How Do I Know If I’m Addicted to Sugar?

How do I know if I’m addicted to sugar? What are the signs? What symptoms will I experience if I’m addicted to sugar?

You’ve heard about sugar addiction on the evening news, and you’ve probably read about the evils of eating too much sugar in health magazines. This is an interview with Malia Frey from that explains how to know if you’re addicted to sugar:

How Do I Know If I’m Addicted To Sugar?

I spoke to Dan DeFigio to get answers to your most pressing questions about sugar addiction. DeFigio is the author of Beating Sugar Addiction for Dummies, a book that I highly recommend to anyone who wants to clean up their diet and feel better about their health. Dan has worked as a nutrition counselor and wellness expert for over 20 years.  He explained some of the warning signs that you might experience when your sugar intake is too high, and some of the benefits you’ll enjoy if you reduce the sugar in your diet.

VeryWell:  What are some signs or symptoms you might experience if you are addicted to sugar?

Dan DeFigio:  The top 3 signs that you are addicted to sugar are:

  1. You eat sugar and junk food compulsively, even though you realize the negative consequences. You promise yourself you’ll never binge again.
  2. You hide your sugar consumption from other people, or lie about your eating behavior.
  3. You turn to sugar for an emotional lift, such as when you feel lonely, bored, or stressed.

Interestingly, there are different types of sugar addicts. You can take the quiz to find out which of the four main types of sugar addicts you might resemble.

VeryWell: How can reducing sugar intake change the way I look and feel?

Dan DeFigio: Cutting back on your sugar intake can trim your waistline, increase your energy, ease the mood roller coasters, improve your blood sugar and cholesterol profiles, increase the effectiveness of your immune system, reduce food cravings, reduce bloating, and lower inflammation.

VeryWell: If I decide to reduce my sugar intake, how long do I need to make changes before I see some results?

Dan DeFigio: Most people report that when they start eating less sugar, they start feeling better right away. Your pants will start to get looser in 2-4 weeks.

VeryWell: Is sugar reduction something that I need to do for the rest of my life? Or can I do a “brief cleanse” to get a benefit?

Dan DeFigio: I am not a fan of temporary diets and cleanses, because they don’t change what’s “normal” for you. A “cleanse” doesn’t result in any permanent changes. That being said, any healthy behavior is better than none, so making some temporary changes (a “brief cleanse”) is better than doing nothing. But it’s best to work on building healthier permanent habits!

how to know if you're a sugar addict

How To Reduce Your Sugar Intake

If you think that you might be addicted to sugar, a slow approach to change is usually the best method. Take baby steps to reduce your sugar intake. Begin by reading ingredient labels and identifying foods that contain too much sugar. Sometimes finding sugar is harder than you think. Sugar is found in many savory foods and sauces that you might not expect:

For example, did you know that many brands of ketchup contain high levels of sugar? In fact, many of the calories in ketchup come from high fructose corn syrup, a common form of sugar.  Breakfast cereals, breads, and many popular “healthy” drinks are also often high in calories and sugar.

Learn the common ways that sugar can be disguised in the foods that you eat. Then be religious about reading nutritional labels and ingredient lists on the back of each product that you buy.  DeFigio recommends that you avoid prepared foods that contain more than 10 grams of sugar per serving. In his book, he also provides handy lists of foods to avoid and foods to include in your diet.

If you’re still not sure if you’re addicted to sugar, take this quiz to find out. You’ve got nothing to lose but a few extra pounds!

Dan DeFigio how to get off sugar If you need help getting off sugar, click here to apply for a free consultation with Dan DeFigio.