Working out may reduce your breast size but also makes you healthier.
If you're carrying a few extra pounds, losing that excess weight offers numerous health benefits. However, you may wonder whether trimming that fat will reduce the size of your breasts. In most cases the answer is "yes." But the better question is whether the health benefits of dropping those extra pounds are more important to you than the likely loss of some breast size.
How Losing Weight Affects Your Breasts
All breasts contain fat, which is why losing weight will likely reduce your breast size, depending on how much fat is in your breasts to begin with. Because you can't spot-reduce, however, you won't necessarily lose breast fat immediately. The pattern of your weight loss depends on factors such as your body composition and your genetics. But if you lose a significant amount of fat across your body, some of the fat will come from your breasts, which will make them smaller.
In addition to fat, breasts contain ligaments that offer support, glandular tissue -- the areas where milk is created -- plus milk ducts, from which a baby draws milk when nursing. Of these components, only the fat is affected by weight loss. As a women matures, however, the glandular tissue groups together to form lobes. After menopause, the lobes shrink and are partially replaced by fat. So losing weight after you've gone through menopause results in a greater loss of breast size. As with any other part of your body, the amount of fat in your breasts depends in part on genetics and on whether you maintain a calorie deficit or surplus.
Exercise can't make your breasts larger, but strengthening the pectoral muscles in your chest -- which are located above and directly underneath your breasts -- can lift your breasts and make them appear firmer. Also, any upper-body workouts that give you a more upright posture will also make your breasts appear larger. Exercises that may help in this regard include pushups, bench presses, dumbbell or resistance band flyes and planks. Perform 12 repetitions of the first three exercises and try to hold planks for 30 to 60 seconds. For weighted activities, use a load that tires your muscles by the end of the set. Do the exercises at least twice each week, but don't work the same muscles on consecutive days.
If you're concerned that losing weight will reduce your breast size, you may also wish to consider that trimming excess weight can benefit your health in general and your breasts in particular. If you're overweight, losing just 5 to 10 percent of your weight can improve your blood pressure as well as your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It can also improve your mood and give you more energy. Additionally, losing excess weight is one of the best ways of reducing your risk of cancer -- including breast cancer -- according to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.