Why do I crave sweet food after dinner?May 19, 2021
Tanya, why do I crave sweet food after dinner. I know I’m not hungry but I just want to eat it?
Craving food, especially sweet food after meals is a habit that we have learned over the years.
A habit is something you do over and over and then it becomes so natural that you may not even realize it anymore until you want to stop. You think if you use willpower and discipline that you will stop. And you might for a while until you don’t. Learning the right skills will help you to rewire your brain for long-term success.
And most likely, like me, you have no idea what these skills are. I didn’t until I was tired of using the same methods that were only giving me short-term success!
See, if you have trained yourself, like I did (dessert growing up anyone??) to always have something sweet after a meal, then your body will start to expect something sweet.
Your body will nag you until it gets a sweet fix because you’ve trained your body to think that a meal isn’t finished until you eat something sweet.
This was absolutely me and I know that I would end my dinner saying that I’m absolutely stuffed and there was no way I could eat the rest of my broccoli, but I had room for dessert!
The reason we crave sweets (and for some of you salt, but it’s still most likely a simple carb), is because when we eat them, our brains release serotonin which makes us FEEL GOOD. They can also boost our energy, albeit, temporarily and our mood, until we fall back into the cycle of feeling guilty or angry that we didn’t have enough willpower to resist it.
The good news is, that we can rewire our brains without deprivation and the constant use of willpower and TRUST me, I never thought this was possible, but it is.
The first thing I changed was NEVER saying I could not eat something as that TRIGGERED me to want to eat more of it.
Instead I use the delayed gratification technique which I talk about in my book, Cookie Dough in the Dark, as this just allows a temporary pause before I eat what I want.
But see, here’s the neat thing. Adding this pause and asking yourself a few questions, actually takes the focus away from your craving, your desire and because you know you can still eat it, the emotional power struggle lessens.
The next time you have a craving, try this out>>
- Give yourself full permission to eat whatever it is that you want
- Acknowledge that you aren’t hungry but that you really want it
- Set a timer/alarm for 5 - 60 minutes
- Ask yourself some questions like, what am I feeling right now? How will this food/alcohol help me with what I am feeling? Is there something else that I could do instead?
- When the timer/alarm goes off, tap into how you are feeling. If you still want to eat/drink "X" then go for it, and if not, that’s great to
What you have just learned to do, is add a little pause between wanting and immediate gratification. You are now practicing delayed gratification and it’s one of the many simple shifts I talk about in my book, programs, calls etc. that helps you to start re-wiring your brain for long term success.
Practice this for a few weeks and love yourself for whatever you decide to do. I’ve learned that having self-compassion instead of berating myself helps with my success, although, that was a tough one to learn after years, who am I kidding, decades… of negative self-talk.
If you loved this tidbit, then you’ll love The Willis Method which is my online program helping women to crush cravings, end mindless munching and drop weight for good (if they need to). Bingeing and emotional eating have run the show for too long and it’s time for new tips and tricks to help you crush your cravings and feel in control around food without giving in. Book a call here to see if this is the right next step for you.
Check out one of our latest group coaching calls on delaying gratification, click here
I’m a wife and mum, personal trainer, fitness/pilates instructor, Behaviour Change Specialist, Nutrition Coach, Pain-Free Movement Specialist, author of Cookie Dough in the Dark, creator of Vibrant Living Membership - your ONE STOP shop for movement + nutrition + mindset..... among many other things!! I’ve had many issues dealing with the scale going up and down, a muffin top that wouldn’t disappear, emotional eating binges that did not involve carrots and struggling with insecurity! Through all of this I just wanted to feel normal. I wanted to be happy like everyone else!
In my teens and 20’s I wanted the quick fixes, the magic pills, the fairy dust – whatever I could get my hands on to make me a lean, happy and sexy machine. Yup, found out it doesn’t exist. I wanted to cry!! I was so frustrated. I felt like I was going around and around until I was completely exhausted and back at the starting point. And when I talk with other women they feel that way too. So, I delved further into holistic health – the emotional, mental and physical – wrote a book, and have been in this field for many years helping 1000’s of women.
I discovered that by being smarter, not working harder, I could get the results I wanted and also for my clients. It started with some really small shifts that I will share with you over time. With this new knowledge, I felt ALIVE, VIBRANT and COMFORTABLE in my own skin. And my clients felt this way too!
My mission is to continue to help women step into the body they WANT. To feel confident & sexy, in control of their food choices and have their clothes fit just as they should while having the energy to live a VIBRANT life.
Ready to elevate your health? As a certified Behaviour Change & Nutrition Coach, I'd be happy to chat with you. Contact me at [email protected].
I look forward to seeing you inside the 5 day stronger to the core challenge
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