Can Workouts Hide Sugar a Addiction?

by Joan Kent, PhD on August 24, 2015 · 0 comments

Cookies and Sugar Addiction“I don’t understand. She trains well.”

The program manager made that comment when a participant in our athletic training and weight loss program didn’t get results. I was both a coach and the lead nutritionist.

His comment exasperated me. Of course she trained well. She was an expert at that because of her food issues. She’d junk out, then “train well” to burn off the unwanted calories.

It wasn’t always the same ‘she’ – but she was typically a sugar addict. Sugar addicts don’t necessarily have difficulty training.

Training is probably the easy part for them. Showing up at the gym for early classes, getting into the weight room, weekend runs, core strength, scheduling with a personal trainer. No problem.

They don’t refuse to work out or to cooperate with the instructor. Workouts don’t threaten their addictive behavior.

The sugar addict wants to continue to eat the same junk, and use workouts to compensate for it. The workout is a way to keep the addiction going.  Workout and Sugar Addiction

Nutrition Rules Push Buttons

Food guidelines, on the other hand, meet with stonewalling. My nutrition program – highly successful with most of the participants – annoyed the major “resisters.”

I’ve written articles about resisting weight loss, but let’s look at one client in particular. This woman kept demanding more and more specific instruction. Our guidelines were never good enough.

First, she didn’t know what to eat. She wanted menus. When we provided those, she wanted more details: exactly which foods to eat, when to eat them, and precise quantities for her calorie and weight-loss needs.

The program manager saw this as our problem. I immediately recognized it for the smokescreen it was. He commented, “I don’t think she’s getting results because – until we provide those things – she feels as if her program hasn’t begun.”

His comment was utterly profound – but not in the way he thought.

To an outside observer, registering for a complete and robust weight-loss program looks like a sincere desire to lose weight.

If you don’t know the games people play to avoid losing weight, asking for more details and specifics seems like part of that sincere desire to lose.

But I’ve been around the defiance of resistant weight-loss clients and see it differently: As long as we didn’t give her the details she requested, that was her excuse not to change her eating. Not to give up pizza, margaritas or nachos. Not to stop drinking wine. Not to move forward – to any degree – until things suited her to a T.

If we had done everything she wanted, she would have had more complaints and more demands.

Bottom line? She saw the lack of personalized info as the chink in the armor, the flaw in our program. A good friend of mine who works as a life coach said, “It’s better for her if the program fails than if she does. Again.”

This life coach friend said she disliked weight loss clients most of all because of the games they play. Guess I’m not the only one who has noticed this nonsense.

So how can we make this reader-friendly? Many of you are probably not coaching weight-loss clients. You might be interested in weight loss yourself. You might even be addicted to sugar.

Here are a few suggestions.

• Be honest.
What do you want? Assess your weakness – sugar, alcohol, butter, whatever. You don’t have to tell anyone about your assessment, but make sure your goals are what you really want.

It’s no crime to decide you don’t want to lose weight – or end your food addiction.

• See the finish line with no time element.
I learned this from my ultra-endurance athletic coach. Don’t worry about fast results. These days, some people push rapid weight loss. That’s fine if you prefer, but you don’t have to race.

If it’s more comfortable to “set it and forget it”, decrease your calories, say, by only 300 per day. It will take you longer to reach your goal, but that’s really the only drawback. So what?

Do it daily, forget about it, and let the pounds melt slowly while you just go about your business.

• If you’re addicted to sugar or other food, concentrate on the addiction first.
Don’t self-sabotage by taking on too much at once. If you deal with sugar first – no matter who disagrees – you’re taking a strong and solid step toward your goal. Once your eating is under control, the other goals will fall in place.

• Get past your sugar addiction with qualified help and a proven system.
Everyone seems to have ideas on how to get rid of sugar cravings, and some of them are almost ridiculous. With the right help, it’s a straightforward process. With the wrong advice, it can be agonizingly difficult.

Find a solid system. Stick with it.

About the Author: Joan is committed to helping you conquer sugar addiction so you can stop cravings, regain control, and transform your health, your moods and more. Access your free copy of “3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Trying To Quit Sugar” when you visit

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