Is sugar addiction or food addiction real?

Note: It’s National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and I want to raise awareness about this problem that affects so many of us and the people we love. You probably heard of eating disorders like binge eating disorder, anorexia, and bulimia BUT you might not be aware that there are many more forms of DISORDERED EATING that touch the millions of us struggling with our relationship with food and our body.

I’ll be posting a short 5-min video every single day this week to help you see whether YOUR relationship with food and your body might need some healing. 🙂

Watch the whole series of video here.


For this last video, we’re talking about something quite controversial: sugar addiction and food addiction.

Most if not all the women I work with believe sugar and food addictions are real. And I certainly believed that myself too for many years…. until I understand that the problem was not the food but my relationship with food and my body!


Here are the cliff notes:

  • Physiological side:
    • Study with rats often quoted as PROOF that sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine 
    • Is that really proof?
    • The study show that sugar triggers the release of DOPAMINE, a neurotransmitter making us feel reward + pleasure
    • But there are other things that trigger dopamine like other foods and sex, and this is simply a SURVIVAL mechanism to ensure that we survive as a specie, not necessarily a proof that these are addictive
    • One important note is that some people have FEWER dopamine receptors and therefore need more of a certain stimulus (i.e. sugar) to feel the same amount of reward + pleasure, which could explain why some people are more at risk of overeating certain foods
  • Emotional side: 
    • Yes, I 100% agree that we can FEEL like we’re addicted to sugar or certain foods (i.e. chocolate for me), and I’ve craved those foods and felt addicted for many years
    • Studies show that people more likely to feel addicted to sugar usually have a history of dieting / restriction / trying to lose weight
    • The main takeaway here is that the most important cause of overeating and bingeing and feeling addicted to sugar = RESTRICTION
  • Bottom line:
    • I am not denying the physiological effects of certain highly palatable foods like sugar, but it’s not enough to call this an addiction
    • Abstinence is NOT the solution! (I’m not saying it doesn’t work for some but it certainly doesn’t work for the majority)
    • This way of thinking keeps us stuck in victim mode
    • I want you to feel empowered because you CAN break free of this!
  • My story:
    • I thought I was addicted to sugar and many other foods for years and was seriously out of control with some of them
    • I tried everything!!!
    • Moderation would NEVER work
    • I was able to stay sugar-free or completely avoid certain of these foods for days, weeks, or months but it would always end up backfiring at some point
    • Once I started restricting for real (not only “pretending” that I could have these foods in moderation) and with the work I did to heal my relationship with food and my body, these feelings of addiction melted away!
    • I can now eat sugar like a “normal” person whenever I want without it triggering cravings or a binge
    • If I can, YOU CAN TOO!


Good books on the topic:
* Health at Every Size by Linda Bacon


Watch the whole series of video here.


So how do you feel? And what do you think?

Let me know what food for thought these four questions are bringing for you (below in the comments).




p.s. Do you need help with your relationship with food? 

If any part of what I wrote here resonates with you, I personally invite you to check out my FREE Whole Batch Syndrome Online Training. 🙂

It includes the 5 biggest mistakes I made when trying to heal my own relationship with food and my body and how to turn these 5 stumbling blocks into 5 stepping stones you can use for your own healing today.


And if you’re RIPE & READY to embark on your healing journey to improve your relationship with food and your body, I invite you to check out my Radicata SEED Protocol (private coaching or group classes).