My boys and I are getting back in the September swing after some glorious mini getaways to Maine and NH over the summer. We hit the water slides hard, surfed in the ocean, swam like maniacs, and ate some incredible meals. Within the water parks and beaches, though, I couldn't help but notice the boys who had bigger breasts than I did (And I'm currently rocking a C/D cup). And I said to my hubs, "We've got to get the conversation going about this!"
Bear in mind this is not to judge, shame, or publicly humiliate anyone in particular or make a commentary on parenting; this is written from a place of compassion and empowerment to help you understand how to correct a problem that is dangerous in the long run and can interfere with our sexual development and ability to reproduce as humans on the planet. If we can help the boys and men in our lives feel healthy and confident in their bodies, why wouldn't we offer the support they need to get the job done right?
So without further ado, let's rock this.
Man Boobs - What are the causes?
Man boobs are a red flag that tells us there's a chemical imbalance between estrogen and testosterone in the body. The aromatization of testosterone is the process that converts testosterone into estrogen. So instead of creating lean muscle mass and developing sexually mature reproductive organs, testosterone gives up the fight to convert to estrogen instead.
Simply put, man boobs are a blatant sign that female hormones are running rampant in the bloodstream and have hijacked the endocrine system. And even if a person with man boobs loses weight, the boobs themselves often still linger.
Alcohol affects the liver’s ability to get rid of excess estrogen--and so does wheat and soy found in breads, cereals, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, soups, sauces, and most processed foods. Alcohol, wheat and soy contain phytoestrogens--naturally occurring compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. This means they take up precious real estate on estrogen cell receptor sites, displacing estrogen from it's targeted home. Estrogen is then left floating around the bloodstream, unchecked and unleashed.
Another noteworthy point on alcohol: if you're hitting booze way harder than you should, you can give yourself a fatty liver and liver damage. Considering the liver is where your hormones are metabolized, having a poorly functioning liver can also convert androgens into estrogens. Not ideal.
Exposure to plastics is another big issue, as plastic can mimic the effects of estrogen in the body.
Poor nutrition and weight gain can also cause moobs. Here's where the rubber meets the road. Most of us know that we need to eat a whole-foods diet to balance out our biochemistry, yet we all seem to have pantries filled with chips, processed chemicals, and ingredients that resemble a post-apocalyptic episode of Baking with Julia Child. This is because our kids ask for them and we buy these products in return. These are difficult conversations to have with ourselves and our family, but let's crack that conversation wide open and start figuring out some solutions to reversing the situation. The short term pain totally outweighs the long-term gains: having our boys and men feel healthy, confident, and strong in their bodies.
This is a super simple discussion we're having about an incredibly complex topic. Having moobs is not only about testosterone and estrogen, but about the big picture. The overall goal we're shooting for is to minimize the estrogenic effects of food and the environment on our bodies. We can make a huge impact by doing the following:
Intense weight training helps raise testosterone levels and builds body confidence. Win win, right? In conjunction with a healthy diet, it also enables the body to burn body fat. What are breasts comprised of? Fatty tissue. See where I'm going with this? So lift heavy weights to help address the situation. If your child isn't a regular gym-goer, think about pushups, squats, lunges, and sprints to help get things moving in the right direction. Just get everybody off the couch, off the hand-held devices, and get moving.
2. Diet rules the roost.
Remember when kale was the new black? Well fougeddaboudit peeps, because broccoli, cauliflower and watercress are the new it veggies for 2016. One of the best ways to block estrogen is by eating cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and watercress. Steam, sauté, roast, or enjoy raw with some guacamole--just get em' down your piehole.
Fiber is another key component in the battle of the boob, since it helps bind and pull excess estrogens out of the body. Sprinkle ground flaxseeds into oats, smoothies and yogurt, and make at least 50% of your meals fruits and vegetables. If your child isn't big on fruits and veggies, think smoothies and soups, hummus and dips for fiber. Any which way you can!
3. Contain yourself.
Store your food and beverages in glass containers and bottles. If you use a microwave, only heat foods in a glass container--NEVER plastic, which can leach out into your food. Hit up Home Goods, Walmart, or any discounted store for cost-effective ways to replace your plastic storage containers with glass. It really does make a difference.
3. Think zinc.
Every single person is deficient in the trace mineral zinc because our soils are so depleted, which makes it a necessary supplement for all of us. Zinc is required to optimize testosteroneand the enable proper development of sexually reproductive organs. Zinc also inhibits aromatase from misbehaving so it indirectly raises testosterone levels. On a personal note, I find zinc makes me randy when I get my levels up so that's not a bad side effect, either! Take the supplemental form with food daily, and eat pastured meats and walnuts--also rich sources of zinc.
DIM is a phytonutrient found in cruciferous vegetables, such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. It supports healthy estrogen metabolism and can also help reduce body fat associated with male boobs.
Remember, male boobs are a red flag that your hormonal system is imbalanced. The good news is that it's 100% reversible with some common sense, a clean diet, and some good old fashioned exercises. Let's burn those bras once and for all and reclaim the boys and men in our lives!