Man Boobs or Moobs in short. A dreaded subject amongst men. But there is still hope, as there are two broad reasons as to why men might develop it and it’s possible to get rid of them. Let’s shine some light on it, shall we?
So first up is the probable reason one might have man boobs, an unhealthy lifestyle that has led to fat deposits around the chest area.
The first piece of this puzzle is diet. One might have an unhealthy/unbalanced diet where a person is consuming too much sugar and unhealthy fats.
The second piece of the puzzle is the lifestyle part. The activity levels are low and one's body is unable to expel those excessive calories hence resulting in unhealthy fat storage around the chest i.e. a calorie surplus diet.
These two pieces existing in one’s life for a prolonged period of time results in the predicament of Man-Boobs.
So how to work to get rid of them? We'll draw from our maintenance calorie blog here. Instead of consuming sugars and unhealthy fats while being sedentary or lightly active, switch to foods that have healthy fats.
Some foods that can help with this are whole eggs, nuts like peanut, almonds and others and fatty fish like salmon. Not only are these foods a great way to gain healthy fats but will also provide other nutrients required for one's macro nutrition goals. Other foods that can help are avocados, chia seeds and quality full-fat yoghurt for those dessert cravings.
The second part will be increasing activity levels so as to expel those calories healthily. Concentrate on chest exercises such as the barbell bench press. It's a compound exercise that will work for all chest muscle groups. The other two complementary exercises will be the bent-over cable crossovers to work on the lower chest muscles and the standing cable crossovers/pec deck machine for the middle chest muscles.
Now we come to the more unlikely Gynecomastia part. It is the medical condition of breast enlargement in men. And yes, men do have breasts but the tissue does not develop due to high testosterone levels during puberty. The fact is that at least 30% of males will be affected by this condition during their lifetime.
There are three times a male might go through this naturally. The first can be during infancy due to the effect of one's mother's estrogen which subsides 2-3 weeks after birth.
The second is hormonal changes during puberty which is also common and will subside anywhere between 6 months to 2 years without treatment.
The third and final one is during the natural ageing process between the ages of 50-80. The prevalence of this one is nearly 24%-65% depending on person to person.
There are multiple other factors to Gynecomastia that are covered in this extensive article published by the Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
But most likely following the diet changes and exercises will help in seeing changes at around the 4-week mark.
If the changes are not noticeable, then chances are one might have Gynecomastia. To check that, we would suggest either looking out for pain and swelling around the nipples and chest, nipple sensitivity when being rubbed against clothes or nipple discharge from one or both breasts.
These are the symptoms and one should set up an appointment with a doctor to look into it and suggest the best recourse.