Sugar Addict Type: The Sad Eater - dummies

By Dan DeFigio

As the name implies, Sad Eaters spend a lot of time feeling sad and depressed. They use sugar as an artificial mood elevator, and their behaviors with food embody the very definition of the term emotional eater.

Out of all the addict types, the Sad Eater has the unhealthiest relationship with food. It’s common for Sad Eaters to turn to sugar for comfort and companionship; often Sad Eaters feel like food is their only friend, even if they’re surrounded by family or co-workers.

Sad Eaters often have a strong inner critic, with self-esteem problems stemming from childhood. Many Sad Eaters find themselves in a difficult Catch-22 with food — they feel fat and unlovable, so they eat sugar for comfort, telling themselves they “just don’t care.” A high-sugar diet, of course, leads to more body fat and a worse self-image, feeding both the fat cells and the pity party.

Sad eaters often act angry, crabby, and/or judgmental toward others. If you find yourself regularly getting irritated with co-workers or angry with family members because they don’t act according to your expectations, you may be exhibiting Sad Eater behavior.

Sad Eaters are commonly perimenopausal or are particularly sensitive to PMS and monthly hormone fluctuations. Hormone deficiencies and imbalances can wreak havoc with their emotional state. If you have a deficiency of estrogen, progesterone, and/or testosterone, you can become sad or even clinically depressed. When this happens, you start to crave sugar in an attempt to raise your serotonin levels.

If you’re a Sad Eater, you can more easily stay away from sugar if you develop a better sense of emotional awareness. Do some self-inquiry to uncover more details about the negative emotions that you’re experiencing — the more specific the better.

For example, if you’re feeling stressed at work, try to find some more accurate and specific words to describe what you’re feeling. Instead of just stressed, do you feel overwhelmed? Unappreciated? Afraid? Trapped? Inadequate? When you start to understand a more detailed picture of your reactions and emotions, you’re able to more accurately assess the situation and deal with the truth instead of just reacting negatively and reaching for the sugar.

Some professional therapy may help steer you toward greater emotional awareness.

In addition to weaning yourself off sugar, you need to put extra effort and attention on substitute behaviors. The best things to boost your mood are to do something outside the normal routine and to do something good for someone else.