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“Man boobs” is oxymoronic because gentlemen and enlarged breasts are incongruous. It’s natural to be insecure about your chest when it’s big in the wrong way. Fortunately, you can live without moobs. You just need to understand their nature to know your suitable options to reduce and maintain their size.
Is It Chest Fat or Gynecomastia?
You have a case of man boobs stemming from chest fat when you have excess adipose tissue — body fat — under or behind your nipples. On the other hand, you have gynecomastia when you have too much glandular male breast tissue. The former is usually a result of a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet, whereas the latter generally arises from a hormonal imbalance where you have more estrogen than testosterone.
Chest fat is soft to the touch, while gynecomastia feels firm since glandular tissue is more fibrous than fat tissue. Some call chest fat pseudogynecomastia because the two conditions look the same to the naked eye, even though they’re different.
Either can shake your confidence. Gynecomastia can be painful, too. Living with it can cause mild to severe tenderness in your chest area.
Moreover, obesity can cause both man-boob culprits. Being way off your ideal body mass index can increase your chances of developing or aggravating gynecomastia. A 2021 study found that about 75% of male high-schoolers with this condition are overweight or obese.
Do Moobs Ever Go Away?
Enlarged brea can go away on their own. Male neonates and adolescents may experience gynecomastia short-term.
Newborn babies can have a high level of estrogen due to breastfeeding. Boys in puberty can grow breasts when they produce more estrogen than androgens as they physically mature. Gynecomastia is so common in adolescent boys at least 60% of its incidence happens pre-adulthood.
Outside of these two causes, your moobs will likely stay as they are until you do something about them.
How to Get Rid of Man Boobs
Your treatment options depend on whether you have pseudogynecomastia, real gynecomastia or a combination of both.
1. Go Big on Cardio
Shedding extra pounds is a surefire way to trim the excess fat tissue over your pecs. Cardiovascular exercise fits the bill. The beauty of cardio is that you can do it meaningfully outside the gym and incorporate it into your daily routine.
Walking longer instead of faster is what the doctor ordered to lose more pounds. If you weigh 185 pounds, you’ll burn 336 calories by running a mile in 12 minutes or biking for 12 miles per hour. Recreational swimming will translate to 252 worth of calorie loss in 30 minutes. Playing basketball, soccer, racquetball, tennis or any sport requiring constant movement is a fun weekend or afterwork activity that will get your heart pumping.
2. Build Your Chest Muscles
Sculp your chest if your breasts appear more prominent because of body fat. Bench-pressing a barbell and working the pec deck can be your only gym priorities to notice results. Increasing your chest muscle mass requires effort, but proper technique can help you bulk up fast. For example, cultivating your mind-muscle connection can speed up pec hypertrophy.
Push-ups are the way to go if you prefer to tone your man boobs at home. Some types target
specific body parts better. The incline push-up — where your hands are on an elevated surface — is perfect for training your chest’s upper section, while the decline push-up — the opposite — works its middle and lower areas.
3. Lay Off Sugary Foods
The key to a low-calorie diet is few to no sweets. You may indulge yourself from time to time, but avoid the following:
- Candy bars
- Fruit juices
- Energy drinks
- Sports drinks
- Ice cream
The above treats are high in calories and low in nutritional value. If you must snack on something once or twice a day, eat a cup of grapes, blueberries, steamed green beans, cut-up carrots, chopped broccoli, or a medium banana or apple. These fruits and vegetables are rich in dietary fiber, water and nutrients. Such servings are equivalent to approximately 100 calories only.
4. Drink Moderately
Frequenting a watering hole can be counterproductive in your quest to lose your moobs. High alcohol consumption lowers your testosterone level and contributes to weight gain.
Less testosterone is the primary catalyst for male breast growth. Such a hormonal imbalance impedes muscle recovery and sabotages your fitness program. Alcohol calories become fat tissue instead of energy, which may wind up over your pecs.
How to get rid of man boobs if you still want to drink? Going for no-sugar low-calorie cocktails is your best bet. The Gin Basil Smash, Daiquiri and Caipirinha are your least calorific sugar-free options are your least calorific sugar-free options. You’ll be buzzed with any of them, but drink occasionally because each glass may still contain roughly 100 calories.
5. Rethink Your Medications
Amphetamines, steroids and other drugs can drive up the circulating estrogen in your bloodstream. One study found that medications have a hand in 80% of late-adulthood gynecomastia cases.
If your prescriptions are making your male breasts bigger, ask your doctor about any available alternatives to avoid having man boobs without jeopardizing your health.
6. Schedule a Physical Exam
Did you know that swollen breasts can be a symptom of different medical conditions? Liver failure, chronic renal failure, testicular tumors and hyperthyroidism can also lead to male breast growth.
Undergo a physical examination even if you feel hale and hearty. Your physician can discover unknown health problems, determine your man boobs’ underlying cause, and be properly diagnosed with gynecomastia.
7. Consider Surgery
How to get rid of man boobs if all else fails? You may go under the knife. Your physician may advise you to have male breast reduction — or gynecomastia surgery. This outpatient procedure aims to remove excess breast tissue and may involve excision, liposuction or both.
Expect soreness and discomfort for a week or two after post-male breast reduction. Your man boobs may still regrow, so you may need multiple surgeries and complementary medical treatment, like endocrine therapy, to achieve desirable results.
Separate the Man From Man Boobs
Moobs can be a picture of obesity or hormonal imbalance. Either way, they can be a source of social embarrassment. Explore your options to have a masculine chest to feel like a man and confidently face the world.