Males assigned at birth (MAAB) can develop enlarged breasts due to medical conditions or excess fat. If an underlying cause has been ruled out, targeted exercises and diet can help reduce the fat.

Breasts. Yes, MAABs do have breasts — even milk ducts. For the vast majority of MAABs, the breast tissue does not develop as it does in females assigned at birth (FAAB) due to high testosterone levels during puberty.

One cause of breast enlargement in males is gynecomastia, which can cause swollen breast tissue and even breast tenderness. This condition is usually caused by some issue with testosterone, leading to more estrogen in the body.

However, most MAABs simply have excess fat over their pectoral muscles.

You cannot target fat loss in one particular area of the body, but you can work to strengthen the muscles in specific areas. If you’re looking to lose weight, getting regular cardiovascular exercise can help. Try activities like walking, jogging, swimming, or cycling.

You can get a decent chest workout at home by doing push-ups. Or, you can head to your local gym. There are many different weight machines that are often available at a gym. Before you start using these machines, ask your local gym staff or a personal trainer to show you how to use the machines. Getting proper form is important — it will make the exercises more effective and keep you safe from injury.

Here are three chest-specific workouts you can try at a gym:

Barbell bench press

Set your barbell on the rack and position yourself to take the medium grip on the bar.

  1. Lift the bar and hold it straight over your body.
  2. Breathe in as you lower the bar mid-chest.
  3. Breathe out as you return back to your starting position.

Lowering the bar should take longer — twice as long — than raising it back up. When you’ve completed your set, return the bar back to the rack.

Pec deck machine

Before you sit at the machine, select how much weight you want to work with using the sliding pins.

  1. Adjust the seat so the handles are the same height as your chest.
  2. Sit down and grab the bar handles, and bring them toward one another as you exhale and contract your chest.
  3. Return to your starting position with an inhale.

Always keep your elbows slightly bent. Also keep your back arched. This will help you target your chest rather than your shoulders.

Bent-forward cable crossovers

  1. Select your desired weight from both sides of the machine before you start.
  2. Stand in the middle of the machine and grab the handles with your palms down.
  3. Lean your body over (maintaining a flat back) so the cables line up with your chest muscles.
  4. Push your arms down and in toward each other (crossing over) as you exhale.
  5. Return to your starting position slowly with an inhale.

Losing weight through diet is another way to get rid of excess fat all over your body. Try making small changes to your overall eating routine. For the most sustainable weight loss, aim to lose around one to two pounds each week.

Before you change your eating habits, you may want to keep a food diary to see what you’re eating currently. Cut out foods that are high in calories and low in nutritional value, like soda, candy, and other sugary snacks. Replace them with whole grains, lean proteins, and other healthy, whole foods.

Consuming fewer calories from food and beverages doesn’t need to leave you hungry. Instead of thinking about all the foods you cannot eat on your diet, think about what you can add into your day. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in nutrients, water, and dietary fiber.

These tasty snacks, for example, contain just 100 calories (or fewer):

  • Medium apple
  • Medium banana
  • Cup of steamed green beans
  • Cup of blueberries
  • Cup of grapes
  • Cup of carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers plus two tablespoons hummus

You may feel tempted to take supplements promising fast weight loss. These products are not tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may not be safe or effective. Speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

Keep reading to learn about other weight loss strategies »