This blog post is going to be a little more personal. Since I began posting my transformation photos, I have been getting tons of questions on “ how did you keep your chest?!” So I want to take a moment to talk about my experience with breasts and weight loss throughout my journey.
I have always had a big chest. So much that I never thought any weight loss would change it, even if I desperately wanted it to. (I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes at me, but let me give you one day of my back pain and you would soon understand). I never started my fitness journey with the intent to reduce my chest, since my journey never was about my looks to begin with, so I can’t tell you that I did anything in particular for it. As I just wrote in another blog post, spot reduction does not exist. So, I really had no control over how much breasts I kept or lost.
I will tell you what I did – I did strength training which focuses on building muscle while simultaneously burning fat, and I did low to moderate cardio. I feel the fact I did so little cardio in the beginning helped with my chest a lot. It helped me to preserve the tissue because I wasn’t running at high speeds, jumping vigorously up and down, and putting my chest tissue through intense movements for long periods of time. Instead, I did a maximum of 20 minutes of HIIT cardio after each strength training workout.
HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training, so you go fast for one minute, slow for one minute (for example), and you continuously switch between fast and slow paces. This is actually more effective than steady state cardio and I believe better on your body overall – joints, skin tissue (in the case of breasts) and it has been proven to give you more results overall.
I also focused on doing chest exercises – bench press, dumbbell chest press, etc. These helped to slightly lift my chest as well. Since my chest is so big, I don’t feel it made a huge difference, but I definitely did notice my chest muscles underneath helped some.
Breasts are made up of two parts – one part fat and one part glands, also called lobules. Since breasts are mostly composed of fat, when you lose weight, you lose it from overall your whole body. How much breasts you have left depends on how much glands/ lobules versus how much fat you had, as well as your genetics.
As you can see, I did lose three whole cup sizes, but since I tend to hold onto fat in my abdomen and chest area, I kept more of my chest than usual. I cannot promise you whether you will or will not keep your chest but please do not let this be something that keeps you from starting your own health and fitness journey. The physical and emotional benefits will far outweigh that of a changing bra size!
An interesting article I read suggested that it also could depend on what body shape you have. If you have a pear shaped body, you are generally slimmer up top, so if you have gained weight and gained additional chest size as a result, they likely will slim down with weight loss as well.
If you are an apple shaped body (like me!) and you hold weight in your stomach, love handles and chest area, then you will lose some, but not likely as much as our pear shaped friends. Of course this is a more generalization since not all women are either pear shaped or apple shaped, but it could at least be a starting point to have an idea of how weight loss may affect your breasts.
Two other important aspects were drinking enough water and my diet. Water helps to restore elasticity to your skin and aside from that, water will help with overall weight loss, skin, hair nails – I could go on. Drink at least 2 liters every day, and if you’re exercising from 3-4 liters a day. As for my diet – I ate a clean diet, all whole, natural foods, and this was key in aiding my body through healthy weight loss.
Healthy weight loss is anywhere from 1-2 lbs per week, any more than that and you’re not giving your body and skin enough time to adjust to the physical changes and the more likely you are to put that weight right back on. Focus on being healthy, and the weight will naturally fall off!
For those who are asking, I started my journey at 135 lbs, 24% body fat and I was a size 32GGG. I didn’t start my journey because I was unhappy with my body, I started my journey because I needed to improve my health. Today I am 127 lbs, 17% body fat and I am a size 30F (or 30 DDD).