if you’re looking for information on how to get rid of man boobs, or Moobs as some people refer to them, then you’re in the right place. I’ve fought an ongoing battle with ‘moobs’ for over 12 years, and I’m all too familiar with the embarrassment and frustration they can cause.
I decided to create this resource after becoming fed up with all the half-truths and exaggerations about man boobs that gets published on the web. I want to keep this site a hype free zone. That means the aim is to provide clear, no nonsense information about this aggravating condition and also to suggest some simple steps you can take today to help make things better.
Let’s get things rolling with some basic moobs faq!
What are man boobs exactly? And are they really breasts?
The answer to both these questions is that it depends. There are actually three different types of man boob conditions:
- Gynecomastia. This is where the man boob really is a boob. It contains nothing but actual, honest-to-goodness breast tissue. This can be the most difficult type of moob to shift naturally.
- Pseudogynecomastia. This is where the moobs only contain body fat. In many cases this fat can be quite stubborn and difficult to remove, but with the correct diet, exercise and determination the majority of sufferers can get very good results.
- The third and most common form of man boobs is where the moob contains a mixture of breast tissue and fat. The effectiveness of natural treatments for people with this form varies greatly from person to person.
We’ll discuss these different types in much greater depth later on.
What kind of man boobs do I have?
A quick an easy way to determine which form of man boobs you are suffering form is to carry out the following test:
First lie yourself down. Then take one of your moobs between your thumb and forefinger and slide them up towards the nipple. Try and feel for any disc-shaped, firm and rubbery tissue. It will usually be about the same size as your nipple and may be quite tender to the touch. The presence of this kind of mass indicates enlarged breast tissue and gynecomastia. On the other hand, if the only thing you can feel in the moob is a lot of soft, fatty tissue then the likelihood is that you are suffering from pseudogynecomastia.
The presence of both these kind of tissues means that you have the third man boob variety.
Is there a cure for man boobs? How do I get rid of them?
Unfortunately, there is no quick and easy fix for any form of moobs. There’s no guaranteed pharmaceutical cure and there’s nothing which can be done to solve the problem overnight. There are steps you can take which have helped to reduce (and even completely eliminate) man boobs in many cases. BUT (and this is a big but!) the effectiveness of these steps will depend on two things:
- Your determination to succeed
- The type and extent of your man boobs condition.
Not everyone finds it easy to commit to the lifestyle changes we recommend on this site. Doing so will require effort and willpower on your part. Also, the sad truth is sometimes a man’s moobs can’t be got rid of using natural methods. In some chronic cases, gynecomastia surgery may be the only realistic option. BUT (and this is another big but!) surgery should always be your LAST option.
Later on we’ll talk about some of the ways you can try and reduce your man boobs naturally through diet and exercise. Make sure you fully explore those alternative methods before you even think about going under the knife.
What causes man boobs?
The cause of pseudogynecomastia (chest fat) is often as simple over eating and lack of exercise. Just as some people find that fat tends to collect around their hips or gut, pseudogynecomastia sufferers find that fat collects in large amounts around their pectoral area.
However it is thought that if a man suddenly develops a tendency to store fat in this area, and if he then find great difficulty in eliminating it, then this may be the result from a change in the balance of the body’s sex hormones, testosterone and oestrogen.
This kind of change can have an effect on the way in which the body metabolises fat – making it a lot harder to remove through traditional diets and exercise.
Hormonal imbalance is also thought to be a major cause of gynecomastia. Testosterone helps regulate sex drive and contributes towards shaping male characteristics – deep voice, muscle mass, facial hair etc. Oestrogen’s principal function is to shape the female sex characteristics – for example menstruation and, yep you guessed it, breast enlargement.
Both these substances occur naturally in men and women and the theory is that man boobs have a tendency to develop when something upsets the normal ratio between the two,
We’ll look at some possible triggers for this upset on the following section.
The term gynecomastia comes from a combination of the Greek words ‘gyne’ meaning woman and ‘mastos’ meaning breast. In some ways it can be seen as the “purest” from of man boobs, because it is caused exclusively by an enlargement of breast tissue.
Gynecomastia is actually a very common condition, effecting between 40 and 60% of men at some point in their lifetimes. For the majority of people the symptoms tend to clear up after a few weeks or months but for others the problem can persist over a period of years. It is extremely common in boys who are going through puberty because of all the intense hormonal changes taking place in their bodies. Older men are also relatively susceptible to gynecomastia because the levels of testosterone in their bodies begin to drop off naturally with age.
What are the causes of Gynecomastia?
It is generally accepted that gynecomastia is caused by a imbalance between the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. However, there’s still a lot of uncertainty surrounding what might trigger that imbalance in the first place. We’ve listed some of the most popular theories below, but bear in mind that gynecomastia symptoms can seemingly arise for no apparent reason whatsoever.
Possible medical triggers:
- Genetic problems such as Klinefelters Syndrome
- Chronic liver and kidney diseases
- Trauma or injury to the testicles
- Tumours (extremely rare)
- As a side effect of medication.
Possible lifestyle triggers:
- Excessive marijuana use. Some studies have shown that cannabis can contribute to a lowering of testosterone levels as well as a decreased sperm count.
- Excessive alcohol consumption. It’s well known how alcohol inhibits testosterone in the short term, anyone who has ever suffered from brewer’s droop can testify to that! But it’s also thought that long term excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a permanent lowering of testosterone levels.
- Use of anabolic steroids. Initially these drugs create huge spikes in the body’s testosterone levels. However once the user completes his “cycle” and stops taking the steroids his body is completely unprepared for the sudden drop off in testosterone that occurs. This can lead to a period wherein the body’s oestrogen/testosterone levels are way out of kilter.
- Obesity. We know that being overweight can lead to an excessive build up of chest fat and pseudo-gynecomastia, but studies suggest that obese men also have lower testosterone levels as well. This means that having pseudogynecomastia may make you more likely to develop the more serious condition of gynecomastia further down the road..
Environmental & Sociological factors
Incidences of male gynecomastia in are steadily rising. Some say this is a natural consequence of our modern lifestyles. As a society we eat badly, take little exercise and generally make a lot of unhealthy decisions about our lives. This makes our bodies react in strange and unpredictable ways. But there are also those who argue that the rise in gynecomastia cases can also be (at least partly) explained by external factors
Anatomically deformed otters. Male fish with female sex organs. In recent years there has been a massive rise of these kinds of phenomenon in our rivers. It’s disturbing trend and oestrogen is the main culprit. Millions and millions of woman around the world take the contraceptive pill on a regular basis and many other menopausal women take oestrogen supplements as part of their hormone replacement therapy. Tons and tons of oestrogen travels through these women’s bodies on an annual basis, passes directly into our sewage system, and then onward in some shape or form into rivers.
Now many experts fear that traces of oestrogen may be making their way into our drinking water supply.
Of similar concern is the use of oestrogens in fertilizers, pesticides and meat production. It is not difficult to imagine how traces of these substance may contaminate the food chain and end up on the end of a fork. Some claim that it may only require minute residues of oestrogen in our food to have an effect on our health and well being.
Pseudogynecomastia & Male Chest Fat
Firstly, let’s not beat around the bush. Pseudogynecomastia is basically chest fat. Nothing more, nothing less. That’s not to diminish the anguish the condition can cause people, because it’s not always easy to get rid of chest fat – it’s just that the term “pseudogynecomastia” makes it sound a lot more scary and complicated than it really is.
Wait a minute I hear you say, if it’s just a question of fat then why doesn’t every overweight male suffer from male breasts?
Well, have you ever noticed how in some women any extra weight goes straight to their hips or thighs or butt? Or how in other girls that weight shows up as an extra chubbiness of the arms or face? The thing is you could put 100 different overweight people in the same room and none of them would be exactly the same shape because fat distribution varies from person to person.
We all have specific areas of our bodies that accumulate fat faster and in greater quantities than others.
In the case of pseudo -gynecomastia sufferers the fat “hot spot” is the chest around your pectoral muscles. Once you get a substantial build up of fat there, you’re faced with a moob problem which can be hard to fix.
What causes Pseudo-gynecomastia?The causes of pseudo-gynecomastia are simple. Poor diet, the lack of the right kind of exercise and a tendency in the body to store excess fat around the pectoral area.
Why is chest fat so difficult to lose?A common problem facing pseudo-gynecomastia sufferers is that no matter how much they diet and exercise they just can’t seem to shift the last 5 -10 pounds of body fat, fat which just happens to be mostly located…yep you guessed it…in the man boob area. They achieve great results with the rest of the body, but those moobs are just so damn stubborn.
So what’s going on here?
Well, part of the reason for this is biological. The body’s first priority is not making us look good with our tops off, it’s survival! Those last reserves of fat are there to sustain you during times of emergency, so evolution has made them stubborn. Stubborn fat metabolises much slower than normal fat, and to burn it up requires much more effort.
As well as this, it may also be that hormonal changes in the man’s body – either those that occur naturally with age, or that have been provoked by the some other external facts – have increased his tendency to store fat and reduced his capacity to burn it quickly and efficiently.
We discussed some of the factors that may be responsible for this hormonal change when we looked at the possible causes of gynecomastia.
The other reason why it can be so difficult to shift pseudogynecomastia is because most people diet and exercise badly. And I’m not talking about lack of will power, I mean their entire strategy is wrong. When it comes to losing chest fat most people have a plan of attack that is doomed to failure even before they even start!
I know this because for years and years I was making the exact same mistakes. On the next page, we’ll discuss what those mistakes were and how you must exercise in the right way if you to have any chance of losing those moobs.
Man Boobs Exercises – How To Lose Chest Fat
Firstly I want to shatter a a big man moob myth. No matter what anybody claims, there is no secret chest exercise that is going to help you lose your man tits quicker. There’s no miracle push up, no revolutionary chest press. These exercises do not exist.
How do I know this?
Because you cannot lose fat in a specific part of the body simply by performing an exercise that works the muscles in that part of the body.
Ask any personal trainer worth their salt and they will tell you the same.
Attempts at localised fat loss (or “spot reductions”, call them what you will) are a waste of time and energy because muscle has no influence over how much fat surrounds it.
So despite what the infomercials would have you believe, you are never going to get rid of that beer gut just by doing sit ups day in day out. And I don’t care if you do 100 crunches a night from now until the end of time you are never going to get six pack abs!
Or at least, you’ll never get six pack abs that anyone can see. The sad thing is you could end up completely ripped, hell you could end up with eight pack abs, but no one will ever know because those muscles you’ve spent hours busting into shape will be completely hidden by the beer gut that’s still hanging over your belt.
My point is, to get great muscle tone that’s visible, you must also lose body fat – and to reduce fat anywhere on your body, especially the stubborn kind, whether it is abdominal fat or pseudogynecomastia chest fat, requires the correct kind of exercise and, to be more specific, the right kind of cardiovascular exercise.
Why Most Cardio Sucks at Getting Rid of Chest FatThe most common form of cardiovascular exercise will typically involve long, drawn out sessions on the treadmill or exercise bike. The sessions are usually scheduled 3 or 4 times a week and last between thirty minutes and an hour, depending on the individual.
Gymnasiums around the world a full of people doing this kind of cardio. And you know what, the majority of people hate it every second of it! They hate it because it’s predictable, tedious and time consuming. Yet because they see it as their quickest most effective route to fat loss they keep coming back for more.
The sad thing is whilst they sacrifice hours and hours of their busy lives doing this damned cardio that they can’t stand, their fat levels hardly drop at all.
All that effort for so little reward!
So why is conventional cardio so ineffective for getting rid of man boobs?
Well, when you run for 45 minutes on the treadmill, the chances are that you do it at more or less the same speed throughout the whole session. This form of ”steady state” cardio just isn’t intense enough to trigger the kind of metabolic and hormonal changes necessary for burning stubborn man boob fat.
For years I thought my 45 minute treadmill sessions would be the key to losing my chesr fat. I felt sure that one day all my effort would pay off. The fact that it never did was too depressing for words.
What was it that finally did work?
Interval Training for Burning Chest Fat
H.I.I.T. High Intensity Interval Training. Sounds serious doesn’t it? But don’t worry, it’s actually an extremely simple, flexible and fun form of exercise which can work wonders in getting rid of that stubborn man boob chest fat.
Whereas as conventional cardio involves steady and continuous effort, interval training alternates periods of effort and rest. When performed correctly, this form of exercise triggers the release of your body’s natural fat burning hormone HGH as well as boosting your metabolism for hours after your workout.
So what does an interval training session look like? A 20 minute interval workout on the treadmill might look something like this.
3 minutes warm up at a medium pace
1 minute running at 85% effort
1 minute running at 30% effort
(repeat seven times)
3 minutes warm down at medium pace.
The heart of the routine is those 14 minutes alternating between periods of high exertion and periods of minimal exertion. Fast, slow, Fast, slow. This a the approach favored by professional athletes the world over approach and it really can have a profound fitness and your physique.
The thing I love about it is it’s simpolicity, it really does leave you with no excuses.
Don’t have enough time? It can be done in 15 minutes!
Don’t like running? The exact same approach will work just as well on the exercise bike or rowing machine
Don’t like gyms? You can use the same principles whilst out road running or in the swimming pool doing fast and slow lengths.
Don’t like doing any kind of exercise at all in public? Fine, stay at home. You’ll get great results doing star jumps, skipping rope or running on the spot in your apartment.
Interval training is flexible enough to fit anybody’s circumstances and is ideal for busy schedules. Why spend hours slogging away on the treadmill when you can get a far more efficient and satisfying hit doing interval training in less than half the time?
Some important points about this kind of exercise
- Make sure you take it easy when starting out. Really easy. Know your limits amd if you are seriously out of condition make sure you consult your doctor before you start.
- Create a workout timetable and stick to it.
- Interval train no more than 3 times a week and never two days in a row.
- Warm up properly before sessions. Do this by performing your exercise at a slow to medium speed for two or three minutes.
Combine interval training with strength training for even better results
While you can get fantastic results from interval training alone, you should ideally perform 20-30 minutes of strength training before you do your intervals.
Because it will tone your muscles so that you look great when that stubborn fat finally is burnt off and also, more importantly, because it will boost your testosterone levels. I’ll say that one again just in case you missed it!
Strength training will boost your testosterone levels
That fact alone should be enough to make strength training your new best friend!
Most people associate strength training with weights, and it’s true if you can afford a few decent dumbbells that would be great investment. But there are also plenty of exercises ( Push ups, planks, lunges, squats) that can be performed in the privacy of your own home without using any specialist equipment whatsoever.
Combining interval training and strength training will both burn fat and increase your testosterone levels. If you really do want to do everything possible to try and get rid of your man breasts then there’s really no excuse for not giving this stuff a try.
So how effective can it be?
I did 3 x 50 minute sessions of strength and interval training a week for three months and by the end of that time my moobs were almost non existent. There’s still a little way to go before they’re completely gone but if I continue with these methods then I’m 100% confident I’ll get there.
What? It can’t be that easy, I hear you say. And you’re right it isn’t. There’s another big piece to this jigsaw. And that’s diet.
Reduce Your Man Boobs Naturally Through Diet
It’s no secret that what you eat and drink can have a massive influence on both your physical and mental well being. It can certainly play a huge part in either worsening or alleviating your moobs problem, so lets jump right in. Here is a list of food stuff that gynecomastia sufferers should do their best to avoid.
- Junk food
This is one is so obvious I almost didn’t include it. To have any chance of reducing your man boobs you need to burn fat and you won’t be able to that by eating cr*p every meal. Try to cut out the candy, chocolate snack bars, potato chips etc completely until you reach your goal. You don’t have to be obsessive about it: a slice of pizza here and there isn’t the end of the world, just keep the consumption of these kinds of foods to a minimum.
- High GI carbohydrates
GI stands for the “Glycemic Index. The Glycemic index measures and ranks carbohydates according to their effect on blood sugar levels. Eating high GI food (such as mashed potato) causes a massive spike in the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood, which in turn causes a release of insulin. Insulin is a hormone which encourages the body to store fat, not burn it.
How diet can help reduce your man boobs
When insulin levels are high fat loss just aint happening.
High GI Food (try to avoid at all times, but especially before excercise)
White rice, white bread, cornflakes, baked potato, pretzels, donuts, watermelon
Medium GI Food
Brown rice, wholemeal, sweet potato, pasta, noodles
Low GI Food
Eggs, fish, nuts, lean meats, lentils, chickpeas, wholegrain breads, salad, most fruit and vegetables, milk
Eating low GI foods can have lots of additional health benefits as well, such as lowering your cholesterol levels and your chances of developing heart disease.
Boy, this one is a biggie. Soya is oestrogen rich. These words should be enough to make any gynecomastia sufferer shudder. Oestrogen is the stuff we most need to avoid and soya is full of it! The problem is that these days soya turns up in over 50% of processed foods, often in one of the following guises:
Soya flour, hydrolysed vegetable protein, soy protein isolate, protein concentrate, textured vegetable protein.
So if you want to keep your diet oestrogens free, stick to fresh produce and avoid the mass produced stuff as much as possible.
For some the ice cold six pack after work is the hardest thing of all to give up. At least it was for me. The painful truth is that alcohol decreases the levels of testosterone in the body. That means it’s bye bye beer and by bye wine, at least for the time being.
Does this mean you have to go teetotal forever? Of course not! Once you’re happy with how your chest is looking then you can begin to maintain your fat levels rather than worry about reducing them. This is a much, much easier proposition and it means you can easily start allowing yourself the treat of a few cold ones from the fridge when the occasion arises.
Right, that’s enough of stuff that’s bad for you, how about the stuff that will help?
Studies have shown that the following foods can be effective at either reducing oestrogen or boosting testosterone:
- Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel spouts and cauliflower are thought to help clear the liver of oestrogens
- Salmon, oysters, brown rice, red meat, beans, yogurt, cottage cheese are all rich in zinc – vital for maintaining healthy testosterone levels and sperm count
- Asparagus is an excellent source of Vitamin E which also stimulates testosterone. This may explain why it is traditionally known as an aphrodisiac!
- Eggs, bananas and avocados are packed with B vitamins which help to keep the body’s hormones in balance.
- Nuts, peanut butter and olive oil are all excellent sources of monounsaturated fats which are thought to have a direct and highly beneficial effect on the testes – the very source of testosterone in the body.
The Danger of OverdietingOne of the most common mistakes people make is trying to lose their man boobs by dieting like a lunatic. Their reasoning is usually that if they manage to shed 5 pounds every week for the next month, they’ll have lost enough moob fat to look good at the beach party that’s coming up.
It’s an understandable approach which is born of desperation. I know because I’ve done it myself.
The problem with dieting in this fashion is that your body is so shocked by the sudden calorie deficit that it locks itself into starvation mode. There’s not much use for sex hormones in a famine. The number one priority is survival, not making babies! As a result, testosterone production gets shut down. This in turn reduces your ability to burn fat and can make any existing hormonal imbalance you are be suffering from even worse.
The solution is to diet sensibly. Set yourself a target of losing no more than 1 pound a week and instead of trying to starve yourself just focus on exercising every other day and eating the right kinds of foods mentioned above.
Other beneficial lifestyles changesHere are a few other things you should try and do if you want your mind and body to be in the ideal shape for optimum chest fat loss.
- Reduce your stress levels.
Personally I hate reading advice like this. I mean, nobody actually chooses to be stressed do they? And if it was that easy to destress then no one would actually be stressed.
Nevertheless, it’s a fact that high stress stimulates the production of “cortisol” a hormone which is to testosterone what Kryptonite is to Superman.
So, even though I know it’s easier said than done, just try and chill out a little bit ok?
- Get enough sleep
Messed up circadian rhythms are another sure fire way of boosting cortisol and throwing your testosterone production out of whack.
Seven hours a night is the recommended minimum.
- Engage in more sexual activity.
Not always easy this one I know. Wouldn’t we all like to? But if you can ( you lucky thing), your efforts will be well rewarded. Sex is great for burning body fat and get all sorts of good hormonal juices flowing.
So far we have looked at natural ways of reducing your man boobs, in this section we are going to examine some of the other options that are available to you should those natural methods fail.
We’ll start with surgery.
Male Breast Reduction Surgery
No form of surgery is ever a cake walk but as procedures go, gynecomastia surgery is a relatively simple one. It doesn’t takes too long (about and hour and a half) and can be performed under local an anaesthetic.
The details of the procedure itself are as follows:
First the surgeon makes a small incision around the lower half of the nipple area, then (depending on which form of gynecomastia you suffer from), removes fat, glandular breast tissue, or both from the man boob. The fatty tissue is removed through liposuction. If necessary – if the man boobs were particularly large, for example – excess skin can be removed as well.
Once you’re bandaged up you should be able to return home after about 5 hours, but you’ll need to wear a compression garment for up to four weeks and swelling may take up to nine months to dissipate completely. Your stitches can be removed after 4 to 7 days.
Bank on being off work for at least one to two weeks depending on the nature of your occupation.
Drawbacks & risks of gynecomastia surgeryThe first thing to recognise is that all surgery has its risks, up to and including death and in that respect gynecomastia surgery is no different.
Permanent scarring, asymmetry of the nipples and irregular contours are other potential consequences.
Apart from the risks to your health main drawback of surgery is the obviously the high financial cost. Prices vary greatly from location to location, but your should expect to pay anywhere from between 3000 and 6000 dollars.
Can gynecomastia come back after surgery?In the most cases surgery results in a permanent cure, but if your man boobs were initially caused by something specific, such as marijuana or steroid use, then returning to use those substances may cause the condition to reappear. Also if your moobs were principally a result of excess chest fact, then it is perfectly possible to have the operation, put on the fat once again and end up back at square one.
Sadly for some gynecomastia sufferers surgery may offer the only viable hope of a “cure”. However, it is a very serious, expensive step and should always be treated as the very last resort. No matter how bad you think your moobs may be, however fed up you feel, you owe it to yourself (and your wallet!) to exhaust all other options first.