They’ve launched a thousand memes and even inspired a Seinfeld episode. Do we want them? No. No, we don’t, because we’re talking man boobs here.

Moobs, mitties, whatever you call them – nobody wants them but lots of us are stuck with them. Sometimes they’re seen as an inevitable part of gaining weight as you get older. I’m resigned to most of what is going to happen in the ageing process. I can live with my hair disappearing from its former home and setting up shop in my ears and nostrils.

But the moobs I’m talking about are the more familiar ones caused by pseudo-gynecomastia. See, it even sounds worse. Basically, you’ve piled on the kilos and now you’ve got breasts: deal with it. That’s the hard bit. Blokes can muster a bit of bravado about most of our deviations from the perfect body norm.

We’ve all seen someone affectionately pat his beer gut and joke about how much time and money he’s invested in creating it. Double chins can be prodded and laughed at with impunity. But nobody ever pulls up his shirt and jokingly asks you to have a feel of his tits.

Why do we dread moobs more than beer guts?

The short answer is that a beer gut doesn’t make you feel any less of a man. Man boobs do, or at least it feels like that. There is a certain irony in the fact that so many men fantasize about breasts when women have them but are horrified by the sight of them on a man. Some say it’s a form of misogyny but it’s really more about self-image.

The first thing to say is that most of us who are past a certain age, no longer really need to take our tops off in public. It might be a bit limiting when you go on holiday or want to go for a swim, but mostly you can keep them covered up.

If your moobs are very prominent you can take steps to minimize them. We can all learn a few things from women here; after all, they’ve got a bit of experience dealing with breasts.

So, steer clear of horizontal stripes for a start; they just make you look…. well, more horizontal. Go for vertical stripes instead. Avoid white or very light colours and turn down the contrast. If you wear a white shirt and dark trousers you’re basically just saying look at my enormous heaving bosoms.

How to Get Rid of Man Boobs

1. Check with your doc

“For any guy, your first step is to see a physician who regularly manages this kind of issue to understand what the initiating factors are,” Kominiarek advises. Your doc will take a thorough history, do an exam, and likely run a few tests including blood samples and breast imaging to determine what exactly causes your knockers to grow. But once your doc knows how severe your case is and what the culprit is, he can direct you on what to try before the extreme measures come into play.

2. Check your meds

Your bigger boobs could be a result of medications you’re taking, Kominiarek says. Opioids, certain antidepressants, benzodiazepines, statins, amphetamines, androgen-blockers, even marijuana all have the potential to mess with your hormones in a way that can deliver D-cups.

3. Clean up your diet

While it’s a myth that eating soy will increase estrogen and puff your chest pillows, food can definitely contribute to fat storage and mess with your hormone balance enough to exacerbate the problem. Ditch processed foods, bad fats, and sugar, and increase the number of healthy fats (like avocados, olive oil, and omega-3s) and lean protein.

4. Purge plastic

“All types of BPA can contribute to gynecomastia, Kominiarek says. And indeed, a study found that exposure to even low doses of bisphenol-A (BPA), like that found in canned foods and plastics, can promote abnormal breast growth in boys and adult men. One of the worst culprits: water bottles—you know, like the kind you sip from every time you hit the gym. Since even BPA-free plastics can still contain other harmful chemicals, trade it out for stainless steel or glass containers, like our Man Shake Bottle.

5. Score better sleep

Racking up a solid eight hours is crucial to healthy hormone production. The less you sleep in a night, the less testosterone your body is able to produce, according to Australian research. Plus, inadequate sleep is linked to higher steroid use and obesity—both of which are risk factors for gynecomastia. And it’s not just about squeezing sleep anywhere: It’s crucial to get adequate sleep during your natural circadian rhythm (nighttime).