It’s summer and you know the feeling if you suffer from this condition.. you want to wear a tee shirt but you’re too embarrassed to do so out of fear so you’ll probably cover up with a summer jacket or a shirt over the tee shirt (well that’s what I use to do back when I had them)
I never had the confidence to wear tee shirts but believe me, having the confidence to be able to wear a tight tee shirt now in the summer is just one hell of a kick ass feeling!
So, Why exactly do men get man boobs?
First of all, it’s important to differentiate between excess fat storage in the chest area and a more clinical condition known as Gynecomastia. The former can be dealt with though diet and exercise and lifestyle changes whilst Gynecomastia may need to be dealt with with surgery.
One of the quick ways of testing for Gynecomastia is to look at the nipples, if they’re puffy or sore, you’d be wise to go see your doctor.
If you’ve established that you probably don’t need a medical procedure or intervention but need to clean up your diet and exercise more to create a more favourable body composition then read on.
So what exactly causes man boobs?
Men that have an unfavourable storage of fat in their chest area are most likely to suffer from an imbalance of testosterone an estrogen. Testosterone being the male sex hormone and estrogen being the female sex hormone.
When a man has more of the female sex hormone estrogen, it can cause fat storage particularly in the chest area. There are many causes for excess estrogen in your body but whatever the reason, it’s important to create a hormonal environment in the body that favours testosterone.
Your bad habits are literally turning you into a woman!
Excess estrogen usually occurs from typical bad habits. One being not enough exercise and clean eating. Fat cells produce something known as Aromatization. Aromatization is when fat cells particularly those that are located in the chest, belly and area under the armpit to convert androgens into estrogen. Andorgens being the male sex hormone i.e testosterone. Ergo, you’re literally turning into a woman!
Other bad habits including excess alcohol consumption, poor diet, super low calorie diets, lack of sex, no exerise or excess exercise (over training syndrome), smoking (cigarettes or marijuana), recreational drugs including steroids and even some prescription drugs can lead to cause negative effects on your testosterone levels which can effect your body in a way that it stores fat particularly in the chest area.
What are ways you can help get rid of them
As stated before, “Man boobs” are an instant confidence breaker for most guys who have them and working on a sculpted, muscular or at least flat chest can bring about a massive boost in confidence and self esteem. But just how can you get rid of them? We’re going to go through that now…
From a hormonal point of view, it’s about making sure that your stacking the odds in the favour of testosterone.
Here are some of my tips that I share with and work with clients who have the chest fat issue:
Build Muscle and Burn Fat
We’ve already estasblshed that excess body fat particularly in the stomach area can cause the aromatization of free testosterone into estrogen which will lead to an increase in fat storage around the chest area. Therefore, the first port of call in ridding yourself of the man boobs and ditching the training bra is to burn the fat whilst building the muscle. Building lean muscle tissue promotes testosterone production too although a slight double edges sword in that testosterone is required to gain significant muscle mass. That is why the right type of training is impotant which we’ll cover next.
Strength training, specificaly weight training for strength, hypertrophy and power have all been shown to raise tesosterone levels in a man. Another form of training I personally believe will benefit testosterone production in men is combat sport training. Let’s be honest, nothing oozes machismo like a spot of MMA, Kickboxing, Boxing etc.
Build muscle around the chest
Filling out your chest area with muscle will help too. The chest muscle group, the pectorals, have three main areas you need to work on. There’s the top of the chest, the middle and the bottom half. You can target them using a simple bench press or dumb bell chest press by using an incline for the upper portion, flat bench for the middle and a decline bench position for the lower part of the chest.
Don’t overdo cardio
A recent study showed that out of all the different types of athletes to retire, the ones that put the most body fat on after they retired were marathon runners. This was notably due to their extra lean frames and lower testosterone levels to other type of athletes such as sprinters and bodybuilders. Long sessions of cardio have been shown to be catabolic to muscle tissue, in other words, they break down muscle. The break down of muscle effects testosterone levels so the next time you hop on the treadmill for an hour in the hope of burning some fat, think again.
Don’t over train.
We’ve just established that too much cardio isn’t a good idea for testosterone levels but guess what, you can have too much of a good thing with strength and power training too. Do too much training without adequate rest and the result is a drop, not only in testosterone levels but also in immune levels and performance.
Supplement with Zinc and get Vitamin D
The importance of zinc is common for testosterone levels and foods high in zinc like oysters have been linked to increasing a mans libido. Zinc’s effect on testosterone production are as important as it’s ability to slow down aromatization and low levels of zinc have been directly linked to low levels of testosterone. Vitamin D also has a huge link to testosterone production and many men, especially those of Asian decent and those with high body fat levels tend to be low in vitamin D
Cut down sugar.
We all know we should cut down sugar but it also has an adverse effect on testosterone production. Eating sugary foods, refined carbohydrates like white bread etc cause insulin levels to elevate. When insulin levels “Spike” – Testosterone is temporarily reduced. Men with Diabetes are usually linked to having lower testosterone counts too so extra care needs to be taken.
Eat Cruciferous Vegetables
Crufirous vegetables such as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Collard greens etc contain Indole Carbinol 3 – A compound which is known to reduce estrogen and stimulate free testosterone. Cruciferous vegetables are also a good source of other vitamins and minerals but also fiber. Free estrogen binds with fiber to be excreted by the body so if you’re looking to rid yourself of man boobs and be more manly, eat your greens!
(Note: Water cress is also a good vegetable to eat regularly to help boost natural test levels)
Supplement with Fish Oils
Your body needs fat in order to produce hormones. Fish oils contain two key components of health in a high concentration known as EPA and DHA which, whilst having epic health effects, have a very marginal effect on testosterone but they do also contain vitamin D which is important for testosterone production and has an effect of lowering Sex Hormone Binding Globulin which in turn increases testosterone production. Fish oils also help with insulin sensitivity which has benefits to testosterone production
Sleep is one of the most important and yet undervalued pieces of the fitness and body composition puzzle. During sleep, you will have short bouts of deep sleep periods known as REM. During this period, our body has it’s highest release of hormone secretion. The three hormones we need to worry most about for body composition are Testosterone, Growth Hormone and Insulin like Growth Factors.
Just one night of poor, short sleep has been shown to effect testosterone levels in a bad way and in a society where sleep is expendable especially for the busy crowd who believe in “The hustle” or have the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” mentality, too many people are not getting enough quality sleep. Another tip for guys is to sleep without any thing covering their testes. Sleeping naked from the waist down can help testosterone production as even slight overheating can inhibit testosterone production (and testosterone is produced in the testes in men)
If you’re a male and want some help with getting the confident, powerful body back and reclaiming your masculinity by getting rid of unwanted man boobs then get in touch today by clicking the button below
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