You can lose fat without sacrificing your bust's appearance.

Can Weight Loss Affect Breast Density?

by Debbie Lechtman

You're finally working off that extra weight -- great. There's only one problem, though. It seems that you're losing inches from all the wrong places, especially in your breasts. This is because part of a breast's composition is fat, or adipose tissue, explains the National Institutes of Health. Therefore, a dieter who's lost some fat will inevitably lose some from the chest as well. Not only is this normal, says exercise physiologist Nina Cherie, but there are some things you can do to stop a reduction in breast density due to weight loss.

Don't Overdo The Cardio

If you want to avoid a significant loss in breast size, Cherie recommends not overdoing the cardiovascular exercise. She explains that in the initial stages of weight loss, it's common for women -- particularly pear-shaped women -- to shed fat from the chest. Often, this fat loss is inevitable. However, if you focus on resistance training, you should be able to keep your chest perky, even if you do lose some fat in the end. She recommends three to four days of moderate- to high-intensity cardio a week -- for example, running or cycling -- and spending the rest of your week building up your strength.

Build Chest Muscle

Cherie recommends strengthening your chest muscles, namely the pectorals located beneath the breasts. Doing so won't make your breasts bigger or prevent some loss of density, but it will give your chest a more prominent, firmer appearance and your breasts will seem more pronounced. To target the pecs, grab a pair of dumbbells while lying on a bench set at a 45- to 60-degree angle. Bend your elbows to your sides. Slowly extend your arms upward until the dumbbells touch, then bring them back down to starting position. You can also do simple pushups or modified pushups to work the pecs.

Eat Protein

Eating a diet rich in lean, low-fat proteins, such as fish, chicken breast and protein from other non-meat sources may be helpful. Doing so will help your body produce muscle, which will firm the chest area and give the appearance of perky, full breasts. In addition, eating plenty of lean protein is helpful to bone growth, a better immune system and heart health, says the United States Department of Agriculture.

Healthy Weight Loss

Losing weight too quickly can be dangerous. Not only could your breasts shrink in size, but you could also seriously risk your health. In addition, rapid weight loss can result in a loss of muscle, including the pectoral muscles, making your breasts appear smaller. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a weight loss rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week, which can be achieved by cutting 500 to 1,000 calories from your daily intake. Anything more than that is too fast.

About the Author

Debbie Lechtman is a writer living in Hartford, Conn. She has a degree in magazine journalism from Syracuse University. In the past, she has worked for major national publications, specializing in fitness and wellness. Currently, she works as a writer and copywriter and is awaiting the upcoming publication of two short stories in literary magazines.

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