FUPA, slang for "fat upper pubic area," refers to the extra fat that forms just above your pubic hair line. Perhaps it's an area only you and those most intimate to you notice, but that doesn't mean you have to like it. Spot reduction of your FUPA isn't possible, but you can diminish a FUPA with time. You gain and lose weight in a set pattern -- everyone has different "problem" areas, and your pubic region may be yours. Only overall fat loss will help you slim down enough to lose your FUPA.
Understand Pubic Area Fat
Your body stores fat in adipose, or fat, cells throughout your body. Some people have an abundance of cells in certain areas, which causes weight to concentrate there. This is usually a result of genetics, but women may develop fat in the pubic area after having children because the muscles in the area become lax. A poor diet loaded with alcohol, sugar and refined grains can also cause fatty deposits on your body, including in the upper pubic area.
You can clean up your diet, limit your calories, exercise to develop muscle in your lower abdomen and lose weight all over, but you can't directly target a fatty pubic area for fat loss. The good news is, when you eat fewer calories than you burn, your body mobilizes fat stores for energy from all over you body. Eventually, your pubic region will slim down with this strategy, along with other fat stores in your body.
Use an online calculator to determine how many calories you burn a day to maintain your current weight. You'll need to input your height, weight, age, gender and activity level to get the correct number of calories. Then, create a deficit of 250 to 1,000 calories per day from this number with diet and exercise. You'll lose a pound when you eat 3,500 calories fewer than you burn, so this deficit will yield a 1/2- to 2-pound weekly weight loss. Make sure you eat at least 1,200 calories per day if you are a woman, or 1,800 if you are a man, to prevent metabolic slowdown and nutritional deficiencies.
Eat a Quality Diet
Along with controlling your calorie intake, clean up your diet by choosing high-quality, unprocessed foods. White bread, white rice and other refined grains could be interfering with weight loss, even if you've restricted calories, as they can quickly raise your blood sugar and spike your insulin levels, which makes your body more likely to store fat. Chose moderate servings of whole grains, such as brown rice or 100-percent whole-wheat bread, instead of refined grains.
Protein low in saturated fat, such as grilled chicken, lean ground beef and fish, should also be included at your meals. Aim to eat about 0.6 gram of protein per pound of your body weight daily; this amount helps you feel most satisfied and preserves lean muscle as you reduce calories. Include liberal amounts of watery, fibrous vegetables and fresh fruits, too. They have few calories, lots of nutrients and plenty of fiber that also helps keep you feeling full.
Exercise to Lose Pubic Fat
Targeted core exercises, such as planks, anti-rotation and hanging leg raises, help build strength and muscle in the region between your pubic bone and below your belly button. These moves do little to burn the fat there, however.
Cardiovascular exercise, such as brisk walking or cycling, burns calories, which makes creating a calorie deficit easier and weight loss that much more doable. Work up to the minimum recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity work per week and increase it to 250 to 300 minutes weekly to lose significant weight, recommends the American College of Sports Medicine.
Strength training also helps target fat loss by boosting your metabolism. Muscle requires more calories, or energy, for your body to sustain than does fat. Go for a minimum of two total-body, strength-training workouts per week that address all of the major muscle groups, including your back, chest, arms, shoulders, hips and legs. Work your core muscles, too, as a strong core supports good posture and back health.
Reduce Stress and Sleep Well to Maximize Weight Loss
Stress can lead to poor eating habits and weight gain, especially in the lower belly and upper pubic area. Overeating unhealthy foods is a common way to calm down. A demanding job, family issues, relationship problems and money worries can take a toll, causing people to seek soothing, comforting foods, which are usually high in fat, sugar and calories.
When faced with stress, your body stores extra fat to provide energy for when you might need it, such as during a famine. When food is readily available, those fat stores aren't needed, but your body hasn't adapted its response. Hormones, particularly cortisol triggered by stress, makes the process of fat storage rather easy for your body. Lack of sleep further contributes to stress and can encourage storage of fat and make the pubic region harder to slim down.
Even if your life is fast-paced, you can learn how to manage your stress better. Yoga, meditation and massage are ways to relax your body and relieve stress. Delegate when you can at work, and share the burden of chores at home. Commit to a good night's sleep by limiting screen time before bed, creating a dark environment and making time for seven to nine hours of quiet rest.
- Go Ask Alice: Losing "FUPA" Weight
- Chrysalis Cosmetics: What Is a FUPA and How Does It Develop?
- British Journal of Nutrition: Dietary Protein - Its Role in Satiety, Energetics, Weight Loss and Health
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Position Stand on Physical Activity and Weight Loss
- American College of Sports Medicine: Metabolism Is Modifiable With the Right Lifestyle Changes
- Psychology Today: Why We Gain Weight When We’re Stressed — And How Not To
- Harvard Health Publications: Taking Aim at Belly Fat