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Man Boobs Overweight man with headband lifting dumbbells

Got Man Boobs? 5 Ways to Get Rid of Chest Fat

William Barton

Style, Grooming, Fitness, Boots, Workwear

William has been covering men's style, grooming, and fitness topics for The Adult Man since 2018 as both a writer and photographer. Based in North Carolina, he's also the face of premier men's boots website and the popular BootSpy YouTube channel. If William could only wear one outfit for the rest of his life, it'd be slim blue jeans, a green fitted oxford shirt, Chelsea boots, and a nice watch. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Feb 23, 2024
12 min read
Key Takeaways

To get rid of chest fat, diet and exercise are the only sustainable way to banish your man boobs for good. Diet is the most important factor in reducing fat. Any sort of exercise will help speed the process, though weight lifting is widely considered the most effective type of exercise for fat loss. Chest-focused workouts won’t burn chest fat specifically, but they’ll build more muscle in the chest so you can strike a better balance between lean and fatty tissue.

That’s it. 

Not one more day. 

You’re fed up with this lifestyle and it’s time for a change.

What you’re about to embark on isn’t easy, but it’s so worthwhile. Every step you take now isn’t just going to build a stronger, healthier body. It’s going to build a tougher mind. A grittier spirit. 

It’s not going to be fast. It’s not going to be painless. And you’ll be a different person on the other side. 

Do you think you’re ready?

What are Man Boobs?

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Before I dive into the five step process of how to get rid of your chest fat, there’s a key distinction to make, as the term man boobs can actually mean one of two things. 

Some men suffer from a condition called gynecomastia, which is an actual enlargement of a man’s breast tissue. This occurs because of hormonal imbalances in the body, and can be caused by medication, a drop in testosterone, or a spike in estrogen levels. 

There are dozens of factors that play a part in your hormone balance, and you’re much better off speaking with a doctor about your best options if you think you may have gynecomastia. 

I won’t be covering what to do if you’re struggling with gynecomastia. 

Instead, I’m tackling the second definition of man boobs: which is excess chest fat.

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The stomach is typically where men store the most fat, but because we’re all built differently, many dudes store their fat in their chest. It’s usually the second “problem area” guys struggle with. 

Despite what you may have heard from the latest fitness guru, fat burning pills aren’t going to help you here. There’s only one tried and true method for smashing chest fat and we’ll cover it in broad strokes here. 

The five steps below will work for you. As you tackle each one, you may want to find other health-focused resources, especially for topics like weight lifting techniques, etc. 

These are just the basics, explained as simply as possible. But there is limitless detail you can get into for any step you want to dive into. 

The truth is: fitness and health is simple. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  

5 Ways to Shed Man Boobs

1. Get in the Right Headspace

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If you’re dealing with stubborn chest fat, you must understand that the process of smashing those man boobs isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s not going to happen in two months. It might not happen in six months. 

Building the kind of body you’re proud of can take years. But if you haven’t ever really locked in your diet and exercise routines, you can expect to see some remarkable improvements in a relatively short period of time. 

You won’t have a six pack in eight weeks, but I can practically guarantee that if you follow the steps below, you’ll shed some pounds, notice more toning and definition in your body, and get a big confidence boost. 

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but the key is: don’t set a goal

If your goal is to get mistaken for Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, you’re bound for disappointment and demotivation. 

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According to James Clear, a titan in the world of practical habit-formation and author of Atomic Habits, goal setting is practically meaningless.

Instead of starting with the end-objective (burning off man boobs), start with a different identity: 

“I’m the kind of person who doesn’t miss a workout.”

Obviously, right now you might not actually be that person. And you’re not going to suddenly start hitting the weights for two hours a day, five days a week suddenly. 

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But you can absolutely become the person who does five push ups a day. Or stops in the gym for 10 minutes. Or takes out the yoga mat and stretches for three minutes. 

When you start with something easy, you will become the kind of person who doesn’t miss a workout. That’s your new identity. And if you stop in the gym every day for 10 minutes, isn’t it going to be so much easier to stop in for, say, 20 minutes? 

You need to change your identity. You’re the only one telling yourself you’re lazy, unmotivated, hopeless, whatever. But you don’t have to be any of those things. 

How many people do you imagine have man boobs when they’re the kind of person who doesn’t miss a workout?

Become the kind of person who doesn’t miss a workout. 

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Easier said than done, of course. So I’ll give you another tid-bit to hold on to, because you’re going to miss a few workouts throughout your journey. 

Never miss twice in a row.

It’s ok to miss once. Accidents happen. Motivation fails. I completely get it. So when you miss a day, do everything in your power to show up the next day.  If you can do that, you will absolutely build something you’re proud of. 

2. Improve Your Diet

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Screw crash diets. Forget juice cleanses. They’re almost never going to work for you long term. Seriously, how long do you think you can keep up a 500 calorie diet? 

The truth is, you can only lose weight when you’re in a caloric deficit. That means you’re burning more calories than you’re eating. 

Depending on your height and stature, your body naturally burns a great deal of calories (the average 6-foot, 30 year old man burns about 2,000 calories a day when completely at rest). 

So if that describes you, then you’d need to eat about 1,500 calories per day to sustainably lose about one pound per week. 

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Of course, if you want to eat more than that and still lose weight, you can boost the amount of calories you expend in a day by working out. You can essentially add another meal into the mix if you hit the gym for an hour.

These are just very general guidelines, but it’s quite honestly this simple. Eating pomegranates or three brazil nuts in the morning aren’t going to transform you. You can literally eat two Twinkies a day and lose weight (not that we recommend that at all). Caloric deficit is all you need.

The easiest way to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet is a little trick from Jeff Cavalier at Athlean-X

Divide each plate of food you eat up like this:

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The FC stands for “fibrous carbohydrates,” or basically vegetables. Broccoli, asparagus, salad—you get the point. 

The P stands for “protein”. Some of the best lean proteins are chicken breast, fish, and even steak. 

The SC stands for “starchy carbohydrates,” which can be potatoes, rice, or pasta.

You don’t really need to cut anything out. You just need to change the ratio of what you’re eating. 

3. Maintain Your Diet

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Now that you know you need to hit a caloric deficit and have a few simple guidelines to help you with that, the next step is to maintain your diet.

Yes, two of the five steps involve diet, because diet is the most important factor in losing weight, plain and simple. 

An easy way to monitor and optimize your diet for your goals is to use a macro-tracker like MyFitnessPal. You can set goals for how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat you need to maintain your health and maintain a caloric deficit at the same time. 

You can just snap the barcode of whatever food you’re eating and MyFitnessPal will automatically add it to your macro-counter totals for the day. 

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It takes a little math and some guidance to figure out what your “macros” should look like, but a good place to start is by aiming for 40% of your calories from carbs, 30% from protein, and another 30% from fats. 

If you’re hitting weights and want to build muscle, the rule of thumb is to eat one gram of protein per pound of body weight. 

To give you an idea of my macros and the goal I’m aiming for, here’s my set up:

I’m a 6’1” 31 year old man who weighs 200lbs. I aim to eat 2,800 calories per day, which is a little below maintenance for me. What that means is that I will consistently lose fat if I stick to this amount of eating, and I can still build muscle relatively easily because I haven’t been lifting for a super long time.

I’m aiming for 210g protein, 80g fat, and 290g carbs per day. So 31% of my daily intake is protein, 26% is fat, and 43% is carbs. Close enough for me. 

4. Hit the Weights

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Speaking of rest days, there are no rest days. Just kidding. 

The fastest way to burn calories is running. But running sucks. 

You can run as your main form of exercise if you want, but I think there may already be a few reasons you don’t right now. If you’ve got some extra weight on your frame, running can be torture on the knees. 

While running is awesome for your cardiovascular system, we’re really looking to banish the man boobs here. 

One of the best long term weight loss strategies is to build muscle. That way, your body is burning more calories in a resting state. Think of it like compound interest: your body with more muscle to maintain won’t burn more calories in an hour than a run, but you can only run for 30-45 minutes (or at least I can only run that long). But you can be at rest for 24 hours straight. 

So while weight lifting and building muscle isn’t the most calorie-intensive exercise, it does build a foundation that will continue to burn calories even when you’re not working at it. 

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There’s a lot of debate on the topic of cardio vs weight lifting. And honestly, it doesn’t really matter. As long as you find an exercise that you’ll actually do consistently (remember, become the person who doesn’t miss a workout), you’ll continue to shed a pound or two per week and put those man boobs in the rearview mirror. 

One thing to note here is that chest exercises don’t specifically burn off your chest fat. Just like ab training won’t directly shrink your stomach. 

Of course, the extra expenditure of calories helps reduce your body fat overall, but there’s no direct link between chest exercises and loss of chest fat. 

However, if man boobs are your biggest aesthetic concern, focusing on chest exercises is a fantastic idea. 

As the fat sheds off from your increased activity and better diet, the muscle you’re building will start to show through much more. That’s going to bring a huge confidence boost, and will motivate you even more. 

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After all, you’re not working to get rid of your man boobs so you can just have a smaller, but still soft chest. 

The best exercise you can do for your chest is push ups. They’re simple, super effective, and you don’t need anything but a level floor to do them. I challenge you to rep out five right now. 

If you want to get a gym membership and go into more in-depth workouts like bench presses, chest flys, and barbell rows, even better. But if you aren’t willing to do a few push ups to start, you’re not going to be willing to get a gym membership, drive there consistently, and learn dozens of new techniques. 

5. Find an Active Hobby

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The final step is all about longevity. As I said up top, it’s going to take months to see major results, not weeks. 

That initial burst of motivation isn’t going to keep churning for 18 months straight. You’ve got the motivation now, so use that energy to change your daily activities. 

If your hobby was going home, sitting on the couch with a beer and binging Netflix or video games, that’s not going to help you get where you need to go. Even with exercise and a better diet. 

Finding an active hobby is one of the best ways to break the patterns that have led you to where you are right now. And if you’re not happy with where you are now, use that pain and energy to make a change.

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What sort of things would a fit person do? Hiking on the weekends instead of chilling at the brewery? 

You don’t have to pick up something outrageous, either. A hobby as simple as casually riding a bike and exploring your city is awesome. You get more time outside, more activity, and a better quality of life. 

A new healthy hobby will reinforce the idea that you’re the kind of person who makes healthy choices. And when you’re that kind of person, it’s not a struggle to say no to the potato chips. You don’t have to deny yourself anything. 

Let’s Shred

Health and fitness is simple. But it’s not easy. 

Getting rid of your man boobs is going to take time, but you’ll never regret the effort you put in.

To start, imagine what a fit person does: what they eat, what they do for a workout, what they do on the weekend—become that person. 

Make sure your calorie intake is lower than what you’re burning, but don’t overdo it with a silly crash diet. 

To optimize your diet for weight loss, there are a host of tools like MyFitnessPal that can help you make the best choices in the kitchen. 

Start building some muscle so you can raise your natural calorie-burn level slowly but surely. 

And don’t quit. 

You’ve got this. 


Can moobs go away?

By cleaning up your lifestyle, your body will swing back to a balanced state. In most cases, this will cause your man boobs to go away.

What foods cause man boobs?

It’s not necessarily what in certain foods that cause man boobs, but rather what’s on them. Products with a lot of pesticides, or wrapped in BPA-laden plastic can cause hormonal imbalances, causing your testosterone to nose dive, your estrogen to spike, and may give you a shiny new pair of breasts.

Can you lose chest fat?

You can absolutely lose chest fat. There’s no specific exercise or diet that will target chest fat exclusively, but if you’re in a caloric deficit, your chest and stomach are two of the first places to start getting smaller.