I have lost weight recently and although I've come within the normal BMI range, but the "sagging/bulky chest" of mine (a legacy from my fatter past) makes me feel ashamed of myself in public.

I was reading about this problem online and learned that its called gynaecomastia irrespective of whether its caused due to hormonal imbalance or due to a fatter adolescence.

So, I have the following questions:

  1. Is my understanding correct that my condition's clinical name is gynaecomastia?
  2. What can I do to get rid of this "saggy/bulky chest" of mine?

This link, in response to the question "Is there anything men can do themselves?", says that working out to develop ones chest muscles only ends up making the breast look bigger.

Is this true? If yes, is there really no way for me to get rid of this "saggy/bulky chest" of mine except for a cosmetic surgery?

  • I'm not a doctor, but I highly recommend cutting down/out on beer and performing high repetition low weight bench press or even better, push ups. With low resistance you'll end up toning your muscles rather than making them bigger and this will likely improve matters significantly. If nothing else, it's quite unlikely to make anything worse.
    – John Hunt
    Jul 16, 2018 at 13:35

2 Answers 2

  1. No, gynecomastia is a hormonal condition in which mammary tissue develops and enlarges in a male. Pseudogynecomastia is the word for what you're describing.

  2. How do you know what you have is only pseudogynecomastia? Have you consulted a doctor and know for sure? If not, you need to stop looking for solutions and look for the cause first. You can't solve it if you don't know for sure what it is. If you do know for sure it's pseudogynecomastia, then weight loss, exercise and surgery are your available options. Don't worry about getting bigger pectoral muscles that will make them look bigger. Developing big pectoral muscles like a bodybuilder takes a lot more training than most people realize. There's little danger of that, but some judicious weight training will tighten up the underlying muscle and reduce the saggy appearance.

  • 2
    Thanks Carey! All my internet readings in the past 2 months showed up gynecomastia. I did not even know that there was a condition called Pseudogynecomastia..! Hmm...I would need to consult a doctor then. Thanks again!
    – Zuch
    Aug 2, 2016 at 15:24
  1. Seconding Carey, it is most likely (not impossible) that your "saggy" chest is due to Pseudogynecomastia, which is caused in your case by losing weight too fast.

If male breast enlargement is caused by glandular proliferation, it is defined as gynecomastia. If it is caused by increased fat deposition, it is defined as pseudogynecomastia

Erol S, Orhan E, Sevin A, Erdogan B. Trauma: a new pseudogynecomastia cause. Aesth Plast Surg. 2010;34:404–405. doi: 10.1007/s00266-009-9435-8.

If you truly have gynecomastia then a doctor can diagnose you with it (usual things to look for are large, puffy nipples). In that case, your are correct with asserting that adding chest muscle will only serve to highlight the condition.

You are correct about your comment regarding poor diet causing it, but this is usually restricted to the older gentleman, excerpt from Wikipedia:

Declining testosterone levels and an increase in the level of subcutaneous fatty tissue seen as part of the normal aging process can lead to gynecomastia in older men. This is also known as senile gynecomastia. Increased fatty tissue in these men leads to increased conversion of androgenic hormones such as testosterone to estrogens.

When the human body is deprived of adequate nutrition, testosterone levels drop while the adrenal glands continue to produce estrogens thereby causing a hormonal imbalance. Gynecomastia can also occur once normal nutrition is restarted (this is known as refeeding gynecomastia).

Cuhaci N, Polat SB, Evranos B, Ersoy R, Cakir B (March 19, 2014). "Gynecomastia: Clinical evaluation and management". Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 18 (2): 150–58. doi:10.4103/2230-8210.129104. PMC 3987263free to read. PMID 24741509.

  1. You severely underestimate the effort required to put on muscle, especially pectoral muscle. Once does not "accidentally Arnold" their way into being build like a brick-sh*t-house.

In the case of pseudogynecomastia, continued strength training and a continued reduction on bodyfat percentage would probably help the most. But without pictures and a proper inspection it is hard to say if it is just that you have no muscle or you have loose skin (or a combination of both).

  • Hello JJosaur! Thanks for your advice! I've uploaded the images of my chest. Could you please take a look?
    – Zuch
    Aug 2, 2016 at 16:53
  • 2
    I'm not a doctor and so can't diagnose you
    – John
    Aug 3, 2016 at 5:46

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