Targeting chest fat can be challenging. But with targeted exercise, a diet plan, and a little bit of patience, it’s possible to get rid of stubborn fat deposits on your chest.

The first step to getting rid of excess chest fat is to understand how fat loss works overall. There’s no way to target chest fat without dropping fat from the rest of your body.

The “Forbes equation” states that for you to lose one pound of fat, you need to through exercise or dietary restriction.

Since most people consume between 1,800 and 3,000 calories per day, the goal should be to operate at a small calorie deficit each day. For example, you should try using between 500 to 800 more calories per day than you consume.

At a 500-calorie deficit each day, you would be able to theoretically lose one pound per week. If you kept it up, you could lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. People with the most success at losing weight and keeping it off lose weight slowly but steadily, and adopt a healthy lifestyle instead of using crash diets.

Reducing your intake of fat and carbohydrates is to create a caloric deficit. Weight training in combination with high-intensity cardio is another.

Tracking your calories using an app or a notebook is a good way to start figuring out your average daily calorie intake. An app or website can tell you how many calories are in many different foods to help you track that.

Once you have stats that span three days of your typical diet, add up the calories and divide by the amount of days you recorded to get your daily caloric intake. Armed with that information, you can establish how limited your diet needs to become for you to lose weight.

If you work out for an hour at the gym, you can burn 400 calories or more using a combination of high intensity cardio and weight training. If you restrict your calorie intake that same day by 600 calories under your average, you’re almost a third of the way to losing one pound.

These exercises on their own won’t get rid of chest fat, but they can tone and firm the area of your chest.

Pushups

The classic pushup is a great way to start targeting your chest and upper body.

Start in a plank position, with your arms outstretched underneath the rest of your body and your feet shoulder-width apart.

Slowly lower yourself to the ground, keeping your arms as close to your body as possible as you near the floor.

Press upward to raise your body back to your starting position. Repeat as many times as you can and try to increase the number of pushups you do in each set each time you practice this exercise.

Bench press

When you first start bench pressing weight, start at a lower weight and have someone spot you to make sure you don’t drop the bar and injure yourself.

Start by lying with your back flat on the bench and the bar at eye level above you. Grab the bar at shoulder width. Pull your shoulder blades together and arch your back before you try lifting the bar.

Lift the bar gently off the rack. Take a deep breath before you lower the bar down to your chest, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle as the bar comes down.

Once the bar touches your body, slowly lift it back up.

Cable-cross

The cable-cross exercise helps tone the muscle around your chest area and underneath your arms.

Start by setting the pulleys above your head. Set the weight resistance low at first and aim to do as many reps as you can.

Standing with your back to the machine with your hips square, slowly draw both pulleys toward you. If you can, bring them all the way forward until your arms cross into an X shape. Repeat as many times as you can, gradually increasing the amount of weight as you grow more comfortable.

Dumbbell pull over

This exercise is done while lying flat on a workout bench. Holding a dumbbell so that one of the sides of the weight faces you, hold it straight over your chest at arms' length. It’s best to hold it by the opposite side of the weight, with your thumbs wrapped around the bar, to keep the weight from falling on top of you.

Slowly lower the dumbbell back over your head and toward the floor. Try to keep your arms straight the entire time you’re lowering the dumbbell.

When you first attempt this exercise, make sure to use a low-weight dumbbell so that you can get a feel for what you're doing. Ideally, have someone spot you while you do this exercise to make sure that the dumbbell is being held securely and correctly.

Cardio

Regular cardio exercise will help your burn calories and blast fat throughout your body. Cardio for weight loss options include:

  • stair-stepper
  • elliptical
  • running outside at a moderate pace
  • jumping rope
  • biking

For best results, try to fit in 20 to 40 minutes of cardio per day, at least 4 times per week.

Excess fat deposits on your chest can be caused by simple genetics: everyone’s body is shaped differently, and we all carry fat in different parts of our body.

That being said, sometimes excess chest fat in males is caused by low testosterone levels (called gynecomastia). This results in a benign swelling of your breast tissue. It doesn’t put your health at any risk, even though it can feel uncomfortable.

One study estimated that 30 percent of men will experience gynecomastia in their lifetime. The most common points of life to experience gynecomastia are infancy, puberty, and between the ages of 50 and 80.

Certain medications can cause gynecomastia as a side effect. These include:

  • antibiotics
  • anti-anxiety medications
  • steroids, antidepressants
  • ulcer medication
  • cancer treatments

For females trying to lose chest fat, many of the same rules still apply. Losing fat in one area of your body without losing fat overall is not possible.

Targeting your chest through the toning exercises mentioned above, while also avoiding fats and carbohydrates, can work to reduce fat in a healthy way.

Losing fat from your chest area can seem daunting, but the right combination of diet, activity, and exercise can make it possible.

If you're concerned about your weight, or if your appearance makes you self-conscious, speak to a doctor. They can give you advice tailored to your stage of life.