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How to get rid of side boob fat: 4 things you can do today

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How to get rid of side boob fat?

This is a common question from women looking to get rid of breast fat that collects to the side of the breast under the armpit.

Affectionately referred to as ‘armpit roll’, side boob fat can cause discomfort, soreness and poor self-image and self-confidence. 

The main issue with armpit roll is that it is tough to get rid of.

Fat in areas like your armpit naturally resists diet and exercise.

You’ve been in enough locker rooms to know that breast size and shape varies from person to person. 

But if you’re put off from wearing sleeveless tops because of your side boob fat, then we’re hear to tell you that don’t have to suffer alone.

The good news is there are things that you can do to treat it and prevent it for good.

In this guide we’ll explore:

  • What is side boob fat?
  • Why causes side boob fat?
  • How to get rid of side boob fat: 4 things you can do

Ready?

Let’s get started

how to get rid of side boob fat

What is side boob fat?

Side boob fat is the area of fat at the sides of the breasts below the armpit in the axillary tail. 

Clinically speaking, the breast is divided into six main areas:

  1. Nipple and areola
  2. Upper outer quarter (UOQ)
  3. Lower outer quarter (LOQ)
  4. Upper inner quarter (UIQ)
  5. Lower inner quarter (LIQ)
  6. Axillary tail 

This tail-like extension of fatty issue is also known as the tail of Spence.

So called named after the surgeon James Spence who identified it back in the nineteenth century, the tail of Spence is thought to be an extension of the main breast.

Whilst some studies argue that the tail of Spence doesn’t exist at all, there is growing research that says it is a separate, residual breast mound.

It is for this reason that over the years there has been greater focus on the tail of Spence for its role in breast cancer and tumour formation. 

Before you start to worry, it is common to store fat in this area – that is in the upper outer portion of your breast, travelling into your armpit.

Tissue in this area also becomes more obvious during pregnancy and breastfeeding and when you put on weight.

The diagram below illustrates the key areas of the breast.

Related: Does running make your butt bigger? 20 butt building exercises

how to get rid of side boob fat

Related: What is runner’s face? Causes + 10 prevention tips

What causes side boob fat?

There are several reasons behind why excess fat appears at the sides of your breasts.

Here are the main causes of side boob fat:

#1 Excess body fat

Your activity levels, diet and lifestyle all determine the amount of excess body fat you have in your body.

When you have excess body fat, it collects in areas of the body like the hips and butt (for women) and around the stomach (for men). 

In women, fat also collects in the breasts, and at the sides of the breasts as side boob fat.

There are two layers of fat in the body:

  • Subcutaneous fat – the type of fat that’s stored just below your skin.
  • Visceral fat – the type of fat that’s stored around your organs.

Side boob fat is subcutaneous fat and the thickness of this layer will greatly vary from one person to another.

#2 Genetics

The amount of fat you develop in any area of your body will also depend on your genetics.

Your genes will determine how dense your breasts are, as well as what your skin looks like.

Both of these areas will ultimately affect the appearance of your breasts. 

Studies have shown that breast size is about 56% heritable, with a third of this heritability shared with the heritability of obesity.

So if your genes predispose you to excess body fat, any excess breast tissue that you have may not respond to changes to diet and exercise. 

Research also tells us that your genetics determine your breast shape and size. 

And these genetic influences don’t only come from your maternal side. 

Surprisingly, genes from your father’s side can affect what your breasts end up looking like. 

how to get rid of side boob fat

#3 Age

As you age, gravity takes its toll and your breasts will start to lose their fullness and will sag and droop.

There are bands of tissue in your boobs that hold everything up.

Over time, they can wear out and become less supportive – eventually causing sagging and drooping. 

The good news is you can prevent this gravitational pull by wearing a well-fitted and supportive sports bra when you exercise.

#4 Breastfeeding

The fact is, during and after pregnancy, your boobs will change to meet the demands of pregnancy. 

They swell when you’re pregnant and nursing, and then deflate like a balloon when you wean. Yay for us women!

When the skin around your breasts stretches during pregnancy, it may not fully contract and become firm like it once was pre-baby. 

This can cause the skin to appear saggy, and excess skin may appear to the sides of your breasts as a result. 

Related: Running while pregnant: Is it safe? 7 exercise tips during pregnancy

how to get rid of side boob fat

How to get rid of side boob fat: 4 things you can do

How to get rid of side boob fat?

Many women struggle to get rid of side boob fat because there aren’t any exercises that specifically target side boob fat. 

You can’t just simply walk into a gym and do some armpit exercises or back fat workouts in the hope that the fat will disappear around your breasts.

The trick is to lose body fat overall to help shift unwanted fat tissue in the sides of the boobs.

You can do this by combining exercise (in the form of total body movements) with a healthy, balanced diet. 

Here are 4 things you can do to get rid of side boob fat.

#1 Exercise more

Total body movements are essentially strength exercises that target multiple large muscle groups.

Exercises like squats, lunges, bench presses and deadlifts are good examples of total body movements. 

When you exercise, you burn calories and lose body fat over time.

However, it’s worth pointing out that your breast tissue won’t actually change.

Instead you will develop denser breasts when you exercise more.

This explains why bodybuilding women have firmer looking breasts – the breasts are effectively sitting on top of piles of chest muscle.

High intensity exercise is the best form of exercise for shedding the pounds.

Not only will you burn more calories during a workout (compared with low intensity exercise), you will experience its ‘afterburn’ effects.

This means you will continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after a workout.

#2 Cut back on the calories

In addition to exercise, it’s important you follow a healthy, balanced diet to help lose body fat.

You need to be in a calorie deficit in order to burn fat.

A calorie deficit occurs when you expend more calories (through daily movement and exercise) than you take in (through food). 

This doesn’t mean you necessarily need to eat less and deprive yourself of all your favourite foods. 

In fact, studies show that counting calories and severe dietary restrictions are unnecessary impossible to maintain over the long term.

Instead, avoid processed and sugary foods and focus on high quality, nutritious whole foods. 

Changing your eating habits are also powerful yet simple ways to help lose body fat:

  • Eat as many vegetables as possible.
  • Minimise eating before and around bedtime.
  • Consume smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large meals. 
  • Tap into a social support networks to avoid from falling back into unhealthy habits.
  • Prepare meals in advance at home so you are not tempted to go straight to an unhealthy alternative when you’re hungry.

It’s important you understand the basic principles of proper nutrition in order to lose your pesky side boob fat for good!

how to get rid of side boob fat

#3 Get a new bra

It is thought that a whopping 8 out of 10 women are wearing the wrong bra size.

So you’re not alone if you find your bra isn’t giving you what you need in terms of comfort and support. 

Wearing the correct bra size is key to reducing the appearance of side boob fat.

An ill-fitting bra can sometimes cut into your sides or at the top part of your chest, leading to the unsightly side boob. 

So if you’re self conscious about your side boobs, then a new bra may just be what you need.

Most department stores and lingerie shops nowadays offer free bra fitting services, so it’s never been easier to find the right bra size.

Here are our tips and tricks for finding the right bra size:

  • Check that the front and back of the bra are even. 
  • Raise your arms up when you try on the bra – the band should sit parallel to the floor. If it rides up, this means the bra is too big. 
  • The band around your middle should be a snug fit, but not so tight that you can’t slide a finger underneath it. 
  • The wires should sit comfortably and not float against your chest or dig into your sides. 
  • For underwire bras, the centre piece joining the two cups should lie flat on your chest and not float against your chest.
  • The cups should hold your breasts evenly – your boobs should not spill out and the bra should not cut into your sides or the top part of your chest. 
  • If one of your boobs is larger than the other, get a bra that fits your larger breast so that you aren’t spilling out of the cup. 

There are so many variations in bra sizes and styles, so finding the right bra size can involve a lot of trial and error. 

If in doubt, take a look at online reviews before you buy a new bra. 

#4 Get surgery

Surgery is most definitely the last resort when it comes to removing any unwanted side boob fat.

If you’ve tried exercising, losing weight and finding the right bra size, but you still cannot get rid of your side boob fat, then surgery may be an option for you. 

A lateral breast reduction is performed by removing any excess skin and fat from the sides of the breasts. 

Following the procedure, you can expect to see a lifted and tightened breast area around the armpits and chest wall.

You can also expect to see a fuller-looking chest with improved cleavage. 

The key is to find a qualified plastic surgeon that you trust and then talk them through your expected results. 

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Caroline Geoghegan
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