Are You Addicted to Sugar?

Are You Addicted to Sugar? 5 Hidden Signs The Answer Is YES (Plus How to Beat It)

We all know that sugar is delicious. It’s in all of our favorite things — cookies, pastries, candy, soda, ice cream and even bread. Unfortunately, just like the moon, sugar also has a dark side. Eating too much sugar can change the makeup of the gut microbiome and lead to cravings, withdrawals, and binging.

There’s a good chance you’ve heard sugar described as “addictive” at least once or twice before. But what does that really mean? And how do you know if YOU are addicted? The hard truth is that sugar addiction is incredibly common, and you may be a sugar addict and not even know it.

That’s why this week, I’m diving into sugar addition, how to diagnose it, and of course — how to beat it. I’ll be sharing my #1 expert solution for rebalancing the gut microbiome and saying goodbye to sugar addiction — once and for all. The cool part? You can make huge progress fighting a sugar addiction in just 7 days.

How much sugar are YOU eating?

If you’re like the average American, you’re getting about 10 percent of your daily calories exclusively from sugar. This might not sound like much but let me tell you, it adds up over time. When you really break down the numbers, Americans eat about:


  • 152 pounds of added sugar each year
  • 3 pounds of added sugar each week
  • 13 teaspoons of added sugar each day

If you read this and think, well I’m not sitting around eating dessert all day, so I’m probably okay! You might want to think twice. The tricky thing about sugar is that it’s not JUST found in desserts, it’s also hiding in everyday foods you might not think of as rich in sugar. For example:

  • Bread, Pasta, and Crackers: Even if you don’t eat sugar in its pure form, if you’re eating pasta, white bread, crackers, or cereal, you are spiking your blood sugar in an unhealthy way. In fact, eating a slice of white bread is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons or 8 grams of sugar.
  • Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate can be a healthy food when eaten in moderation, but you have to be careful with your purchases. Many products are labeled “dark chocolate,” but when you look at the ingredients list, they still contain dairy and a hefty dose of sugar.
  • Milk (including oat milk!): Yes, really! Cow’s milk contains lactose, which is a form of sugar. In fact, did you know 1 cup of milk contains 7 grams of sugar? Yeah, that’s a lot!! But just because you opt for non-dairy almond, cashew or oat milk doesn’t mean you’re escaping sugar completely. Some brands of almond or oat milk contain upwards of 10 grams of added sugar per cup. 
  • Wine: I know none of you want to hear this one, but despite its antioxidant content, wine contains high amounts of sugar that will likely undo any of the benefits of the antioxidants.
  • Granola Bars : This is a big one! Especially for people who are making an effort to eat healthy. Like dark chocolate, granola bars and protein bars often masquerade as “healthy” but the truth is that a single granola bar often contains more than 12 grams of sugar, and unless you’re really using them to replace a meal on-the-go, they just add to your daily intake of calories and sugar. 

As I mentioned earlier, eating this much sugar can sabotage your gut microbiome. After not too long, sugar-eating bacteria (and yeast) start to grow out of control because of all the sugary-food available to them, and then when you try to cut out sugar, those bugs start to die and cause cravings, moodiness, and many other symptoms you may attribute to having a “bad day.”

In other words, your gut bugs hijack your brain and start telling YOU what to eat!
We’ll talk about how to beat sugar addiction in a bit, but first let’s talk about how to tell if your microbiome is suffering from the effects of too much sugar.

5 Signs You’re Addicted to Sugar

Many people hear the words “sugar addiction” and think it’s an exaggeration. And I get it! We all love dessert. What’s the difference between having a sweet tooth and a full-blown addiction? Here are some common signs that sugar is a problem for you:


You think about sugar (a lot)

If you find yourself thinking about that sugar-filled Starbucks drink, a cookie from the coffee shop, or a sweet cocktail throughout the day, there’s a good chance you’re relying on hits of sugar to get through your day. This can be a sign that you’re struggling with sugar addiction.


You get the 3 p.m. slump — bad!

We often talk about sugar crashes in the context of children, but adults can have sugar crashes too! Sugar gives us a big boost of energy, but it’s not long-lasting or consistent, so we inevitably crash. If you find yourself falling asleep at work, or needing a nap or more sugar to get through the 3 p.m. slump, you could almost definitely benefit from cutting back on sugar.


When you’re stressed you reach for sweets

Sugar releases opioids and dopamine in the brain, which are two of our main “feel good” chemicals. This leads to the feelings of bliss, calm, and satisfaction many of us experience when we eat sugar. I mean, at least before it revs up your heart rate and actually makes you feel wired, followed by the inevitable energy crash. If you feel like you’re regulating your mental health by riding the sugar “rollercoaster,” this is a huge sign that you’re addicted to the sweet stuff.


A day without sugar feels impossible

If the thought of a day without bread, soda, sugary coffee drinks, or candy sounds like a huge challenge, that’s a big sign that sugar might be an issue in your life. Do you feel bad if you DON’T have sugar? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then there’s a good chance you’re dealing with a sugar addiction.


You have a blood sugar problem

The truth is that 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and 20% of them don’t even know they have it. If your blood sugar is high or you’re beginning to show signs of insulin resistance or pre-diabetes (like putting on the “spare tire” in the middle), that’s a big sign that you’re consuming too much sugar.

As you read this, if you’re realizing you may be addicted to sugar, remember that it’s not your fault. An often-quoted study out of France showed that sugar’s effects on the reward centers in the brain are even more dramatic than those of cocaine. So, when you hear the words, “Sugar is more addictive than cocaine” — that’s not actually an exaggeration.

How to Beat Sugar Addiction In Less Than a Week

If you want to beat your sugar addiction, you have to take a holistic, full-body approach to beating sugar addiction for good. Luckily, I designed my HAPPY GUT® Reset for exactly that. This program is a quick detox to rebalance your gut microbiome and create more harmony in 7 days or less, without feeling like you’re starving or “dieting.” The HAPPY GUT® Reset includes probiotics to balance the gut microbiome, a cleanse shake to give your body a healthy dose of nutrients and protein, and other nutrients to heal the gut, cut sugar addition and get you back on track.

But don’t just take it from me! Here’s a note from Alessandra, who completed the detox last summer.

“I decided to do this program back in the summer — it was easy to follow and I didn’t feel hungry at all! I loved the delicious shakes. My weight has dropped (15 pounds) and so did my sugar cravings. No need for coffee to boost energy and I love the increased mental clarity. I have followed this detox program twice now. Both times successfully. I suggest this program to anyone needing to take off the last 10 lbs or just a quick reset, it works!”

Throughout the 7 days, you’ll be eating a clean, high-protein diet specifically designed to help you rebalance your microbiome and normalize blood sugar levels. As we’ve learned throughout this article, beating a sugar addiction isn’t just about cutting out sugar, you also have to correct underlying health imbalances — such as gut dysbiosis and the blood sugar rollercoaster — that make you crave sugar in the first place! The best way to do that is with a detox, like my HAPPY GUT® RESET: 7-DAY DETOX . It will help you jumpstart your body’s detoxification systems to beat the bloat, gain energy, clear mental fog, balance hormones, and crush sugar addiction in as little as 7 days. 

When people hear detoxing, they hear “starvation.” The 7-Day Detox proved to be NOT THAT and more for Scott:

“I felt I had more energy. Realized I didn’t need coffee as much as I did. And reset my idea of when I was truly hungry (much less often than I’d thought before). Weight loss was pretty significant. 5+ pounds [in just 7 days].”

How does Dr. Pedre’s 7-Day Detox work?

With the 7-Day Detox, you’ll be cutting out common inflammatory foods, sugar, and alcohol. If you want to beat sugar addiction, cutting out alcohol is usually one of the most important and necessary steps. For one, alcohol is sugar in and of itself. And for that reason, it puts your body on the sugar rollercoaster. When your sugar levels come crashing down 30 to 60 min after a drink, you either crave more alcohol, or succumb to the late night munchies.   

Alcohol can also affect your judgment, so you may end up binging on sugar (or crackers or chips) after a few drinks. I recommend cutting alcohol out completely, at least in the beginning, until you get your sugar cravings under control. 

Throughout the program, I also recommend stress reduction practices like meditation. Why? Many of us turn to sugar in stressful moments. Instead, have another go-to strategy at the tip of your fingers that doesn’t involve reaching into the snack drawer. Instead, take three deep breaths to put your stress in check.

Sugar addiction doesn’t have to mean unending bloating, fatigue, mental ups and downs and/or weight gain; in fact, once you start reversing the cycle of sugar addiction, beating it is something that anyone can do! All it takes is saying “YES” to yourself to put the sugar addiction away for good. The process requires dedication, patience, self-forgiveness, and of course… building your foundation — which starts in the gut.

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