Wednesday, May 26, 2010

How Can I Break the Habit of Having Dessert after Dinner?

I have a question about the urge to continue eating after dinner. I enjoy a delicious, filling dinner but instead of feeling satisfied, I immediately feel the urge to eat more or devour a dessert. Is there a scientific reason for this? Or is it just the habit of eating dessert after dinner? Is there anything I can do to stop it? I'm thinking that chewing gum after my meal would help. Thank you for any information!  --Gina R.

Dear Gina,

Yes, this craving is likely a result of your body knowing you are in the habit of having dessert.
The craving is driven by hormones in your body signaling you "It's time to eat something sweet!" This urge can come from whatever is familiar that preceeds the dessert--even a feeling of fullness!

Take heart, it just takes a few weeks for your body to realize this is not a habit anymore and it should not expect dessert at this time. Meanwhile, distract yourself or find a miniature substitute. I usually grab a handful of cereal which satisfies the carb craving, leaves a sweet taste with me, and has less than 25 calories! If chewing gum helps you that is a great solution.

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