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When you lose weight, you can’t choose where that weight goes away. Chances are, if you lose belly fat, your boobs will also shrink. That’s totally normal, and it’s also normal to have questions about what exactly happens to your breasts after weight loss. Let’s talk about ta-tas.
A 2011 study taught us that spot reduction — slimming a single area — isn’t really a thing. So losing any significant amount of weight also means that your body’s fatty breast tissue will shrink. Exactly *how much* your breasts shrink depends on your age and boob composition.
- Fibrous. The “skeleton” that holds things in place.
- Glandular. The internal plumbing that makes and pumps out breast milk.
- Fatty. The rest, which gives boobs their size and round shape.
Everyone’s boob breakdown is different, and your genes are a big factor. About 4 in 10 of women have primarily fatty breasts while the other 6 in 10 have dense (more fibrous) breasts. And your boob composition can actually change as you age!
Deflated boobs happen, especially after rapid weight loss. But there *are* a few tips and tricks to help them get back to their former glory.
Pump some iron
Hop off that stationary bike and step into the weight room! Upper-body exercises like chin-ups, barbell bench presses, and bent-forward cable crossovers can help replace lost fat with new muscle. The result is a tighter, stronger chest area.
Full disclosure: Weight training won’t add volume to your boobs because boobs don’t have muscles. Instead, chest exercises smooth and lift mild sagging by working the muscles beneath the breast tissue.
Get fitted for a new bra
For lots of folks, the confidence boost of a well-fitted bra cannot be overstated. A new underwire set won’t replace lost volume, but it *will* help lift and support.
TBH, you might’ve been wearing an ill-fitted bra even *before* you lost weight. One small 2008 study found that 80 percent of participants (ages 18 to 26) were sporting the wrong size.
So throw out those stretched, too-big bands and aim for a Goldilocks fit. Most lingerie brands offer measurement guidelines online, though some folks prefer to visit a lingerie associate for help.
Nonsurgical boob lifts
These days, you don’t have to go under the knife to get a little boost from the pros. These nonsurgical breast lifts won’t be as dramatic as implants, but they also don’t require quite the same chunk of change.
A few options:
- Radiofrequency (RF) therapy. Products like Thermage and Body-Tite use RF therapy to heat your skin’s outer, saggy layer to stimulate collagen production. The result? Tighter, younger-looking skin — but no actual volume replacement.
- Thread lifting. Often called a “feather lift,” this cosmetic treatment pulls your boob upward from the inside via small barbed threads inserted beneath your skin. Once the bruising and swelling fade, you’ll have subtly perkier boobs for 1 to 2 years (until the threads dissolve).
- Fat grafting. This technique of combining liposuction on your belly or thighs with redistribution of the fat to your boobs is *technically* nonsurgical, but it’s definitely more involved than something like radiofrequency therapy. Prepare to pay a pretty penny and arrange a ride home after this volume-enhancing procedure.
Surgical breast augmentation
Pull-ups and cosmetic treatments may not be powerful enough to get you the perky results you’re looking for. If that’s the case, surgical breast augmentation is an available option.
There’s different types of surgical procedures designed to lift or refill saggy boobs. For most “boob jobs,” your surgeon will make an incision either under your breast, around your nipple, or near your armpit. They’ll then insert implants filled with silicone gel or saline solution.
Remember, this is a serious procedure. It may be an outpatient or inpatient surgery, complete with weeks of gentle recovery. Schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon in your area if you’re interested in breast augmentation to get more information.
Unfortunately, there’s no magic trick to thwart shrinkage. But you *can* give your ta-tas some TLC to keep your chest as perky and supple as possible.
- Bring on the collagen. As you age, your body produces less collagen and elastin. (That’s the stuff that makes your skin smooth and snappy.) The same collagen supplements, protein powders, and skin-loving vitamins marketed as anti-aging products *might* also reduce saggy chest skin when you lose weight.
- Stay hydrated. Same idea. Hydrated skin is healthier, smoother, and bouncier than dehydrated skin. H2O can’t plump your boobs, but it can keep the skin on top looking plump.
- Go slow and steady. As you lose weight, your boobs may shrink. But that doesn’t mean your skin needs to loosen! Steady, gradual weight loss — 1 to 2 pounds per week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — helps your bod and skin adjust.
- Avoid sun exposure. Sometimes boobs look saggy after weight loss because of loose skin. Sun exposure can dry out your skin and cause more wrinkles! This advice isn’t exclusive to your ta-tas, but protecting your chest from wrinkles is one way to keep your boobs lookin’ fine.
You’ll probably have smaller boobs after weight loss, but there are ways to minimize the shrink factor.
- Support your boobs from inside with strength training.
- Ensure a smooth, supple surface with proper skin care.
- Get lifted with a well-fitted bra.
- Consider surgical and nonsurgical breast lifts.
And remember — there’s nothing wrong with loving your ta-tas’ new size and curves!