Am I Sugar Crazy? The Truth About Sugar Addiction and Whether It’s a Real Thing

sugar crazy

Sugar crazy?

You are not alone.

One of the common challenges shared with me from Community members, clients, and Instagram is people feeling like they have a sugar addiction. And I want to do a deep dive exploring what that is and if it’s true in today’s episode.

We’ll discuss why sugar is NOT solely to blame for feeling sugar crazy (and what really is, with research to support it). We will also share steps you can take to break the grip you feel sugar has on your wellbeing.

Key Highlights

  • Learn the important distinction between using the word “carbohydrates” and “sugary” – they’re the same but different.
  • Discover what is really to blame for this obsessive, dependence on sugar (sugar isn’t to blame).
  • Understand how your brain responds to sugar and the similarities and differences between your brain on sugar or illegal drugs.
  • Learn more about hyper-palatable foods and the role they play in you feeling sugar crazy.
  • Gain clarity on an action plan to begin defeating your fixation on sugar foods.
  • Learn how you can win three free months of Micheala’s new fitness subscription: Made to Move

Episode Resources

Join The 5% Community Today!


Paul Salter:

Hey, 5% Way Podcast listeners. Welcome to another episode of The 5% Way Podcast with your host, just two awesome, genuinely cool human beings, myself, Paul Salter, and the wonderful Micheala Barsotti. I’m really just appreciative… and I know I speak for Micheala too… for all of you long-time listeners, but a special welcome if you are in fact new to the show, and maybe, just maybe this is actually your very first time listening in. So thank you so much for being here. We promise to at least make you think, probably laugh a little bit, but in all seriousness, walk away with a tangible action step or three and incredible amounts of value and education that you can apply to your life today to begin feeling, looking, and being your best.

And today’s episode, especially if you are a long-time listener, you really are in for a treat because today’s episode is bound to be our sweetest episode yet. And I’m grinning ear to ears. I say that because I’ve been waiting to say that. And that’s because we’re talking about sugar and whether you, whether Micheala, or whether myself is in fact sugar crazy and whether or not sugar addiction is a real thing. But before we do that, something else that is incredibly sweet that I would love to address is an opportunity for you to win three free months in Micheala’s brand new Made to Move monthly fitness app and subscription that I’m so excited to have her share more about. So Micheala, welcome, and let the listeners know what you’ve been working on for quite some time that is now actually live and in the ether.

Micheala Barsotti:

Yeah. I’m so excited. Yeah. This has been a work in progress, but it is so cool to see it come to life and be a couple weeks in now. So the Made to Move training app is really just for the women who want to become stronger. Maybe you want to improve your body composition. I hear all the time, “I want to be more toned.” What women don’t realize is toned means more muscle. So we need to actually build muscle, or at the very least, maintain what we do have. And so my program is strength training. It’s really going to take the guesswork out of it for you. So many people have so many other things go on in their life. They don’t want to think about their training program. So I do that work for you. You just show up, put in the work, and the results will come.

With the app, it is a four-day training split, and you get a gym and home version, which is really cool. So whatever you have access to, this will work for you either way. There’s demo videos and cues for every single exercise. I should say that it’s a four-day training split, but there is an additional fifth day, and that’s the total body. That’s that fun, little bit more cardio-based workout, whereas the other ones are definitely more dedicated to strength. And then there’s options to track performance metrics, which I love, as well as obviously I’m bringing in the community aspect because we know how important that is. So just surrounding yourself with other people that have similar goals to be strong, and you guys are motivating and encouraging each other, and you know that I’m in there as well, doing the same.

And then lastly, you’ll have monthly Zoom calls with me. So this is really your chance to get that one-on-one connect action point, get your questions answered, whatever you want to chat about within the program. Maybe you want to shout out a PR you got, whatever it is. This is our chance to really connect there. So there’s a lot, and I’m super excited because I’m able to offer it at such a low price point. It’s only $25 a month, which is literally less than a coffee a day, which is pretty dang cool for your week of workouts. So yeah. That’s the app and I’m super excited for it.

As Paul mentioned with the giveaway, we’re going to select three winners to receive three months free of the Made to Move program. So all you have to do is leave a rating and genuine review on whatever platform it is that you’re listening to the podcast, take a photo, and then send it to me or Paul via DM on Instagram. So that’s at Paul Salter coaching or at Micheala Barsotti. Make sure you do that part so that you can actually be entered into the giveaway. And then bonus points if you share the episode to your story as well and tag us. And then we will select the winner the following Thursday. So what will that date be? June 2nd, we will. I think that’s it.

Paul Salter:

Outstanding. I was looking at my calendar too. I was like, “Oh, wait. That’s a new month. I can’t do the easy [crosstalk 00:05:42].”

Micheala Barsotti:

Yeah. Good thing I had mine up because I definitely can’t do that.

Paul Salter:

But for everyone listening, a few things to add. I mean, I’m incredibly excited for Micheala because I’ve seen her in the trenches for many, many months trying to bring her dream to fruition, and she’s done such a great job. But I’ve also seen the amount of muscle she has gained in the few years I’ve known her and the amount of fat she has continued to lose. She’s incredibly strong, incredibly lean, but most importantly, she does know her shit. I’ve had the privilege of working out with her a couple of times now and she just has a great way of teaching, a great way of meeting you where you are, whether you are a beginner in your journey, intermediate, or advanced.

And she also does a phenomenal job of making it challenging. Again, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced, if you need a modification, whatever it may be. So if you are someone who is sick and tired of bouncing from one workout program app, plan, template, whatever it may be to another, I think you’re going to have a tremendous experience with Made to Move. And I can’t recommend it enough. So as Micheala said, we’ll pull up the information in the show notes for this particular episode. And if you want a chance to win three months free, all you need to do is leave a genuine and honest… If we’re three out of five stars in your opinion, that doesn’t bother me. I want your honest opinion. You don’t need to float our boats just to be entered.

Leave a genuine, honest review and rating on whatever platform you listen to our podcast; Apple, Spotify, SoundCloud, whatever it may be. But most importantly, take a screenshot and send it to us via DM on Instagram because half the time, you, me, me especially, we have all of these Apple Podcast user IDs that are nothing like our name or our emails. So when I go to look at the ratings and reviews and your name is Carrotman7, I can’t associate you with that review. Therefore, I can’t enter you in the giveaway. That’s why we’re asking that you send us a quick screenshot as well just so we have your name and we can do you justice by entering you in a chance to win three free months. Awesome.

Well, on that note, let’s go ahead and shift gears here and really dive into the meat and potatoes, or should I say the cookies and cream of this episode, talking about all things related to sugar addiction and whether or not it is a real thing. And if you’re listening to this episode, you’ve likely experienced a time or 10 times in your life where you have felt sugar crazy in which you simply could not stop thinking about something sweet or eating something sweet. We go in for one Oreo and a dozen later, we’re like, “Oh, shit. What just happened in a blink of an eye?” And one of the common challenges that both Micheala and I have heard time and time again from members of our 5% community members, clients, and even people on Instagram, is that they have self-diagnosed themselves with a sugar addiction.

And I want to spend today’s episode working in tandem with Micheala, really exploring what that is and if it is true and actually exists. But the foundation I want to simply lay down now before we start building upon it is it is very likely that you have experienced a time in which sugar just consumes your brain, your thoughts, your actions, and your food decisions. And you’re certainly not alone in having that experience. But as you’re going to learn in the next 20 or 25 minutes, sugar is not solely to blame for feeling sugar crazy. And even more, there are actual, simple, practical steps that you can take to break free of this sugar addiction label or this sense of being or feeling sugar crazy. And we’re going to walk you through just that so you can reclaim a sense of confidence, control, and calm when it comes to navigating those sweet treats that you love to indulge in.

But we have to get a little sciencey first. And to best understand sugar and whether or not it truly creates a sense of addiction, I want to clarify a couple of basics related to sugar and one of the often misused synonyms related to sugar. So in the fitness industry, on social media, when so-called gurus, experts, and whatnot are talking about sugar, many people often interchange sugar with the word carbohydrates. Some people… and you might relate to this… say like, “Oh, I cut out all sugar from my diet.” Well, not true if you’re still eating fruit because hey, heads up, there’s actual natural sugar in fruit, but we’ll get to that later. Some people say, “I’m cutting out all carbohydrates.” Maybe they are truly following a strict ketogenic diet, but I’ve also have someone tell me they’re cutting out all carbohydrates and they’re eating fruits and so forth.

So what I want to share with you is this. All carbohydrates are composed of sugar molecules, and sugar molecules are the building blocks of carbohydrates. And in fact, there are three different types of what are known as simple sugars. And another word or synonym for simple sugars is monosaccharides. Mono mean one, a singular molecule. And the simple sugars or monosaccharides include glucose, which you probably have heard the most about… Or actually, I take that back. Fructose is another… a lot of fructose talk in the media the last decade or so… and galactose. And these monosaccharides can actually bond together to form what is known as a disaccharide, di being that prefix meaning two. And when you combine a molecule of glucose and fructose, you get sucrose. And you know sucrose well because that is what traditional table sugar is.

And additionally, when you combine glucose and galactose, you get a molecule of lactose, which is your dairy or milk sugar. And when you combine two glucose molecules, you get something known as maltose. So when a molecule that exists contains more than two of these molecules three, four, five, six, that is when it is also known as what’s called a polysaccharide. And poly is another prefixed meaning many. And the polysaccharides that both you and I are most familiar with are starches or what we commonly generically equate to just our general big picture carbohydrates.

And this quick structural breakdown is important to understand because whether you consume a sweet potato or a sweet tart, each of those foods is eventually broken down into a single molecule of glucose. Yes. A sweet potato and a sweet tar art inevitably end up as glucose, which is the body’s preferred fuel source, whether that be for your brain, your muscles, your heart, or your nervous system. And that’s something really important to keep in mind. Now quickly, before I go on, I did want to circle back to touch on the natural sugar comment I made related to fruit. And natural sugars are sugars that just simply exist in nature in those fruits. So fructose is the sugar molecule commonly found in your fruits and your vegetables. But where fruit juices, for example, get a really bad reputation, is 9 out of 10 of them have what’s called added sugar, meaning the manufacturer might be juicing the orange, but he is adding a cup two… Maybe not a cup, maybe a cup. Who knows? Of actual table sugar or sucrose to it too.

But natural sugars, there’s a huge difference on the impact that natural sugars have versus foods that have the added sugars, because foods that have some natural sugars, like your fruit, for example, are also going to be abundantly rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, whereas you’re getting a juice that’s just literally watered down with more table sugar, well then, you’re just getting a shot of syrup, so to speak, and that is not serving you well.

Now that we have a good foundation and a structural understanding… You’re welcome for your latest chemistry class. Maybe the last one you took in 20 years. I want to shift our conversation to talking about addiction. So we’ve talked about sugar and the theme of today’s episode is sugar addiction. So let’s address the latter part. So as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, addiction can be defined as follows, “Compulsive, chronic, physiological or a psychological need for a habit-forming substance, behavior, or activity having harmful physical, psychological, or societal effects, and typically causing well-defined symptoms… think anxiety, irritability, tremors, or nausea… upon withdrawal or abstinence of said substance.” End quote, if I need to make that clear.

So there are… let me just be clear here… several, several definitions within the medical community that are similar to this, that have a little bit of a different nuance or take based on their context and frame of reference related to the word addiction, but all have mentioned in some way, shape or form that I reviewed that addiction has a profound impact on brain chemistry, which is the true culprit for the addictive tendencies that result when you consume or engage in an addictive behavior or substance. And where I want to take this conversation now is I want to talk about briefly what happens on your brain on sugar. But before I do so, I just want invite Micheala in. And Micheala, I’m curious to know. Is there a time specifically early on in your dieting and fitness journey where you felt you were either addicted to sugar or just going sugar crazy? Because I know after now having spent time with you in person, you’re very much like me and that you do have a strong sweet tooth.

Micheala Barsotti:

I sure do. And absolutely. And I think it’s so important, what you said. There are probably a lot of people that eyes opened really big when you said the whole sweet potato and sweet tart comparison because understanding that really helps you have a better relationship with food, I would say, right? Because you start to realize you don’t have to demonize food. If you’re going to have cake that day, or your carbs are going to come from the sweet potato, it doesn’t really matter. Now it does because we’ll talk about certain ones are going to be a lot more satiating or whatever, but at the end of the day, you can give yourself more grace knowing that you had carbs, so account that for your carbs or whatever it may be.

And to answer your question, I did not give myself a lot of grace because I didn’t understand that. I always looked at carbs to be just your typical potatoes and breads and all that kind of stuff, and I didn’t understand what carbs really were, all of the different types of carbs. So yeah. I didn’t give myself quite as much grace because I always thought that if I had those bad foods, it spiraled into wanting more and more and more simply because I was in a form of restriction where I never allowed myself to have those things. So it really lit me up when I had them.

Paul Salter:

Yeah. It’s an interesting point. I’m glad you shared that because I can relate to, particularly during my bodybuilding preparation and competition days, where I wasn’t eating anything remotely close to resembling the sugar molecule, that same old damn broccoli, chicken, and brown rice, it felt like, maybe some tilapia on occasion. But I hear you. The moment I touched the Reese Cup or whatnot, it was like I opened the floodgates and then 15 more Reese Cups followed and then some. But what’s really interesting is… I’m going to shift gears here now talking about brain chemistry and the impact sugar has. But even before we get into some of the dopamine, the neurotransmitters, we can think about it like this. I found… this is just anecdotal… in my experience that the more I consume an added sugar-rich diet, the more I crave the added sugar-rich diet.

And again, removing brain chemistry and the impact that sugar has for just a moment, it’s really easy to conceptualize when we think about it like this. Sugar is a rapidly, readily available fuel source. Table sugar, or when it has that disaccharide, that two-molecule, bigger molecule, breaks down very easily. You get glucose on its own. That’s your brain, your muscle, your heart, your nervous system’s preferred fuel source, as I said. Well, because it’s so easy to break down and it’s not associated or complemented by fiber or vitamins and minerals, it doesn’t have the fiber to slow down digestion, well, just as fast as the sugar breaks down and gives us a spike in energy, we crash just as quickly too. So now my energy and my appetite are literally on a rollercoaster ride all day. And my brain is sitting there screaming like, “Hey, I am starving. Give me fuel ASAP.”

And as I just mentioned, what’s a readily available fuel source that provides fuel ASAP? Sugar. So it’s this self-fulfilling prophecy and perpetual cycle. I want more sugar. I’m going to have some. I eat it. Oh, 20 minutes later… maybe an exaggeration… I’m starving again. I need another quick dose of fuel and insert more sugar, low-fiber, fast-digesting food in the form of a sugary treat. So it really just has set me up. And I lived through this for quite a long time, even trying to follow that traditional, if it fits your macros. I was really pushing it to the extreme and trying to make everything sweet and everything that was a treat fit my macros, but it just really fueled more cravings and more binge-like behavior and more off-track adherence, which did not help me as my goal at the time was to get leaner and leaner.

Micheala Barsotti:

If you can really relate to what Paul and I are saying here, and you’re like, “This is me. I have that late night sweet tooth. I feel I just can’t stop,” it can be really hard to think of yourself as somebody who doesn’t crave sugar. But one of my favorite things to see with clients, members is just when that transformation starts to happen, where they no longer crave it. Just like you said, if you’re not having it as much, you don’t want it as much and it just becomes that much easier. So I think that’s important too, just to recognize that the less that you do have it, the less of a desire for it.

Paul Salter:

Absolutely. Because what you’ll find is when you are well-fueled with well-balanced food choices and you are satiated throughout the day and your energy is no longer on that rollercoaster ride, the only reason you start thinking about indulging in such a treat is because you’ve just been conditioned to due to learning how to cope with an emotion or cope with a stressor, and you’re used to having a food-centric response. But that’s a behavior that was learned, which means it can be unlearned, or better yet, upgraded to replace it with a behavior that is more in alignment with your goals. So that’s something that can be worked upon. Our previous episode of The 5% Way Podcast that talked about late night snacking, specifically designed to help parents who can’t help themselves after putting their children down bed, really goes into detail about how to start working through some of the emotional triggers that lead to indulging in sweet treats and everything sugary. So a great episode to listen to, I believe episode 190. And I’ll link that in the show notes. If you have that, listen to that already.

But let’s talk about your brain on sugar. So when we do eat a food that contains a significant amount of sugar, it triggers the release of the pleasure and reward-based neurotransmitter known as dopamine. And I have a hunch you’ve probably heard of dopamine before. This is actually the same neurotransmitter that is released when drug addicts use illegal, highly addictive drugs such as heroin. And the release of dopamine signals that a positive event has occurred. And when the system fires, well, it reinforces the behavior that initiated it, making it more likely that we’ll have a strong desire to repeat the behavior, meaning we have a strong likelihood that we’ll become addicted to this behavior. And the simplistic example to extract from that is you eat something that is sugary sweet in all of its goodness, you get a boatload of dopamine flooding through your brain and your body, and your brain quickly learns, “This feels awesome. Let’s go partake in this again.” And then you are more likely to indulge in another sweet treat and so forth and so on it goes.

But as you repeat this behavior more and more, our brain adjusts to release less dopamine. And the only way to feel that same high, well, is to repeat the behavior in increasing amounts and increasing frequencies. And this is known as substance misuse, or in this case, being sugar crazy, even what some people might call addicted to sugar.

But the question I want to raise now is this: is sugar really to blame? I mean, it’s no secret that the last couple of decades, sugar has garnered massive negative media attention, specifically because as rates of sugar consumption have increased, guess what else has also increased? The alarming statistics of the number of overweight or obese people on this planet. So linearly, as sugar consumptions has increased, so has the number of overweight and obese people. So from the naked eye, just looking at if we were to see those two variables plotted on a graph, it would make sense that we would quickly come to the conclusion like, “Oh shit. As people eat more sugar, people gain more weight and become unhealthy. There’s probably a strong connection.”

But I’m here to tell you that sugar on its own is not to blame. Now I’m saying that with a bit of a caveat. Sugar on its own is not to blame because think about it like this. If sugar on its own were that fucking addictive, well, wouldn’t it make sense… And this is not a political show whatsoever… But wouldn’t it make sense that there would be such an incredibly strong demand that the government would likely get involved?There’d be some kind of regulation, taxation on sugar purchasing. And we would have people both purchasing and trading in large, crazy quantities of sugar. That’s probably what would happen if sugar on its own were that addictive.

So unfortunately or fortunately, I don’t think that’s the case. And what is to blame perhaps is actually the creation of what are known as hyperpalatable foods. A hyperpalatable food is a food that is scientifically engineered to produce such a strong production of dopamine that you continue to want to eat more and more of this food. And it’s no secret that hyperpalatable foods are just simply this, engineered to be addictive. And the specific characteristics of hyperpalatable foods vary, but the common characteristics across all different types and categories of these foods is that they include both a combination and a synergistic blend of not only sugar, but sodium and dietary fat.

And this makes sense because these food manufacturers and large parent companies, they want you to buy more and more of their processed product. Remember that most of these companies are more concerned with profits rather than people. So they do everything they can. They invest all of their research and development dollars into food engineering to get a food to be that much more hyperpalatable and addictive. So you keep going back to that same middle aisle of the grocery store and buying more and more.

And what’s really, really interesting is I found a study entitled Hyperpalatable Defined as Foods Driving the Obesity Epidemic. And what researchers did was they evaluated nearly 8,000 different foods found in the US Department of Agriculture’s food and nutrient database to assess whether or not a food was considered to be hyperpalatable. And here were the categories they came up with that they could place a food in if in fact it was hyperpalatable. So they defined these foods as those that contain either… and there’s three options… number one, 25% of calories from fat or more, and at least 0.30% sodium by weight. So two examples in this category, bacon and pizza. Who can’t eat bacon all day? The second category, contain 20% or more of calories from fat and… not or, and 20% of calories or more from sugar. And this is where our beloved cake and ice cream come into play. The third category, these particular foods contained at least 45% of their calories from carbohydrates and 0.20% from sodium by weight. And this is where your breads, your buttered popcorn and your crunchy, salty, oh-so-delicious chips come into play.

And like I mentioned, this particular study assessed 8,000-plus foods in the nutrient database, and this is what they found: 62% percent of those foods found met the criteria for being considered hyperpalatable. And to me, I mean, my reaction is yikes. Micheala, what about you?

Micheala Barsotti:


Paul Salter:

I mean, it’s just baffling that almost two-thirds of the food in our United States… What is it here? Let me make sure I don’t butcher this… Department of Agriculture’s food and nutrient database. Some of the people who are supposed to be responsible with helping us make well-informed decisions and giving us all of the up-to-date, most simplistic education related to making healthy food choices, almost two-thirds of the foods in their database are just the hyperpalatable foods that are rich in sugar, sodium, dietary fat, and very, very poor and scarce in nutrients that actually work for us to help us feel and look our best. And that is a really, really good example… and I think you’ll agree… as to why sugar on its own is not to blame, which leads us back to one of the questions I proposed in the beginning of this episode. Are you sugar crazy if you’re struggling with sugar cravings and is sugar addiction real?

The word addiction, in my opinion, for this particular concept, way too strong to be used to describe the impact that sugar may have on your desire to eat these highly processed sugar-rich foods. However, given the manner in which sugar itself interacts with the brain and the effects it may have on control, tolerance, and withdrawal, I do think it’s fair to say that sugar can exhibit some misused tendencies with ease far more than any other nutrient or just this high sugar type of food in general, far more than any other type of food. But important to note is that it’s highly amplified when it is paired with other hyperpalatable ingredients, such as the salt and the dietary fat, each of which has a strong impact on the brain’s reward chemistry on its own. And together, these three have a synergistic, potent impact, ultimately making it far more likely that you just can’t stop eating that food.

So although you may feel sugar crazy, I do believe that you are not sugar addicted. And instead, you are struggling with these engineered-to-a-T, hyperpalatable foods that are meant to have the outcome of not feeling able to stop, not feeling a sense of control. And that is just the product of big money multimillion-billion-dollar companies having all the dollars to get what they want done.

But fortunately, although this is what feels like… and I can relate to this… a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle that leads you feeling stuck, maybe even overwhelmed and hopeless at times, there is a way out. And what I have learned and observed, I know what Micheala has learned and observed in collective 10-plus years in the weight loss and fitness industry is that it’s really a series of subtle mindset, emotional, and behavior shifts that collectively too can have a strong synergistic effect to help you ditch the sugar, really focus on those foods that are going to nourish how you want to feel, how you want to look, and how you want to be, and do so in a way that has you feeling so damn good in the absence of sugar, it’s almost as if you’re going to become addicted to making the best, most nutritious fuel sources possible.

And a couple things that I have observed… and I’ll let Micheala add a couple as well… when it comes to really taking back control of your sugar cravings, are making sure that some of the following habits are in place. Number one, you’re hydrating adequately throughout the day. And whether you’re drinking water, flavored water, coffee, tea, diet soda, et cetera, the primary hydration source rather you should be focusing on is water. But of all those calorie-free fluids collectively, you should be aiming to drink at least 60% of your current body weight in pounds in fluid ounces every single day. So if you’re a 200-pound individual listening to this, that means you are really aiming for at least 120 ounces from fluids. Total daily fluids. Doesn’t have to be all water every single day because as we’ve talked about in a previous episode, water, or just the act of filling your stomach with calorie-free fluids, has a very potent appetite suppressing effect. Micheala what’s another behavior or nutrition change that you’ve observed to be really helpful to shake those sugar crazy feelings?

Micheala Barsotti:

Well, I’m thinking if you identify yourself as somebody who has that sweet tooth, maybe to have something after dinner that’s sweet. I know I do. Having other options for yourself. I lean into having fruit after dinner. I drizzle some peanut butter over it, or I do these peanut butter banana wrap things. So I still get something sweet, but it’s not necessarily super calorie-dense, empty calories, and going to do a whole lot to me craving that intensely later on. So I think it’s so important to have what you would call… and I have my little quotations here… but treats for you to sub out what… You’re not having cake every single night or cookies or whatever, but what is something for you that fills that void? So you’re like, “Oh, okay. I feel satisfied.” Because altogether, if you are somebody who likes something sweet after dinner and you just cold turkey try to cut everything, I mean, it might work, but you’re probably going to still be leaning and reaching for something.

Paul Salter:

Absolutely. Going back from a nutritional standpoint, making sure you’re consuming both adequate amounts of fiber and protein throughout the day are also going to help you to manage those sugar cravings simply because both have a strong appetite suppressing effect. They take up a lot of space in your stomach. They slow down digestion, both of which were work in tandem to promote feelings of fullness. And with all of those in play, the hydration, the focus on high-fiber foods and a protein-rich diet, those are all in play and you still find you’re grazing or craving sugar more frequently than you prefer, well, at this point, it’s time to shift our focus internally, looking at the emotions present that are serving as the cue or trigger to said behavior.

Like I mentioned, episode 190 of The 5% Way Podcast, the one right before this, does a really good job breaking down what was popularized by Mr. Charles Duhigg. In The Power of Habit book, he wrote as his habit loop, really identifying a cue, a routine, and a award. And right now, your routine is indulging in something sweet after some type of cue. And the reward in this case is very short-term, short-lived, which is also ultimately followed up by long-term consequences, to say the least. So that’s something I highly recommend that you review as well.

And Micheala also has done a fantastic leading us through a couple impactful behavior change episodes. I believe those are the 170s and 180s. So take a look. There’s a lot of behavior change episodes that we have recorded thus far that are going to serve you well. Micheala, any last or final thoughts on just sugar, sugar craze, feeling out of control with sugar, or this sugar addiction as a whole?

Micheala Barsotti:

Well, I think if you made it to the end of the episode, it’s just a breath of fresh air to know you’re not addicted, that there is a way for you to not feel like you need sugar every single day. So that’s just a positive to take out of this in itself, that you’re not addicted. But there are still things like some different tangible steps that you can take to make it an easier process for you to wean off of having so much of it. Not to say that’s not still going to be challenging for you.

Paul Salter:

Absolutely. And I think too, to add to that, at the end of the day, if you keep telling yourself you are sugar crazy, or you’re a sugar addict, you’re addicted to sugar, it just becomes your reality because your self talk, your word choice, your thoughts and your beliefs collectively are what shape your results, your identity, and your reality. So you need to rewrite the story, choose better words, and take back control where it matters most, which is in your head, in your mindset, to actually cultivate a new identity, reality, and set of results.

If you have any questions about what we chatted about in this episode, feel free to reach out to either one of us on Instagram. We greatly appreciate you listening. We hope you found it valuable. And if you did, and you can think somebody you know would benefit from this information, go ahead and share it with him or her. We would greatly appreciate it. But most importantly, he or she would be just overwhelmingly excited that you’re looking out for them, you’re caring for them, and giving them a resource that is going to help them feel at least 1% better.

And remember, if you would like an opportunity to have three free months of Micheala’s brand new fitness app, Made to Move, all you need to do is leave a genuine, honest review and rating on whatever platform you’re listening to us today, whether that be Apple Podcast, Spotify, SoundCloud, or whatever it may be. And once you do so, take a quick screenshot. Send it to us on Instagram via a DM so you can have your chance to be entered to win. And the winners will be announced on Thursday, June 2nd. We will announce you on Instagram, and then [inaudible 00:36:45] we’ll follow up and get you set for success [inaudible 00:36:50]. Thank you so much. [inaudible 00:36:55] wonderful rest of your day and [inaudible 00:36:56] next episode.

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Paul Salter

Paul Salter is a Registered Dietitian and Founder of The 5% Way. Since 2013, Paul has worked one-on-one with nearly 1,500 men and women, helping them to collectively lose tens of thousands of pounds of body fat and keep it off for good. He’s also published nearly 1,000 articles, two books, and 175 podcast episodes (and counting) on all things related to our five core elements of sustainable weight loss.



Micheala is a Transformation and Community Success Coach. She specializes in bringing out the absolute best in you and helping you see that you already have everything you need to achieve the transformational results you desire. Micheala will be an incredible asset for you on your journey since she went through the process herself and has seen long lasting results.

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