Some of us hold extra fat in our midsection, while others tend to carry a little extra in the hips. But if you're concerned about losing fat in the pubic or pelvic area, you're certainly not alone.
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Although you can't target weight loss to a specific area of your body, you can establish some habits that will help you shed fat in the lower abdominal area, whether you're a person assigned male at birth (AMAB) or not. Improving your diet, prioritizing certain exercises and lowering your stress levels will all help.
1. Choose Nutritious Foods
Monitoring how many calories you eat each day plays a big part in fat loss. In order to lose fat anywhere in your body (including your pubic area), you need to eat in a calorie deficit (when you burn more than you consume), according to the Mayo Clinic.
You can pinpoint how many calories you need to eat to maintain your current weight using a food diary or calorie-tracking app. From there, you can gradually create a safe deficit of about 500 to 1,000 calories less per day. This will help you lose about a pound per week.
As you create your calorie deficit, keep realistic goals in mind. Ideally, you'll want to stay above 1,500 calories per day to keep your body functioning properly.
The easiest way to trim your calories is by cutting refined sugars and processed foods from your diet. These foods are generally high in calories and low in nutritional value. Instead, opt for healthy, naturally low-calorie foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins.
Meals loaded with vegetables and whole grains are also rich in fiber, a nutrient that can help keep you full for longer, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Like fiber, protein is another nutrient that will help keep you satiated, as it limits your body's production of the hunger hormone ghrelin, according to a 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. But if fat loss is the goal, prioritize lean protein foods that are low in saturated fat, such as chicken, fish and lean ground beef.
Alcohol is another factor that can increase the amount of pelvic fat you're carrying, as it's high in calories but won't help you feel full, as it's low in nutrients, according to the Mayo Clinic.
2. Add Strength Training to Your Workouts
Age-related muscle loss is one reason some people AMAB struggle with fat around the private area. In general, the more muscle mass you have, the faster your metabolism and the less fat you'll retain, per the Mayo Clinic. Muscle demands more energy for your body to sustain, ultimately increasing your body's calorie burn. When you have less muscle, you burn through calories at a slower pace.
To lose pubic fat, try to get in at least two strength-training sessions per week, recommends the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Build workouts that will hit both your upper and lower body, including your core. Compound exercises like squats, deadlifts and chest presses are a great way to go.
And while you can't use physical activity to target weight loss, you can do specific strength training moves to build muscle in a body part, according to the American Council on Exercise. For instance, try these exercises for your abdominal muscles:
- Toe taps
- Leg raises
- Hip lifts
- Medicine ball twists
3. De-Stress for Better Sleep
Stress is a great example of something that affects you mentally resulting in a physical change. Stress-eating is a real thing and can cause you to over-consume comforting foods, which are usually high in sugar and fat, per Harvard Health Publishing.
High levels of stress can also impair your sleep, which won't do your body any favors, either. Getting poor sleep night after night can slow your fat loss and may even cause weight gain, per the Mayo Clinic.
As best as possible, try to establish a nightly routine that will help you de-stress before you hit the hay. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of restful sleep each night.
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Taking Aim at Belly Fat"
- Mayo Clinic: "Belly fat in Men: Why Weight Loss Matters"
- Mayo Clinic: "Counting Calories: Get Back to the Weight-Loss Basics"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "Fiber"
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "The Role of Protein in Weight Loss and Maintenance"
- CDC: "How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need?"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Why Stress Causes People to Overeat"
- Mayo Clinic: "Sleep: The Foundation for Healthy Habits"
- American Council on Exercise: "Myths and Misconceptions: Spot Reduction and Feeling the Burn"