Stress Management Blog

Stress, Belly Fat & Your Body Type

If you look around, you’ll notice that people come in different shapes and sizes. Some people hold weight in the hips, and some hold weight in the mid-section. I want to discuss what’s really causing so many people to hold fat in their stomach.

Belly fat gets stored from hormones, specifically the stress hormone, called cortisol. This hormone comes from the adrenal gland. We call this the Adrenal Body Type.

What is the Adrenal Body Type?

The adrenal glands are two little triangle shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Their objective is to counteract stress. This includes emotional stress, such as losing someone you love or even physical stress, such as breaking a bone or illness. Emotional stress is much harder on the adrenal glands than physical stress though.

How Stress Affects the Body

Abdomen Fat

A pendulous abdomen, meaning that the belly sticks out, is common as a result of cortisol. This happens as a survival technique to protect the vital organs, as this is where they are. As you age, your cortisol levels rise, which can make the sagging belly more pronounced.

Cognitive Issues

This body type also tends to have issues shutting off their brain. For people with this body type, they find that they are always analyzing their environment and problem solving. Sometimes the person may lose control of their thoughts and cannot shut them off. This in turn can interfere with the person’s memory and ability to focus. You may even find that you cannot tolerate certain things, such as bad drivers, incompetence, and anything that seems chaotic.

Sleep Problems

Many people with the adrenal type body will also find that they do not have good quality of sleep, as stress affects this. The problem with this is that 98% of all fat burning happens in deep sleep, and if you are not reaching this, then you are not burning fat.

Food Cravings

You may also find that you crave salty foods, such as chips. This often occurs late at night. It is because the adrenal glands are using this in your body, and it needs the electrolytes from the sodium. Remember that sodium is not bad for you, though you should make sure you stick with sea salt. Adrenal body types also tend to crave lemons, chocolate, and acidic foods.

Muscle Problems

Muscles can be affected by the adrenal glands. They tend to eat away at the quadriceps, which are in the front of the thigh. This can cause issues with climbing or getting up. Since the quadriceps connect to the knee, it can cause issues in the knee as well.


The adrenals also help with inflammation in the body. When they are working overtime, they cannot help with this, so you will see the results of inflammation in the body. This could be in the form of chronic pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or other issues.

What to Take From This

While I am not trying to diagnose something with you, I do want you to be educated about this body type. You should use these symptoms as clues to help you figure out your body type. If you do find that you have this body type, remember that stress is accumulative in the body, so you will need to extract it. I have spent the last 24 years finding the best methods for doing this. For more information on body types, go to

About Dr. Berg

Eric Berg, DC, 47 years of age is a chiropractor who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods. His private practice is located in Alexandria, Virginia. His clients include senior officials in the U.S. government and the Justice Department, ambassadors, medical doctors, high-level executives of prominent corporations, scientists, engineers, professors, and other clients from all walks of life.

He is the author of The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, published by Action KB Publishing in January 2011. In addition, Eric Berg is widely published in trade magazines, including Chiropractic Today and The American Chiropractor, and in consumer publications such as First for Women, Men’s Exercise, New Beauty, Upscale and Let’s Live. Dr. Berg trains chiropractors, physicians and allied healthcare practitioners in his methods, and to date he has trained over 2,000 healthcare professionals.

He has been an active member of the Endocrinology Society, on the advisory panel for the Health Science Institute, and has worked as a past part-time adjunct professor at Howard University. Eric Berg’s nonprofit foundation, Health Technology Foundation, is currently being approved nationally for the purpose of providing research to substantiate alternative healthcare technologies, giving cost-effective solutions and result-oriented healthcare. As a leader in natural health and food coaching, Eric Berg has appeared on many radio and television shows, including ABC, CBS, and as a monthly host on Channel 8’s Sports Talk. He has also had his own radio health show on WOL in 2005.