Loose skin and belly pooch are two of the last bits to smooth out after major weight loss. Maybe you’re like Beyoncé, who vocally cherishes her postpregnancy FUPA. Or maybe you’re on a quest to get rid of it.
No matter where you stand, don’t forget what really matters on your weight loss journey: your physical and mental well-being.
FUPA = “fat upper pubic area.”
Medically known as “panniculus,” FUPA is the dense, jiggly fat right around or above your panty line. Fat often gathers in this area after pregnancy, abdominal surgery, or rapid weight loss. You might also notice some FUPA as you get older.
Some folks are more genetically prone to FUPA. Maybe you’ve got a curvy body, or maybe your upper pubic area is just where you gain weight first.
As with any other area of your body, there’s no way to “spot target” FUPA. When your bod gets more calories than it needs, the extra gets tucked away for later. Melting FUPA requires a good old-fashioned calorie deficit.
Let’s dive into some strategies to help you tighten up all over, lose body fat, and get rid of FUPA for good.
The best way to get rid of FUPA is to reduce your overall body fat with a calorie deficit. But you can accelerate your progress by also exercising your lower abs on the reg.
1. Forearm plank
This deceptively simple move will ignite your abs (oh, you’ll feel it) and strengthen your core.
Here’s how it’s done:
- Kneel on the floor.
- Lower your upper body onto your forearm, fists closed.
- Lift knees until your weight is distributed evenly between toes and forearms. You should basically be level with the floor.
- Tighten those abs!
- Hold for at least 30 seconds.
- Rest for a few secs in the starting position, rinse, and repeat.
2. Bicycle crunch
Abs might be made in the kitchen, but they turn to steel with bicycle crunches. Also, you won’t strain your back!
Do them like this:
- Lie on your back with knees bent at a 90-degree angle above your hips.
- Press lower back into the floor and try to keep it anchored there for the entire move.
- Put hands behind your head and lift shoulders slightly off the floor.
- While keeping right knee at a 90-degree angle, straighten left leg as you twist left elbow toward right knee. Try to keep right knee directly above your hip rather than pulling it closer to your chest.
- Repeat on the other side, then continue to alternate sides.
3. Leg raise
Similar to flutter kicks, leg raises cinch your inner abs while strengthening your core.
Follow these steps:
- Lie on your back with arms by your sides, palms facing down.
- Squeeze legs together and flex toes so they’re pointed to the ceiling.
- Slowly raise your legs until they’re at a right angle with the floor. (If you’re craving more challenge, use your abs to pulse legs and pelvis up toward the ceiling.)
- Slooooowly lower your legs while firmly pressing lower back into the floor.
- Stop lowering legs once you feel like your back is about to lift off the floor, and then begin lifting legs back up toward the ceiling.
4. Body rollup
Yep, this move is just a high-key version of sitting up. But you’ll feel the burn if you perfect your form!
- Sit on the floor with legs out straight in front of you.
- Lift arms straight in front of you too.
- Slooooowly roll back, 1 inch at a time, until you’re lying flat.
- Reverse the movement, rolling up slooooowly into a sitting position (with arms held out straight!).
- Repeat with hand weights when you’re ready to take it up a notch.
The Superman will have your FUPA lookin’ fly in no time.
5 steps to superhero:
- Lie facedown with arms stretched out in front of you.
- Tighten abs as you slowly raise your arms and legs.
- Keep those limbs lifted!
- Raise and lower arms and legs for 30 seconds without touching the floor.
- Lower, rest, repeat.
Cardio burns calories, and burpees jack up your cardio.
It goes like this:
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your butt into a squat.
- As you drop hands to the floor, kick legs behind you so you land in a plank position (power move FTW!).
- Lower yourself into a push up…
- …then push back up into a plank.
- Jump feet up toward hands and stand up.
- Rinse and repeat.
7. Bridge, aka pelvic tilt
New mamas use this one to gently strengthen their abs after giving birth.
Give it a whirl:
- Lie on your back, with arms by your sides.
- Bend your knees.
- Lift off! Press into your feet to slowly lift butt toward the ceiling. Tilt pelvis so you can feel your abs clenching. That’s the sweet spot.
- Lift hips as high as you can and hold for several seconds.
- Slowly lower until your back is flat on the floor.
8. The Hundred
This classic Pilates move will make your FUPA feel the burn. 🔥
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie on your back on a yoga mat or the floor.
- Curl head up toward chest until you feel your abs tense. Hold it there.
- Straighten arms at your sides, breathe deeply, and raise legs so shins are parallel to the floor.
- Ready? Pump your arms up and down 100 times (don’t forget to breathe!).
Tightening up your lower abs is a great way to get rid of FUPA, but you’ll also need a strategy for losing fat overall.
Ready? It’s easy as one, two, three.
Move it, move it
Doing ab work once in a blue moon isn’t going to help you lose weight. Healthy fat loss is slow and steady. The number-one way to tone your FUPA and melt away the jiggle is exercise.
Since most of the exercises above aren’t cardio, they won’t help you create a calorie deficit. Pair them with running, swimming, biking, or dancing a few times a week to maximize your moves.
Change up your food game
Another way to create a calorie deficit? Ding ding! Eat more nutrient-dense foods!
Also, avoid foods that cause inflammation and bloating. When you smash bags of candy or salty chips, you’re making it that much harder to see your FUPA progress.
Bonus: Don’t forget your bevvies! Drink lots of H2O to stay hydrated during your new workout routine. And put the kibosh on sugary sips. That includes booze — according to a 2003 study, alcohol can contribute to belly fat.
Find your Zen
Research suggests that stress can cause some folks to gain belly fat, including FUPA. That’s because cortisol, a hormone linked to stress, makes your body hold on to stubborn fat.
In a small 2018 study, folks who completed an 8-week stress management program while trying to lose weight had greater reductions in BMI and weight than those who only changed their diet and exercise habits.
Stress is tricky because you don’t want to get stressed about your stress. Find a few stress relievers that work for you and stick to them. Whether you’re into yoga, meditation, or screaming into the void (er, venting to your therapist?), stress relief could help you lose body fat.
Yep. These procedures are nonsurgical but still target your FUPA.
CoolSculpting, aka cryolipolysis, kills fat cells by freezing them into oblivion. There’s way less downtime than with lipo, and fans say it still tightens their FUPA.
Medspa fat reduction methods
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says heat therapy and radio frequencies can shrink or melt fat cells.
Here’s the rub: Noninvasive fat reduction can be time consuming AF. You’ll need to go to multiple appointments, and you should expect subtler results than you’d get by going under the knife.
The good news? These treatments come with many fewer risks and side effects than surgical procedures do.
There are surgical treatments available for folks who aren’t happy with their results after exercising and changing their diets. Just beware of the risks and side effects.
Technically called a monsplasty, this procedure cuts out excess tissue — including fat — from your pubic mound. A pubic lift is pretty much the same procedure whether you have a penis or a vagina.
Liposuction works by sucking out fat through small incisions in your FUPA. Because lipo is so targeted, it’s best for peeps who are generally happy with the size and shape of their bodies.
Abdominoplasty (say that 10 times fast) removes fat tissue *and* loose skin from your FUPA. Tummy tucks are most common after pregnancy or gastric bypass surgery.
Tummy tuck specifics, including recovery times, vary wildly from person to person. Opt for a surgeon who takes time to discuss all your options.
This surgery removes *only* sagging skin. It’s a good option for peeps who have excess skin after losing a ton of weight.
FYI, some people opt for a tummy tuck and panniculectomy at the same time.
It’s hella frustrating to try to lose fat in one very specific part of your body. But by reducing your overall body fat and tightening your lower abs, you can wave goodbye to FUPA.
Remember, though — FUPA won’t be felled in a day. Healthy fat loss is slow and steady. If you feel like your healthy diet and exercise routine aren’t budging the FUPA, schedule a time to chat with your doc about other options.