Man boobs can be a frustrating and often embarrassing issue for gents. After all, no man likes to look like he needs a bra when hitting the beach. But, if you do struggle with pecks that are more soft than solid, you should know you’re not alone. Man boobs are a common problem for men all over the world. Thankfully, there are ways to help tackle the issue. In particular, the foods you eat, the exercise you do, and the clothes you wear can all affect the appearance of your chest. Interested to hear more? Read on to discover our guide on how to get rid of man boobs and regain your pecks.
What Are Man Boobs?
Gynecomastia, which is the medical term for man boobs, is the enlargement of male breast gland tissue typically caused by hormonal changes. However, an accumulation of excess fat can also create the appearance of man boobs. As this is not true gynecomastia, it is often known as pseudogynecomastia. While both conditions can have a similar visual aesthetic, they are different and can be caused by various factors.
Gynecomastia vs Pseudogynecomastia
If you’re looking to get rid of your man boobs, it’s important first to understand what type you have. Gynecomastia and pseudogynecomastia are the two main types of man boobs, so it is likely you have one or the other. If your weight and body fat are high, chances are you have pseudogynecomastia, which is the enlargement of the chest due to fat growth. Alternatively, if you have experienced hormonal changes, it is possible you have gynecomastia, which is the enlargement of actual breast tissue.
What Causes Man Boobs?
Many factors can influence whether or not you have man boobs and precisely how large they are. As such, making a few lifestyle changes may help reduce the appearance of your “moobs”. Although these changes won’t flatten and tone your chest instantly, they have the potential to improve it significantly over time. After all, addressing the cause of a problem is always the best long-term solution.
Obesity is a common problem in our society and, along with being detrimental to your health, can also cause the development of man boobs. So, if you’re consuming more calories than you’re burning off, be sure to reconsider your lifestyle and food choices. Not only can a poor diet create fat, which can appear on your chest, but it can also cause an imbalance of the hormone leptin, which can exacerbate the issue.
Your age can be a significant factor in whether you develop gynecomastia. For teenage boys, the hormonal changes associated with puberty can often cause the condition. For men who are over 50, a natural reduction in testosterone production can have similar effects. As such, keeping your chest toned during these times can be difficult. Although there is little you can do about the ageing process, there are ways to increase testosterone and help balance your hormones, such as exercise and medication.
Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Man boobs can be a very unappealing side effect of excessive alcohol consumption. Not only can drinking too much cause you to gain weight, which may result in the growth of fat in your chest, but it can also interfere with your hormonal system. This interference can cause reduced testosterone levels and male breast enlargement amongst other issues.
Natural Oil-Based Products
While natural, oil-based products boast a lot of benefits, they can also have a downside. According to research, when absorbed into your bloodstream, products containing natural, oil-based ingredients can cause a hormonal imbalance due to their estrogen-like properties. So, while that lavender and tea tree beard oil may be making your facial fuzz soft, it could also be contributing to your soft chest. However, there is some debate on the topic.
As well as helping to enlarge your biceps, steroid use can also cause other areas of your body to grow. Anabolic steroids are synthetic versions of testosterone. However, they can be converted by the body into estrogen. This increase in estrogen levels can then cause the development of unwanted breast tissue.
While not as common as some other causes, illness and medical conditions can produce man boobs. So, if your chest is swollen and tender or if you’ve noticed any growth that hasn’t been caused by expected weight gain, be sure to speak to your doctor. The issue could be due to a range of problems, such as liver failure, kidney disease or Klinefelter syndrome (a genetic condition where males are born with an extra X chromosome).
How to Get Rid of Man Boobs
While addressing the cause of your man boobs is an excellent way to help the issue, there are other tactics you can try to get rid of them. Of course, be sure to speak to your doctor before making any major decisions or changes.
Consuming countless burgers and beers is never going to help you shed those man boobs. So, focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet instead. To do so, be sure to consume plenty of vegetables, fruits and protein while reducing your consumption of carbs and sugar.
While a balanced diet is instrumental in weight loss, exercise is also an essential aspect of living a healthy life. Additionally, some specific activities can help reduce and tone your man boobs. So, be sure to hit the gym. In particular, lifting weights is a great way to increase testosterone and tone your chest. But, also remember to work out the rest of your body and undertake cardio training for excellent results.
Medication can be a useful method for tackling gynecomastia. As the condition is typically caused by a hormone imbalance, taking medication to adjust your testosterone and oestrogen levels can help to reduce its symptoms. Of course, you’ll need to speak to your doctor before pursuing this form of treatment.
If you have severe gynecomastia, usual treatment and reduction methods could be ineffective. If this is the case for you, you may want to explore the idea of male breast reduction surgery. Although this is now a highly common cosmetic procedure for men, you should be aware that, like all surgeries, it has its risks. As such, you should do plenty of research and book in for a consultation before making your final decision.
How to Dress for Man Boobs
While getting rid of man boobs can be a long and challenging process, there are ways to disguise them in the meantime. The clothes you wear can have a particularly significant impact on the appearance of your chest. So, if you’re feeling a little self-conscious, be sure to use your wardrobe to your advantage.
If your aim is to hide your man boobs with the clothes you wear, be sure to choose styles that are a little loose and don’t cling to your body. Ideally, you’re after tops that skim over your chest. Of course, you’ll also need to be considerate of the fabric. In general, thicker fabrics with more structure will be better for disguising your man boobs than lightweight designs.
Just as the fabric and fit of your clothes can either enhance or reduce the appearance of your man boobs, so too can the style and designs you select. So, be sure to fill your closet with a good selection of flattering options. Shirts are often a better choice than T-shirts, especially those made from a dense material. Not only can the buttons draw attention away from your pecks, but any added patch pockets can also conceal the area. Of course, be careful with pockets as those on thin dress shirts can actually draw attention to your man boobs. Additionally, don’t forget that layering is your friend. The simple act of throwing an open jacket on over a casual tee can completely hide any unwanted lumps or bumps.
Dark colours have long been loved for their appearance-slimming properties. So, instead of stocking up on plain white tees, try choosing darker, more flattering hues instead. While navy and black are timeless options, deep shades of khaki and burgundy can also look fantastic.
While patterns can often draw attention, they can also be used to deflect it. As such, patterned garments can be an excellent tool when trying to hide gynecomastia. Just remember to choose shirts with all-over designs. Doing so will distract the eye from focusing on the curves of your chest. Also, be careful not select any logo or placement prints as these often draw attention to the chest area. Alternatively, if you don’t want to wear an all-over pattern, you can consider a textured style, such as a flannelette or oxford shirt, which will have a similar effect.
Taylah Brewer holds a bachelor's degree in fashion and business and is a skilled writer with several years of experience in the world of online content creation and copywriting. She is passionate about fashion, beauty, and all things lifestyle-related and has been writing for The Trend Spotter since 2016. She currently works as the Head of Digital & Ecommerce at White & Co.
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