Key Takeaways

  1. “Man boobs” are typically caused by having too much total body fat, but your genetics can also be a contributing factor.
  2. For most guys, simply losing body fat is the single best way to get rid of man boobs as fast as possible. Once you get lean enough, they’ll almost always go away.
  3. Keep reading to learn the five most effective strategies for losing chest fat (and getting rid of man boobs) as quickly as possible!

Chances are good you found this article because you think you may have “man boobs.”

And, chances are also good you’re willing to do just about anything to get rid of them.

And I’d also wager you haven’t had much luck so far. Even when you manage to lose a few pounds your “moobs” don’t seem to shrink, and maybe you’re even wondering if you’ll need surgery to get rid of them. 

After all, many other guys are taking that route.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, male breast reduction surgeries increased 32% from 2000 to 2017, and in 2015 men accounted for 40% of all breast reduction surgeries.

Is that really your only option, though? 

Is surgery the only way to get rid of man boobs?

And even if you manage to get rid of them, are they just going to come back thanks to your genetics?

The short answer is no, no, and no.

The long answer is that most cases of “man boobs” are simply caused by having too high of a body fat percentage, and once you reduce your body fat percentage your man boobs will disappear along with the rest of your chest fat. 

So, if you want to learn how to get rid of man boobs as quickly as possible, you’re in the right place.

In this article, you’ll learn . . . 

  • What really causes man boobs
  • The “secret” to losing chest fat and man boobs
  • The five most effective strategies for getting rid of man boobs
  • And more. 

 

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What Are “Man Boobs?” 

When most people say “man boobs,” they’re talking about excess fat tissue on a man’s chest that gives him the appearance of having female breasts, like this: 

foods that cause man breasts

The technical term for this condition is pseudogynecomastia.

“Pseudo” means false or fake, “gyne” means having female elements, and “mastia” means growth. So, pseudogynecomastia basically translates to “fake female breast growth,” which is a pretty accurate description of what’s going on. 

You’ll also sometimes see “man boobs” referred to as gynecomastia or simply “gyno,” but this isn’t really the same as pseudogynecomastia.

Real gynecomastia is a medical condition characterized by the growth of male breast tissue—not just fat cells but also the glandular cells that are responsible for producing milk for infants. This is caused by an increase in estrogen, a decrease in testosterone, or as a side effect of some medications, and it should be treated by a medical professional.

True gynecomastia isn’t that common among middle-age adults, although it becomes much more likely as you age, with some research showing it can affect up to 65% of men. That said, studies often use multiple definitions of what constitutes gynecomastia, and in many cases what they’re describing is probably more akin to pseudogynecomastia.

Gynecomastia also occurs in up to 70% of male teenagers thanks to hormonal changes that occur during puberty, but this is entirely natural and usually goes away by their late teens or early 20s.

So, when I refer to “man boobs” throughout the rest of this article, I’m talking about pseudogynecomastia.

Summary: Gynecomastia is a medical condition characterized by the growth of male breast tissue. Pseudogynecomastia, often referred to as “man boobs”, is the result of excess fat tissue on a man’s chest, so called because it resembles female breasts.

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What Causes Man Boobs?

There are two causes of man boobs: 

  1. Your body fat percentage is too high.
  2. Your body stores more fat than most people on your chest. 

The first reason is the main cause of man boobs.

Most of the fat in your body is stored just beneath the skin, and is distributed in varying degrees throughout every area, most noticeably the stomach, low-back, and chest for guys, and the hips, thighs, and stomach for women.

As your body fat percentage rises, it gets stored across your entire body (even in not-so-obvious places like your face, hands, and feet), but especially in the aforementioned troublespots: the stomach, low-back, and chest for guys.

The higher your body fat percentage rises, the more obvious this becomes. Specifically, most guys will start noticing uncomfortable amounts of chest fat when they surpass around 20% body fat.

In case you’re not familiar with what those body fat percentages look like, check out this image:

body fat percentage chart

Now, although any guy can develop man boobs if he gets fat enough, some will develop them sooner than others due to their genetics.

That is, some guys will naturally store more fat in their chest than others, so they can start to develop man boobs at lower body fat percentages than others.

For example, both of these guys are about the same body fat percentage . . . 

foods that cause man breasts  how to get rid of man breast in a month

 

 

 . . . but the second man clearly has more chest fat than the first. 

The solution in both cases, though, is the same: lose fat. 

Summary: Having a high body fat percentage is the main cause of man boobs. However, some men will develop man boobs at lower body fat percentages than others because their bodies preferentially store more chest fat. In both cases, the person needs to lose fat.

The “Secret” to Losing Chest Fat and Man Boobs

The best and only way to get rid of chest fat and man boobs is to *drumroll* . . . 

Lose fat and build some muscle. 

Yes, that’s really it. 

Don’t believe me? 

Check out these guys who completely got rid of their man boobs after diligently following the diet and training techniques I’m going to share with you in a moment:

legion-success-paul-s/

/muscle-for-life-success-brandon-m/

/legion-success-ronny-d/

/muscle-for-life-success-jonathan-m/ 

Now, losing enough fat to get rid of man boobs is easier said than done, and you’ve probably heard it’s not that simple. 

For example, some people claim you can selectively burn fat off your chest using special exercises, supplements, or diet plans—that you can “spot reduce” chest fat. 

This is all nonsense. 

Scientific research has repeatedly proven the futility of spot reduction. A particularly good example of this comes from a study conducted by scientists at Los Lagos University.

The researchers had 11 people perform the leg press 3 days per week for 12 weeks using their non-dominant leg (if they favored their right leg, they would use their left, and vice versa). 

Participants only performed one set per exercise, but it was a monster set of between 960 to 1,200 reps at between 10 to 30% of their one-rep max (for a total of 80 minutes per set, without rest). In other words, it was the kind of training many people think is ideal for burning fat: lots of reps with a light weight to really “burn in the cuts, bro.” They didn’t train their dominant leg at all during the study.

The researchers used a DXA scanner to calculate the bone mass, bone mineral density, fat mass, lean mass, and body fat percentage of each participants’ right and left legs. Then, after 12 weeks of training, they compared the stats for each leg to see if training one leg and neglecting the other helped burn fat on the trained leg.

Did this masochistic training style pay off? 

Nope. 

All of the participants did lose fat, but most of it came from their upper bodies (where they had the most to lose), and they lost about the same amount of fat from both legs.

Other studies conducted by scientists at the University of Copenhagen, the University of Connecticut, and Los Lagos University have found the same thing: training muscles on a particular part of your body doesn’t selectively burn the fat covering those muscles. Instead, it just helps burn fat across your entire body.

So, what’s the lesson here when it comes to man boobs? 

Unless you reduce your entire body fat percentage, training your chest muscles isn’t going to do squat to get rid of chest fat.

Instead, you need to create a calorie deficit through diet and exercise to reduce your overall body fat percentage, which will then result in less chest fat and eventually, no man boobs.

Now, one legitimate gripe about man boobs is that they can be surprisingly stubborn.

Some guy’s chest fat will cling on for dear life even after they’ve lost quite a bit of body fat, largely thanks to their genetics. This is because fat cells around the chest area are often very “resistant” to being mobilized and burned compared to other parts of the body.

If you want to learn why this is, read this article: 

Why Belly Fat Is So Stubborn (and How to Lose It)

Luckily, you can still get rid of chest fat no matter how stubborn it is, it just might take you slightly longer than it will for others. 

Keep reading to learn how!

Summary: The only way to get rid of man boobs is to reduce your entire body fat percentage. You can’t “spot reduce” chest fat by doing lots of chest exercises, so the only solution is to gradually whittle away your body’s fat stores until your man boobs disappear. 

How to Get Rid of Chest Fat and Man Boobs in 5 Steps

Losing weight and losing fat are two very different things.

Losing weight is simple: eat as little as possible and do lots of cardio.

Keep that up, and you’ll lose boatloads of fat, but with it will go much of your muscle.

This is a Himalayan blunder when it comes to losing chest fat, because many people who’ve become fat enough to develop man boobs are going to have some loose skin after they lose weight. 

Here’s an extreme example: 

man breasts

One of the best ways to deal with loose skin is to maintain and build muscle, which will help fill the space that your fat used to occupy. 

So, if you want to get rid of man boobs and, you want to lose fat and preserve as much muscle as possible, and that’s best achieved through a combination of calorie restriction, highprotein dieting, and heavy weightliftingnot crash dieting and oodles of cardio.

More specifically, you want to follow these five steps:

  • Use a reasonably aggressive calorie deficit of about 25%
  • Eat a high protein and high carbohydrate diet
  • Do lots of heavy, compound weightlifting
  • Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and light cardio
  • Take the right fat loss supplements

Now let’s look at what these strategies are, why they work, and how to put them into play so you can get results.

Let’s start at the top.

Use a reasonably aggressive calorie deficit of about 25%.

how to get rid of moobs in a week

Research clearly shows that the only way to achieve significant fat loss is to eat less energy than you burn.

Yes, calories in vs. calories out matters. A lot.

(The number one reason people stop losing weight or can’t lose weight is terribly simple: overeating.)

When you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re in a “calorie deficit” because, well, you’re feeding your body fewer calories than it needs. And when you maintain a calorie deficit for long enough, your body is forced to burn through substantial amounts of stored body fat to meet its energy demands.

And if you want to lose chest fat as quickly as possible—which is often quite stubborn—you need to ensure you’re in a fairly large (but not reckless calorie deficit).

Specifically, I recommend that you eat around 25% fewer calories than you burn every day.

That is, a 25% calorie deficit.

This will help you lose fat at a rapid clip without losing muscle or running into the metabolic hobgoblins that can arise from extreme dieting.

You can try to lose fat faster than this by eating even less, but this strategy backfires more often than not. Hunger rises, you start losing muscle, and your chances of sticking to the diet take a nosedive. 

So, how do you calculate how many calories you need to eat every day to maintain a 25% deficit? 

There are many methods for calculating your calorie intake, but here’s my favorite: 

Multiply your body weight in pounds by 11.

For example, if you’re 200 pounds, you’d multiply 200 x 11, which equals 2,200 calories per day.

That’s it. Easy as falling off a log. 

The hard part is sticking to the diet, which is made easier if you follow the next piece of advice on this list.

If you want to know where this formula came from and how it compares to other methods for calculating your calorie intake, check out this article: 

This Is the Best TDEE Calculator on the Web (2020)

Summary: Maintain a calorie deficit of 25% every day to lose fat as fast as possible without losing muscle. To find how many calories you should eat per day, multiply your weight in pounds by 11 (body weight x 11 = daily calorie intake for fat loss).

Eat a high protein and high carbohydrate diet.

If there’s one thing most weight loss “gurus” agree on, it’s that a high-protein diet is best.

And they’re right.

Studies show that eating enough protein . . .

  • Keeps you fuller on fewer calories
  • Prevents muscle loss
  • Increases energy expenditure
  • Improves muscle recovery and repair

The bottom line is this:

If you don’t eat much protein, you’re going to have a rough time losing weight, and particularly with losing fat and not muscle.

So, what’s enough protein?

Research shows that somewhere between 0.8 and 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day is optimal, which works out to about 30 to 40% of calories for most people.

If you’re very overweight (25%+ body fat in men and 30%+ in women), then this can be reduced to around 1 gram of protein per pound of fat-free mass per day.

Now, most people know that a high-protein diet is superior to low-protein, but what many people don’t know is that a high-carbohydrate diet is far superior to low-carb when it comes to weight loss and calorie restrictions.  

When you’re restricting your calories:

  • A high-carb diet results in less stress and fatigue than low-carb
  • A low-carb diet doesn’t result in any more fat loss than high-carb
  • A high-carb diet is much better for preserving performance and lean mass than low-carb.
  • It’s easier to overeat on a low-carb diet than high-carb

This often comes as a surprise to people, but give it a try and you’ll be amazed at how much easier and enjoyable losing weight it is.

So, all things considered, here’s a good target to shoot for when it comes to setting up your diet: 

  • 40% of calories from protein
  • 40% of calories from carbs
  • 20% of calories from fat 

Summary: To lose body fat while preserving or even building muscle, aim to get 40% of your calories from protein, 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, and 20% of your calories from fat.  

Do lots of heavy, compound weightlifting

how to get rid of moobs in a day

As you learned a moment ago, losing chest fat and man boobs isn’t about doing special exercises to target your chest.

Instead, it’s about whittling away your body fat levels while maintaining or even gaining muscle. And the best kind of exercise for that is heavy, compound weightlifting. 

 What do I mean by “heavy compound” lifting, though?

Well, by “compound,” I mean focusing on compound exercises, which are those that target multiple large muscle groups, such as the squat, bench press, military press, and deadlift

And by “heavy,” I mean lifting weights that are above ~70% of your one-rep max (weights that you can do 12 reps or less with before failing). 

The main reason heavy compound weightlifting is so effective is it’s the best way to overload your muscles, which is the primary trigger for muscle growth.

By lifting heavy weights (and progressing to heavier and heavier weights as you get stronger), you create tremendous amounts of tension in your muscles, and this tells them to grow.

I think you can figure out how this benefits you when you’re restricting your calories for fat loss.

In short, it allows you to minimize muscle loss while dieting, or, depending on your circumstances, even gain muscle while you’re losing fat.

Check out this article to find a highly effective heavy compound weightlifting workout that will train your entire body, from head to toe: 

The Definitive Guide on How to Build a Workout Routine

In general, I recommend you do heavy, compound weightlifting at least three times per week, with four and five times per week producing even better results. 

If you’re really strapped for time, make sure you prioritize your weightlifting workouts over your cardio workouts, too, as they’re going to move the needle more when it comes to preserving muscle and burning fat.

Summary: Do workouts that involve heavy, compound weightlifting exercises at least three times per week if you want to lose man boobs as fast as possible.

Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and light cardio.

HIIT is a form of cardio that involves short, maximum effort sprint workouts.

And it’s very good for burning fat.

Specifically, research shows that 25 minutes of HIIT training burns as much fat as 60 minutes of traditional cardio, and other studies have demonstrated similar findings.

It accomplishes this in several ways, including . . . 

  • Increasing metabolic rate for up to 24 hours.
  • Improving insulin sensitivity in your muscles.
  • Increasing your muscle’s ability to burn fat for fuel.
  • Decreasing appetite.

It’s also better for preserving muscle than regular low-intensity cardio, mainly because you don’t have to do nearly as much to keep the needle moving.

The main downside of HIIT, though, is that it’s pretty hard on your body when done properly. Thus, it’s best to do no more than three HIIT workouts per week in addition to your weightlifting, and stick to relatively low-impact forms of cardio like cycling, swimming, and rowing. 

If you want to burn even more calories each week, consider going on a few brisk walks in addition to your HIIT workouts. Although walking doesn’t burn as many calories per minute as HIIT, it’s very easy to accomplish and recover from, which makes it an excellent form of cardio for weight loss.

I recommend starting with two or three 30-minute walks per week, and then adding or subtracting based on how your body responds.

Summary: To maximize fat loss, do up to three 25-minute HIIT workouts per week. If you don’t want to do HIIT or you want to do HIIT and another form of light cardio to speed up fat loss even further, you can go on two or three 30-minute walks per week in addition or instead of your HIIT workouts.

Take the right fat loss supplements

best-supplements-for-fat-loss

I saved this for last because it’s the least important.

The truth is most fat loss supplements are worthless.

Unfortunately, no amount of weight loss pills and powders are going to make you lean.

Trust me. If you’re trying to lose fat, pill popping, even to excess, isn’t going to be enough.

Now the good news:

If you know how to drive fat loss with proper dieting and exercise, certain supplements can accelerate the process.

Based on the scientific research, it’s fair to say that a proper fat loss supplementation routine can safely increase fat loss by at least 30%.

That is, if you can lose 1 pound of fat per week through diet and exercise alone (and you can), you can lose 1.3 pounds pounds of fat per week or more by adding the right supplements into the mix.

And here are those supplements:

  • 3 to 6 mg of caffeine per kilogram of body weight per day.

Caffeine increases the number of calories you burn and also boosts strength, muscle endurance, and anaerobic performance.

If you want a convenient source of caffeine along with several other ingredients that are scientifically proven to boost performance, check out our pre-workout supplement, Pulse.

  • 0.1 to 0.2 milligrams of yohimbine per kilogram of bodyweight before fasted exercise.

Yohimbine is a natural substance that accelerates fat loss when paired with fasted training by making it easier to mobilize and burn “stubborn” fat cells, like those found in your chest.

If you want to learn more about fasted training and how to combine it with yohimbine to get rid of stubborn fat, check out this article: 

Why and How I Use Fasted Cardio to Lose Fat as Quickly as Possible

And if you want a convenient, safe source of yohimbine, check out our pre-workout fat-burner, Forge.

  • 1 serving of Phoenix per day.

Phoenix is an all-natural fat burner that contains seven ingredients proven to help you lose fat faster, including synephrine, naringin, and hesperidin.

These ingredients work synergistically to boost metabolic rate, target stubborn fat cells, increase the thermic effect of food, and decrease appetite.

If you want to learn more about Phoenix, click here.

And if you want to learn more about how all of these fat loss supplements work and how to take them, check out these two articles: 

The Insider’s Guide to Fat Burning Pills: An Evidence-Based Review

The 3 Absolute Best (and Worst) Fat Loss Supplements

Summary: By taking a combination of caffeine, yohimbine, and Phoenix fat burner with a proper diet and exercise plan, you can significantly speed up fat loss and get rid of man boobs faster.

The Bottom Line on Getting Rid of Man Boobs

Although many guys worry they’ll need surgery to get rid of man boobs, this is rarely the best solution. 

In most cases, all you need to do to get rid of man boobs is to significantly reduce your body fat percentage, and while this isn’t easy, it’s highly effective (and good for you for many other reasons, too). 

That is, I’ve seen many guys who thought they were going to be stuck with man boobs for good, who completely got rid of them after a few months of proper dieting. 

This is easier said than done, but if you follow these five steps, you will lose enough fat to get rid of your man boobs for good: 

  1. Use a reasonably aggressive calorie deficit of about 25%
  2. Eat a high protein and high carbohydrate diet
  3. Do lots of heavy, compound weightlifting
  4. Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and light cardio
  5. Take the right fat loss supplements

Do that, and I promise you’ll be happy with the results.

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you like to hang out online! 🙂

What’s your experience dealing with man boobs? Have anything else to add? Lemme know in the comments below!

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