Man Boobs: Everything You Need to Know

Everyone, including men, has some breast tissue. For several males, the breast tissue never expands. For some, however, it grows due to hormonal changes, specific medications, or an underlying medical ailment.

Some people describe this condition as “man boobs,” which may feel like an embarrassing or bothersome term. Some males may also feel flustered to seek a doctor’s opinion about enlarged breast tissue.

However, it is essential to note that enlarged breast tissue is a general concern. As such, there are several possible treatments possible for those who wish to change the look of their chest.

And while some guys exercise aiming to drop a few pounds from their waists or their bellies to slim down, others are more concerned about a section higher up the torso. A bigger point would be a set of pecs, chest, and upper body that aren’t just soft or fatty–they’re full and enlarged.

Notable breasts in men, a.k.a. man boobs or “moobs,” causes fear of stigma whenever they need to take off their shirt. Guys with enlarged chests sometimes fear the blame of being grossly out of shape or ridiculed as looking unmanly. This shame can produce real hurt, as some men proceed to the extremes of wearing extra clothes, slouching, obtaining more weight on purpose, or not removing their shirt at all.

Also known as gynecomastia, this condition is much more prevalent than you might expect. Up to 30 percent of men will experience this condition at some point in their lives, often during periods of life when the body experiences hormonal changes, like puberty or between the ages of 50 to 69.

But this isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. There are various factors to consider in resolving moobs. Few men might just be carrying excess fat in their breasts, so exercise can still help to decrease the area down to a more proportionate size. 

Thankfully, the fatty portions aren’t significantly dangerous. But the situation could be caused by fluctuations in hormone levels from a type of natural or synthetic factor.

Clinical gynecomastia is a hormonal irregularity or raised levels of estrogen and lowered levels of testosterone. This could come naturally or might be affected by medications, street drugs, or steroids. Still, it’s normally not a dangerous problem and may go away on its own.

However, if you believe you have gynecomastia and it proceeds to persist or cause you discomfort, you should visit a doctor to find out if prescription or surgery will help.

To get rid of their noticeable breasts, men are frequently opting for a surgical solution. Male breast reduction methods rose by 32 percent from 2000 to 2017 as stated by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. In 2019, it was the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery procedure for men.

For those who are suffering from excess fat stored in the chest, choosing a more targeted workout plan might help. Applying a routine that works to build muscle while burning fat can be a pivotal path to success. Gathering exercises that work your entire body to kickstart your metabolism will help along with hitting the chest. So get ready to work hard and fast.

What are Man Boobs?

Yes, men do have breasts. They even have milk ducts!

For the broad majority of men, the breast tissue does not expand as it does in women. This is due to high testosterone levels through puberty.

Some medical conditions can cause breast enlargement in men, though. One is gynecomastia, which can produce swelled breast tissue and even breast tenderness.

This condition is normally caused by some issue with testosterone, leading to excess estrogen in the body. However, for the bulk of men, man boobs are just a result of having excess fat on the chest.

The pectoral muscles are beneath the layer of fat. So, by dropping body fat and growing muscle, you can work to get rid of your man boobs.

Causes

Testosterone in the male body normally stops the breast tissue from expanding.

However, some males generate enlarged breasts because of hormonal changes or fluctuations. When this happens, doctors call it gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia is more prevalent in some groups, including:

  • babies, due to their mother’s estrogen
  • teenagers, due to shifting hormone levels
  • men over the age of 50
  • men taking certain antibiotics
  • men taking medications that prevent the action of testosterone
  • unnecessary alcohol consumption
  • men taking certain psychiatric medications
  • men taking anti-ulcer medications
  • men taking herbal supplements that contain phytoestrogens
  • men applying tea tree oil or lavender lotions
  • men using illicit drugs, such as anabolic steroids or androgens
  • men with excessive body fat
  • men with liver or kidney disease
  • men with certain types of tumor
  • men with an overactive thyroid
  • other conditions that cause lower testosterone levels

However, for several males, excess breast tissue is not the case of “man boobs.”

Like the abdomen, the chest can also store fat. In these cases, exercise and dietary adjustments can help reduce their appearance.

Obesity

Absorbing more calories than you’re burning off is a surefire means to put on weight. And one spot that weight would like to appear is on your chest.

Not only do bad eating habits increase fat, but this excess fat creates an imbalance of a hormone called leptin. This hormone can restrain the production of testosterone, making matters even worse.

Age

You might have adopted balding, experiencing a midlife crisis, and acquired a prize-winning belly, but life ain’t through with you yet. Just when you believed there couldn’t probably be any new ways for old age to shaft you, you developed man boobs.

From around the age of 50, testosterone generation in men starts to drop rapidly. By the time most of us hit 80, their levels have depleted between 20 and 50 percent.

This means that as you age, it becomes more difficult to keep a fuller chest at bay.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Big breasts aren’t precisely at the top of the list of things most guys desire. But on the list of repulsive alcohol side effects, they’re right up there.

It’s no mystery that taking too much of the good stuff can cause you to gain weight. But especially hoppy beers have also been observed to increase estrogen levels, in turn spurring the production of breast tissue.

Natural Oil-Based Products

That thistle and lavender beard oil may sure make your chin wig shine like the morning dew in an alpine pasture, but it could be covering a dark secret.

Analysis has shown that applying products containing natural oil-based ingredients, like lavender and tea tree oil, can produce a hormone imbalance when incorporated into your bloodstream due to their estrogen-like properties.

Steroid Use

If you’re a steroid-pumping swole bro, you’ll understand that your illegal drug of choice is intended to produce certain body parts to swell up. Although, we are sure it’s not your breasts you’d want to grow.

Anabolic steroids are basically synthetic testosterone, some of which can be turned into estrogen by the body. When this happens, it can produce gynecomastia and some bulbous pectorals.

Illness

It’s rare, but tenderness or swelling in the breast area can be a sign of an underlying medical issue. This includes kidney failure, liver disease, or Klinefelter syndrome.

If you see any changes in your chest that can’t be connected to bingeing on beer or taking steroids, get in touch with your doctor immediately to find the root of the problem and a cure.

Can You Get Rid of Man Boobs?

One thing to keep in mind is that “spot reduction” isn’t attainable. This indicates that cranking out 20 sets of bench presses to reduce fat in your chest might not be your best way to lose the fat.

While bench presses can surely help intensify muscle mass in your pecs, performing exercises that only concentrate on your chest is unlikely to promote your metabolism enough to lead to significant fat loss.

Your best chance is to develop a total-body workout routine that targets all your major muscle groups, combining strength training with cardiovascular activity. This method helps promote your metabolism during exercise while increasing muscle mass.

Remember, consistency is essential. Your fat stores didn’t develop overnight, so you can’t suppose the fat loss to happen at the drop of a hat.

Commit to complete several workouts at least three days a week for two to four months before assessing your initial results.

As you improve your workout habit, keep in mind that nutrition is a vital component of fat loss. Focus on consuming lots of produce, lean meats, and whole grains while dodging refined or processed foods.

With steady work toward an overall healthy lifestyle, you’ll notice the results you’re hoping for.

Treatment

Treatment alternatives differ based on what is producing the enlarged appearance of male breasts.

If it is a subject of extra weight, a doctor may suggest that a person makes adjustments to their diet and exercise routines. If medications are the reason, a doctor may be able to designate alternatives. Sometimes, however, the advantages of a current medication exceed the side effects.

If a medical problem is causing the breast tissue to expand, treating the underlying ailment can help.

Some people may prefer to undergo surgery to eliminate the excess breast tissue. But unless the procedure is to mitigate breast cancer, insurance companies tend to consider the elimination of male breast tissue a cosmetic concern and will not cover the costs.

Dietary changes

If excess weight is producing or contributing to developed male breasts, a person can concentrate on changing their eating habits.

In general, the best dietary modifications to perform are ones that are small and sustainable. Significantly improving the diet is often very challenging to manage and can lead to regaining lost weight.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests losing weight at a pace of around 1–2 pounds per week.

Before you adjust your eating habits, though, you may want to hold a food diary to see what you’re eating currently. Skip out foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional benefits, like soda, candy, and other sugary snacks. Substitute them with whole grains, lean proteins, and different healthy, whole foods. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories but provide high nutrients, water, and dietary fiber.

Absorbing fewer calories from food and beverages doesn’t require leaving you hungry. Instead of recalling all the foods you cannot eat on your diet, think about what you can consume.

Gradual weight loss is more achievable and can lead to overall health enhancements.

The CDC also set together some suggestions for reducing caloric intake. These include:

  • consuming whole, raw fruits and vegetables whenever feasible
  • dodging fruit juices, as they do not carry fiber
  • using no or low-fat cooking methods, such as steaming, boiling, or baking
  • preferring whole fruit over dried fruit
  • replacing unhealthful snacks with fruits or vegetables

These tasty snacks, for example, carry just 100 calories (or fewer):

  • Medium apple
  • Medium banana
  • Cup of steamed green beans
  • Cup of blueberries
  • Cup of grapes
  • Cup of carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers plus two tablespoons of hummus

You may feel motivated to take weight loss supplements. However, these products are not examined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may not be safe or effective. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Exercise

You cannot hit fat loss in one selective area of the body, but you can work to stimulate specific muscles.

If you’re trying to lose weight, getting consistent cardiovascular exercise can help. Try exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling. You can also do push-ups at home or your local gym.

Several different weight machines are frequently available at a gym. Before you begin using these machines, ask your local gym staff or a personal trainer to teach you how to use the machines.

That’s because learning proper form is essential. It will make the exercises more efficient and keep you safe from injury.

Here are the best chest-specific workouts you can try at a gym that can help you fix your man boobs:

Pushups

You’ve already hit your chest, triceps, shoulders, and core throughout this workout, so expect to literally “burn out” these muscle groups with a set of pushups. Lower your knees to the ground or go to a wall to reduce the difficulty of the exercise.

  1. Begin in a high plank position with your hands straight under your shoulders, but slightly broader than shoulder-width apart. 
  2. While keeping your core tight and your torso steady, bend your elbows and lower your body slowly toward the floor.
  3. When your chest reaches the ground, reverse the movement, pushing through your palms as you extend your elbows, moving back to the high plank position. 
  4. Continue the exercise, shifting to a modified version as required to complete the set.

Barbell bench press

Place a barbell on the rack and position yourself to get a medium grip on the bar.

  1. Raise the bar and hold it perpendicular to your body.
  2. Breathe in as you lower the bar slowly at mid-chest.
  3. Breathe out as you move back to your starting position.

Lowering the bar to your chest should take twice as long as lifting it back up. When you’ve finished a set, return the bar to the rack.

Pec deck machine

Before you sit at the machine, choose how much weight you want to work with using the sliding pins.

  1. Adjust the seat first so the handles will be at the same height as your chest.
  2. Sit down and grasp the bar handles, and bring them toward one another as you exhale and engage your chest.
  3. Return to the starting position with an inhale.

Always maintain your elbows slightly bent. Also, keep your back arched to isolate the chest. This will also help you hit your chest rather than your shoulders.

Bent-forward cable crossovers

  1. Choose your preferred weight from both sides of the machine before you start.
  2. Stand right in the middle of the machine and grasp the handles with your palms down.
  3. Lean your body over (keeping a flat back) so the cable line will line up with your chest muscles.
  4. Drive your arms down and in approaching each other (crossing over) as you exhale.
  5. Return to the starting position slowly with an inhale.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Chest Press

The single-arm dumbbell chest press hits your pecs, shoulders, and triceps unilaterally. Meanwhile, it engages your core to limit your hips or shoulders from twisting during the exercise. 

  1. Lie on your back on a strong bench with your knees bent, and feet flat on the floor. 
  2. Place a dumbbell in your right hand, with the other arm extended directly over your chest. 
  3. Put your left hand lightly on your left hip as a cue to keep that hip stable and employed with the bench.
  4. In a controlled manner, bend your right elbow slowly, lowering the dumbbell toward your chest. 
  5. When the dumbbell is just an inch or two away from your chest, shift the movement and engage your pecs and triceps to push the dumbbell straight up, back to the starting position.
  6. Continue the workout for 30 seconds before switching sides.

Final Thoughts

All males possess some breast tissue. However, some medical issues, medications, and hormonal changes can make male breasts grow larger than usual.

In other circumstances, excess weight in the area may create the breast tissue to look as though it has grown. People put on weight in various places, and some people first put on weight in their breast area.

If enlarged male breasts do not decrease with dietary changes, exercise, or other treatments, a person may think of surgery to reduce the appearance.