Losing "FUPA" weight
Originally Published: February 25, 2011
Dear Wanna be skinny,
"FUPA," for those who may not know, stands for "fat upper penile/pubic area." It's a slang term that is used to refer to the adipose (fat) tissue that resides in the pelvic region of the body. Every person carries weight differently depending on their genes and as a result, the way we each lose and gain weight is unique. Some people find that they carry weight around their middle or their bum and can't seem to shed it, even if they shed pounds from other places on their body. This sounds like something you've faced; although your efforts to remain active and watch your diet are fantastic, trying to "spot reduce" fat in trouble areas is very difficult. Because of the genetic factor, in order to lose weight in those tough-to-tone areas like your pelvic region, you need to lose weight all over.
Stomach fat in particular (which may include the FUPA territory) is a trouble spot for many people and may be one of the peskiest places on the body to target for fat loss. Controlling calorie intake is one primary strategy for weight loss, but foods such as refined grains (e.g., Wonder Bread) may be sabotaging your efforts. They cause blood sugar to spike, triggering an insulin response that causes fat to be stored more readily. Trading refined grains for whole grains and sticking to a controlled-calorie diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, and lean meats are good general tips to losing fat. Research has shown that people who stick to a portion-controlled diet like this lose more weight in their abdomen.
Exercise, as you've realized, is also an important factor in this equation and following a regular exercise schedule (about 60 minutes of moderate exercise per day) will help burn calories and fat. The more you work out, the more weight you will lose. But since fat deposits and not necessarily pounds are the target of your exercise, make sure to include resistance training in addition to cardio in your workout. Keeping your muscles toned encourages your body to burn fat for energy instead of muscle, which may help trim up your tummy. Targeting the area with crunches and other ab work may also help. Read through the Related Q&As below for specific tips and exercises for starting a fat burning exercise regime.
Columbia students may also want to consider checking out Dining Services' nutrition resources for ideas and tools. You could also try logging on to Open Communicator or calling Primary Care at x4-9840 for help setting up a personalized exercise plan. Losing fat in your trouble areas is like a game of follow-the-leader. Even though your FUPA is lagging behind, the more you lead by exercising, toning your muscles, and watching your diet, the greater chance your body will follow by ridding itself of excess fat.