For some women, their breasts are their best feature. Others, however, may want to increase the size of this body part. Exercise and diet is sometimes touted as a natural way to increase breast size. Unfortunately, these techniques may provide only minimal increases in the size of your breasts.
Understand the science behind breast development. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, breast growth occurs as a result of increases in the accumulation of fat in the connective tissue of the breast — often due to elevations in estrogen secretion. While there are no muscles in the breasts themselves, the American College of Sports Medicine notes that increases in pectoral size may cause the breasts to appear slightly larger, though the increase is typically quite negligible. Changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle may also cause some increases in breast size, though this enlargement is temporary and will not remain for an extended period of time.
Learn more about calorie balance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calorie balance refers to the number of calories that you are eating, versus the number of calories that your body uses to function. Being in “calorie excess” is sometimes touted as a way to increase breast size, as it is associated with gains in fat stores — a major component of breast tissue. In fact, while eating more calories than your body needs is effective when it comes to gains in fat stores, targeting these fat deposits in the breasts is impossible. In “Nutrition Therapy and Pathophysiology,” Marcia Nelms, Kathryn Sucher and Sara Long note that individuals who increase their caloric intake will likely see small increases in fat deposits across their body — and will not be able to determine where the fat will ultimately end up. In addition to being ineffective in regards to promoting increases in breast size, gaining weight can contribute to a number of serious chronic health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. Because of these risks, the American Council on Exercise strongly discourages women to gain weight solely in an attempt to increase the size of their breasts.
Incorporate a regular resistance training routine. While lifting weights will not promote breast growth, it can result in increases in the size of the underlying pectoral muscles — and may make the chest appear slightly larger, though the results will be minimal. For best results in this process, the American College of Sports Medicine encourages individuals to perform strength-training exercises that target the pectoral muscles — like pushups, chest flyes and chest presses — two or three times per week. Perform two to three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of the exercise for optimal results when it comes to increases in pectoral size.