, the high levels of testosterone block the development of its size and functionality.
However, in a group of people, this tissue drastically increases in size –a condition referred to as man boobs–, which leads to severe psychological problems for men, including low self-esteem, social issues, and even professional trouble.
You should keep in mind that when the size of the breast tissue increases due to an underlying medical condition, such as hormonal imbalance, it is known as gynecomastia, which requires a complex therapeutic approach that includes exercise, diet, and plastic surgery.
In this article, we will focus on the causes of man boobs and the steps you can take to correct this issue.
The causes of gynecomastia
As we mentioned above, gynecomastia affects a large number of men who have an imbalanced hormonal status that leads to breast growth.
This could be the result of one of the following causes:
- Advanced age (lower levels of testosterone)
- Hormonal changes (medical conditions)
- Drug-induced gynecomastia (e.g., antibiotics, diuretics, antidepressants)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Taking large amounts of herbal supplements (e.g., phytoestrogens)
- Anabolic steroids
- High body fat percentage
- Kidney disease
One of the key causes that was mentioned on this list is the excess body fat percentage, which leads to hormonal disturbances.
You see, adipocytes (i.e., fat cells) have an enzyme known as aromatase, which converts testosterone into female hormones (e.g., estrogen), predisposing men to feminine characteristics, such as excess fat, lower body hair, and decreased lean muscle mass.
Additionally, the excessive adipose tissue could simply accumulate in the breast, making it seem like the result of a medical condition.
For this group of people, the following steps must be applied to get rid of the excess fat:
How to get rid of man boobs?
Workout to lose weight
While it’s true that you cannot target lipolysis (i.e., fat burning), focusing on the bigger muscles of your body helps you lose weight at a much faster rate.
In the case of man boobs, it is recommended to follow a workout routine comprised of cardiovascular exercises and strength training to increase your lean muscle mass and burn more calories.
For instance, if you have never worked out before, you can start by doing a 30-minute walk every day to adapt your body. After that, opt for man boobs’ exercises, such as swimming, cycling, and weight lifting.
Note that you should not perform resistance training and cardiovascular exercises on the same day since it’s recommended to dedicate one day for each workout.
To target your chest muscles, try to do bench press when you are in the gym to challenge your pectoralis muscles.
According to one study, many mild cases of gynecomastia respond to exercise and dietary modifications.
Target your chest
Getting rid of man boobs by focusing on your chest muscles (e.g., bench press) might be beneficial for a while. However, the best way to target your chest is by overworking the big muscles (e.g., pectoralis major, quadriceps, biceps, calf muscles), as they require a large number of calories to efficiently perform the cycles of contraction/relaxation.
Consequently, your liver starts utilizing the fatty acids stored in your adipose tissues, including the abdominal, chest, and thigh fat.
Despite the non-specificity of lipolysis, the body doesn’t burn lipids in a ubiquitous fashion since the first area that gained fat is typically the last one to be targeted.
This means that if your man boobs developed first while you were gaining weight, the chest area will be the last location of lipolysis.
Nevertheless, targeting the big muscles will significantly accelerate this process, which leads to massive weight loss that’s somewhat equal.
Change your diet
Nutrition plays a vital role in determining your body’s composition of muscle and fat.
Based on the type of food you consume, you can either facilitate the process of weight loss or create the exact opposite result.
This begs the question: how to reduce man boobs with your diet?
Generally speaking, every diet out there targets one of the following elements:
- Total caloric intake (e.g., caloric deficit diets)
- Macronutrient ratio (e.g., ketogenic diet)
- Timing of caloric intake (e.g., intermitting fasting)
Depending on your preferences, you should opt for one of these diets to get rid of moobs.
If you want to take this whole thing to another level, you can combine two of these diets into one comprehensive chest-shaping eating pattern.
For instance, the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting lead to a synergetic effect when combined together.
The ketogenic diet will create a state of ketosis to push your body into utilizing fatty acids as a primary source of energy, while intermittent fasting prolongs the feeling of satiety by stimulating the secretion of hunger-suppressing hormones (e.g., ghrelin, leptin).
Moreover, intermittent fasting will reduce inflammation and increase testosterone levels, which will eventually decrease moobs.
As we mentioned above, some cases of man boob result from underlying medical conditions that cannot be addressed with dietary changes and physical exercise.
In these situations, the treatment options are tailored to meet each patient’s specific needs. For instance, if taking pharmacological drugs causes boobs on a man, the doctor would recommend the interruption of this therapy.
Note that the benefits of some therapeutic protocols outweigh the side effects, which could be a reason to continue the treatment while attempting other methods to cause fat loss around the chest area.
The final solution is to perform surgery to remove the excess fat around the chest, which is unfortunately not covered by insurance companies.
Gynecomastia, or moobs, is a challenging condition to deal with, especially for middle-aged men who struggle physically and psychologically to get through this issue.
Hopefully, this article will serve as a mini-guideline to help you answer the question of how to get rid of moobs and lose weight. However, in case your condition is the result of underlying endocrine pathology, consulting with your doctor to plan the appropriate treatment becomes indispensable.
If you have any questions about how to lose man boobs, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below.