Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Sugar Shock!: How Sweets and Simple Carbs Can Derail Your Life--And How You Can Get Back on Track

Rate this book
A provocative exposé of the negative effects of sugars and simple carbs-and how to break the addiction.

Most readers already know that succumbing to sweets too often can lead to obesity and diabetes. What many don't know, however, is that too many "quickie carbs" can bring on a host of other maladies-such as "brain fog," fatigue, mood swings, heart disease, and even cancer-from which millions may be suffering because of their sugar or carbohydrate habits. Once besieged by 44 seemingly unconnected symptoms, former "sugar addict" Connie Bennett, an experienced journalist, managed to kick sweets and simple carbs in 1998. She improved her health-and uncovered extensive medical research that substantiated her theory: people who eat too many low-caliber culprit carbs could be in sugar shock. Based on the insights of thousands of physicians, nutritionists, researchers, and "sugar sufferers" worldwide, SUGAR SHOCK!(tm) not only addresses how badly sugar affects the body, it demonstrates how everyone can kick the sugar habit.

416 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2006

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Connie Bennett

2 books28 followers
Connie Bennett is the compassionate, self-mocking, former sugar-and-carbs-addicted journalist, motivational speaker, author of the bestselling books, Sugar Shock (Berkley Books) and Beyond Sugar Shock (Hay House).

The idea for her newest book, I blew my diet! Now what?, emerged after Connie endured a grueling, heartbreaking, stressful year helplessly watching her terminally ill mother angrily lose the battle to a brutal cancer.

Soon after her Mom died, Connie—one of the world’s top sugar and carbohydrate experts—became harassed, haunted, and hounded by Crazy Cravings (as she puts it) for fiber-stripped carbohydrates.

Despite more than a decade of eating cleanly (no sugar, no carbs, etc.), Connie blew her diet bigtime.

Then, she fell into months of what she calls Heartbreak Bingeing, Stress Splurging and See-It-Crave-It Gorging of crunchy, greasy, salty movie popcorn, corn nuggets, and other carbage or carb garbage (but not sugar).

After she quickly packed on 21 pounds, Connie was horrified, humbled, and humiliated. She felt like “a total failure, hypocrite, and loser,” because for years, she’d fervently, adamantly, outspokenly touted the importance of ditching sweets and quickie carbs.

Ultimately, though, her “huge failure” lit a fire under Connie. She became determined to discover why people eat so badly.

She sought to answer: Why do millions in the U.S. and billions worldwide blow their diets? What specific events, conditions, or emotions trigger Crazy Cravings and runaway bingeing? And how can overweight, obese or even slim people shed weight for good while at the same time they shed shame, heal their hearts, and claim calm?

Her groundbreaking next book, I blew my diet! Now what? Stop Blaming Yourself, Crush Your Cravings and Slim Down for Good (April 6, 2021) addresses those questions and provides a doable path to weight loss.

Connie is host of the long-running Gab with the Gurus Show (since 2007). She also is a certified health coach (Institute for Integrative Nutrition), life coach (iPEC), trained Happy for No Reason Coach, EFT expert, and Carb Freedom Coach.

The health guru has been featured by hundreds of media outlets, including TIME, “CBS News Sunday Morning,” ”Oprah & Friends Radio,” Woman’s World, The Howard Stern Show, Women’s Weekly, Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, Women’s Health, Publisher’s Weekly, the Daily Mail, dozens of radio stations and podcasts, as well as Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly.

The author also has written for HayHouse.com, SheKnows.com, HealthNewsDigest.com, DrLaura.com, Delicious Living, The Star-Ledger, and many more outlets.

Connie has educated, guided, and motivated thousands of sugar addicts and carb junkies worldwide through her books, blog, private coaching, and group programs, including her signature Crush Your Cravings Bootcamp.

Connie often dances behind her standing desk, takes brisk walks, swears by Pilates, enjoys bicycling, meditating, watching waves, capturing stunning photographic moments, and listening to audio books by inspiring authors.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
63 (22%)
4 stars
102 (36%)
3 stars
76 (27%)
2 stars
27 (9%)
1 star
8 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews
Profile Image for Tami.
Author 36 books69 followers
April 15, 2008
We all know that too many sweets cause our waistline to expand and ruin our hopes of getting into that sexy bathing suit. Still, that single cookie just doesn't seem all that dangerous as it beckons. How could one little tiny cheat hurt? We tell ourselves that we'll just cut calories elsewhere.

Even through our cloud of deep denial, we all know that one cookie always leads to another. We even know that the only calories we are going to cut are those of good healthy foods. Perhaps, what we don't realize is that sugar in sweets, fast foods, and simple carbs actually do real damage to our bodies. Once we stick that cookie into our mouth, we are setting ourselves up for a rollercoaster ride of emotional ups and downs that lead right back to the cookie jar. In the process, our body has to constantly react to a barrage of sugar which can lead to physical and emotional breakdown. The list of potential diseases is scary, from chronic fatigue syndrome and depression though diabetes and heart disease.

I think that every so often we need a little reminder about what we are putting into our bodies. Often, in the chaos of our lives, it seems like an easier choice to eat fast food or have a sweet snack as a pick me up. However, in doing so, we are actually making things worse. There is hope and Sugar Shock! can show you how.
Profile Image for Rachel.
749 reviews24 followers
August 25, 2009
I just skimmed this book; I don't think it's worth reading the whole thing. The idea is that simple carbs and sugars make us age faster and give us mysterious health problems like headaches and mood swings. I would have liked to read a book about the same material but from a more objective viewpoint - I felt like Bennett's testimonial and desire to be readable made me less likely to trust her (especially when she cites research in one chapter, and then in the next basically says that "parents know better than scientists that sugar makes children hyperactive!" Mixing pseudoscience with real research just really annoyed me). I felt like there was too much filler and "it can also help you lose weight!" when all I wanted to know was what bad things sugar does and how to avoid them.

Outside this book, I think it would be interesting to experiment with taking simple carbs and sugar out of my diet, but I think it would be rather expensive. Cereal, potatoes, bread, and white rice are my cheap college student staples. Adding non-potato vegetables would mean another $10 a week or so.
Profile Image for Bryan.
80 reviews5 followers
April 20, 2011
Alright, let's get this out of the way first: this book reads like one of the world's worst infomercials. There is countless promotion of the author's website, help groups, etc. I can definitely see how this might annoy someone into stopping reading this book.

Having said that, there is a lot of interesting information in how sugar impacts our health. There are countless experts referenced. It certainly could be that the experts are biased. I have heard of some and respect them, but others are completely unknown to me.

If you can get past the salesy writing, it is certainly a worthwhile and interesting read, and may just change your dietary choices.
November 27, 2020
This was very informative. Repetitive like a lot of medically-geared texts, but it dissects the points nicely and is helpful in reminding you of the key points. Refined carbs and sugar are bad. It's not a simple "cals in and cals out" thing as many of us have thought. The type of calories really make a difference, and the authors really pound it into your head (and if you have detractors around you, it gives you good arguments to use against 'em).

I'll definitely keep this one as a reference.
Profile Image for Karen Root.
19 reviews1 follower
November 28, 2016
Read this book!

There is tons of information in this book! The author grabs your attention and keeps it by delivering her message in a way that is very easy to understand and apply in life. I guarantee you there is a lot to learn about excessive carb intake and how that intake affects your life! Reading this book has inspired me to want to keep learning about what I can do to curb my intake of unhealthy sugars as well as guide others to do the same.
Profile Image for Robert Bor.
70 reviews9 followers
February 27, 2014
If the health thinkers agree on one thing nowadays, it is that sugar and other simple carbs are bad. This book is written in typical american style, including SHOUTING THE TEXT "SUGAR SHOCK" EVERY NOW AND THEN, all throughout the book. Annoying style.

I like how the book opened with the confession of a sugar addict. Personal stories are certainly catchy and the story of Connie drew me into the book. Throughout the book, you read not only about the battles with the Craving Self, but also about the ones with institutions and vested business interests. When I read this, I get the feeling that this struggle will only intensify the next couple of decades. It is my personal opinion that these powers must and will be put down, just like the cigarette industry was. A long road lies ahead of us.

An interesting recent history on how an overly obese american society has dealt with and is still dealing with putting a cap on sugar consumption.
52 reviews
November 22, 2010
Really made me think about how sugar controls me. In our world and society, I think it would be next to impossible to totally eliminate sugar and junk carbs. But greatly cutting down made me drop three pounds in a few days, and feel more clear-headed. The health implications of causing your blood sugar levels to wildly fluctulate, thus causing your pancreas to pump huge amounts of insulin into your bloodstream, is staggering. This author believes that the obesity and diabetes epidemic (among other diseases)in our country is caused by sugars and "simple" junk carbs (i.e. white refined flour, corn sweetners, etc.). The book is well documented. Scary.
Profile Image for Stacie.
37 reviews4 followers
March 24, 2008
This is the best book to give you a kick in the pants for healthy eating or losing weight. It has opened my mind to the effects of sugar/ simple carbs. It is over-the-top and sometimes loud, but this motivated me. Half way through the book, I was on board, "Okay! I'll never touch sugar again!", just because you want the author to stop preaching. I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Annette.
22 reviews2 followers
October 24, 2011
Recommended years ago by R Jackson and finally got to it. I wish there was more "how to" information, withdrawal symptom information (serious sugar addict here), etc. Hokey, but really got me to quit sugar (and caffeine) for over a week now, expecting to go until Thanksgiving (6 weeks), then to reassess.
Profile Image for Carol.
778 reviews35 followers
February 27, 2013
sugar is bad blah blah blah sugar is bad... this is already understood in the first 50 pages but this continues for another 200 pages and then not much info on how to change except dont eat sugar....
I am not ne for non fiction especially self help- read ts as homework but its books like these that keep me from reading them
Profile Image for Christina.
42 reviews
December 23, 2009
Hokey writing style. Most of the book explains why sweets and carbs wreck your system. Only a chapter or two cover how to make changes to your diet. Still, it was enough to motivate me to start making some changes in how I eat. So in that way, it was worth reading.
Profile Image for Julie.
35 reviews
December 26, 2012

This book was amazing!! Having personally studied this information in my medical classes and this is right on! I would highly recommend this book and I will definitely be using this as a reference.
Profile Image for Nancy Mather.
67 reviews
March 8, 2012
I came across this book when doing some research on hypoglycemia. I think that much of this is extremely accurate and that sugar and simple carbs are a root cause of many health issues. The book is inline with many other clean eating models - cut sugar and only eat whole wheat flour.
Profile Image for Heather.
96 reviews
March 29, 2012
I skimmed this book more than read it. Already seems and feels out of date and it was very frouffy. I was hoping for some more ideas for ways to break sugar cravings/addiction. I am really beginning to feel that it's not "too much sugar is bad for you" but that it is "sugar is bad for you".
Profile Image for Alexa.
56 reviews30 followers
November 13, 2012
The book contained some really interesting facts around sugar, but several chapters I skipped, as I found the writing style very scientific and not engagin enough.
Topics like "sugar addicted kids", the effct of sugar on the menopause, were not really relevent too me.
32 reviews
March 18, 2008
This scared me off sugar for a couple of weeks, but then I relapsed. I need to read it again.
Profile Image for Dana friedrich.
2 reviews1 follower
March 25, 2008
if you want to know the ugly side effects sugar has on you, read this book. it's a easy read with lots of info.
2 reviews7 followers
May 22, 2008
I'm learning all about sugar's effect on the body! It is literally SHOCKING!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lauren.
43 reviews
January 1, 2009
I'm making my way slowly through this one. It has some helpful information in it. We'll see how it goes.
Profile Image for Nikki.
28 reviews1 follower
November 27, 2009
I reread this. It's a great book, and I needed the reminder.
68 reviews4 followers
September 16, 2010
If you want to feel good, cut out the sugar, (and simple carbs)!! Just like my mom always told me!
Profile Image for Erica Wagner.
48 reviews1 follower
February 11, 2013
Good reminder of what a toxic substance sugar is...the only knew info for me was its strong link to heart disease.
Profile Image for C.A. Martin.
Author 3 books2 followers
March 22, 2013
Informative and well researched. Probably contains information you don't know about sugar's pervasive effects on the body. Occasionally reads like a text book.
Profile Image for XO.
1,069 reviews
November 29, 2013
A good book if you ever wonder if sugar can be seen as a drug.
Profile Image for Kendra.
14 reviews1 follower
June 7, 2012
Poorly written, great as a reference guide.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 30 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.