#1 Get into calorie deficit, if overweight
Here is the number one tip to get out of the way right off the bat. It applies if you’re overweight or carrying excess body fat.
You should put yourself into a calorie deficit first to get rid of that excess fat. This tip most likely doesn’t come as a surprise. Fat loss can help with this problem in multiple ways.
But most importantly, losing fat winds up reducing your estrogen levels and increasing your testosterone. And lowering estrogen itself can help reduce the risk of gynecomastia.
But as I mentioned, most people with man boobs have pseudo gynecomastia, which can be fixed entirely by losing fat.
But even If you do have gynecomastia, it’s still very important to lose fat. That’s because this condition tends to pair with an excessively high body fat percentage.
If you have real gynecomastia, aside from losing body fat, you would also need to work on reducing estrogen levels.
In some very severe cases, surgery can also be recommended by your doctor. But like I said, the good news is that it’s usually excess body fat accumulation.
Your body may just be more prone to store fat around the chest area rather than other common storage points. These include your belly or your love handles.
#2 Follow a sustainable diet plan
In accordance with reducing your calories, the second tip is to make sure that your new diet is sustainable.
All too often someone with excess body fat will rush in putting a ton of restrictions in place. These include drastically dropping calories and pretty much starving themselves.
That doesn’t work. You must understand that a diet only works if you can maintain it for the long run.
This is especially true since your biggest problem areas are usually the last spots to get burnt off. That’s why it’s so important for you to make sure that your diet is sustainable.
For example, the ketogenic diet can be highly effective for fat loss. Many people have lost excess pounds of body fat with this method.
However, a common downfall with the keto diet is that most can follow the diet very well for a few days or weeks. But, as we move on to months and years, most people find that they start craving carbs.
You may end up binging on unhealthy carbs like pasta, pizza, and donuts. Ultimately, you’ll undo all your hard work and end up back at square one.
Remember, keto is just one example. There are many other approaches that work for some people, but are not sustainable for others.
Instead, do your best to maintain a calorie deficit that fits with your lifestyle, preferences, and willpower.
You also want to do your best to set up your diet so you don’t feel constantly hungry. That’s because hunger is the primary reason why most diets fail.
And this brings me straight to point number 3 which is…
#3 Don’t drink your calories
One of the easiest ways to make your diet more satiating is to eat your calories instead of drinking them.
Now the two exceptions that I’ll allow are soup and blended veggie smoothies. Specifically blended, not juiced.
But as a rule of thumb, liquid calories have much less of an effect on satiety.
You can drink hundreds of calories within seconds. But if you have to chew those calories, it’ll take you much longer.
Plus, most liquid carbohydrate-based beverages have almost all fiber stripped away. This is a nutrient that benefits hunger control.
It reduces blood sugar swings and increases the time it takes for your body to digest the food.
Juicing fruit and vegetables causes the fiber to be removed.
This is why your body can digest fruit and vegetable juices much faster than the same fruits and vegetables in solid form.
Also, even though juicing can be a problem, sodas are much worse. Many studies show that people that drink soda tend to weigh more than those that don’t. (2)
By cutting sugary drinks out of your diet, you’ll end up taking in fewer calories without much effort at all. This adjustment alone is enough for a lot of people to lose weight over time.
Studies show that substituting sugary drinks with artificially sweetened alternatives, like diet soda, lowers calorie intake and assists with weight loss. (3)
Artificial sweeteners have been demonized in the past, like aspartame and sucralose. However, more recent human studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are generally safe.
As long as you keep within the maximum recommended amount. (4)
#4 Avoid excessive food variety
Another simple diet change that’ll help you burn more fat is avoiding excessive food variety within each of your meals.
Now don’t get me wrong – I understand and agree that variety is the spice of life. It is actually good to have variety in your diet. That’s because it allows you to consume a broader range of beneficial nutrients.
With that said, if you’re having multiple meals throughout the day, avoid filling your plate with different kinds of tastes. That actually increases calorie consumption.
Limiting the variety within each meal, and instead, spreading it throughout the day can help reduce calories without much thought.
As a rule of thumb, try only going for one protein source, one carb source and one vegetable source per meal on your plate.
This is because your appetite’s “negative feedback loop” is sensory-specific. This means that you don’t just become full. Instead, you become less motivated to continue eating certain flavors.
This is why, even if you go to a buffet and eat until full, you’ll always find room for dessert. So, the greater the variety of foods within a meal, the greater your appetite will be during that meal.
An example of this would be if you had rice, chicken, green beans, fruit, chips, and almonds in one meal. You might feel full after eating the chicken, green beans, and rice.
Then you see the crunchy chips and almonds and the sweet-tasting fruit on your plate. And you find that you still have room for those different flavors.
That’s why reducing the variety of foods in your diet is an effective method to decrease calorie intake. This is shown by multiple studies. (5)
#5 Eat anti-inflammatory foods
Another important diet change for anyone trying to burn fat, especially for someone who has gynecomastia is to eat anti-inflammatory foods.
The exact relationship between inflammation and weight loss isn’t fully understood. But it is clear that reducing inflammation is an essential component of weight loss, just like diet and exercise.
If you do have gynecomastia, it can cause your breast tissue to feel swollen and tender. That’s typically caused by inflammation.
The bottom line is – whether you have gynecomastia or just too much body fat, consuming anti-inflammatory foods can greatly help.
These are foods that contain antioxidants that help your cells fight free radical damage within your body.
An example of a diet that contains plenty of inflammation-lowering foods is the Mediterranean diet.
It’s based on the traditional foods people used to eat in countries like Greece and Italy back in the 1960s.
Scientists found that these people were much healthier than Americans are nowadays. They also had a much lower risk of many chronic diseases.
One reason for this is that the Mediterranean diet contains high amounts of anti-inflammatory foods. These include fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, herbs, fish, and extra virgin olive oil.
Moreover, the Mediterranean diet also limits the amount of added sugar, refined grains, trans fat, refined oils, processed meats. All these foods raise inflammation.
So it’s a bit of double whammy. You want to make sure that you’re eating healthy anti-inflammatory foods.
But also avoid the foods that are known to cause inflammation.
#6 Avoid foods with estrogenic activity… especially too much alcohol!
Other foods that you want to avoid are foods that raise your estrogen levels. Examples of foods that can be estrogenic include licorice, trans fat, and excessive amounts of alcohol.
Alcohol in particular has two negative effects when it comes to man boobs.
First, most alcoholic beverages tend to be high in calories. This is particularly true for beer, which has 144 calories per can.
Worst of all, these alcohol calories don’t reduce hunger. Alcoholic beverages also generally wind up making you more inclined to eat junk food.
Basically, too many alcoholic beverages typically lead to a high caloric bomb on top of the calories you’re already consuming.
The second issue is that alcohol, especially when consumed in high amounts, can increase estrogen.
Indeed, research shows that men who suffer from alcoholism have significantly lower testosterone and higher estrogen levels than non-binge-drinking men.
This is the case even if they have perfectly functioning livers. (6)
A reason for this is that alcohol boosts the activity of the aromatase enzyme. This converts the male sex hormone testosterone into the female sex hormone estrogen. (7)
So, the bottom line is – try to control your alcohol intake.
And if you do want to drink, it’s better to go for liquor or wine instead of beer. That’s because beer is more estrogenic due to the presence of hops.
#7 Eat white button mushrooms
Another thing that can help with estrogen is to eat white button mushrooms.
These mushrooms have a wide range of bioactive compounds that offer health benefits.
These include cancer-fighting properties, cholesterol-lowering effects, and improved gut health.
They can also benefit male hormonal health and reduce the risk of gynecomastia.
That’s because white button mushrooms (and their supplemental extracts) can reduce estrogen by blocking the aromatase enzyme. (8)
#8 Evaluate your drug use
Next, you’ll want to evaluate your drug use. Certain supplements, medications, and of course steroids can lead to gynecomastia, or make it more severe.
With steroids especially, some people will take them without combining them with an aromatase inhibitor.
That can cause a lot of the extra testosterone to get converted to estrogen in the body, thereby triggering gynecomastia.
Research shows that, out of 964 cases of men with gynecomastia, 11% had a history of anabolic steroid use. (9)
Aside from steroids, many prescription drugs can also cause, or worsen, gynecomastia.
One reason for this is that some prescription drugs can reduce testosterone, leading to an imbalance between estrogen and testosterone.
For example, the International Society for Sexual Medicine states that some prescription drugs, including certain antidepressants, opioids, and statins, can lower testosterone. (10)
Now, I’m not saying that you should stop taking your prescription drugs. Please don’t do that. There’s likely a good reason why you were prescribed them in the first place.
However, if you suffer from gynecomastia, perhaps talk to your doctor about whether your medication might be causing or worsening it.
Also, there often are many natural remedies that are as effective as prescription drugs, but without the side effects.
For example, randomized controlled trials comparing exercise to antidepressants report that both are equally effective. (11)
So if you currently don’t exercise but you do take antidepressants, maybe consider starting to workout.
#9 Watch out for certain chemicals in your personal care products
Along the same vein, you should check your personal care products.
Obviously, you’re not eating the soap or deodorant that you use. But some chemicals in them can enter your body through your pours just like food enters through your mouth.
And many of these chemicals mimic the effects of estrogen in your body. These include, but are not limited to, phthalates.
These are used as stabilizers and emulsifying agents in many personal care items. Parabens, which are preservatives used in many different cosmetics, including moisturizers, sun lotions, shampoos, and even toothpaste.
Benzophenones, which are used as UV-stabilizers in a bunch of personal care products, although they are most common in sunscreens.
Triclosan and triclocarban, both of which are antibacterial agents found in hand sanitizers, lotions, antibacterial soap, and more.
The point is that many studies show that these chemicals can increase estrogen and reduce testosterone. (12)
So, if at all possible, do your best to limit your exposure to these chemicals. You can do this by simply switching to natural versions of these products.
An example of this is pure Castile soap. By looking at the label you can clearly see the difference in the all-natural ingredients. (13)
There are also deodorants and all kinds of other natural versions of products without chemicals.
#10 Limit the use of plastic bottles and containers
The final diet tip relates to what you eat your food out of. Basically, you want to limit the use of plastic bottles and containers.
Plastic food and beverage packaging can cause disrupting chemicals to leach out into your food and drinks.
Many of those chemicals are xenoestrogens, meaning that they mimic the effect of estrogen in the body.
That’s because xenoestrogens have a very similar structure to regular estrogen. It can bind to estrogen receptors, leading to feminizing effects, including an increased risk of gynecomastia.
In a study, researchers looked at the effects of plastic packaging on estrogenic activity. (14)
They found that “When comparing water that was packed in either glass or plastic bottles, even though it came from the same spring, estrogenic activity was three times higher in water packaged in plastic bottles.” (15)
Another study concluded that “BPA, which is a chemical used to make certain plastics, could affect male sexual dysfunction.” (16)
So, next time you’re shopping for food containers and water bottles, it’s best to go for glass or stainless steel.
But even if you keep all your plastic containers you should definitely avoid heating up plastic products. That causes even more of the xenoestrogens to leak into your food and drinks.
So, at the very least, avoid that as much as possible. A lot of people microwave plastic and that’s definitely a bad idea from a health standpoint.
That about wraps it up. Now something to keep in mind if you have excess fat around your chest or belly, love handles, or hips.
The number-one tip remains to create a calorie deficit sustainably.
You can carry around a glass jar for your water, use all-natural products, and still have excess chest fat.
But without following the right diet and workout plan, you’ll be missing two main keys to changing your chest looks.
If you want additional help defining the perfect sustainable diet and workout plan for yourself, check out the link below.
My team and I have been doing this for years, both in person at my gyms in New Jersey and online.
We have everything from courses to one-on-one training.
You can get customized diet and workout plans, recipe books, and a coach to guide you through every step.
To find out more click the link below.
- “If it is caused by glandular proliferation, it is defined as gynecomastia. If it is caused by increased fat deposition, it is defined as pseudogynecomastia”.
- Various studies show that people who drink soft drinks tend to weigh more than those who don’t.
- Studies show substituting sugary drinks with artificially sweetened alternatives like diet soda lowers calorie intake and aids weight loss.
- Human studies indicate artificial sweeteners are generally safe when the maximum recommended amount is not exceeded. This includes the often-demonized aspartame and sucralose.
- Reducing the variety of foods in your diet is an effective method to automatically decrease calorie intake, as shown by multiple studies.
- Men who suffer from alcoholism have significantly lower testosterone and higher estrogen than men without alcohol problems, even if they have perfectly functioning livers.
- Alcohol boosts aromatese activity, which converts the male sex hormone testosterone into the female sex hormone estrogen.
- White button mushrooms (and supplemental extracts of them), can reduce estrogen by blocking the aromatase enzyme.
- Out of 964 cases of men with gynecomastia, 11% had a history of anabolic steroid use.
- International Society for Sexual Medicine statement. Some prescription drugs, including certain antidepressants, opioids, and statins, can lower testosterone.
- Randomized controlled trials comparing exercise to antidepressants report that both are equally effective.
- A high number of studies show that those chemicals can increase estrogen and reduce testosterone.
- “Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Palm Kernel Oil*, Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Mentha Piperita, Citric Acid, Tocopherol.”
- Researchers looked at the effects of plastic packaging on estrogenic activity.
- Estrogenic activity is three times higher in water from plastic bottles.
- “Exposure to BPA in the workplace could have an adverse effect on male sexual dysfunction”.