Man boobs are the most unmanly things that you can see on a man. According to the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, half of men in the U.S. have man boobs. Most men dread man boobs because of the enormous hit they can give to their self-esteem and let’s face it, a man with low self-esteem is virtually guaranteed of failure to attract a partner he deserves.
How can one win a battle against the dreaded man boobs or moobs as some call them?
Essentially, what you have to do is to control your diet, take some supplements and doing the right type of exercise frequently – more on that later.
First, let’s have a look at why man boobs form.
What causes man boobs?
The condition of Man boobs, also known as gynecomastia, is a benign enlargement of breast tissue in males thought to be caused by an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and testosterone. One or both breasts may be affected.
Cases of man boobs are on the rise around the globe no doubt paralleling the rise in obesity
rates. Glasgow, Scotland, which boasts the second highest obesity rate of all countries studied by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, has seen an 80 percent rise in man boobs reduction surgery since 2007.
While most cases of man boobs are related to problems with overweight, it seems that even thin and normal weight men are increasingly experiencing issues with breast enlargement.
Go to any water park this summer and look around. Clearly, man boobs of all shapes and sizes are at epidemic levels.
There is more than one reason for getting man boobs.
1. As you might have guessed, one reason a man can develop man boobs is simply because he is overweight. Man boobs are simply fatty tissue deposited over the chest muscles. Such fat is not so easy to get rid of and what is worse, your body fat is also one of the reasons you might have low testosterone.
Unfortunately, there is no targeted man boob removal technique. Man boobs are very similar to beer bellies. If you want it gone, you have to reduce fat all over the body.
“Spot fat reduction” is a myth, promoted by several companies to sell their useless weight loss products.
2. Another reason for Man boobs/gynecomastia, is a medical condition that is characterized by decreased testosterone production as well as an increased estrogen production.
Here’s the deal. The major hormones that control the sex characteristics of men and women are testosterone and estrogen. Women and men have both, but men have more testosterone and women have more estrogen.
Breast tissue feeds off estrogen.
Which is why women grow breasts.
The reason other guys have a broad, masculine chest while you’re sporting A cups? Hormonal imbalance and high estrogen/testosterone ratio in the body.
TOO MUCH ESTROGEN IS WHAT’S REALLY STOPPING YOU FROM LOSING YOUR MAN BOOBS
This sort of hormonal balance can also be caused by certain medication which affect the body’s hormones. It also occurs in rare cases where a man is suffering from a testicular tumor. Testosterone and estrogen levels are closely related via the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.
An increase in estrogen automatically leads to a decrease in testosterone and vice versa.
It’s natural to have some estrogen in the male body, but when estrogen starts becoming the dominant hormone in men, then the problems arise.
3. It is still possible for you to get man boobs even if your hormones balance is normal. Man boobs can develop if your breast tissue is less sensitive to normal testosterone levels or is more sensitive to normal estrogen levels. The sensitivity of breast tissue changes as a result of environmental factors.
Many factors that cause estrogen production to increase also cause breast sensitivity to estrogen to increase. The same case applies to testosterone. Changes in breast tissue sensitivity to estrogen/testosterone are caused by estrogen/androgen receptor abnormalities.
These abnormalities might be from hormone exposure in the womb but they can also be caused by exposure to environmental toxins.
Could all the soy that is in the majority of processed foods today which has added plant estrogens (isoflavones) to the male diet at a rate never before seen in history be a factor in the development of man boobs?
Not even in Asia was soy ever consumed in the large amounts experienced by those eating a modern diet. Traditional Asian societies primarily consumed soy in small amounts after careful and long periods of fermentation.
Perhaps the increasing popularity of soy infant formula starting a few decades ago is partly to blame which exposes a male infant to disruptive levels of estrogen at a very vulnerable time for the developing hormonal system. An estimated 25% of North American babies today receive infant formula made from processed soybeans, mostly GMO.
An infant exclusively receiving soy formula consumes the estrogenic equivalent of at least 5 birth control pills every single day!
What about all the steroids, hormones and antibiotic laced feed used in the conventional dairy and meat industry?
Consumption of foods from factory farmed animals containing pharmaceutical residues could be another contributing factor to the estrogen/testosterone imbalance at the root of gynecomastia.
No doubt there are multiple environmental reasons for the large and very worrisome increases in gynecomastia across the board.
For the person who suffers from it, however, the reason for the condition is not nearly as important as resolving it and quickly.
How to treat man boobs?
As we have elaborated, man boobs don’t have to become a permanent fixture of anyone’s chest.
Even the most severe cases of gynecomastia can be solved by following the proper diet, exercising, and using male supplements to eliminate man boobs.
There are two main ways approaches to dealing with man boobs: precautionary and reactionary. Of course most of us want to deal with man boobs before they happen but some people often find themselves doing damage control.
Precautionary measures against man boobs
How can you prevent man boobs from occurring?
The simplest way is to stay away from things that cause them including the following:
Excessive alcohol consumption: A sustained six-pack-a-day habit will cause much worse things than a beer belly. Alcohol reduces the liver’s ability to break down excess estrogen. In addition, the hops used to make beer contain phytoestrogens. These are compounds that are similar to and have the same effects as estrogen. Excessive alcohol intake can also damage the liver and that affects its ability to metabolize hormones.
Using steroids: Steroids cause your manhood to shrink but that is not their only negative consequence – they also cause man boobs. Anabolic steroids have insane amounts of testosterone and the body is forced to convert some of it into estrogen. Elliot W. Jacobs, MD, a NYC based gynecomastia surgeon says that almost half of his patients are bodybuilders.
Weight gain: Gaining weight throws your muscle-fat balance out of whack. As fatty tissue increases, the body starts to produce more estrogen than testosterone and might cause man boobs to occur. Muscles love testosterone and fatty tissue loves estrogen.
Deprivation diets: If you don’t get enough food, your testosterone levels reduce but estrogen remains the same. Some men who skimp on food develop man boobs during their diets but most of them develop them after they resume normal feeding habits (refeeding gynecomastia).
Taking certain medications: A quarter of all man boob cases are as a result of medication – what is in your medicine cabinet? The New England Journal of Medicine reported that more than 24 prescription drugs are similar to estrogen, can cause increased estrogen production, or have androgens that are readily converted to estrogen. They include common medications like amphetamines, antibiotics, blood pressure drugs, and antidepressants. Read more on what drugs may cause gynecomastia.
Cigarette smoking: Cigarette causes numerous types of cancer. Cancer is a mass of cells that have a mind of their own and they produce hormones for their own use. They often cause hormonal imbalance that can cause man boobs. Lung cancer, the most common type for smokers, is one of the major causes of cancer-related man boobs.
Use of some herbal products: A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that lavender and tea tree oil can cause man boobs. The two ingredients which are very common in shampoos, soaps, and body lotions, when applied topically can mimic estrogen activity and reduce the effect of androgens.
Reactionary measures: Reversing gynecomastia naturally and getting rid of man boobs
1. Eliminate Soy
Immediately stop consumption of all sources of soy in order to remove plant estrogens from the diet. Because soy is in the vast majority of processed foods, this means freshly prepared, whole foods at home must become the rule rather than the exception. Many times, this change alone will resolve the problem.
2. Dieting strategies – herbs, foods and supplements
i). Drink 4 oz of Sarsaparilla tea or juice per day. It contains sterol; therefore, this herb can help you build up your muscles and is often preferred by bodybuilders or athletes. It can improve the strength of pectoral muscles and bring it to good shape.
You just need to take a teaspoon of chopped root into some hot water and steep for about 10 minutes. After straining, consume warmly.
ii) One of the best ways to block estrogen is by eating cruciferous vegetables. This type of food has a high level of phytochemicals and works to block estrogen production. Cruciferous vegetables can be cooked in a number of ways, and some of them, including broccoli and cauliflower, can taste good raw.
Cruciferous vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
- bok choy
- collard greens
iii). Mushrooms :- Varieties of mushrooms such as shiitake, portabello, crimini, and baby button work to block estrogen in the body. They have been known to prevent the production of an enzyme called aromatase.
Aromatase is responsible for converting the hormone androgen over to estrogen. Incorporating this food into your diet will help prevent new production of estrogen.
Raw mushrooms can be a great addition to salads. They can also be salted with onions and other foods for flavoring. Select mushrooms from grocers, because wild-picked mushrooms may be poisonous. Organic mushrooms are a good choice because they’re pesticide-free.
iv). Red Grapes
Another estrogen blocking food is red grapes. Their skins contain a chemical called resveratrol and their seeds contain a chemical called proanthocyanidin. Both of these chemicals work to block estrogen production. Red grapes are easy to clean and eat, and
they’re great to eat refrigerated or at room temperature. They can be eaten alone or added to fruit or green salads. As with any other fruit or vegetable, organic is a good way to go.
Certain types of seeds—such as chia, flax, and sesame contain something called polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in plants and work to reduce estrogen levels in the bloodstream. According to information from Oregon State University, flax seeds contain the greatest amount of polyphenols.
Chia, flax, and sesame seeds are available at many grocery stores and health food shops. They can be added to all sorts of cooking and baking recipes and are especially easy to add to fruit smoothies
vi). Green Tea
Already known for its healthful properties, green tea is also a great source for phytochemicals. Harvard Health Publications cites green tea as reducing estrogen while it aids in other areas, including cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, and hypertension reduction.
There are many varieties of green tea available at large grocery stores and smaller health food stores. Green tea can be combined with flavorings such as mint, lemon, ginseng, and ginger for added taste and nutrients. It’s refreshing both hot and cold.
When people think of fruit, the pomegranate may not be the first thing that comes to mind. It turns out, however, that this particular fruit is high in phytochemicals. Pomegranates are becoming more widely known for their estrogen-blocking properties as well as their antioxidant virtues.
Pomegranates can be cut up and eaten like other fruits, or they can be consumed in juice form. Many grocery stores carry pomegranate juice and juice blends
Turmeric comes top on the list of home remedies for gynecomastia. It is excellent at improving the levels of testosterone which will decrease the breast size for men. Moreover, turmeric can efficiently promote the health of liver as well as help you lose excessive fat [study].
- You can take 1 to 2 teaspoons of turmeric into some warm water. Consume 2 to 3 times per day, especially before bedtime. Perform every day for couples of week.
- Another way is taking turmeric supplementary pills after consulting the doctor.
Miscellaenous dieting and supplements tips to treat gynecomastia naturally
1. Use iodine supplements. We recommend these iodine caplets and this nascent supplement. The MAJOR reason for hormonal balance in mnay men is iodine deficiency. Your thyroid & testes are responsible for generating testosterone. Restore your male hormone balance with the Dr. Brownstein Iodine Protocol.
2. Optimize the health of your brain, hypothalamus and pituitary region. This area of the brain is primiarily responsible for hormones production in the body. We recommend Genf20 Plus, which balances and enhances growth hormone (HGH) production. HGH is the Master Hormone in the body that has an impact on optimizing all other male hormones.
3. Strengthen your liver. Your liver has the task of processing all the excess estrogen causing the hormonal imbalance relative to testosterone. You can use castor oil packs for detoxing liver. Learn more about using castor oils for liver detox.
4. Increase dietary animal fats to at least one tablespoon per meal. Testosterone production is highly dependent on fatty-acids and cholesterol. So if you’ve been eating a bunch of low-fat food, you’ve been robbing your body of one of the essential ingredients it needs to make testosterone. Read this cheat sheet for testosterone production using healthy dietary fats.
5. Eliminate all refined grains for 30-60 days. Refined grains and sugar increase estrogen. Dr. Davis over at Heart Scan Blog has written about the connection between wheat (and other foods that spike insulin) and gynecomastia.
After 30-60 days incorporate properly prepared, soaked germinated grains.
6. Try to follow a traditional diet(ie. diets of healthy indigenous and nonindustrialized people). There have been success stories of men successfully reversing gynecomastia with paleo diet, too. So, Paleo diet can help, especially if you only eat organic meat which is not laden with estrogen.
Reactionary measures: Exercises to reduce man boobs
One of the things you can do to treat man boobs is exercise. Three types of exercise are particularly recommended: upper body workouts, cardio, and strength training.
Upper body workouts
Everyone is different but we would suggest that you move your upper body in demanding workouts such as push-ups, pull-ups, chin-ups, fast swimming, even axe-handling if you like splitting logs. We know there is this guy who created an easy to follow WO program based on handling a sledge hammer stuffed in a towel – we just don’t remember the exact name of that stuff.
What we mean is that to reverse your boobs into a good looking chest, you have to reverse the hormonal balance (more testosterone than estrogen) and for that, red meat and heavy weight lifting (could be body weight) would bring you there.
EDIT: you can try the barstarzz program for increasing the number of pull-ups. The morning routine is push-ups, 3 reps each until failure, and 5 min. rest in-between. The reason as far as we understand it is that push-ups are the opposite of pull-ups and would prevent injuries if you were only doing pull-ups (I guess the opposite is true). The side-effect of push-ups is a better looking chest.
Cardio related exercises
Interval training: It is a great way to burn off man boobs because it kicks metabolism into high gear. You use a lot of calories with interval training hence speed up the man boob elimination process.
Running: Don’t be worried about your man boobs bobbing up and down as you jog through the park – odds are that they won’t be around much longer if you keep up running. The only thing that should prevent you from running is joint trouble.
Rowing: Rowing can be done indoor or outdoor. It is a great way to eliminate man boobs because it elevates your metabolism. It is also easy on your joints.
Elliptical machine: It is great as a weight loss exercise because it works on your arms and legs and it is also easy on joints.
Another way to exercise man boobs is on the strength training side. You can do exercises that specifically target your chest.
Though strength training does not burn a lot of calories, it increases lean muscle mass thereby increasing the calories you burn even when not working out.
This of course includes the basics like pushups, but there are plenty of other options as well. If you own a set of weights, there are numerous options like the bench press, incline press, or vertical press. You can also do dips or similar exercises.
If you want to do strength exercises primarily to tone your muscles, remember that it’s important to focus on lots of reps rather than maximum weight.
Smaller numbers of repetitions with lots of weight will build muscle, increasing the size of your chest. You may not be looking to do that, so focus instead on mid-level weight and lots of repetitions. This will tend to tone and strengthen without adding a lot of muscle mass.
Here are some recommended strength training techniques.
- Seated chest presses
- Cable crossovers
- Incline flyes
- Bench presses
- Push ups
Here’s how you use them —
1. Standard Bench Press
Lie on your back on a workout bench. Lift the barbell upwards in front of you vertically toward the ceiling. Then lower slowly. Repeat.
2. Cable Crossovers
Stand in front of a pulley station, holding each handle by your side. Pull the handles towards each other and let your hands just cross. Release slowly and repeat.
Lie face down. Press your palms onto the floor, legs stretched out, standing on your toes. Make sure your arms are apart at shoulder-length. Push yourself up then down, ensuring no part of you touches the floor, other than your toes and your hands.
4. Seated Chest Press
Sit upright at the seated chest press machine. Now push the handles away from you, then slowly release. Repeat.
5. Inclined Flyes
Rest on a 45% bench rest. Take two dumbbells and push these vertically up then lower them but no further than your shoulder level. Repeat.
For each of the 5, start to do 1 set each of 8 repetitions. Gradually increase the repetitions up to 12 a set, then do more sets. You can also gradually increase the weights. Remember to breathe out as you work against a weight, and in when you release.
These are possibly the best exercises to get rid of male boobs. Doing these twice a week should only take 50 to 60 minutes each week.
Couple these with some aerobic workouts (like jogging) and a sensible diet, and you will see results within a month. Then when your friends approach you with the question of how to exercise man boobs, you’ll be the expert!
Miscellaneous strategies to cure gynecomastia part 2
1. Improve Gastrointestinal Health
Poor gastrointestinal health can inhibit excretion of unwanted estrogen from the body and promote its reabsorption. A healthy gut with dietary fiber in the form lignan, such as flaxseeds, can bind to estrogen in the digestive tract so that it will be excreted from the body.
Dietary fiber also reduces the amount of an enzyme (called B-glucouronidase) that uncouples or breaks apart bound estrogen that is on its way out of the body. When the estrogen breaks free in the large intestine, it re-enters circulation and is not removed from the body. This is a bad situation.
The solution is to eat adequate fiber and include lignans in the diet, including flax, leafy greens, and bran (oat, rye, barley). Eating plenty of probiotic foods or taking a probiotic is essential because it will increase the “good bacteria” in the gut and support neurotransmitter function.
2. Improve Diet With Low Carb, High-Protein, Omega-3 Fats
To avoid excess estrogen, you need to manage insulin because doing so is better for body composition, and persistently high insulin produces a poor endocrine profile that can inhibit estrogen metabolism. Getting your carbs from vegetable and fruit sources will provide the lignans and fiber needed for gut health and increase antioxidant levels, which can abolish free radicals that produced by estrogen that goes down the C-16 pathway.
Lysine and threonine are found in meat, fish, beans, eggs, and some seeds (sesame, fenugreek). Sesame seeds also provide fiber and fenugreek helps lower the insulin response to carbs, making both good additions to your diet.
The omega-3 fatty acids are exactly what men need for the treatment of gynecomastia. The ability to stimulate testosterone production is what keeps fish oil on the top of the list of home remedies for gynecomastia. Moreover, those fatty acids can help you control estrogen which is one of the main causes for abnormal growth of breast at men [study 1] [study 2] [study 3].
Fenugreek is also excellent supplement to enhance testosterone levels.
3. Decrease Body Fat
The more fat you have, the more estrogen you’ll have because fat tissue increases levels of the aromatase enzyme that turns testosterone to estrogen. Decreasing body fat and building lean mass are key to cancer prevention and estrogen elimination.
4. Block Aromatase and Stop Testosterone From Turning into Estrogen
Blocking aromatase is key for getting rid of estrogen because it plays the main role in producing estrogen in men. If aromatase is present, there are two chances for estrogen to be produced in the body. First, the hormone androstenedione will be turned into testosterone unless aromatase is present in which case it will be turned into estrogen. Then, aromatase will turn testosterone into estrogen as well. Nutrients that have a proven effect on aromatase include selenium, melatonin, zinc, green tea, and citrus flavonones—substances found in orange and grapefruit rinds along with tomato skins.
5. Ensure complete elimination of estrogen
Once you shift your estrogen elimination to the C-2 pathway you have to make sure it gets excreted from the body. Two things can happen along the way out that cause big problems. First, estrogen that is heading down the C-2 pathway can be easily turned into something called quinones, which are “highly reactive” and can damage DNA and cause cancer.
In order to avoid the production of quinones you must have adequate amounts of two nutrients—magnesium and SAMe. This process of metabolizing estrogen to avoid quinones is called methylation and is the first place that things can go wrong on the estrogen elimination pathway.
As estrogen is heading out of the intestine, it needs to be bound to glucuronic acid, but there is a “bad” intestinal bacteria that contains an enzyme that breaks estrogen apart from the glucuronic acid.
This is the second place estrogen detoxification can go wrong.
When the “bad” bacteria, called glucouronidase, uncouples the bond between estrogen and glucuronic acid, estrogen re-enters circulation, effectively raising estrogen levels in the body and damaging tissue. To avoid this, you need a healthy gut, which you can get by supporting the probiotic bacteria in your gut and eating lots of fiber and lignans.
6. Take breast reduction pills for men
Just as there are products intended to increase breast size (in women), some pills are explicitly manufactured for breast enlargement and reduction in both females and males.
A Gynecomastia medication is the cure for the excessive development of breasts in males. In some men, it has even produced incredible results that are better than the non-invasive procedures. The active ingredients are used up and processed by the human body.
Usually, pills used for breast reduction in males consist of ingredients that either increase the testosterone level or lower the estrogen level in the human body, thereby, reducing the breast. For men who want to reduce their breasts and prefer to swallow the drugs instead of spreading the medications on their chests, this article recommends Gynectrol pills.
Like its cream counterpart Gynexol, Gynectrol has a quite high-average success rate in treating gynecomastia.
There are other pills in the market that have been formulated using metabolism boosting ingredients like green tea extract, caffeine, theobromine cacao, guggulsterones, and scaleorides, among others, however, ingredients in Gynectrol help lower the quantity and amount of fat cells in the breast tissue. Two pills of Gynexin taken daily will constrict the torso within three weeks.
Pills used for the treatment of gynecomastia are usually as small as their cream counterparts but they are more economical. Most gynecomastia pills are not the same; hence pills without any filler ingredients or supplements are highly recommended.
It is advisable that you purchase products with quality ingredients and in the appropriate amount.
Gynecomastia pills also have their negative sides.
This is because a lot of companies produce gynecomastia pills using different ingredients and in a variety of proportions; hence, the outcome of these pills would also be different. The statement mentioned above merely implies that some pills are more effective than the others.
Gynecomastia pills are quite inexpensive unlike when compared to gynecomastia surgery. The following paragraphs would inform you on the kind of men that breast reduction pills are suitable for.
Male breast reduction pills are ideal for individuals who:-
- Males who do not want to undergo surgery.
- Males who are persistent in controlling their day to day consumption of sugar and who exercise regularly.
- Males who are very busy to withstand a personalized breast reduction remedy.
- Individuals who are not covered by insurance for a surgical proceeding; most insurance establishments do not include breast reduction surgery basically because it is a cosmetic measure.
Not ideal for individuals who:-
- Individuals who want a perfectly shaped or incised breast like those of celebrities.
- Individuals who need instant results because they need to attend an award ceremony or an event. A perfect alternative is a compression vest.
- Gynecomastia pills are simple to use. Furthermore, they could be taken daily and are not dangerous to your health. Endeavor to stick to the recommended dosage. They have mild side effects.
- They are more economical than breast reduction creams and surgeries. Some products encase about 30 to 60 pills in a container, and this could be taken for a month or two depending on the doctors’ prescription.
- It is a known fact that various manufacturers use a variety of ingredients to produce different gynecomastia pills and thus have various outcomes.
- Hence some breast reduction pills are not as efficient as the others thereby making it difficult for the users in selecting the effective pills. The most effective male breast reduction pills provide results in few weeks.