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Man boobs

How to get rid of man boobs

When men gain weight in their chests, it can create the appearance of enlarged breasts, or “man boobs.” Man boobs are caused by excess fat storage in the chest area, or as a result of a condition known as gynecomastia, which is a hormonal imbalance.

Man boobs are very common, affecting 40 to 60 percent of men. And though the condition may be unsettling for some, there are ways men can get rid of unwanted chest fat.

The key is to lose weight, says Paige Jones, ACSM CES, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center. And not just weight in the chest area, but across the whole body.

“Spot reduction, or the idea that you can lose weight in one particular area, doesn’t really apply with weight loss,” says Jones. “It’s something that you approach from a very general perspective. You work out, and it's your body, and not your mind, that chooses where the weight loss comes from.”

Weight loss tips to reduce chest fat

Jones offers the following tips to lose weight and ultimately reduce chest fat:

  • Eat better. From a nutritional standpoint, it’s important to make healthy choices. Eating a salad is far better than munching on hot dogs, but you don’t want to make a drastic change. Start off by making small changes that you can maintain for the rest of your life. 

“The general rule that I like to tell people is to aim for about 80/20,” says Jones. “Eighty percent of the time you should make healthy choices for yourself. And then maybe 10 to 20 percent of the time you might indulge so that you don’t feel totally restricted.”  

  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol is high in calories, and excessive drinking can lead to weight gain.  Research has also shown that alcohol consumption may suppress testosterone levels, which could consequently lead to gynecomastia.  
  • Exercise. Use exercise to supplement your weight loss efforts.  Exercise at least five days per week for 45 minutes. Keep a consistent pace and make sure your workout is moderately challenging.

Jones recommends the following exercise techniques to lose weight:

  • Weights: Free weights are good, because they engage a lot more of your muscle.

“Try a bench press or dumbbell press if you have a gym membership or weights at home,” says Jones.

  • Push-ups: Do variations of pushups with your feet elevated, or with your arms elevated up on a counter or a chair. Use wide grip, close grip, or different variations if you don’t have much equipment.
  • Gym equipment: “There’s a variety of machines you can use in a gym setting,” says Jones. “You can use a chest fly machine or an assisted dip machine to engage those muscles. You just want to make sure you have the proper intensity and that you’re being consistent.
  • Cardio: Cardio is an exercise you should enjoy doing. Try spinning, running or use a rowing machine, and determine what works best for you. 

For more helpful, healthful tips, click here.

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