Uneven distribution of body fat is a major concern for many. Deposition of excess fat above and around the pelvic region, for instance, is something that not just has health implications, but could also lead to body image issues. FUPA, or fatty upper pubic/pelvic area, is the accumulation of excess fat in the area just above the pubic bone. It is usually caused by a combination of various factors – from lifestyle to genetics – reduction is possible through a systematic approach that looks at enhancing fitness and not just fat reduction, say experts.
What causes FUPA
“FUPA is caused by a combination of factors,” says Dr Parul Prakash, reproductive medicine (IVF) at Artemis Hospital, Gurugram.
Genetics: It plays a key role in fat distribution and influences where the fat gets stored in the body.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes like fluctuating levels of oestrogen can lead to FUPA. Menopause also can cause fat deposition in the pelvic region.
Poor diet: Consuming a diet rich in unhealthy fats, preservatives, and sugary drinks can lead to FUPA.
Lack of physical activity: Not exercising and an inactive lifestyle is another major cause.
Weight gain: Consuming food rich in calories leads to weight gain and fat deposition. One of the primary areas where visceral fat gets deposited is the pelvic region.
“FUPA is often associated with overall body fat accumulation and may be more noticeable in some individuals,” explains Sumanlata, a fitness coach and nutritionist from Gurugram. “The other reasons include childbirth (vaginal or c-section) and ageing, sudden/quick weight loss.”
Ways to reduce FUPA
“Spot reduction is not effective, and genetics play a role in where your body stores fat,” explains Dr Prakash. “It is difficult to reduce FUPA only with exercise or lifestyle changes because spot reduction is a myth.”
The upper pubic area is one of the places where fat gets deposited first for most and invariably is the last part where fat reduction happens during weight loss.
A combination of strategies could be employed to reduce FUPA, say experts. The key is weight reduction and improving overall fitness.
Diet: A balanced, calorie-controlled diet can help reduce overall body fat, including FUPA.
Exercise: Incorporating cardiovascular, strength training exercises, compound exercises and structural workouts can aid in fat loss and muscle toning.
Hydration: Staying hydrated supports metabolism and can help in weight management.
Stress management: High stress levels can contribute to weight gain; managing stress is crucial.
Exercises to Reduce FUPA
“There are various exercises that one can incorporate to aid in reducing upper pelvic fat,” says Dr Prakash.
Cardiovascular exercise: Activities like running, cycling, and swimming can help burn calories and reduce overall body fat, including FUPA.
Core workouts: Targeting the core muscles with exercises like planks and leg raises can tone the muscles in the pubic area.
Hip flexor stretches: Stretching the hip flexors can help alleviate tightness in the region.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT workouts are efficient for fat loss and can be tailored to target the upper pelvic area.
Exercises like squats, deadlifts, glute bridges, lunges, and those which involve pelvic movements are great too.
“The rectus abdomen/transverse [deepest muscle] and internal as well as external obliques muscles are co-related with multifidus spine and hip flexors,” explains Sumanlata. “When we workout these muscles that surround the pubic area, it leads to toning. But one should be aware that fat reduction happens throughout the body and not in one spot.”
It takes time to see visible results. The key is to maintain a holistic approach to fitness and health and that in turn will also help reduce FUPA, advice experts.
- FUPA (Fat upper pubic area) is the accumulation of excess fat in the area just above the pubic bone.
- It is difficult to get rid of FUPA. Following a balanced diet, incorporating cardiovascular and strength training exercises into a regular fitness routine, staying hydrated and managing stress levels are some of the means that will reduce overall fat including fat in the pelvic region.