Foods to get rid of man boobs

The Top 10 Foods To Get Rid of Man Boobs

11 min read

|

25 Mar 2024


Hack Beast Mode

  1. What causes man boobs?
  2. Foods that could be a problem
  3. Best foods to eat that can reduce gynecomastia
  4. What else can I do to help get rid of man boobs?
  5. Things to consider

We all know the foods we eat have an impact on our bodies. They affect weight loss and weight gain, our muscle-building capabilities, our energy levels, and much more. 

But can certain foods contribute towards men growing breasts?

Turns out, they can. It’s a medical condition called gynecomastia, where male breast tissue swells, sometimes to the point that it can even start to look like, well, breasts.

You’ve probably heard some unflattering nicknames for this condition, like man boobs, or ‘moobs’, for short.

Gynecomastia isn’t usually accompanied by pain or serious symptoms. But excess fat on the chest can evoke a whole bunch of emotions, like shame or embarrassment.

So, what's the underlying cause of gynecomastia?

It's to do with hormonal imbalance. We all have a mix of hormones in our bodies—ideally, they should be perfectly balanced, but they’re not always.

We see the effects of raging hormone changes during our teenage years.

Boys experience a surge of testosterone—giving them body hair, deeper voices, and muscle gains, whereas girls develop higher voices, wider hips, and breasts thanks to an influx of estrogen.

But sometimes, the hormonal seesaw goes a little haywire. Men can develop gynecomastia and experience a sudden rush of female hormones that overpower male hormones. That's when unexpectedly enlarged breasts can start to form.

That's gynecomastia in a nutshell.

Part of the gynecomastia puzzle relates to food, as what we eat has a massive impact on the way our bodies look and function. 

While specific foods aren't the direct cause of gynecomastia, some contain compounds that can mess with your hormonal balance—possibly adding to the condition.

This is yet another reason why it’s so important to maintain a well-rounded and healthy diet. You want to keep those hormone levels in check, power your gains, and support your overall wellbeing, after all.

Let’s dig a little deeper to find out how (and which) foods can cause excess breast tissue growth in men.

What causes man boobs?

Your natural body shape partly comes down to genes that you’ve inherited. But hormonal imbalances can play a big role in this chesty issue, too.

A high production of estrogen can lead to excess fat accumulating in your chest area, potentially becoming ’man boobs’.

But here's the good news. In most cases, swollen breast tissue tends to disappear over time, especially during puberty when our hormones love to play rock and roll.

It's a common sight to see during those teenage years when your body is going through changes.

Now, if you find yourself rocking man boobs for more than a couple of years, it might be time to raise an eyebrow. That's your body's way of giving you a friendly nudge to take notice.

Another culprit for man boobs is obesity. When you pack on the pounds, fat gathers all over your body—including your chest.

But, shedding those extra pounds can have a direct impact on the appearance of male breasts.

Then there’s the food you eat.

Any food that's high in estrogen naturally boosts the production of—you guessed it—estrogen in your body. But don't worry—eating these foods in moderation won't do any harm.

It's all about finding that sweet spot. It’s when you go overboard with estrogen-packed foods that it reflects in your body's hormone levels, leading to those unwanted fat deposits.

Let’s take a look at what foods can lead to this increased estrogen production.

Foods that could be a problem

Soy products

A healthy diet is all about balance. You want to aim for equal proportions of testosterone and estrogen to keep those hormone levels in check. 

If your breast tissue is a result of genetic factors or other reasons, these food tips might not be as applicable to you, but they’re still worth bearing in mind.

Here are some foods that could be contributing to the development of man boobs…

Soy products

Beware of the plant estrogens found in most soy products. These compounds mimic human estrogens and can cause the development of secondary sex characteristics in women.

Consuming soy products, like soy milk, tofu snacks, soybeans, and other soy-rich treats, can amp up your estrogen levels, potentially leading to unwanted male breast enlargement.

Packaged and deep-fried foods

Yes, they’re convenient, and they usually taste pretty great, but you have to resist that temptation – for the sake of your hormones as well as your general health and fitness levels.

These foods are often packed with saturated fats that can trigger fat accumulation in your chest area.

To add to the drama, packaged foods are sometimes loaded with high levels of estrogen, which can lead to excess breast tissue swelling.

Cold cuts and frozen meat

Not only do they tend to have high levels of saturated fat, cold cuts, and frozen meats are also packed with preservatives and often wrapped in PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

This sneaky substance can seep into your food and cause a whole range of harmful effects, including hormonal imbalances that could contribute to those man boobs.

Beer and alcohol

All alcoholic drinks can directly mess with your liver's ability to eliminate excess estrogen from your body. And beer? Well, that’s a double whammy.

Not only does beer impact liver function, but it also contains phytoestrogens that can be converted into estrogen by your body.

So, going overboard with the brews not only hinders your liver from processing existing estrogens, it introduces extra estrogen into your system, too.

Beetroot

While beetroot is a fantastic natural supplement for those who lack sufficient estrogen in their bodies, if you're battling a hormonal imbalance eating beetroot can worsen the situation by boosting your body's estrogen levels. So, it's all about finding that balance.

Dairy products

Dairy products also offer a hefty dose of estrogens, so if you’re trying to reduce the appearance of breast tissue, be aware of how much you consume and try to regulate your intake.

That includes milk, cheese, curd, ghee, butter, and any other dairy-based treats.

Best foods to eat that can reduce gynecomastia

Tuna

The good news is that there’s a flip side to all this.

Along with the foods to avoid when it comes to gynecomastia, there are also foods you can eat to help build those muscles and kick estrogen to the curb.

These power-packed foods will not only lower your risk of developing man boobs, they’ll also give your libido a boost.

Here’s what to load up your plate with…

Anti-inflammatory goodies

Foods with anti-inflammatory properties can help soothe discomfort and battle gynecomastia-related swelling.

Adding these foods to your normal diet is a good way to start alleviating some of those estrogen-related symptoms…

  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Leafy greens
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Berries
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans

Zinc-rich foods

Let's talk about testosterone. When you're pushing your body through intense workouts, like weightlifting and cardio exercises, your zinc levels can take a hit—but zinc is a crucial mineral for the production and release of testosterone.

Thankfully, there’s a ton of foods that'll ramp up your testosterone production and keep it steady, preventing loss of muscle mass, libido, and energy levels…

  • Raw milk
  • Yogurt
  • Nuts
  • Spinach
  • Lean beef
  • Salmon

Healthy-fat rich foods

Did you know? Dietary fats can actually help reduce stubborn body fat.

It’s true, just don't go crazy with them. You also need the right kind of fats to tackle gynecomastia.

It’s the healthy kinds of fats, like polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats, that can give lower testosterone levels a boost and keep them flowing.

Load up on these foods…

  • Egg yolks
  • Coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • Olives
  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Meat
  • Organic nuts
  • Pecans
  • Almonds
  • Butter
  • Potatoes
  • Coffee
  • Raisins
  • Ginger
  • Onions
  • Garlic

Vitamin-D-rich foods

Not only does vitamin D increase sperm count, but it also promotes testosterone production.

Getting out in the sun regularly will provide a boost to your vitamin D levels, and there are plenty of foods that can too.

Try including more of these in your weekly meals to get their bone-boosting and immunity-enhancing benefits…

  • Mushrooms
  • Eggs
  • Trout
  • Caviar
  • Cereals
  • Pork
  • Dairy products

Freshly-squeezed juices

Low-calorie juices are a favorite among weight-loss programs. But that's not all—regular juice consumption can detoxify your body, keep you hydrated, and help you lose weight.

Just make sure you’re juicing up actual fruits, and aren’t picking up high-calorie and sugar-dense drinks from the supermarket shelves.

Grab the juicer and blend up some of these instead…

  • Amla
  • Orange
  • Pomegranate
  • Carrot
  • Cucumber
  • Pineapple
  • Bottle gourd juices

Read: 10 nutrition-packed foods you need in your diet to bulk up

What else can I do to help get rid of man boobs?

Man exercising to lose man boobs

Better eating habits is definitely a step in the right direction—but it's not enough to tackle man boobs alone.

You can kick it up another notch with some fat-burning and body-contouring exercises.

This might seem a bit counterintuitive, but you don't just want to zero in on the chest area.

You need to do full-body resistance training workouts that help with weight loss and give you an overall toned physique.

Don’t forget about cardio either! Whether it's running, walking, or swimming, adding some heart-pumping cardio exercises will not only help you shed those extra pounds. Oh, they’ll also boost your stamina. So get ready to sweat it out.

Need some inspiration? Here are a few exercises to consider…

Push-ups

The classic move that targets multiple upper-body muscles. Get those pecs firing to boost your testosterone levels.

There are plenty of variations of push-ups, so you can hit your chest from multiple angles, no matter what your fitness level.

Standard position, wide hands, diamond, incline, decline, pike, explosive or clap push-ups… there are loads of choices that don’t require any equipment, just your own bodyweight.

Incline bench press

Time to hit the weights and give those chest muscles a serious workout.

Although it’s not just your pecs that are involved, the bench press will work your shoulders and triceps, too. When it comes to enhancing hormone production, the more muscles that are involved, the merrier.

Cable crossovers

Activate those muscles in a whole new way by using cables for resistance.

If you can’t access a cable machine in the gym, try some chest flys using dumbbells on a flat or incline bench instead.

Squats

Squats are one of the best compound exercises for increasing testosterone release, so get that lower body working and build some killer quads and glutes.

Bodyweight squats, jump squats, barbell or dumbbell squats…there are lots of ways to shake things up and test your squatting abilities.

Deadlifts

Like squats, deadlifts are an amazing compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups. You’ll strengthen your entire posterior chain while sculpting a strong back (which is important to help balance out those chest exercises you do).

Along with these strength-training exercises, there are a couple of other things to bear in mind to get the most out of your workouts and lose weight around the chest area (and all over).

Make sure to fuel your body with at least two regular meals a day and include two snacks to keep your energy levels up—check back to that list of foods above for some inspiration.

Create time in your schedule for physical activity—aim for at least 30 minutes, five days a week.

Finally, cut back on alcoholic drinks that can dehydrate you. Keep the focus on hydration and feeling your best when it comes to the liquids you consume.

Top tip: Check out our guide to essential exercises that will help you tackle your man boobs.

Final thoughts…

All males have some breast tissue, that’s just how it is. But, there are certain factors that can cause male breasts to grow larger than normal.

These factors include medical conditions, medications, and hormonal changes.

In some cases, this excess weight in the chest area can also give the appearance of enlarged breast tissue.

It's worth noting as well that people tend to gain weight in different places. And for some people, the breast area may be one of the first areas where weight gain happens.

But, by making the right lifestyle choices and weaving the right estrogen-tackling foods into your diet, you’ll be one giant leap closer to banishing the breasts.

And we’ve got one final tip to help with losing weight and reducing breast tissue growth…

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