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How to Lose Man Boobs

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In Order to Learn How to Lose Man Boobs, You Must First Know What They Really Are

Man Boobs Come in Many Shapes and Sizes

Man Boobs Comparison

 


 

Introduction

There are sometimes physiological problems behind man boobs, but for the most part, whether or not you have man boobs is largely a matter of the opinion of others as well as your own preferences.

For example, take a moment to examine the 16 photos above. How many would you consider man boobs or moobs?  Now take the poll below and look at the results. After viewing the results of the poll you will see the differences of opinion as to what actually constitutes man boobs.

How to Lose Man Boobs

There are many ways to lose man boobs. Since the various ways to get rid of man boobs range from simple diet and exercise to taking doctor-prescribed medication, or even getting surgery, you cannot rush into trying to lose your moobs without knowing more.

If your goal is to get rid of your man boobs, it is essential that you figure out the underlying reason you have them. If you can clearly identify that reason, it will be that much easier to get rid of your man boobs.


Differentiating the Different Types of Man Boobs

While there are several clinical causes and types of man boobs, to simplify, the following 4 categories will likely cover 99% of the cases of people who need to know how to lose man boobs.

 Overweight

Man Boobs from Being OverweightBeing overweight is the most common cause of man boobs. Anyone carrying excess body weight could develop man boobs. The more overweight you are, the higher your chances of developing man boobs.

Being overweight causes our body to store fat in the subcutaneous layer of the skin. Although body fat is stored all over the body from the lower legs to face, some people have problem areas.

These problem areas will depend on your genetics and hormones. Your unique makeup could be causing more fat to accumulate in your chest compared to most people, thus giving you moobs.

If however you are significantly overweight (i.e., the fellow in the photo on the left) from poor diet and lack of exercise, you are likely going to have man boobs regardless of whether or not you have a specific problem area.

Psychological

Giant Pecs Man Boobs

Just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so are man boobs. In the photo above you can see Johnny Pencilneck is a skinny guy. To Mr. Pencilneck, Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler has man boobs, which he doesn’t find very appealing. It is doubtful that Jay Cutler would care about Johnny Pencilneck’s opinion, but some people would and may even become embarrassed or self conscious.

If you think you have man boobs or people have commented on your moobs in the past, it may simply be a matter of opinion. Even if you think you need to know how to lose man boobs, it is a good idea to seek a second opinion if you really think you have a problem.

Big PecsLarge Pecs

Like the example above, some people simply call a guy’s big muscular chest (pecs or pectoralis major muscles) man boobs.

Someone who is from a skinny family or someone that likes skinny men will likely classify a guy with large pec muscles (picture on the right) to have man boobs.

Just as some people are attracted to skinny people, some people are attracted to muscular people.

Obviously, a professional bodybuilder is going to have a big chest and have man boobs to these people, but to other bodybuilders, they simply have huge pecs.

As you can see in the photo on the right, the guy has very little body fat. If you think you have man boobs and you can see your abdominal muscles, you may simply have large pecs. If this has been bothering you, ask close family and friends because your opinion may never change on its own, yet positive feedback from those you value may help you become more comfortable with your own body.

Hormone Imbalance

The less-common type of man boobs are caused by a medical condition which involves a hormone imbalance between estrogen and testosterone, and hormones affected by them.

Man boobs caused by a hormone imbalance are called gynecomastia, commonly referred to as gyno or bitch tits. It involves enlargement of the mammary glands. Gyno ranges from a slight case of puffy nipples all the way to full male breast development.

Gynecomastia is sometimes accompanied with an oddly-shaped body for a man, showing a general soft look, including flabby arms. This type of man boobs often happens with adolescents and goes away with time. Medical intervention, such as surgery or medication, is needed to get rid of these man boobs.

Steroid-Induced Hormone Imbalance

Bodybuilder w/ Gyno

People who abuse steroids and bodybuilders who fail to use Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) are at risk of developing man boobs, commonly referred to as gyno (short for gynecomastia). Some legal dietary supplements with prohormones may also lead to the development of gyno.

A telltale sign of gynecomastia resulting from steroid abuse is someone who has very little body fat and obvious puffy nipples (photo on the left).

Gyno is fairly common amongst competitive bodybuilders and is often remedied by medications in the short term, but it can also require surgery. How to lose this type of man boobs is best discussed with a doctor.


How to Lose Man Boobs Part I: Assess

Are You Overweight?

If your body composition (body fat percentage) is outside the ideal category, you are overweight. If you feel you have man boobs, it is highly likely that your moobs are due to being overweight.

Get your body fat measured using a skinfold body fat analysis, preferably by a professional. Using other common means such as internet calculators or electric (BIA / Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) scales are not very accurate. If your body fat is in the average or overfat categories in the above chart, losing weight is probably the best method for you to get rid of man boobs.

If You Are Not Overweight

If you are not overweight and your body composition is in the ideal or lean level in the chart above, you may not actually have an issue. It could simply be that you perceive yourself to have moobs when in fact you don’t. Each and everyone of us has a different perception of things and sometimes we can be bit critical of our own body.

If you are very toned or have six pack abs and muscle definition yet still think you have man boobs, I highly recommend that you ask your close friends and family for their opinion. It may be embarrassing but it could help you feel better about your body. However, if your friends or families opinion doesn’t help, you should probably then seek a doctor’s opinion for further analysis.

In addition to a physical examination, a doctor could do a blood workup, possibly discovering a hormone imbalance which may in fact be the cause of your man boobs. Now if your doctor discovers nothing out of the ordinary, then hopefully this will boost your confidence about your chest and you can put any insecurities behind you.


How to Lose Man Boobs Part II:  Take Action

How to Lose Man Boobs if You are Overweight / OverfatCaloric Balance

Losing man boobs if you are overweight is similar to losing weight and burning fat off your gut or any other problem area for that matter. In order to lose your man boobs, you have to create a caloric deficit. The best way to do this is to eat less and do more cardio. Yes, cardio.

There are NO CHEST WEIGHT TRAINING EXERCISES WHICH WILL HELP YOU LOSE MAN BOOBS.  This includes bench press, push-ups, chest flies, dips…the list goes on and on.

Weight training, including chest exercises, can be a part of your overall exercise program if you are trying to lose man boobs, but the most important aspect is cardiovascular exercise, 4-6 days per week for at least 30 minutes.

If you simply do chest exercises with the hope to get rid of man boobs without doing enough cardio and eating correctly, it is likely that you will overeat and make your chest muscles bigger. What will happen then is that your chest muscles will develop below your fat layer and simply push the fat further out, making your moobs look even bigger.

How to Lose Man Boobs if You Are NOT Overweight / Overfat


You may have puffy nipples or other male breast enlargement symptoms. Since you do not have much excess body fat, a clean, low calorie diet, and a balanced exercise program is unlikely to help get rid of your man boobs because you have little fat to lose.

In this case, your first priority should be to visit the doctor, who will give you the necessary tests.

If the doctor gives you medication or prescribes surgery to help get rid of your man boobs, you will simply have to wait until the meds take effect or the surgery is complete.

To make you feel more comfortable there are compression shirts made specifically for people with man boobs. These shirts will not get rid of man boobs, but they will reduce the appearance of man boobs while you are wearing the undershirt.

How to Lose Man Boobs if Your Pec Muscles Are Just Too BigLarge Pecs

Perhaps you are a former powerlifter or bodybuilder that built huge pecs, but no longer likes not being able to fit into normal-sized shirts. Perhaps you met a new significant other who dislikes large muscles.

Whatever your reasons, if your pec muscles are so large that you and/or the people you are close to call them moobs or man boobs and you are embarrassed, there are ways to lose your man boobs.

First and foremost, stop doing all chest exercises. Weight training not only helps muscle grow, but it helps maintain muscle. If you stop doing chest exercises the pec muscles will atrophy over time.

Another thing to help you lose muscle is to start performing long-duration exercise. If you burn a lot of calories through long-duration cardio while quitting chest exercises, there is a high likelihood that you will decrease the size of your chest, although it will take some time. Be patient.


How to Lose Man Boobs:  Further Reading

Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.

Comments (5)

  1. Kenny says:

    Yoga will help, but it takes time and a lot of work.

  2. DENNIS says:

    I have gone to the Dr. and I have taken many tests. Now he says he needs to operate to get rid of my man boobs. I just happened to look up what causes man boobs. I have been on a drug for pain called methadone. It is one of the reasons listed why men get man boobs. So now I have started to get off this drug a.s.a.p. I am trying to find out if I stop taking this drug will I get my old body back. I hope this is the case. I have insurance but I don’t know if they will look at this operation as a needless surgery. In hopes they allow it I will be getting operated on. If they don’t I hope who ever makes this call on me not be able to get the operation I hope all their sons get this problem. They have no idea what kind off hell I am going through.

  3. Ryan Himmons says:

    I found this very helpful…I’m in the overweight category and found that it was the weight training and cardio that decreased the fat in that area. Making my chest look more toned. Will definitely use this site more to help me reach my fitness goals. Thanks!

  4. Mike Carter says:

    Thanks for the article. I have lost a significant amount of weight in the last couple of years and have gone from having Moobs to just loose skin in the breast area that is still unsightly to me especially when I lean forward and look down at myself.

    I am presently lifting weights 3 to 4 times per week to try to fill the voids with developed muscle but it is a slow process and at 57 years old I don’t develop it like I once would have. But, believing this to be my best chance of limiting the problem area I do see some results but slower than I would like.

    Thanks again.

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