What Do You Do About Upper Hip Fat Deposits?

Fat deposits high on the hips can cause unsightly bulges at the top of your pants. They may be among the last bit of fat your body sheds during weight loss. Although this can be frustrating, losing these fat deposits just means continuing the efforts that rid you of other body fat.

Spot Reduction

You can't do anything to address these fat deposits specifically. The idea that a particular exercise can target a specific body area for fat loss -- called "spot reduction" -- is a myth. When you burn fat, your body burns fat more or less at random. You lose weight from your body as a whole, and "your body as a whole" includes your upper hips. If you lose weight long enough, the fat on your hips eventually will be part of that weight loss.

General Weight Loss

Your best course of action to deal with fat deposits on your upper hips is to burn more calories than you eat. You can do this by eating fewer calories, exercising more or a combination of both. According to Bill Phillips, author of "Body for Life," the combination approach is the most efficient and enjoyable. While you're pursuing your weight loss plan, measure your upper hips with a tape measure every two weeks or so. This helps you track your progress and stay motivated.

Expert Insight

In "The Four-Hour Body," health researcher Tim Ferris notes that stubborn fat deposits -- such as those on your upper hips -- can be especially frustrating because, by the time you're really aware of them, you're already sick and tired of losing weight. Ferris recommends drinking water regularly to keep your belly filled, rewarding yourself from time to time with nonfood treats and taking a weekly day off from your diet. Although some of these practices may slow your progress, they'll keep you on the straight and narrow and eventually lead to you losing that hip fat.

Hip Exercises

Exercising your upper hips won't accelerate fat loss in that area. However, it will tighten the frame of muscle beneath the fat. This can create an illusion of fat loss and a measurable reduction in inches around your hips. This effect is likely the reason spot reduction is such an enduring fitness myth. Some exercises that target the upper hips include lying or seated leg lifts, kicks from aerobics or cardio kickboxing and the plank position from yoga.