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Bodybuilding isn't just about muscle size and bulk -- you also need to have low levels of body fat and good muscular definition. Reducing fat tissue from just one particular area, such as your chest, can prove difficult though. While it is possible for you to lose the fat around your chest by changing your diet and modifying your training, you need a full-body approach to fat loss, not an area-specific one.
Spot Reducing Fat
Spot reduction is the concept of losing fat from just one body part. Unfortunately, spot reduction is a physiological impossibility, notes nutrition consultant Joseph Agu on his website. Your body will burn fat from the easiest places first and stubborn areas later on. If you have stubborn chest fat, you will burn it eventually, it just may take longer than losing fat from other areas.
The only way to lose fat is to create a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you consume. Diet, therefore, is your most effective strategy in losing chest fat. The severity of your calorie deficit matters, as the more calories you cut, the more muscle mass you'll lose, but if you don't cut enough, you won't lose chest fat. Start by taking 500 calories per day away from your current intake. If you're losing more than 1.5 pounds per week, you're probably losing muscle mass, claims nutritionist Dr. Layne Norton in an interview with SimplyShredded.com.
Your training shouldn't change too much when losing fat. You need to keep lifting heavy to preserve muscle, writes Dr. Mel Siff in "Supertraining." This is especially important in the case of your chest, as maintaining muscle mass will make your chest look leaner, even if you're still holding a little fat. Cardio can help speed up fat loss, but when bodybuilding, too much cardio can be detrimental to performance. You can create your calorie deficit just by cutting calories and doing weight training, suggests nutrition expert Alan Aragon in an article on SimplyShredded.com.
Patience and Added Advice
If your chest area is a stubborn, have patience. No magic pills, supplements or exercises exist to magically reduce your chest fat; it is just a simple case of training hard and monitoring your calorie intake, aiming to lose 0.5 to 1.5 pounds per week. If the area around your chest does seem particularly enlarged or puffy, however, and the issue doesn't go away even when the rest of your body is relatively lean, you may be suffering from gynecomastia. This is enlarged breast tissue, caused by a lack of testosterone and increase in estrogen. Should you suspect this, you need to visit your doctor.