I hate that this happens. I eat a big meal and am completely full but still crave something sweet to top it all off. It’s completely unnecessary since I’m already full but the stupid little sugar demons in my brain tell me I need something sweet. Why!?
Lately, it seems like every time I eat a meal, I crave sweets after eating. This sometimes ends up completely F’ing up my diet and derailing my progress.
I remember going through the training for my fitness competition a couple years ago and I never had this big of a sweet tooth so why is this happening now?
I did some research and found out why this happens.
It’s our brain’s fault.
I’m blaming my brain for every cookie eaten from here on out.
When we eat foods that are composed of high sugar and high fat, we cause neurochemical change in our brain and disrupt our normal blood sugar levels. These chemical changes in our brain cause us to crave that piece of cheesecake after a big and hearty meal.
It’s also caused by habit and association (which is good news since you can break habits!). If you become used to always having a cookie after a meal, your brain expects that sugar spike after every meal as “closure”. It will soon associate any food with this behavior.
This makes sense because I feel like I go in spurts of time where I crave sweets after eating more than other times. It’s a learned habit.
The chemical in our brain that is responsible for post-meal sweet cravings is serotonin.
Serotonin is a mood-elevating brain chemical that will cause you to feel depression and sadness when levels are low. Alternatively, when serotonin levels are spiked, it allows us to feel happy and “high” on life.
If you go out to eat and you don’t consider balancing your macronutrients, you can expect a serotonin spike. If your meal primarily consists of simple carbohydrates, your blood sugars will jump. You’ll feel on top of the world while eating (I love you carbs) but then you’ll have a drop in blood sugar shortly after your meal (I hate you carbs). This is when your craving will kick in. Your body starts screaming at you by telling you to eat something sweet so you can get that blood sugar to spike again.
How to kick the habit
My suggestion to kick the habit of craving sweets after eating is to eat more balanced meals. I find myself craving sweets more when I eat an unhealthy meal and that’s because usually my unhealthy meals are filled with simple carbs. Try to stick to a healthy 40/40/20 macro-nutrient breakdown for meals (for starters – this means 40% carbs, 40% protein and 20% fat).
Also, habits are said to be formed after 21 days of consistently doing something. If you don’t allow yourself to give in to that sugar demon in your head, then you’ll be less likely to form this habit.
Do you have any tricks or tips on how to kick the urge to eat sweets after eating? Leave a comment below!