How To Get Rid Of Man Boobs: 6 Ways To Lose Man Boobs Fast In 2024

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Reviewed by Chelsea Rae Bourgeois, RDN
how to get rid of man boobs
Man boobs may be due to an underlying medical condition. Photo: iona didishvili/Shutterstock

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The term man boobs often comes with a negative connotation, but it shouldn’t. Medically, it’s known as gynecomastia,[1] and it can be related to an underlying cause.

While society would have us believe that we all need to have a perfect body shape, the majority of us don’t fit that model-like image – and that’s okay. What’s most important is having a healthy body and appreciating it, no matter how it looks.

Uncovering health conditions, getting healthier, and losing fat, especially in one particular area, takes patience and self-compassion. Without that, the process becomes frustrating – making us all the more likely to ditch our efforts.

Read on to learn how to get rid of man boobs safely, effectively, and with your mental health intact.

How To Get Rid Of Man Boobs

To get rid of man boobs, you’ll want to:

  • Schedule a doctor’s appointment to address underlying medical conditions.
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid alcohol and certain drugs.
  • Manage stress.
  • Wear comfortable clothing.

6 Ways To Get Rid Of Man Boobs Fast

Thanks to society’s pressure to have a perfect body, dealing with man boobs can feel incredibly challenging. However, there are ways to help manage it:

Get A Check-Up

While a healthy lifestyle intervention is always at the top of the list, you can’t ignore the importance of seeing a doctor as soon as possible. You never know if it’s more than a weight-related issue. Plus, you also want to get checked for any other conditions that might be related to excess weight, such as high blood pressure or triglyceride levels. 

But man boobs are often related to a hormonal imbalance or other underlying health conditions, so a thorough check-up is first on your list.

Add More Nutrient-Dense Foods

how to get rid of man boobs
Nutrient-dense whole foods help to balance hormones and lose weight. Photo: Atstock Productions/Shutterstock

A healthy diet is one of the most important factors in balancing hormones and losing excess fat. Losing weight can feel intimidating – it’s hard to know where to begin and how to start without overwhelming yourself. Too often, we try to do too much at once, like go to the gym every day, cut out all unhealthy food, and go to bed early.

Except, that’s not really realistic, is it?

The key to maintaining a healthy diet is to start slow and easy. Maybe that’s adding a serving of veggies to your dinner, swapping the soda for sparkling water for a calorie deficit, or stopping for groceries on your way home instead of grabbing takeout.

Whatever you choose, make it manageable and take the pressure off yourself to become perfectly healthy or shed pounds within a week. With this approach, you likely won’t need fat-burning supplements, a metabolism booster,  or libido supplements for men. Health takes time, and some self-compassion on the way is going to make all the difference.

Exercise Regularly

how to get rid of man boobs
Regular cardio exercise and strength training can tone chest muscles. Photo: Studio Romantic/Shutterstock

Exercising regularly is just like changing our diet or any other habit – it takes time, patience, realistic goal-setting, and planning.

The goal is to move your body more in a way that’s fun and manageable for you. That could mean starting with a 10-minute walk on your lunch break or doing a 5-minute workout video every morning.

Working your way up to reach, on average, 150 minutes a week[2] is going to help you reach your weight loss goals. Try adding resistance training[3] when you’re ready and focus on building chest muscle strength. Push-ups, bench presses, and bench-forward cable crossovers can help develop pectoral muscles.

Avoid Alcohol And Certain Drugs

Alcohol,[4] processed foods, and certain drugs can all affect your hormone levels. Try reducing these substances through a plan that works for you. It might help to speak to a professional about it and join a support group for extra accountability. 

Work On Your Stress Levels

Stress is one of the biggest factors that can lead to weight gain and imbalanced hormones. The release of the stress hormone cortisol[5] can increase our cravings, especially for high-fat and sugar foods. Plus, it can tell the fat cells in our body to stay put and to get together in the abdominal and chest areas in particular. 

Stress also messes with our sleep, which is also essential for balanced hormones[6] and a healthy weight. 

However, some stress is healthy and a natural part of life. It helps push us to take action on things that aren’t working or pay better attention and focus when we need to. It’s all about learning how to manage it and use it to your advantage. 

What is your stress trying to tell you, and how can you help it? It might be saying you need to rest more, procrastinate less, or go to bed. While it’s not always easy to listen, pausing before reacting when you start feeling stressed can make a big difference. 

Look up stress-relieving activities that you can start to slowly put into place on a regular basis. For example, consider going to nature more often, meditating for 5 minutes every morning, or reading a book instead of watching TV in the evening for better sleep.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

What you wear affects how you feel. While choosing comfortable clothing doesn’t directly reduce man boobs, it can make a difference in both your mood for the day and the long run. 

Choose clothes that help you feel more comfortable in your body. You can even buy compression shirts if you want to wear tighter shirts but feel uncomfortable in them. 

What Are Man Boobs?

Man boobs, medically known as gynecomastia,[1] consist of enlarged breast tissue in men. It’s characterized by the swelling of breast glandular tissue, which can either affect one or both breasts – and sometimes, unevenly.

It’s not the same as pseudogynecomastia,[7] which is enlarged breasts because of extra fat deposits in people who are overweight. Specifically, it’s subcutaneous fat, which is the layer of fat just beneath the skin, accumulates in the chest area.

Gynecomastia is usually due to a variety of factors, which may include excess fat, hormonal changes, medication, age, or underlying health conditions.

Are Large Breasts In Men Dangerous?

Large breasts in men are not necessarily dangerous. However, they may be a sign of a health condition that needs addressing. This could include the need for weight management or medical treatment. 

If you’re wondering how to get rid of man breasts, first schedule a thorough check-up with blood work to understand its cause.

Causes Of Gynecomastia And Man Boobs

Gynecomastia is not just a cosmetic issue, it may point to an underlying health condition that needs treatment. Understanding the cause will help you learn how to manage it better, but the causes are multifactoral[1] and may include: 

Hormonal Imbalances

An imbalance in estrogen and testosterone levels often causes gynecomastia. This might be due to the natural effects of aging. We also tend to lose muscle mass, further worsening the problem. 

However, it can stem from underlying health conditions, such as endocrine disorders, thyroid problems, breast cancer, or liver or kidney disease. You will want to specifically check for hypogonadism,[8] which is when the sex glands, or gonads, produce little to no hormones. 

All of these health conditions require medical treatment and healthy lifestyle intervention.

Excess Weight

Overweight and obesity contribute to hormonal imbalances in both men and women. In men, it can lead to excessive estrogen, causing excess fatty tissue to grow in the breast area known as pseudogynecomastia. 

Medications

Certain medications[9] can contribute to the development of gynecomastia. This includes drugs for heart disease, anti-anxiety medications, antibiotics, and some treatments for prostate enlargement and cancer. 

Drugs And Anabolic Steroids

Gynecomastia is associated with the use of several drugs.[10] For example, anabolic steroids can have long-term harmful effects that disrupt the natural balance of hormones in the body. 

Often associated with bodybuilding, these drugs are ironically used to increase muscle mass. They mimic the effects of testosterone, leading to increased protein synthesis, which can help build muscles. 

However, this creates an imbalance in the body’s natural hormonal makeup. The body tries to counterbalance the excessive testosterone and may produce more estrogen or decrease its own production of testosterone, stimulating breast tissue growth. 

Conclusion

Managing man boobs requires a holistic health approach. First, that means visiting the doctor to make sure there aren’t any underlying issues. Once you know the cause, you can work towards its resolution without gynecomastia surgery. 

The most common reasons why male breasts develop are because of a hormonal imbalance, excess weight, health conditions, medication, or the use of anabolic steroids. 

Fortunately, developing healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way to prevent and manage gynecomastia. So if you’re wondering how to get rid of man boobs at home, slowly learn healthier eating habits, implement exercise routines, and manage stress. 

If you’re feeling frustrated and your self-esteem has taken a hit, think about reaching out to friends, a professional, or a group for support. They can offer accountability in your health goals and help you remember that your physical appearance does not change your self-worth. 

We’re all struggling in one way or another with how we feel about our looks, but learning to accept ourselves and treat our bodies well can change everything. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is gynecomastia?

Gynecomastia is when breast tissue in men enlarges. It’s often due to hormonal imbalances.

What are the typical reasons for developing man boobs?

Common causes include hormonal imbalances, obesity, certain medications, excessive alcohol use, and anabolic steroids. 

Can exercise get rid of gynecomastia?

Exercise can help reduce body fat, which may decrease man boobs. Strength training chest exercises, in particular, can tone chest muscles. A holistic approach is best, including eating and sleeping well to balance hormones – a primary goal.

How can I reduce gynecomastia naturally?

You can avoid male breast reduction surgery with natural methods. This includes a balanced diet and regular physical activity with cardio and strength training to burn fat and lose weight. Plus, avoiding processed foods, alcohol, and drugs that affect hormones.

+ 10 Sources

EHproject has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We work mostly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accurate information. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  1. Baumann, K. (2018). Gynecomastia – Conservative and Surgical Management. Breast Care, [online] 13(6), pp.419–424. doi:https://doi.org/10.1159/000494276.
  2. and, D. (2023). Some Myths about Nutrition & Physical Activity. [online] National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/myths-nutrition-physical-activity?dkrd=hispt0934.
  3. Miller, T.A., Mull, S., Aragon, A.A., Krieger, J. and Schöenfeld, B.J. (2018). Resistance Training Combined With Diet Decreases Body Fat While Preserving Lean Mass Independent of Resting Metabolic Rate: A Randomized Trial. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, [online] 28(1), pp.46–54. doi:https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0221.
  4. Seon, M. (2020). Incidental Gynecomastia on Thoracic Computed Tomography in Clinical Practice: Characteristics, Radiologic Features, and Correlation With Possible Causes in South Korean Men – Min Seon Kim, Jun Ho Kim, Kyung Hee Lee, Young Ju Suh, 2020. [online] American Journal of Men’s Health. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1557988320908102.
  5. Chao, A.M., Jastreboff, A.M., White, M.A., Grilo, C.M. and Sinha, R. (2017). Stress, cortisol, and other appetite-related hormones: Prospective prediction of 6-month changes in food cravings and weight. Obesity, [online] 25(4), pp.713–720. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/oby.21790.
  6. Tae Won Kim, Jeong, J.-H. and Seung Chul Hong (2015). The Impact of Sleep and Circadian Disturbance on Hormones and Metabolism. International Journal of Endocrinology, [online] 2015, pp.1–9. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/591729.
  7. Reinehr, T., Kulle, A., Barth, A., Ackermann, J., Lass, N. and Paul‐Martin Holterhus (2020). Sex Hormone Profile in Pubertal Boys With Gynecomastia and Pseudogynecomastia. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, [online] 105(4), pp.e1025–e1032. doi:https://doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa044.\
  8. Shehzad Basaria (2014). Male hypogonadism. The Lancet, [online] 383(9924), pp.1250–1263. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(13)61126-5.
  9. Nuttall, F.Q., Warrier, R. and Gannon, M.C. (2015). Gynecomastia and drugs: a critical evaluation of the literature. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, [online] 71(5), pp.569–578. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00228-015-1835-x.
  10. Maseroli, E., Giulia Rastrelli, Corona, G., Boddi, V., Maria, A., Edoardo Mannucci, Forti, G. and Maggi, M. (2014). Gynecomastia in subjects with sexual dysfunction. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, [online] 37(6), pp.525–532. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s40618-014-0055-z.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jennifer Olejarz is a certified nutritionist and health counselor specializing in binge and emotional eating, stress management, and mental health. She has almost a decade's worth of experience in the health and wellness field writing health… See More