Weight loss has a noticeable impact on several body parts, such as your belly area. Contrary to what most people think, weight loss also impacts the size of breasts. You may notice that when you lose weight, the size and shape of your breasts changes significantly. This read discusses these changes by analyzing weight loss changes before and after shedding pounds.
Do Breasts Change After Weight Loss?
The answer is yes. Breasts come in many different shapes and sizes. That said, they can change over time, depending on several factors. These changes can decrease an individuals’ self-confidence and self-esteem, affecting their quality of life.
Most women report ptosis or the sagging of their breasts. According to Medical News Today, breast ptosis is associated with factors such as (5):
- A higher BMI
- Significant weight loss (Weight loss of around 50 pounds, approximately 22.6 kilograms or more)
- A history of smoking
- A larger bra cup size
- Number of pregnancies
These are the factors that research associates with breast ptosis. However, there are factors that some people claim contributes to breast ptosis. They include (5):
- A history of breastfeeding
- A lack of regular upper body exercise
- Weight gain during pregnancy
Despite people’s beliefs about these factors causing breast ptosis, researchers have yet to determine significant associations between these factors and breast ptosis.
How Do Breasts Change After Weight Loss?
Typically, you shed fat evenly throughout your body when you lose weight. So, when you lose weight, you shrink the fatty tissue in your breast as well. But unfortunately, this does not also tighten the underlying supportive ligaments.
Instead, you lose the volume, which makes your breast deflated and assume a sagging appearance. Before weight loss, you may notice volume and tight breasts, whereas, after weight loss, you may report sagging and deflated breasts (5).
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Does Rapid Weight Loss Make Breasts Sag More?
It is no secret that most people want to shed pounds quickly, perhaps even a dress size less overnight. While such a thought is typical, such a weight loss approach is clearly unhealthy. Rapid weight loss is strenuous, and it creates physical demands on your body. As a result, it poses several health threats, for example (2):
- Electrolyte imbalance
Additionally, rapid weight loss affects your skin’s elasticity, particularly around your breasts. Weight loss, whether rapid or long term, leads to weight loss around your breasts, making them sag.
If you lose so much weight your skin will sag in most places, including your belly, back, and breasts. However, there is no evidence to suggest that the rate at which you lose weight increases or affects skin sagginess.
Solutions To Sagging Breasts
If you are unhappy with the way your breasts look after weight loss, you may want to consider several things to improve their appearance. Some measures require surgery, while others are noninvasive. Let us begin by looking at the noninvasive measures. They are as follows:
Exercise is one of the natural ways you can improve the appearance of your breasts. Typically, your breast tissues comprise primarily fat and the mammary ducts system. There are also muscles underneath your breasts (4).
So, when you use exercises that target your chest, upper arms, or shoulders, you target those muscles. As a result, they become firmer and more defined. Depending on your exercises, working out these muscles can also make your breasts sit slightly higher on your chest wall (4).
Most fitness experts suggest muscle training and aerobic exercises that help to lift saggy breasts and manage their weight (4). Cardio helps you burn fat, but muscle training increases metabolism. Your metabolism slows down when you lose weight, but muscle training exercises help restore it.
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This means that you will have fat around your breasts but maintain muscle. Some practical exercises that focus on your chest area and can help keep your boobs perky are:
This is a foundational exercise that builds muscles in your shoulders and chest area. To perform push-ups (1):
- Get down on all fours and place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width distance.
- Straighten your arms and legs.
- Slowly lower your body so that your chest nearly touches the floor.
- Rest a few inches above the ground, then push yourself back up.
The plank can help tighten your breasts besides strengthening your abs, back, shoulders, legs, and back. To perform the high plank (3):
- Start on all fours and position your hands at shoulder-width distance and feet hip-width apart.
- Stretch your legs behind the body and let your body’s weight rest on the hands and balls of your feet.
- Breathe in and pull the navel in to keep the abdominal muscles active.
- Hold this position for 20 to 30 seconds while breathing deeply. Make sure you are looking directly at the floor throughout the movement.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
- Perform at least 8 to 12 repetitions per set and aim for 2 sets.
This strength training exercise requires a pair of dumbbells to perform. Below are the steps to follow to perform it:
- Lie on a bench or yoga mat with a dumbbell in each hand. You can position your feet up on a bench or the floor if you perform this exercise on a bench.
- Position the weights at the shoulders with your upper arms at a 45-degree angle. Be sure to align your elbows with the shoulders and palms facing forward.
- Tighten your core and tilt the chin slightly towards the chest.
- Exhale and push the weights upward without locking your elbows. Be sure to do this gently and in a slow movement without sudden or explosive force. Similarly, keep your head and shoulder blades on the mat or bench throughout the movement.
- Inhale and lower the weights as your muscles contract to return to the starting position.
However, Medical News Today reveals that doctors hardly recommend these exercises for lack of investigation on their effectiveness by most clinical studies (5). With this in mind, talk to your doctor before adding these exercises to your workout plan.
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How Can You Maintain Weight Loss Without Sagging Breasts?
Gaining and losing weight stretches your skin past its ability to snap back. The idea is to avoid big and rapid changes that may significantly stretch your skin, especially around your breasts. Knowing this, aim for small but consistent weight changes through exercise and proper diet.
Professional Bra Fitting
Professional bra fitting is another solution to sagging breasts that does not involve surgery. Wearing a supportive bra can help improve the appearance of saggy breasts and give you a look you want whenever you are stepping out.
However, you must know your bra size, especially after weight loss. You may want to visit a bra shop to determine the correct breast size. Note that a bra cannot change the size or volume of your breasts. However, it can support and lift your breasts (4).
Consuming A Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced diet can help prevent sagging breasts by helping you manage a healthy weight. A healthy weight improves your overall physique and the appearance of the breasts. Note that there is no specific diet that can help with this goal.
Instead, you have to consume a diet that enhances skin health. It must be rich in fruits and vegetables due to their high antioxidants level. Similarly, it must also promote hydration because water makes your skin look healthy and young.
Most women often consider a breast lift after weight loss as the solution to sagging breasts. A breast lift or mastopexy means precisely as the name suggests. It is a raise of the breasts done by removing excess skin then tightening the breast tissue to reshape and support the improved breast contour (5).
Note that a breast lift does not change the size of the breast tissue. So, it will not increase volume. On the other hand, if you struggle with large breasts, you may want to consider reduction surgery.
One of the methods that some surgeons may recommend to reduce breast ptosis is breast augmentation. However, it is not recommended for everyone, so you must get the green light from your doctor before going through with it.
Typically, your doctor may recommend breast augmentation depending on the classification of ptosis. Medical News Today has revealed that some women may require augmentation and a breast lift (5).
Some doctors argue that augmentation may not be the best solution if the nipple is 2 cm or more above the inframammary crease. The inframammary crease is where the chest and the base of the breast meet. If the nipple exceeds this point, the surgeon may consider coupling the augmentation with a lift (5).
Another solution that some people can request is a mastectomy. A mastectomy entails removing breast tissue. A surgeon can opt to remove the whole breast or some breast tissue.
However, surgeons do not recommend a mastectomy for various individuals. These include individuals with significant ptosis due to the risk of nipple problems. This is because of problems that may arise during the surgery.
For instance, during a mastectomy, you may lose blood flow, and the tissue dies, or the nipple may become displaced on the chest (5). So, talk to your doctor if you are considering a mastectomy.
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Which Is The Best Solution To Sagging Breasts?
A boob drop can have you researching different tightening methods, especially if you are unhappy with their appearance. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell which is the best method or one with the least amount of risk.
Generally speaking, the best method to reverse sagging breasts would be a breast lift or mastopexy procedure. However, these procedures would mean getting under the knife.
Such a procedure would not be ideal for someone who does not want surgery. Talk to your doctor to help you make the best decision (5).
The Bottom Line
Weight loss breasts before and after the change are different. Like other parts of your body, the breasts may change after weight loss because of skin elasticity. When you lose weight, your skin sags due to a loss of elasticity.
You may notice the loose skin on your back, belly, and breasts. You can reverse sagging breasts through natural ways like exercise, a healthy diet, and professional bra fitting.
If not, you can consider surgery options, including a breast lift, breast augmentation, or mastectomy. Again, it would be best to talk to your doctor for better insight.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- How to Do a Push-Up (2022, nytimes.com)
- Rapid Weight Loss (2021, webmd.com)
- The 8 best core exercises for gym and home training, from beginner to advanced (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to Know About Sagging Breasts (2021, webmd.com)
- What to know about saggy breasts (breast ptosis) (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)