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Cardio Health Healthline

What to do to help lose chest fat?

A healthful diet and regular exercise can reduce chest fat in most males and females. However, in some cases, an underlying medical condition might be causing chest fat.
The chest muscles are important for lifting, pushing, and controlling arm movements. However, excess fat can still develop in this area of the body, and some people may wonder how they can reduce it.
In this article, we discuss the best ways for males and females to lose chest fat.

BMI and weight loss

Body mass index (BMI) is a rough measure of body fat. A person can work out their BMI by dividing their weight in kilograms (kg) by their height in meters squared. There are many online tools for calculating BMI, including ones that use imperial measures.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source, someone with a BMI:

  • below 18.5 is underweight
  • between 18.5 and 24.9 is a moderate weight
  • between 25 and 29.9 has overweight
  • of 30 or more has obesity
  • of 40 or more has “extreme” obesity

People with a BMI of 25 or higher can lose body fat using a combination of diet and exercise.

It is not possible to lose fat just from one specific area of the body, such as the chest. Due to genetic variations, different people tend to gain and lose fat more easily in certain areas of the body.

However, building muscle in the chest can help tone the area.


Many diets for weight loss are available, but as diets work differently for everyone, there is no single best diet for losing weight.

The DIETFITS studyTrusted Source compared a healthful low fat diet with a healthful low carbohydrate diet in 609 adults with overweight. They found that both diets had a similar effect on weight loss over 12 months.

Intermittent fasting and caloric restriction are popular diets for weight loss. They involve taking periodic breaks from eating or limiting the intake of calories on certain days.

A 2018 reviewTrusted Source found that intermittent fasting did lead to weight loss. However, the authors noted that many people dropped out of the reviewed studies, which may suggest that intermittent fasting is not practical for everyone.

General dietary tips for managing weight include:

  • eating a diet of whole foods with plenty of vegetables
  • avoiding highly processed foods
  • avoiding sugary foods and drinks
  • balancing meals to include protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthful fats
  • being careful to avoid large portion sizes
  • limiting alcohol intake
  • using a food journal to track the diet
  • setting achievable goals for weight loss


High intensity interval training (HIIT) can be an effective way to lose fat.

A 2017 reviewTrusted Source comparing HIIT with moderate intensity continuous training found that both types of physical activity reduce body fat but that HIIT takes up 40% less of a person’s time than the continuous training plan.

The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are the muscles in the chest. Weighted exercises can target these muscles and improve muscle tone.

Some exercises for targeting the chest muscles include the bench press and pushup. It is possible to perform these exercises with or without weights.

Causes of chest fat

In most cases, chest fat results from having too much body fat in general. Sometimes, though, chest fat occurs due to a health condition.
As they age, many people experience sarcopenia, which is a loss of muscle tissue that occurs over time. A person with sarcopenia will have more body fat than someone without the condition.
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