Excess tissue in the male chest area can be troublesome and sometimes embarrassing. Fat deposits can occur anywhere in the body and are typically influenced by gender, age, hormones, and genetics. As weight increases, fat may collect in areas based on these factors. Centralized fat is not only troublesome, but also carries with it additional risk factors for chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (AHA, 2013). It’s a great idea to begin discussions about your concerns with your doctor who will be able to rule out any medical conditions that may be contributing to excess chest tissue. Often times, male breasts increase in size as excess weight accumulates. If you are over your ideal weight, know that losing a few pounds may not only make a big difference in the appearance of chest fat, but may also decrease your risk factors for those various health conditions.
The Truth About Spot Reduction
Just as we’re unable to determine where fat will be deposited as we gain weight, we are conversely unable to direct the release of fat from specific areas (or spot reduction) such as from the chest. Even with targeted strength training exercises, muscles will tone and tighten- but it has little effect on the layer of fat that sits just under the skin. Heart-rate elevating or cardiovascular exercise on the other hand helps mobilize fat stores to use as energy (ACE, 2013). Therefore a combination of cardiovascular and strength training exercise is a great way to tap into the individual benefits of both.
ACE has an extensive online exercise library to get you started. Whether you are new to exercise, or just need to fire up an existing routine, the exercise library is a great place to visit for inspiration. Remember that weight loss occurs when we create a negative energy balance- meaning that the calories consumed are less than our total expended. For nutritional strategies to help lose that extra weight or simply eat healthier overall, consider visiting the U.S.D.A.’s ChooseMyPlate website. There you’ll find great meal planning ideas and tools to help monitor your progress along the way.