You’ve just had a full meal, but instead of feeling satisfied, it feels like something is missing. You’re craving dessert instead!
Let’s admit it. We love our desserts, and for most of us, eliminating the last course of the meal is the hardest part of any diet. Most of us will start hunting for something sweet after every meal. So what could be the reason behind these sugar cravings, this urge to end a meal with a sweet treat? Let’s find out.
It makes us happy
Do you know that when sugar is metabolised, it releases opioids and dopamine, giving us pleasure, signalling the brain to repeat the action again? It could explain why we look for desserts after a full meal.
It’s a habit
For many, eating dessert after a meal could be a habit you’ve developed over the years. It’s something you want versus something that your body needs.
Your food is too salty
Sweet cravings can arise as a complement to a salty meal. Something sweet is your body’s way of creating balance.
Cutting off sweets suddenly
Laying off sweets cold turkey can intensify the cravings causing you to binge on sugary items later. If you intend to cut sugar off your diet, do it slowly so your body won’t notice the difference.
You’ve had a bad day
Sweet desserts cause serotonin levels to rise, which make us feel happier, calmer and satisfied. It could be the reason why we reach out for sweet treats when we are feeling down.
Eating an unbalanced meal can lead to uneven blood sugar levels. If your meal consisted of refined starchy food that can be digested quickly, it will cause your blood sugar to spike after eating. This will cause your glucose to soar and then drop suddenly, causing you to crave something sweet.
You’re not eating enough
Your hunger hormone will let you know if you have not eaten enough. And if your hunger is not satiated, sweets and calorie-rich foods after dinner become much more appealing.
How to cut down sugar cravings
- Break the habit by removing yourself from the table for 30 minutes to see if your craving subsides. Try going for a walk or do a light workout.
- Brush your teeth immediately after eating.
- Satisfy your craving with natural sweetness like fresh fruits, freshly squeezed fruit juice or dried fruits.
- End your meal with a nutritious sweet dessert like baked apple or stewed fruit.
- Eat a balanced meal. Try to include a source of protein for all your meals.
- Adding a little sweetness in your breakfast meal can help suppress sweet cravings later in the day.
If you are trying to cut down on sweet cravings, don’t ban it completely. Include dessert in your diet once a week to prevent yourself from feeling deprived and as a reward for a job well done in curbing sweet cravings.