Fat can accumulate virtually anywhere on the body. For most of us, there are certain "problem" areas, where fat can be more noticeable. The dreaded belly fat, for instance. Women tend to carry their excess weight around the hips and stomach, whereas fat on men can accumulate in the torso. Of course, this varies from individual to individual. However, some men might notice an increase in chest fat, leading to - horror of horrors - Man Breasts.
Man breasts, man boobs, or moobs, is when fat gathers on a man's chest to give the appearance of boobs. While this kind of fat isn't immediately harmful in comparison to belly fat, which crowds around the abdomen and internal organs, man boobs are often a symptom of something else.
Understanding what causes man boobs is key to learning how to get rid of them. Many men with this problem feel self conscious about their moobs, and want to eliminate them as soon as possible. But what causes man boobs? More importantly, how can you get rid of them naturally?
What Causes Man Boobs?
It's possible that a medical condition is causing your man boobs. In fact, men have breasts just like women. The only difference is that during puberty, high levels of testosterone prevent male breast tissue from developing like a woman's. A hormonal imbalance can disrupt this delicate system, and can develop at any time during a person's life.
However, a condition called gynecomastia can cause too much fat or tissue to develop in men. Symptoms include breast tenderness and swollen tissue. It's usually caused by a hormone issue. The testosterone levels drop, allowing for a higher level of estrogen.
Gynecomastia can be caused by a variety of things. Medications, alcohol or substance abuse, marijuana or drug use, or even steroids can cause male breast fat to develop. If you suspect that your man boobs are being caused by something like this, it's best to consult a doctor to determine the root cause.More often than not, man boobs are simply caused by too much fat on the chest. If that's the case, the treatment is simple - in theory. Losing weight and exercising more should get rid of the layer of fat. However, as we know all too well, this is easier said than done!
Natural Remedies to Lose Your Man Boobs
There are two methods of targeting moobs, and for the absolute best results, you should use both together. The first is diet, and the second is exercises that target your chest and upper torso, as well as your whole body.
Ideally, a combination of both dietary changes and exercises would do the best job of stripping away chest fat. Since it's difficult to target just one area of your body, it's good to work on toning yourself as a whole. This should help to get rid of moobs.
1. Dietary Changes
While each individual is different, and genetic issues may play a part, the cause of weight gain is usually simple. Taking in more calories than you need results in excess body fat which is stored for later use. A simple calorie deficit can be a good place to start.
Starving yourself to get rid of moobs is a bad idea, and isn't sustainable. Steady, healthy weight loss is the best way to reduce man boobs for good. A calorie deficit works on you taking in less calories than you use up. However, this kind of diet isn't something you should stick to. A calorie deficit can work in the short term, but shouldn't become a lifestyle choice.
It's always a good idea to talk to an expert before implementing any serious dietary changes. Tell your doctor you're planning to lose weight, and listen carefully to their advice. A medically-trained professional can help you to work out an actionable meal plan for fat loss, complete with all the nutrition you'll need to shed excess fat. Changing your diet is always the first step to becoming leaner and fitter - and getting rid of the dreaded man boobs!
Keeping a food diary and cutting out sugary foods or junk food is a good place to start. You should also reduce your alcohol intake if necessary.
Cardio exercises, like running, cycling, power walking, and more are all great ways of helping a person lose excess fat. Getting the heart moving faster is a good way to kick the body into fat-burning mode. Regular cardio is good for your overall health, as well as aiding weight loss.
3. Strength Training
While you may only see the layer of chest fat, your muscles are still there! A combination of a good diet, cardio, and strength training can strip away the fat, to reveal beautifully sculpted muscles underneath. This will only work if you take the time to build up your muscles first.
Since you can't target only one area of the body for weight loss, all-over fitness workouts are best. However, there are some exercises designed specifically as chest workouts. These exercises focus on your upper arms, pectorals, shoulders, and upper abdominals. Man boobs or not, chest exercises will tone that area of muscle. Here are a few simple exercises you can add to your regular workout to improve your overall fitness and help you lose extra fat around your chest.
Press-ups or push-ups are a simple workout, and a staple of most exercise routines. Start by getting into position, supporting yourself on your hands, with your arms forming a straight line from your shoulder to your wrist. The rest of your body should be straight, with you supporting yourself on your toes. Keep your back straight.
Then, gently bend your elbows, lowering your body. You should be using your arms and chest to do this. Then, push yourself back into your original position. Your back should be straight throughout the whole press-up, and no other part of you should be touching the floor.
The depth, speed, and number of reps you can manage during your training will likely vary. Don't push yourself too hard, but do persevere. If you're starting from scratch, try supporting yourself on your knees instead of your toes, until you build up some upper body strength.
As you progress, push-ups can be made more complicated. Press-ups are a classic exercise that you can work into any routine.
Once you're comfortable with press-ups, you can consider introducing weights to your routine. Always have somebody to watch you when you're doing this exercise.
Using a weighted barbell, or set of dumbells, lie back on a padded bench. You can find equipment like this in gyms, or you can invest in a home gym. Holding the weight across your chest (do not let it lie on your chest) lift the weight to the length of your arm, and lower it again.
This exercise tones your arm muscles, but also focuses heavily on the pectoral muscles. Since the premise of this exercise is so simple, you can make it easier or more difficult to suit your needs. Heavier weights are going to make for a harder workout. An inclined bench press can help you focus more on toning pectoral muscles, shredding those man boobs.
Similar to a bench press, a deadlift adds an extra dimension to the exercise. It's important to use proper form and positioon when doing this exercise. Once again, have somebody to watch you in case of difficulties.
Place a weighted barbell on the floor, and assume a strong, relaxed posture in front of it. Lift the barbell, but do not bend - this puts extra strain on your back. When you're lifting the barbell, use your legs and glutes. Depending on the weight of the barbell, you may also lift it to your chest, and up above your head.
A deadlift could be a dangerous workout if you don't know what you're doing, or if you use a weight that's too heavy. Always start with a weight lighter than what you think you can lift. You can always add weights later on. Alternatively, you can lift with a set of dumbells instead.
Pull-ups are another great exercise for the chest and arms. They focus on toning all of the upper torso's muscles, making pull-ups a must for anyone interested in strength training. They're also a good exercise to consider if you don't have access to workout equipment. A sturdy bar that will take your weight is all you need to complete a set of pull-ups!
Gripping the bar firmly, use your arms and chest muscles to lift your whole body off the ground. Depending on the type of pull-up you're doing, you could add extra flourishes on the end. For example, you could lift your whole upper torso above the bar, straightening your arms, or simply lift your chin to the level of the bar.
Pull-ups can be very difficult if your arms and chest aren't used to taking your whole weight. However, you'll immediately begin to feel the burn in your chest and upper arms. Generally speaking, this is a sign that the exercise is working.
Finally, posture is an important aspect of getting rid of man boobs. While keeping your back straight won't make a difference by itself, proper posture goes a long way to strengthening muscles in your back, shoulders, and chest.
On the other hand, slouching may make chest fat more prominent. It weakens certain muscles and strains others. Working out should naturally improve your posture, but it's good to take time to consciously readjust your posture, whether you're sitting or standing.
When to See A Doctor
Man boobs are generally not something to worry about. They can cause discomfort from breast tenderness, or can make a person feel unhappy with their appearance. However, they're generally linked to excess fat, not an underlying medical condition.
That doesn't mean you can't see a medical professional if your excess chest fat won't go away. You may require treatment for an imbalance in hormone levels. If you notice a hard lump or any other irregularity in your skin tissue, contact a doctor immediately.
All in all, man boobs can be embarrassing, but rarely a sign of anything more serious.