How to Burn Chest Fat with Exercises & a Balanced Diet

Chest fat. What is it? Why do we get it? And can it ever go away? In this article, we delve into the science behind this mysterious type of fat and how to get rid of it.  

Want to give your chest massive pecs appeal? Read on to find out how you can contour your torso and create one worth showing off.

What causes chest fat in males?

Many people commonly refer to chest fat in males as ‘man boobs’. Yes, men do have breasts. But for most, the breast tissue very rarely develops thanks to testosterone.

Men develop chest flab by being overweight. Gynecomastia, a common hormonal condition, can also cause men’s breasts to become bigger than normal.

How to lose chest fat?

Targeting chest fat is like targeting any other type of fat. You need to train smarter, eat healthy and turn your body into a fat-incinerating machine.

Luckily, we know exactly what you need to do. We’ve put together some fat-burning workouts and an ideal diet plan to help torch that torso fat right off.

How to lose chest fat with exercises

Regular cardio

Cardio is vital to losing any sort of fat on your body. But not all cardio workouts are the same. Rather than hit up the treadmill for hours, why not try a 20-minute HIIT session? HIIT is proven to burn way more calories[1] – plus it’s all over in 20 minutes!  

Push ups

How to Burn Chest Fat with Exercises & a Balanced Diet 1

Pushups are a great and simple way to start when it comes to losing chest fat. The movement activates the pectoral muscle. With more mass to your muscle, you’ll burn more calories.

Try three sets of 10 reps, with a 30 second break between each set.

Barbell bench press

This exercise is the epitome of chest training. And for good reason. The barbell bench press has probably crafted many of the proud pectorals you see today.

If you’re new to this exercise, ideally you should use a spotter or power rack to assist with the lift.

Try three sets of 12 reps with a 30 second break between each set.

Find out what other strength training you can do in our strength training for beginners article.

Cable crossovers

The cable crossover machine is the ideal one-stop shop for a total body workout and burning fat. The cable crossover is an isolated movement that helps add some shape to your upper body, specifically targeting the chest muscles.

Try three sets of 15 reps, with a 30-second break between each set.

Seated chest press

How to Burn Chest Fat with Exercises & a Balanced Diet 2

Think bicep building, chest crafting and a whole lot of fat burning with the seated-chest-press machine. This clever piece of equipment can be found in any type of gym and is a total gamechanger when it comes to toning the torso.

The seated-chest-press exercise targets the main muscles of the chest – the pectorals. It also recruits the muscles of your shoulders and back as well as the biceps.

Try three sets of 12 reps for an ultimate burn.

Dumbbell pull over

This move is a staple workout when it comes to bodybuilding. The dumbbell pull over can help build your pecs and back muscles at the same time. Not only that, but it engages the glutes and core muscles too – improving your body’s stability.

If Arnold Schwarzenegger believes in it, so do we.

 Try three sets of 10 reps, with a 30 second break between each set.

How to lose chest fat with a healthy diet

Losing chest fat isn’t just about exercise, you have to work on what you’re eating too.

Ultra-processed food and sugary beverages won’t help chisel that chest.

Alongside an exercise plan like the above, knowing the best foods to aid weight loss can be the ideal combination to defeating chest fat.

The right foods can provide you with the right nutrients you need to shed unwanted body fat. What’s more, they can decrease your appetite, regulate energy levels and keep you fuller for longer to lower your likelihood of snacking.

Fruits and vegetables are, as you know, perfect for any weight loss diet but there are lots of other food options available.

Get stuck into these ‘super’ foods and eat your way to less body fat.

Whole eggs

Eggs are an all-powerful food that help nourish your body and keep you in top condition. We all know the best way to burn fat is to curb the calories. Fill up on eggs and you can do that, thanks to their protein content. Protein is formed of amino acids, which are used to help with bodily processes such as building muscle[2]. Having a high protein diet is one of the best ways to help your body increase muscle and lose the pounds.

What’s more, protein has also been known to treat obesity[3]. Add some eggs to your salad or pair them with some wholegrain toast for a hearty meal.

Oats

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The fiber content in oats is what gives them their place on this list. They’re full of other good stuff, including protein, prebiotics, vitamins and minerals. Fiber is key to shedding pounds, since it helps to increase the feeling of fullness[4].

Oats can also contribute to blood sugar control. In one study on patients with type 2 diabetes, oats were evaluated for their effect on short-term glucose response and long-term glucose control. The study revealed an improvement of glucose, insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles after oats consumption[5].

Oats can be included in bakery foods, muesli and bread. You can also just as easily enjoy them as breakfast. Just mix them with some water or milk and then heat on the hob or microwave.

Turkey

When you’re trying to lose fat, it’s important to include sources of protein in your diet. Known as one of the leanest meats around, turkey is packed full of protein and almost no fat at all, making it a worthy addition to any dieting effort.

Turkey also contains high levels of tryptophan which may help contribute to the body’s levels of serotonin. This chemical is important to the body as it regulates mood and alertness[6].

Turkey comes out on top because it is cheaper than other protein-rich meats like chicken. Why not try it in a stir fry or have a go at making your own burgers with lean turkey mince?

Peanut butter

Nut butters are crammed with fiber, protein and healthy fats, all of which are instrumental in a diet for weight loss. Protein and fiber provoke a feeling of fullness, which results in eating less and more efficient weight loss overall. A 2008 review where tree nuts or peanut products were consumed prior to a meal supports this[7].

You can add peanut butter to absolutely anything – whether that’s a morning smoothie, on whole grain toast or into some oats, eating peanut butter has all the perks for overall wellbeing.

Cayenne pepper

A little spice never hurt anyone. In fact, there’s loads of benefits to including some in your diet.

Chili peppers such as cayenne pepper contain the active ingredient capsaicin. These are believed to be a thermogenic chemical – something that can speed up your metabolism and suppress your appetite and may help with the weight loss process[8]. Capsaicin may work for weight loss by increasing energy expenditure and fat oxidation[9].  

You can add cayenne pepper to your diet in a number of ways. Sprinkle its powered form into a shake, add it to curries, stews or Mexican food. If you’re feeling brave, why not try an infusion of powdered cayenne pepper and water? Just add one teaspoon into a small amount of water – and voila!

Beans

Beans and legumes are nutrient-rich foods that can be beneficial for weight loss. The most well-known include kidney beans, black beans, lentils and chickpeas. Beans are a great source of protein, iron and zinc, with similar properties to meat, fish and poultry. What’s more, they’re packed with fiber and potassium[10].

Fiber and protein, as we know, can lead to greater satiety. This makes beans an excellent addition to any weight loss diet. Why not make them an addition the next time you cook a stew?

What’s the difference between Gynecomastia and chest fat?

We touched on this condition earlier but let’s explore the topic a little more closely.

Gynecomastia is an enlargement or swelling of male breast tissue. It is caused by an imbalance between the hormones testosterone and estrogen.

When estrogen levels are too high, gynecomastia can occur.

At least 30% of men will be affected by this condition during their lifetime[11]. It is more common during puberty and old age.

Gynecomastia causes swelling in the breast area and makes them firmer, whereas fatty deposits on the chest look like breasts but are soft and saggy due to the extra skin.

Getting rid of gynecomastia can be difficult, however it generally goes away on its own without the need for medical or surgical treatment. Burning chest fat is easier but takes determination and motivation.

The Final Word

Burning chest fat starts with the basics – burning body fat in general. So, what are you waiting for?

Follow these workout and diet tips and you should be well on your way to a tighter torso. Just be sure you stick at it and put the work in.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27747847

[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19301095

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23107521

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24884934/

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4690088/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908021/

[7] https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1307352

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13129472

[9] https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2016.1262324?journalCode=bfsn20

[10] https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/vegetables/vegetables-beans-and-peas

[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3987263/

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