What is a stress Belly? 5 ways to get rid of a stress or adrenal belly

What is stress belly fat
This page may contain affiliate links. I am not a doctor, dietitian nor nutritionist and am not qualified to give medical advice. I merely share what has worked for me. I hope it can help you too x. This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of any condition. Please read the disclaimer for more info.

What is a stress Belly? 5 ways to get rid of a stress belly

Do you have a stress belly? You might not even know it, but if you’re carrying around the extra weight in your midsection, and are under a lot of pressure, chances are good that you’ve got yourself a stress belly.

What is a stress belly? High long-term stress creates an increase in the hormone cortisol which causes belly fat increase. A stress belly looks like a lot of weight has slumped down onto your lower belly and hips. Your breasts and arms will be largely unaffected. Lower stress levels to lose weight.

Stress Belly Type is caused by long-term stress and can lead to some serious health problems if left untreated. It is sometimes called an Adrenal Belly too as it is caused by stress overloading the adrenal glands.

In this blog post, we will discuss what a stress belly or adrenal belly type is, how to identify one, and five ways to get rid of it!


You can blame your stressed-out cortisol for this sagging belly and accumulation of belly fat. The weight slumps down in the lower belly and hip areas. Your arms and breasts may stay pretty much the same size. This can create an unbalanced look.

It’s not because you’re eating too much or exercising less; it has everything to do with how our body responds when under high levels of life stress!


This type of belly is caused by stress, not your diet.

The body’s natural response to work or home pressure is to increase a clever little hormone called cortisol. It keeps us safe by helping our bodies deal with difficult situations like fighting off an attacker or escaping from danger. This is known as the fight-or-flight response.

But when there are too many long-term stresses that disrupt the delicate balance, this powerful chemical can accumulate fat around your waistline and make it difficult for you to feel confident about yourself!

Long-term stress in your daily life is exhausting! If you don’t address your long-term stressful lifestyle habits soon enough they could lead not only to excess weight gain around our midsection area (the lower belly) but to health issues too such as type II diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

If you’re carrying around the extra weight in your midsection, and are going through periods of increased pressure, chances are good that you’ve got yourself a stress belly.

But don’t worry, there are ways to get rid of it!

How excess cortisol gives you excess belly fat

Cortisol is crucial hormone which can have several effects on the body.

Excessive cortisol may cause fat storage and hunger, which could lead to overeating or even obesity in some cases!

  • It is thought that high levels of cortisol may release fat from storage and send it to your belly, which in itself will also increase the production of this hormone.
  • Cortisol also makes changes in fat distribution which ensures that fat heads straight to the belly area! Awesome!
  • Stress-induced cortisol can increase cravings and hunger which really doesn’t help.
  • Furthermore, when cortisol is high along with having an abundance of glucose inside your system it will stop cells from getting enough energy-storing nutrients so they instead turn those excess calories into fats for later use.

So, you can see that prolonged stress and an imbalance of cortisol is a problem when it comes to belly fat.


The different types of belly fat can be tricky to understand, but don’t worry! We’ve got this.

There are 4 major categories of belly fat types in women.

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  1. Thyroid or endocrine-related belly type caused by imbalances of the thyroid
  2. Liver metabolism type; caused by stressing the liver with processed food and alcohol.
  3. Stress belly type caused by long term exposure to stressful situations
  4. Hormonal belly fat type caused by hormonal imbalance, often around Menopause or caused by PCOS.

I bet you’re wondering what type of stomach you have. If so, check out this article! It’ll help you figure things out.”


what is an adrenal belly?

An adrenal belly caused by long term stress on the adrenal glands.

what is an adrenal belly?

An adrenal or stress belly.

what is a stress belly

The Stress Belly showing increased weight in the belly area but not in the breasts or ams


While there are many contributing factors behind accumulating belly fat around our midsection region including genetics and lifestyle choices, there are signs that it could be stress related.

If you have the following it’s very probable that stress is the culprit for your belly weight gain.

  1. Dealing with long-term unrelenting stress.
  2. Feeling overwhelmed all the time.
  3. Feeling hungry all the time
  4. Feeling the need to snack a lot

You know yourself what kind of stress you are under. Look at your life and see where you may be stressed.


Sometimes its difficult to know when you are under long term pressure. You just get used to it and can fail to see what is happening. This adjustment happens when, for example, you have spent a long time in a job, dealing with the strains as you go along.

However, there are common signs of stress that you can look out for. These common symptoms of stress often show up when you are going though times of stress. They are all symptoms of cortisol imbalances.

  • Excessive worrying
  • Feeling jittery and full of anxiety
  • Poor memory and brain fog
  • Food cravings for chocolate and salty foods
  • Exhaustion and fatigue
  • Problems getting to sleep, staying asleep and getting poor quality sleep. Insomnia
  • Digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome


The solution to your belly problem doesn’t lie in dieting. Diets are NOT going to work until you’ve taken care of yourself first!

You’ll need to take care of yourself by resting, getting enough sleep, and managing your stress. This will help your body to become more in balance. It will take the pressure off your adrenal glands so they are not producing too much adrenaline and cortisol.

Once you have started to take care of yourself, the natural result is weight loss and a reduction in stress belly fat.


When we are stressed out, it is because our body’s natural functions have been upset. Pressure can come from many different sources like a tough day at work or an argument with loved ones; the key thing to remember about stress though?

You actually have two types of stress

  1. Short Term ( acute stress ) which will pass quickly. This is the type of stress you get if you have a close shave when you are driving, or before an unpleasant dentist appointment.
  2. Long-term ( chronic stress ) where you experience more than just one instance throughout your life due to this constant state of alarm. For example, if you are dealing with long-term bullying at work or have an ongoing relationship problem.

Long-term chronic stress is the type that is damaging to your health and leads to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and the stress belly fat type.

I’m sure you’ve been there- struggling under the weight of too many responsibilities or feeling overwhelmed by all that is going on in this world; it can really take its toll over time if we don’t learn some simple ways to manage our thoughts so they don’t rule us completely.

To reduce cortisol levels so they don’t build up too high there are steps you can take to improve your stress response.

  1. Do a stress review or audit. I’m sure you will be able to pinpoint the areas of your life that bring you stress. Write down what they are and take steps to deal with them. Be aware that this may involve big life changes such as finding a new job or considering divorce.
  2. Learn how to meditate. Imagine your worries and pressures melting away. You’ll be able to tackle life’s challenges with more calm, clarity, and perspective than ever before!
  3. Work on your sleep. The benefits of sleep can not be overstated. If you have slept well you can face the demands life throws at you but if you are sleep-deprived everything is a strain. Work on getting a consistent sleep routine that works for you.
  4. Cut down on alcohol. If you drink too much you end up operating under a constant hungover state. Try cutting down during the week to allow your body to recover.

I wrote a full post about how to cut down on alcohol which may help. Alcohol and menopause – How I cut down drinking at midlife and saw my life and health improve.

  1. Be gentle with yourself. We often feel that we have to be superwoman, covering all bases and always putting ourselves last. Try and take a day off once in a while to do something you enjoy. Take the pressure off yourself.
Stress at work for employees

Stress at work can be unrelating.

A deep breathing exercise for stress management

Deep breathing is an excellent way to lower your strain levels. When you are feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to do this exercise.

  • Sit or lie down in a comfortable position and close your eyes
  • Inhale through your nose for a count of four
  • Hold the breath for a count of four
  • Exhale through your mouth for a count of eight
  • Repeat this cycle five times or more if needed.

You will find that this exercise not only relaxes your body but also clears your mind and allows you to focus on the task at hand.


As we have discussed, losing this belly type is not primarily about dieting. It’s all about lowering stress levels.

However, whilst you are doing this you can support your body to start losing weight by following these guidelines. Making sure you are eating a well balanced diet rich in protein will help. Eating a poor diet will push you into weight gain.

The following guidelines outline what you need to do.

  • Don’t go on a low protein diet. You need a good amount of protein, especially around middle age.
  • Eat foods rich in protein at each meal to support your adrenal glands.
  • Eat lots of leafy vegetables which contain potassium and will support the adrenals. Green vegetables should be a good part of your diet.
  • Stabilize your blood sugar levels by cutting out added sugars and processed foods.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods such as omega-rich fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Cut down on caffeine which can contribute to anxiety and stress if relied on too heavily.
  • Cut down on processed foods. These are unhealthy foods and will prevent you from losing weight. Eat fresh and cook from scratch where you can.
  • Take a probiotic supplement. This can help your gut health and digestion.

So there you have it! If you are struggling with a stress belly type, follow these guidelines and start seeing results in no time!

The dangers of the stress belly type

We have looked at what the stress belly type is and how to get rid of it. The effects of pressure can be wide ranging on the body and can have significant negative impacts.

What are the dangers of having this type of belly fat?

  1. The first danger is that you will put on weight. This extra weight, especially around your middle { abdominal obesity or visceral fat }, increases your risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
  2. The second danger is that you will become more susceptible to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. This is because high levels of cortisol can affect your mood and make you feel overwhelmed. This can contribute to mental illness.
  3. The third danger is that you will have a weakened immune system. This means you are more likely to get sick and take longer to recover from illness.
  4. High stress has also been linked to cancer.

So as you can see, this belly fat type is a health risk. It’s important to take steps to get rid of your adrenal belly type and get back to a healthy weight as soon as possible!

If you are worried about these issues it may be a good idea to check in with your doctor to get a medical diagnosis.

Belly fat can also be caused by problems with your thyroid. You can read much more about thyroid belly shape in this post. Your doctor can run tests to see if your Thyroid is functioning well.

How to lose stress belly fat and weight gain

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WHAT SCIENCE SAYS about Stress or adrenal belly fat.

Stress and body shape: stress-induced cortisol secretion is consistently greater among women with central fat

“The current cross-sectional findings support the hypothesis that stress-induced cortisol secretion may contribute to central fat and demonstrate a link between psychological stress and risk for disease.”

How to lose menopause belly fat

How to Start losing Menopause Weight & Trim Belly Fat….

With 10 CRUCIAL TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW  for Losing Weight & Menopause Belly Fat.

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Stress and The Workplace

77% of employees experience physical stress symptoms.


Employees are stressed.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT stress belly or adrenal belly


How do you get rid of stress weight?

The best way to get rid of stress weight is by managing your stress levels. This can be done through deep breathing exercises, meditation, relaxation techniques, cutting out junk food and alcohol. However, Diet won’t make much difference if you can’t lower your chronic or long-term stress levels.

Intermittent fasting for stress belly

Intermittent fasting won’t help much with stress belly unless you address the underlying chronic stress problems that you have. You may have to make big life changes to do this. Once you lower your stress and cortisol levels intermittent fasting may help you to lose the stress belly weight.

What does stress belly feel like

Stress belly feels like a bloated, heavy feeling in your stomach. You may feel uncomfortable and depressed as clothes don’t fit properly anymore. You may also feel some of the physical symptoms of chronic stress such as diarrhea, insomnia, anxiety and exhaustion, and binge eating and cravings.

Conclusion. What is a stress belly and how can you fix it?

If you’re carrying around extra weight, especially in your midsection, it’s time to face the facts – diet alone isn’t going to cut it. You need to take a holistic approach and lower your chronic stress levels if you want to see that belly fat disappear for good.

We hope you’ve found these tips helpful. If you need help making life changes, we have a FREE GUIDE TO WEIGHT LOSS that can provide you with more information on how to lose belly fat. Click here to get it immediately.

Thanks for reading!



How to lose menopause belly fat

How to Start losing Menopause Weight & Trim Belly Fat….

With 10 CRUCIAL TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW  for Losing Weight & Menopause Belly Fat.

Click the button to download now…

“Medical Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This article is for informative purposes only. As always, our content is strictly informational and shouldn’t be considered medical advice.”

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Menopause and Perimenopause can be a tricky time to pass through. I certainly had a turbulent journey. I learnt a lot from my intense battle. I rediscovered my Menopause Mojo and you can too. I truly believe that Menopause can be the start of the best part of your life. I am an Artist, Certified Transformation Life Coach, Holistic Health Coach, Hypnosis practitioner and woman's health researcher. NB. I am not a doctor or qualified to give medical advice. I merely share what has worked for me. I hope it can help you too. x