Do you crave sugar once you finish your meal?

That’s the case with most of us! We start to look for any snack or something sweet immediately after finishing our meal. Do you have any idea why we do so? Well, desserts are indeed loved. But when you consult a nutritionist or dietician, they will most likely advise you to cut off as much processed sugar from your diet as possible. Sugar is nothing but a source of empty calories with no nutritional value. It just gets accumulated in your fat cells and makes you gain weight. 

But again, if we talk about household culture and traditions at parties and gatherings, ending the meal with a mouth-watering dessert is a must. There is an urge inside us to have something sweet once we are done with the main course. What might be the reason behind this craving? Any idea? 

It’s none other than your digestive system that asks for that dessert. Once you have finished your meal, it’s time for its digestion and processing. For this, your body requires energy. And since sugar is a source of instant energy, you most likely feel like having something sweet after your meal.

Can this craving be just psychological?

Indeed! Sometimes, feeling unsatisfied after your meal and craving some snacks or dessert might be only due to your eating habits. Suppose you have developed a habit of eating snacks or desserts after your dinner. In that case, neurochemical wiring in your brain will automatically trigger the urge for this after-meal food every time. You become habitual in eating sugary foods and desserts if you consume them regularly.

Furthermore, these post-meal sugar cravings can be due to the high serotonin production of a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is related to mood elevation. The amino acid tryptophan found in many foods is absorbed significantly when you consume sugary foods. This leads to increased production of serotonin. As a result, the levels of serotonin rise when you eat desserts and sugary foods, and this rise in the serotonin level makes you feel satisfied, peaceful, and happy.

After meals, you can also trigger sugar cravings due to uneven blood sugar levels. Sometimes your meal might contain simple carbs that might cause a sudden rise in your blood sugar level, which drops immediately after you finish. Your body does not acclimatize to this sudden fluctuation in sugar level, and your body starts requiring sugar as fuel.

Is there any relationship between sugar cravings and hormonal deficiency?

Yes, there is a link between specific hormonal imbalances and cravings for snacks and sugar. Various hormone-driven conditions such as menstrual periods, andropause, menopause, etc., can make you urge for sugar or snacks, even when you are full. These sugar cravings could indicate significant deficiencies in the levels of certain hormones like progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.

Besides making you crave sugary foods, hormonal imbalances play a significant role in causing insomnia, low sexual libido, moodiness, and fatigue. 

However, the sugar cravings that occur due to hormonal deficiencies can be treated by hormone replacement therapy. In this therapy, bioidentical hormones are used that contain compounds identical to the ones found in your body. These compounds can regulate hormones. And the best thing is that this therapy has no side effects. 

Can you get over this feeling of having snacks or desserts after your meal?

There is no need to completely stop eating sugary food after your meal, as long as you can control yourself. Getting rid of a habit might be difficult, but not impossible. Furthermore, taking one or two blocks from a chocolate bar will cause you no harm, instead will boost your mood only. 

But if you want more, turn your desserts into healthy options, such as natural frozen berries, strawberries, grapes, coconut, bananas, etc. You will get to eat all-natural, and you will also fulfil your post-meal sugar craving.

Consult a dietician or nutritionist if your past meal snack/sugar craving is getting out of your hands. Visit Fantastic Life, a nutritionist and healthcare website. You are free to consult our expert healthcare advisors, who will provide you with the best alternates and diet plans to follow to help you lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.