There's nothing wrong with the occasional post-dinner sweet. In fact, some studies suggest that, in moderation, chocolate can be beneficial. One study conducted by the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) found that the natural nitric oxide in coca can help lower blood pressure and aide in overall heart function. Some studies even show that a sugary snack every now and again can improve your overall diet aspirations. But how do you know if you're simply reaping the benefits of the occasional sweet, or if you're abusing sugar at the expense of your health? Here, surefire signs that you're a sugar addict and what you can do to kick the habit.

1. You've sworn off sweets in the past...without results. A classic sign of the addict: you told yourself you'd stop repeatedly and still find yourself binging. How many New Year's resolutions have been wasted? One? Two? Yearly? A verbal declaration is one thing, but without results, they're just words.

2. You eat sugary snacks in bulk, not in moderation. Benjamin Franklin once said, "Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation." Moderation is a good practice in any aspect of one's life. When it comes to junk food, however, moderation is even more crucial. Numbers released by the National Centers for Health Statistics show that more Americans are obese (34 percent) than simply overweight (32.7 percent). With stats like these, gorging on sweets is no laughing matter.

3. You have a stash. It may be in your desk drawer at work. It may be behind the Tupperware in the kitchen or even underneath your bed. Regardless of the location of your stash, the truth remains: you have a sugar hoard to support your habits and to keep from those around you. Shame, shame.

4. You "need" your daily fix. If you cannot go a day without one soda, candy bar, or pudding snack, you may have a problem. "Occasionally" does not mean "daily occasions". Tomorrow, keep track of what you eat. See if you can steer clear of that slice of pie.

Sage Advice for the Sugar Addict

Good news. Contrary to popular belief, a person cannot be physiologically addicted to sugar. According to Dr. Debra Zellner of Montclair State University of New Jersey, who once studied drug addiction and now has turned her focus to food cravings, believe that "addiction" cannot be achieved with sweets. True physiological addiction is achieved simply by administering the product into the system. An example would be like that of a person addicted to cocaine. However, swallowing a capsule filled with chocolate does not satisfy a chocoholic. It's the smell, the texture, and the taste that is alluring-not the sugar.

So how can you beat the sugar buzz? Follow these tips for a sugar-free start:

  • Focus. Don't dilute your goal to kick the sugar habit by substituting it with weight loss goals. By removing junk food from your diet, weight loss will follow. Concentrate on the task at hand; and that's to put the cookie down.
  • Removal. Got that stash we were talking about earlier? Remove it. Give it to a friend, throw it out, do whatever is necessary. If it's not insight or looming in your mind's eye, you're less likely to indulge.
  • Replace. Whenever you remove an aspect of your life it is important to replace it with something else. Eliminating the usual bowl of ice cream at the end of the night will create a vacuum. Replace it with something productive-a healthy snack, a good book, or exercise.
  • Support. Don't go it alone. You're less likely to relapse if there's someone by your side trying to dissuade you. Invoke the help of a loved one, coworker, or friend. You can support each other to conquer a beast of any size.