Yes, men have breasts (even milk ducts), but not every man’s breasts are enlarged and commonly referred to as ‘man boobs’, or ‘moobies’. Just like its unofficial name, enlarged male breast tissue can be uncomfortable and can leave men feeling embarrassed.

However, unlike women, there are easy steps that men can take to prevent, as well as change, their current cup size if they feel it necessary to do so.

What Exactly Are Man Boobs?

In basic terms, man boobs occur as a result of the accumulation of excess fat on the chest, or breast tissue. There are two categories of man boobs and these are gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia.

Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the medical term for the enlargement of the breast tissue in the male chest. This growth is often triggered by hormonal changes, mainly the increased levels of estrogen and the decreased levels of testosterone.

Pseudogynecomastia

Pseudogynecomastia is also the enlargement of male breasts, but not as a result of hormonal imbalance (hence the term ‘pseudo’ ). Rather, the growth is due to an increase in body fat, with the excess fat being stored in the chest area. The majority of men who struggle with man boobs are in this category.

man boobs | Longevity LIVE

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Common Causes Of Man Boobs

Additional factors that can contribute to the formation of man boobs include:

  • Excess weight – may also affect testosterone levels
  • Sedentary living
  • Poor diet rich in processed foods and sugar
  • Age – testosterone levels reduce with age
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption – alcohol can affect testosterone levels
  • Steroid use

How To Get Rid Of Man Boobs

There are a few lifestyle changes that men can make if they want to say goodbye to man boobs for good. That said, it’s important to consult your doctor first so that they can confirm that your new cup size isn’t a sign of an underlying health condition.

Eat like a man

If you really want to change your appearance, your diet should always be the first place you evaluate and adjust accordingly.

First and foremost, you need to ensure that you’re eating all the right fats. This means saying goodbye to processed and fried foods and saying hello to the healthy fats found in avocados, nuts, and olive oil.

You should also increase your intake of vegetables as they’re not only rich in nutrients, but they’re also packed with fibre, which plays a vital role in weight management as it stops you from overeating. It’s best to opt for organic vegetables as foods sprayed with pesticides may disrupt your hormones.

In addition to cutting back on your alcohol intake, it’s also best to stay clear of sodas (this includes diet soda) and juices as these are loaded with sugar and calories.

Lastly, as your body uses protein to repair and build muscles, it would be advisable o opt for lean protein. Sources include chicken breast, and salmon. You can also find protein nuts, legumes, and quinoa.

Train like a Spartan

The kitchen isn’t the only way to say goodbye to man boobs. The right exercise regime will help to speed up the fat loss in your chest and tone the area. What’s more, it can also help to boost levels of testosterone, which is exactly what you need in order to keep a large cup size at bay.

In addition to strengthening your chest muscles, you also need to include cardio into your exercise regime as this will work as many muscles as possible.

So, here a few exercises you can do to keep your chest, and body, toned.

1. Dumbbell chest press

Lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing towards your toes.
Engage your chest muscles to drive the weights up.
Lock your arms and pause at the top, then slowly lower.

2. Dumbbell lunges

Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand holding them at your sides.
Step forward with your right foot as far as possible, bending so your back knee almost touches the floor.
Drive back to standing through your front heel, then repeat.

3. Mountain Climbers

Start in a high plank position, your palms under your shoulders, your legs extended, and your core engaged to keep your hips level.
Draw your right knee toward your chest, and plant your right foot on the ground.
From this position, jump both feet into the air, switching their positions before you land, so your left foot is drawn forward, and your right foot is extended.
Immediately jump both feet into the air again and switch their position.
Continue this pattern for the duration of the exercise.

4. Push-ups

Start in a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and keep your core tight and torso steady.
Bend your elbows and lower your body toward the floor.
When your chest touches the ground, reverse the movement, and slowly return to the high plank position. 
Continue this pattern for the duration of the exercise.

Say no to plastic

A study published in Reproductive Toxicology revealed that exposure to bisphenol-A (BPA) – a compound commonly found in plastic – may encourage abnormal breast growth in boys and adult men. 

Swap out your plastic water bottles for stainless steel or glass containers.

Get some beauty sleep

Getting your eight hours won’t only keep your hormones happy, but it also reduces the risk of obesity and both these factors help to keep your chest rock-hard.

Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash

Stop stressing out

Cortisol is the stress hormone and elevated levels of cortisol won’t only promote weight gain but it can also affect testosterone levels (1).

So, if you’re battling with stress, try adopting meditative practices like yoga, journaling, and mindful meditation.

Take a rest day

Too much of a good thing is never good. Overtraining won’t only compromise your body, but it can also affect testosterone levels. Therefore, it’s important to take a rest day as this will give your muscles and body time to repair and heal.

Moob Reduction Surgery

You read that right. Believe it or not, breast reduction surgery is a common cosmetic procedure among men. More and more men opting for breast reduction surgery and liposuction in an effort to address their man boobs, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

The bottom line

All men have some breast tissue, and sometimes this breast tissue may be forced to grow larger than normal. However, this is nothing to be ashamed of as the issue of man boobs can be addressed with the right lifestyle choices.

Speaking of ‘boobs’, did you know that breast implants do not prevent you from getting a mammogram? Here’s more on that story.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer, who has a passion for poetry, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day to day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.

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