If you’ve always subscribed to a fairly healthy lifestyle and managed to stay skinny most of your life, you may look down one day and wonder how you ended up with a FUPA. A less-than-charming acronym, FUPA stands for fat upper pubic area and is also sometimes known as an apron belly or pooch. Doctors refer to the condition as a pannus stomach, but very few people outside the medical profession use this term.
How Can Skinny People Get Belly Fat?
It’s important to remember that skinny doesn’t necessarily mean healthy, and this is sometimes evident in skinny people with a FUPA or lower belly fat. One reason for belly fat is a sedentary lifestyle. Even skinny people can spend too much time in front of the television or computer screen, and this can encourage what little extra fat they have to settle into the stomach.
A diet high in processed foods can also cause belly fat, even in skinny people. Even if your metabolism is able to adjust to the food you eat so you don’t gain weight overall, many processed fats tend to get stored in the belly of those who consume them, regardless of their overall size.
Sometimes simply being skinny is the reason for a protruding belly. If you’re too skinny and inactive, your body may lack core muscle strength. When your stabilizer muscles are too weak to do their job properly, your pelvis tilts forward and pushes the stomach out, causing it to protrude and look as if you have FUPA even if you don’t. This is known as lower cross syndrome or anterior pelvic tilt.
Why Do I Have FUPA If I’m Skinny?
As noted above, even if you’re skinny, lower belly fat can come for us all. One way to get a FUPA is by getting skinny. If you’ve carried around a significant amount of extra weight for a time and then lost it, your skin may be too inelastic to contract as you lose the weight. In this case, a FUPA-like apron belly can form on your abdomen where the loose skin hangs down. Although not technically comprised of fat like a true FUPA, an apron belly of skin can look very similar and be quite uncomfortable.
Pregnancy can also cause belly fat. Even if the rest of you returned to your normal state after pregnancy, the abdominal stretching that carrying a baby causes can weaken and sometimes tear the muscles of your abdominal wall. This can allow even small amounts of fat to hang in front of your stomach, creating a FUPA. Having a C-section can do the same, as the surgeons will need to cut through the muscles of the abdominal wall to deliver the baby, and the muscles may not be able to repair themselves afterward.
Menopause, too, can cause FUPA to develop in an otherwise skinny person. The hormonal changes of menopause sometimes tell your body to move some of the fat from your thighs and buttocks to your stomach. Your body will also naturally start storing more fat in your lower abdomen during menopause.
Between the combination of these two hormonal effects, you may end up with a FUPA despite being petite.
How to Lose Skinny Belly Fat and Skinny FUPA
If you want to lose your FUPA naturally, you can turn to diet and targeted abdominal exercises. When embarking on a journey to lose weight, however, remember that your body will choose where to drop the weight from, and it may not choose the same place that you would. Even if you lose a bit of weight overall, it may not be your FUPA that you lose.
But if you want to try, keep eating a healthy diet low in processed foods and sugars. Instead, opt for lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy choices. Try exercises that target the lower abdominal muscles, such as mountain climbers, bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, scissor kicks, and other activities. A personal trainer can help you decide which exercises may work best and show you how to do them properly.
If natural methods aren’t working, or if you’re ready to be rid of your FUPA yesterday, a plastic surgeon can help you. Your surgeon can likely tackle a small FUPA with liposuction. If you also want a little more sculpting on your midsection, a lipo 360 can shape your flanks and lower back. If your FUPA is too big to treat with liposuction, a tummy tuck can do the job instead. The advantage of a tummy tuck is that your surgeon will repair your abdominal muscles during the procedure if necessary, repairing any pregnancy damage that may have caused your FUPA.
A mommy makeover may also be an option. A mommy makeover can ultimately be whatever combination of surgeries you want it to be as long as your doctor feels you can combine them safely. Typically the surgery involves a tummy tuck and breast lift or breast augmentation, but you and your doctor can customize your procedure to your needs. This is a great opportunity to get rid of your FUPA while addressing any other issues that may be bothering you.