Signs of a Sugar Addiction

The signs of a sugar addiction can be very subtle or very much “in your face”. It depends on the person and the severity of the addiction. Sometimes it’s so subtle that addicted people don’t even know they’re addicted.

The Early Signs of a Sugar Addiction

30-Second Summary

In a hurry?  Here is a summary of what you will find on this page.

  • Sugar addiction can be very subtle to very severe and life altering.
  • Sugar addiction is similar to other addictions.  It starts harmlessly and over time, evolves into powerful, consuming cravings.
  • Sugar addiction is characterized by intense cravings that are not related to hunger.
  • Symptoms of sugar addiction include feeling foggy or down, which can be temporarily relieved by indulging in a favorite sweet treat or salty, crispy, sugary snack.
  • Sugar addiction intensifies as you repeatedly satisfy cravings.
  • Other signs of addiction include eating in secret, eating when full, and feeling shamed, angry or helpless after eating food you promised to avoid.
  • Eating sugary snacks, because of stress or as a reward for a good day, may be a sign of addiction.
  • Individuals struggling with sugar addiction find it difficult to make lasting diet changes and often feel trapped in a cycle of overeating and regret.
  • Willpower alone isn't enough.  Sugar addiction can only be tackled with knowledge, information, support and the right plan.
  • The first step to confirm a suspected sugar addiction is to undertake a SUGAR® assessment by a certified diagnosis professional.

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In the beginning, just like any other form of addiction, the signs could simply be a desire to have a sugary snack to relieve tension. Had a tough day? Eat a little chocolate. It’s not unlike someone who drinks alcohol and comes home after a hard day’s work and is looking forward to a glass of wine or a beer.

It all starts so innocently.  But when a simple fondness for specific foods and sweets begins to create urges and cravings, that’s a red flag and something to be concerned about. Just like when that glass of wine after work turns into two or three glasses. “Houston, we have a problem!”

Getting Rooted

The signs of food addiction and signs of a sugar addiction are very much the same.  In some cases, people experience feelings of anxiety at the thought of not being able to have the food they love.   And it’s not driven by hunger… not at all.  But it’s an intense, unrelenting desire for something sweet or salty or crunchy or all those combined.  It’s so powerful it overrides our other desire to cut those foods out of our diet. It’s an all-consuming force.

Do you ever say to yourself, “I have to cut this stuff out of my diet.” And not long afterwards you wonder why you’re longing for that same food you just swore off. And of course, there’s the promise you make to yourself that: “starting tomorrow, you’re going to stop eating the sweets and the junk food for good!” And tomorrow comes and you make the same promise for the next day. Rinse and repeat.  You’re on the merry-go-round.

It's Not All Foods

Do you ever have the same sort of cravings for broccoli or steak?  I’ll bet you don’t.  Not these kinds of cravings.  That’s because if you have a desire for steak and broccoli, you’re probably hungry. Eating due to food addiction has nothing to do with hunger. And it’s not about appetite either.

So, what are some other sugar addiction symptoms and signs?  How about feeling foggy and maybe a bit down? That happens, but then, at the thought of eating your favorite treat, you perk right up! And as you make your way toward that treat you’re practically skipping along. And then you have your treat and for a moment all is well with your world. Your itch has been scratched. Whew!  Sound familiar?

Things Get Worse

Repeatedly giving in to urges and cravings makes the addiction that much worse. Your brain is constantly looking to feel good and the only way it knows how to get pleasure is to go for the food. And you know this because when you have that first bite, you get a sort of high. But with that feeling comes the desire for more and more. And before you know it, you’ve eaten your way to the bottom of a bag of potato chips.

Going to a social function?  Maybe you get more pleasure thinking about the food that will be served than you do about seeing the people who will be there. Thoughts of food and sweets are all-consuming, and you wonder if other people think about food the way you do.

As I said, the signs are varied.  Here’s another sign… eating in secret so no one sees or notices how much food you eat.  How about eating when you’re not hungry or when you’re actually full?  That’s another sign that you could be suffering from food or sugar addiction.

Beating Yourself Up

Other signs of sugar or food addiction are feelings of shame or embarrassment. That usually follows eating something you promised yourself you wouldn’t eat. You can also experience these feelings when you realize you’re not able to cut down or moderate eating your favourite foods.

For you, having just a bite or a taste of something sweet is impossible. For a “normie”, having a few bites of a birthday cake and pushing the plate away is easy. For people with addiction, that’s just the most perplexing thing anyone could do!

And how do I know this?  Easy!  Not only would I eat my entire piece of cake, but I’d be eyeballing that half-eaten piece! And if no one noticed, I’d eat that too. And what’s even worse, is that the cake would not necessarily taste that good. Crazy and very distressing!

Always An Excuse

What about excuses and justifications? A stressful day is the perfect excuse to unwind with a bag of corn chips or a big chocolate bar. How about, “I’ve been so good on my diet, I deserve a little treat.” And the little treat lasts for days, weeks and months. 

And sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking we’ve only had a little bit, or it wasn’t all that much. Then at the end of the day or the week we see all the wrappers and wonder if we really did eat all that junk food. People with alcohol addiction wonder the same thing when they look at all the empties. Are these signs of addiction?  You bet they are. 

A Little Overwhelmed?

How do we stop this madness?  It makes you want to scream!  I hear you! It can all seem a bit too much to take in.

If you’re like many people I know, you’ve been trying to lose weight or wanting to improve your health for a long time. And like most, you’ve tried everything you know. But, no matter what, you can’t stick to any particular way of eating.  Most often this is because every time you restrict yourself, you’re right back into the addictive food... many times without even knowing.  It’s as if an invisible force has power over you.  Does it?

What You Need to Know and Why

Having knowledge and information is half the battle toward getting better.  So, here is a giant question.  Is it possible you have a sugar addiction? Yes, it’s possible.  But that’s not the end of the world.  If it helps at all, you’re not alone. But how do you know for certain?  And why do you need to know?  The simple answer is you can’t solve a problem that you cannot see.

Maybe you are addicted.  Maybe you aren’t.  It’s important to know because it makes a difference in how you are treated. 

Willpower is no match for an addiction as powerful as this. You need strategies and tools to help navigate through this world.  It’s a world that’s brimming with temptations around every corner.

Do you suspect that you're experiencing signs of a sugar addiction?  A SUGAR® assessment will tell with certainty.  Once we know the truth we can make better choices to treat it. I’m a certified professional coach whose specialty is sugar addiction.  I can provide you the assessment you need and work with you to change your life.

If you’d like to learn more about confirming the signs of a sugar addiction, contact me by clicking/tapping here. We can arrange for a free 15-minute consult and discuss how we can work together.  Knowing for certain is a very important first step.  It’s important to confirm if addiction is indeed your issue or if you have a binge eating disorder.  We will deal with those differently to get the outcome you want.

As a first step, I always suggest starting with a formal assessment. The best method is to complete a SUGAR® assessment.  I am licensed and certified to administer an assessment for you.

If you’d like to know more about my services, just tap or click here.

If the signs of food addiction are telling you to get some help, do so now. You can overcome this. This is the time to act.

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