Am I Addicted to Sugar? 8 Ways to Know If You’re a Sugar Addict + How to Stop It


8 Ways to Know If  You’re Addicted To Sugar + How To Help - Isabelle McKenzie.png

8 Signs You're Addicted to Sugar

Sugar cravings… we all get that horrible, obsessive feeling in those moments when it’s like you can’t live without picking one of those cookies, unwrapping a few candies, or getting that slice of cake out of the fridge, and you think to yourself, “am I addicted to sugar”? Well, trust me, you’re not alone, and that’s why I’ve put together 8 simple signs to help you find out whether or not those cravings are in fact sugar addiction, as well as a free download to help you crush those cravings. You got this.

Sugar cravings… we all get that horrible, obsessive feeling in those moments when it’s like you can’t live without picking one of those cookies, unwrapping a few candies, or getting that slice of cake out of the fridge, and you think to yourself, “am I addicted to sugar”? Well, trust me, you’re not alone, and that’s why I’ve put together 8 simple signs to help you find out whether or not those cravings are in fact sugar addiction, as well as a free download to help you crush those cravings. You got this.

Did you know that the average American consumes more than 17 teaspoon’s of sugar daily, which is three times as much added sugar as what’s recommended?

Seriously, that’s a huge problem, especially since high levels of added sugars have been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers.

Many of us already know the more commonly talked about negative effects of sugar - weight gain, increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels - so many of us try and force themselves to snack on berries instead of candy.

However, the seemingly inevitable happens and we end up snacking on Oreo cookies.

For some crazy, unfathomable reason, cutting back on sugar is way easier said than done, leaving us with questions like: Why do I keep overeating? Why can’t I stop craving candy? Why does that piece of cake have so much power over me? Why am I craving sugar? What causes my sugar cravings?

And finally, the scariest of all: Am I addicted to sugar?

Sugar is super addictive? It’s simple…(ish)

Sugar is even more addictive than cocaine. Yeah, you read that right.

A study in 2007 found that 94% of rats tested would rather choose artificially sweetened water over cocaine (after being sensitized to the drug). Just think about that for a second!

Sugar fires up dopamine and lights up your brain in the same manners as drugs, and there’s gotta be a problem with that - especially given the issues that come with high sugar consumption, problems I have had first hand experience with. I used to have a full blown sugar addiction - I was in really bad shape, both physically and mentally - so I certainly know the signs of an unhealthy relationship with the stuff.

The same goes for sugary junky foods; junk food is addictive in the same way that heroin or cocaine is addictive too.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high sugar, high glycemic foods are just as addictive as table sugar.

David Ludwig and his colleagues at Harvard, did a study that showed that foods that raise blood sugar even more than table sugar such as white flour, white potatoes and refined starch, have a high glycemic index, and trigger a region in the brain “nucleus accumbens” which is the area in the brain that is ground zero for a drug abuse addiction.

Basically, foods that spike your blood sugar are addictive. The don’t even have to be traditional ‘sweets’.

If you are asking yourself right now, “so, am I addicted to sugar”, and thinking you might be, you’re not alone - many people suffer sugar addiction everyday without realizing it - just like us.

But the fact of the matter is that no one wants to be addict, and no one wants to constantly be craving candy (I certainly didn’t), so how can you find out once and for all whether or not you’re addicted to sugar?

Sugar cravings can be normal - it’s not all addiction - and as there can be a myriad of reasons for your cravings, you might want to check out my more in-depth blog post on the other reasons why you could be craving sugar here.

Overeating sweet foods, beverages, treats or even any meal or snack, is an easy sign that you have addiction. For some people, overeating isn’t a big deal, but for many it can be a sign of sugar addiction.

Sugar addiction can show itself in a subtle way and easily vary for each individual.

This is why you need to pay close attention and learn the most significant symptoms of sugar, refined flour and processed food addiction, giving you a better understanding of your energy levels and health.

So, let’s talk about the most significant signs of sugar addiction and the steps to take to help curb it.

SIGN #1: You have a history of alcohol dependence within your family

It’s quite scary but….

If you have a parent (especially your dad) who has struggled before with an alcohol dependence, your DNA maybe leading you to have a sweet tooth. Research has shown that the same genes are behind having a sweet tooth and becoming alcohol dependent - and these genes can be passed down.

What Step to Take:

An incredibly powerful tool to help you outsmart those pesky genes that aren’t working for you is via the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as tapping.

Essentially, the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a type of acupressure focused around the psychological state of mind, that you apply to yourself on different meridian points, and that can be done anytime and anywhere.

I have to say that when I was first introduced to it to help me get over my anxiety and sugar addiction I was a bit skeptical - but now I can’t recommend it enough!

And, it’s backed up by science for its effectiveness.

So, open up your mind and get to it! Here is a link to my video on how to do EFT that you can follow along with. You too can create sustainable change in habits and behaviors not serving you (and brake those tethers that might have been be passed down.)

SIGN #2: You crave comforting foods during dinner

A very sneaky way for your addiction to show itself is by making your brain crave simple carbohydrates, because after you eat them they quickly convert into sugar, feeding the addiction.

This can especially happen at dinner, when you want to feel comforted after a long day and enjoy a yummy bowl of pasta and other high simple carbohydrate foods.

Croissants, white bread, pasta, and white rice are very popular enticing carbohydrates.

Similarly, salty and bad fatty foods cravings may be part of the addiction sign.

Your body always wants balance, so if you eat a large amount of sugar, your body will crave salt or meat products to balance out the excessive sugar intake. Keeping an eye on these changes will to help you to recognize your excessive sugar intake.

What Step to Take:

Start adding more good fats like avocado, eggs and fish to your food plan.

Good fats will feel comforting and keep your tummy full for longer periods of time, meaning that your blood sugar levels will stay more balanced, and that you’ll experience fewer sweet cravings.

SIGN #3: You crave sweet beverages

Soda is full of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

Even if you drink diet soda instead, it’s full of high amounts of artificial sweeteners, which are 100s of times sweeter than average sugar. This tricks your mind into thinking you’re consuming tons and tons of sugar, only causing you to crave more.

And it’s not just soda.

Most coffees, flavored teas and calorie-free drinks have added sweeteners and sugar in order to cheaply add flavor.

Ultimate Guide To Crushing Your Sugar Cravings THUMB 3.png

‘Ultimate Guide to Crushing Your Sugar Cravings’ Downloadable Guide

What Step to Take:

Slowly wean yourself of the sweet beverages by slowly replacing them with a naturally flavored sparkling water every other day.

SIGN #4: You keep on making excuses

A common sign of any addiction is justifying what you’re doing by coming up with reasons why it’s alright, and it’s no different for sugar.

Some of these excuses maybe something like “well, it’s calorie free”, “it’s Sunday so I’ll have that fudge sundae”, or “it’s okay because I’ve been to the gym”. This is just you ignoring and hiding the warning signs from addictive part of your brain.

What Step to Take:

Create a mantra.

When ever you’re creating an excuse to eat something sweet, repeat a mantra to yourself, like this one:

“This is just the addictive side of my personality talking, I do not have a reason to be eating this, I care for my health too much”.

SIGN #5: Rewarding yourself with sugary treats

The additive side of your brain is gonna try and bargain with you. Your brain is clever and it’s addicted, so it’s going to use sugar as a reward to reinforce a good habit with a very bad habit.

For example, if you decided to bike to work one day, you might say to yourself at the end of the day that you deserve a reward for that healthy habit - in the form of a slice of cake!

This is a big sign of sugar addiction.

What Step to Take:

Learn to be Mindful.

Mindfulness is a practice that involves being fully focused on the present moment and bringing awareness to your thoughts and feelings (if you want to read more into how mindfulness works, check out this blog post).

This can help you be more grateful for each moment, be able to tell yourself no, and break the need to keep rewarding yourself!

SIGN #6: You try to cut your sugar obsession but keep on failing

Kind of like how alcoholics struggle to kick their habit, sugar addicts struggle with cutting sugar out from their daily diet, trying and failing only to end up increasing their sugar consumption.

What Step to Take:

If you keep on craving candy, and think you maybe properly addicted (which is likely if you’re at this point), check out my essential steps to help you crush that sugar craving once and for all and find out what causes sugar cravings on my other blog post: When You Should Stop Eating Sugar + How To Do It.

Do I Have to Stop Eating Sugar - Isabelle McKenzie.jpg

When You Should Stop Eating Sugar + How To Do It

With more and more evidence mounting up on the negative impacts it can have on our health, a new question has emerged: should I quit eating sugar? In this post, I go in depth on how much sugar you actually can eat (and whether you should eat it at all), and how exactly you can reduce the amount of sugar in your life without feeling deprived.

SIGN #7: You eat or binge on sugar when you’re alone

A sign of serious sugar addiction shows itself when people aren’t around. If you have a night alone or have sometime to yourself, and find yourself REALLY craving, this is because you have no outside accountability and your brain thinks all gloves are off.

When you have an addiction you will likely try to hide it and so when no-one is around you can’t control yourself. There is no-one to make you feel guilty.

What Step to Take:

Keep sugary foods out of the house, and only eat a dessert when in public, to create accountability.

SIGN #8: You eat sugary foods when you really don’t want it, past the point you intended and until you don’t feel well

You keep walking past the vending machine at work… looking at it, telling yourself you don’t want that bag of chips, and boom you give in.

If you are addicted to something, you’ll keep exposing yourself to it even when you know it’s harming your health.

So you’ll keep walking past that vending machine, in hopes that you actually will give in.

  • You’ll eat sugary foods even when you don't really want to.

  • You’ll crave something, but you know it’s not a good idea. Then you’ll try and rationalise it by saying it will only be this time.

  • You’ll also intend to eat once slice of cake, then think it wasn’t enough, consume three more slices, and regret it straight afterwards.

  • You’ll end up eating so much candy that you get a headache, gas, fatigue, or sleepiness - just like a hangover.

  • You’ll maybe do this a couple of times a week if you’re a sugar addict, because that split-second moment seems worth the horrible after effects.

What Step to Take:

Keep fresh fruit on hand for when you get a craving, and when you do eat a sugary treat ask yourself:

Why do I actually want these fries? Why am I craving sugar today? Am I addicted to sugar - is that why I want this candy bar? Am I eating sugar to enjoy it? Or is it to make me feel better about all the work I have to do today? Is it a random craving?

En Résumé…

If you identify with these signs of sugar addiction, remember again that it is okay and you are not alone. You can defeat it. I definitely did, and that is why I am so passionate about raising awareness for sugar addiction and reliance.

I get you, and I also know how you can beat it.

Now you’ve read through these warning sign, you can now recognize. You don’t have to feel so out of control, unhealthy, unbalanced and tired. By raising sugar awareness, we can band together for our health.

There are ways to help you break your food addiction and stop these cravings - for good.

When my health was at its worst, I started researching sugar and how to reduce it in my diet, but no matter how hard I searched I couldn’t find anything that could really help. Out of desperation, I set about developing my own system that would help me heal myself and my sugar addiction.

This is why I know and care so much about this issue.

Don’t just keep asking yourself: am I addicted to sugar? why am I craving sugar? how do I stop it? Take action.

I'm here to help… get started by checking out my sugar reduction tips in my post: When You Should Stop Eating Sugar + How to Do It.

To give you some extra help, I’ve put together some really useful and easy hacks on cutting back sugar for good.

Check out my FREE ‘Ultimate Guide to Crushing Your Sugar Cravings’ Downloadable Guide.

Ultimate Guide To Crushing Your Sugar Cravings THUMB 2.png

Get started on effortlessly breaking your sugar reliance/addiction for good with help + support. AND, most importantly, while maintaining a healthy balance between your mind and your body - because low-sugar living shouldn’t feel like deprivation.

With the right approach we can crush our sugar cravings and cut our sugar addiction while still enjoying our lives.

I would love to hear from you. Do you experience cravings for sugar and refined foods? Does it effect your life?

Congrats on taking the first step toward a sugar balanced you, that’s it for now,

Isabelle (gold).png