Men can develop fat or excess tissue in their chest area, which many people call “man breasts.” It may be caused by weight gain or other factors. If you have developed excess tissue in your chest area, it’s important to see your doctor to rule out an underlying condition. If your excess tissue has developed as a result of weight gain or a mild case of gynecomastia (a hormonal imbalance), you can help get rid of male breasts by sculpting your chest muscles with strength training and by losing fat with cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet.
Sculpting Your Chest with Strength Training
1Build your chest muscles. Do some strength training exercises that can help boost your chest muscles. Adding muscle also speeds up your metabolism and helps you burn more fat, which may reduce the amount of tissue in your chest area. You can choose to do weightlifting exercises such as pec flyes or use your own body weight with moves such as pushups to sculpt your chest muscles and burn excess calories and fat.
- Perform one set of eight to 12 reps of each exercise to start. Gradually build up to three sets as you get stronger.
- Keep in mind it is impossible to “spot treat” weight loss — that is, you can’t lose fat in just one specific area. Doing a ton of chest exercises may give you really great pecs, but may not affect the fat that covers the muscle. That’s why it is important to combine strength training with cardio, too.
2Do push-ups. One of the most effective ways to sculpt your chest muscles is by doing push-ups and variations of them. Push-ups target your chest muscles and the smaller muscles around your chest area. In addition, they can help build back and abdominal muscles, which can help you slim down overall.
- Get into a plank pose. Keep your arms straight and your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend at your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Remember to keep your abs and leg muscles engaged.
- Try half-plank, or knee, push-ups if you are unable to do push-ups in a plank position. To do this, start on your hands and knees instead of the plank position, then adjust so that your head, torso, and knees are all in a straight line. Aim to get your groin, chest, and chin to touch the ground at approximately the same time. Your hips should not bend.
- Consider adding push-up variations such as military push-ups, chest squeeze push-ups, and archer push-ups after three to four weeks to give your chest a new challenge.
3Perform presses. Pressing any amount of weight up from your chest can also help to strengthen your chest muscles. From chest presses to bench presses, doing a variety of these exercises can help you define chest muscles.
- Lie on your back on a bench with a weighted bar or dumbbells to do chest presses. Hold the weight at your lower ribs, bend your elbows, and press up until your arms are straight. Stay at the top for one second and then slowly lower your arms back to your original position. Start with 5 lbs. (2.3 5kg) and work up to more weight once your form is good and you can safely finish three sets of 10 repetitions at the current weight. This allows not just the muscles but also the connective tissues in your shoulders, elbows, and wrists to strengthen and support more weight.
- Try different presses every three to four weeks to challenge your muscles. You can choose from a variety of options such as incline or decline presses, neck bench presses, dumbbell around the world, close grip bench presses, and squeeze presses.
4Complete flyes. Pulling your arms together, which is called a flye (or fly), is another great way to sculpt your chest muscles.
- Lie on your back or stand at a slight incline. Use two 5 lb. (2.3 kg) weights and hold one in each hand, arms extended straight above your chest with your palms facing each other. Slowly open your arms wide, as though spreading your wings. Then slowly bring your arms back up.
- You can perform flyes using a resistance band, too. Stand and anchor the band at about hip-height (try wrapping it around a column or door handle), holding one end in each hand. Start with your arms open, then bring your hands together in front of your chest, then slowly open again.
- Vary your flye routine every three to four weeks to challenge your chest muscles. Try incline or decline flyes, cable flyes, and even single-arm variations.
Doing Cardiovascular Exercise
1Change your sedentary lifestyle. Although weight training can build muscle mass — which consumes more calories and therefore increases your metabolism and improves your physique — this cannot be viewed as getting rid of excess tissue in a specific spot. You’ll need to be more active throughout the day and do some type of cardiovascular exercise. Simple changes like walking instead of driving or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you burn calories and fat. Consider wearing a pedometer to count how far you walk in a day.
2Do cardio most days. Combining weight training with cardiovascular exercise and a healthy diet can help you get rid of excess body fat, including in the chest area. Sensible weight loss is one to two pounds per week. Doing some type of exercise or activity five to six days a week can help you meet overall weight loss goals and get rid of excess breast tissue more quickly.
- Do least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity every week. Aim for at least 30 minutes of daily cardio to reduce breast tissue. Break up your workouts up into manageable sections if you’re just starting. For example, try two 15-minute workouts.
- Choose activities that challenge your body and that you enjoy. It may take a little trial and error to find what works and what you like. Consider activities such as walking, jogging or running, rowing, swimming, or biking. You can also use machines such as an elliptical, stair trainer, or rowing machine. Keep in mind that team sports, running outside with your kids, or even activities like jumping rope or on a trampoline count towards your weekly exercise.
3Take classes. Boot camps, spin, aerobics, and cardio burn classes that use free weights and other equipment are a great way to start building muscle and reducing fat in all areas of the body. They can also motivate you if you have a hard time doing workouts alone. Sign up for a class that you do three to four times per week, with a day of rest in between. These classes often have the added benefit of teaching you proper form, which you can apply when you work out at home or on the go.
Making Lifestyle and Dietary Changes
1See your doctor to rule out gynecomastia. Make sure to see your doctor before you start any weight lifting or weight loss program. This is especially important if you’re doing so to get rid of man breasts. Your doctor will check to see if you have a condition known as gynecomastia, which causes male breast tissue to grow and is the result of a hormonal imbalance. Gynecomastia can also indicate a more serious disease such as male breast cancer.
- Let your doctor know why you scheduled the appointment. Give her information about when you first noticed the excess breast tissues, if you’ve had any pain, and if you’ve put on weight. Depending on the examination and any tests you may have, your doctor could diagnose you with gynecomastia or pseudogynecomastia, which happens as a result of fat deposits without an underlying hormonal imbalance.
- Listen to your doctor’s advice on treatment for either condition. In most cases, men with mild gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia can use diet and exercise to reduce fat deposits in their chests. Your doctor may ask to see you every three to six months to ensure that you don’t have any underlying conditions.
2Get sufficient rest. Just as getting exercise is important to ridding yourself of excess tissue on your chest, so is rest. In fact, getting insufficient rest can cause you to gain weight. Giving yourself a rest day or two every week and getting at least seven hours of sleep per night can help you lose weight and unwanted fat on your chest.
- Take at least one rest day every week. This promotes muscle building and recovery. A rest day doesn’t mean you just sit on the couch, however. Try something gentle and restorative, like yoga or a leisurely walk, on these days.
- Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep every night and get no less than seven hours. Grab a 30 minute nap if you’re tired during the day.
3Eat regular, nutrient-rich meals. Calories play an important part of how much weight you lose, which is why it’s important to eat three balanced and healthy meals every day. Choosing whole, nutrient-rich foods can help you lose weight and gradually excess tissue on your chest.
- Eat 500 – 1,000 calories less than your current caloric intake. This is a good rule of thumb to follow when cutting calories and losing weight sensibly. Do not eat fewer than 1,500 calories a day because this can be harmful to your health and slow your metabolism, which will make you feel miserable and impede weight loss.
4Choose different, whole foods from the five food groups. As a part of your daily diet, get food from the five food groups of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Vary your selections to get the widest range of nutrients. Healthy foods generally have a lot of fiber, which can keep food cravings at bay.
- Try whole fruits and vegetables including strawberries, apples, blackberries, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Eat whole grains including whole wheat pasta or bread, brown rice, cereal, or oatmeal. Eat lean cuts of meat like chicken, fish, and pork as well as cooked beans, nut butters and eggs for protein. Eat low-fat cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, and drink cow and nut milks for your dairy.
5Stay away from junk food. Junk food often tastes great and comforts people, but if you’re trying to lose weight and get rid of fatty tissue on your chest, it is your worst enemy. Junk and unhealthy foods have high fat and calorie content, which hinder weight loss, and offer very little nutritional value.
- Stay away from starchy foods made out of refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, rice, and baked goods. Avoiding these foods altogether or replacing them with healthy, whole grain alternatives can help you lose weight.
- Look for hidden sugar in your food by reading product labels. Sugar can also contribute to weight gain. If you see terms including corn syrup, sucrose, dextrose, fructose, or maltose, try and avoid the product.
6Make gradual dietary changes. Eating healthy to lose and maintain weight is something you should do for your lifetime. If you’re trying to lose weight, you might be excited to completely overhaul your diet; however, this might cause you to revert to bad eating habits later. Gradually changing can help good habits stick for life and may keep you from developing excess tissue on your chest again.
- Start by swapping unhealthy choices for whole foods. For example, eat brown rice instead of white rice. Add more vegetables to your plate than meat or carbs. Try air-popped popcorn instead of eating potato chips. If you’re looking for crunch, try carrots or cut veggies.
- Allow yourself one cheat day every week to keep cravings at bay and minimize the risk of overindulgence. But remember that a cheat day doesn’t mean making up the extra calories you cut out during the week. A cheat day means allowing yourself a moderate to small sized portion of a food you have cut out of your diet. For example, on your cheat day, you might allow yourself one piece of fried chicken and a tablespoonful of potato salad with your green leaf salad and veggies.
7Have daily meal plans. One way to track calories and make sure you’re getting enough nutrients is to write a meal plan. This can also help you from falling back into bad eating habits.
- Write a plan that includes three meals and two snacks daily. Have different foods at each meal. For example, have cup of non-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries, one slice of whole wheat toast with sugar-free jam, and black coffee for breakfast. Build a salad with different vegetables, grilled chicken, and a homemade vinaigrette for lunch. Have cut veggies for a snack. For dinner, try salmon with a small salad and a side of steamed mixed vegetables. If you want dessert, have apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon.
- Make sure to anticipate any meals you may have at restaurants. Consult online menus or call ahead to a restaurant see what healthy choices they offer. Choose a couple of different healthy options and write these on your plan. Avoid caloric pitfalls like buffets, bread baskets, dishes with heavy sauces, and fried foods.
8Hydrate properly. If you’re eating healthy and doing exercise, it’s important to get enough water every day. This can promote weight loss and your overall wellbeing. Aim to get about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of liquids every day if you are a woman and 13 cups (3 liters) of liquids if you are a man, or even more if you are active.
- Avoid high-calorie beverages like soda, juice cocktails, specialty coffees, and alcohol. Instead, choose non-calorie beverages like tea, plain coffee, and sparkling water.