At this week’s Group Coaching meeting we were joined by a special guest speaker, Jayne Steele. Ms. Steele is a food addiction interviewer and recovery coach from Victoria, Canada. She shared an overview of Bitten Jonsson’s SUGAR interview assessment and showed us how she utilizes it in her clinical practice. Ms. Steele was kind enough to use herself as an example and shared her personal journey. For more information about SUAGR and their approach to food addiction and their community-based support groups click here:

 Main topics discussed at the meeting:
    • The SUGAR test used by Jayne and Bitten assess if one has a food addiction to sugar or is a harmful user.
    • Addiction Defined: People with addiction use substances and/or engage in behavior that can become compulsive despite harmful consequences.
  • Addiction can occur when the brain’s reward center is overstimulated by substances or behaviors and recovery occurs from abstinence from taking lifestyle action steps to boost serotonin through lifestyle activities and diet.
  •  Oftentimes food addiction is overlooked as just a problem with willpower instead of being treated as a disease.
  • Low Carb does well for calming down the blood sugar volatility, weight loss, and metabolic health which helps in recovery from food addiction.
Main Suggestions: 
  • We have to rethink how we eat, drink, and how we live, play, and what interests us. 
  • When recovering from addictive food or behavior it’s important to have an outlet by replacing it with something to replace serotonin levels.
  • Finding group support is important for any kind of addiction recovery.
  • Coaching, education, support, sleep, and 12-step programs are very helpful during recovery.
  • You have to produce your own happy hormones when stressed like meditating and spending time with your family instead of seeking out food, alcohol, or drugs.
 Other Considerations:
  • Some people are predisposed to addiction from genetics.
  • Addiction can also happen through learned behavior by living and modeling your behaviors after others in your environment.
  • Sugar, flour, gluten, dairy, caffeine, and salt combinations are shown to be as addictive and almost 8x as more addictive as cocaine under MRI scans.
  • Often one addiction can be followed by another (e.g.: addiction transfer is the #1 side effect after bariatric surgery typically, alcoholism).

Article by Brian Wiley

Brian Wiley is a Certified Health Coach who struggled to lose weight for most of his life. He attempted most of the mainstream approaches, along with the standard advice to “eat, less move more.” This advice resulted in minimal short-term success, or no success at all. Brian then adopted a low-carb lifestyle in 2009, and succeeded in losing 100 pounds. He has maintained that weight loss ever since using a low-carb ketogenic IF lifestyle. "I see people every day, both in real life and on social media, struggling, going through the same cycles of unsuccessful dieting like I did. I want to serve as an example that this approach can be successful, is not a fad, and is a healthy long-term lifestyle solution." Brian is also an ACE certified personal trainer.